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From Persona 5 to Project Re Fantasy - What do you want to see?

Zolo

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Jan 3, 2015
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I am sure there is some light novel they can license for this plot line. I can only imagine how terrible this would be. On the other hand, reactions to this one in the West will be hilarious.

They're usually in MMO worlds.
 

StereoVsn

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Nov 14, 2014
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They're usually in MMO worlds.
"From the creators of Persona 5 comes a thrilling epic of a middle aged Otaku being thrown inside the world of MMO."

I am sure Atlus can make it work. The twist is that the red headed woman in the concept art is that Otaku.
 

Son Of Sparda

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Dec 1, 2014
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Lmao. Do you know who the Osaka Team is and how they handled some Kingdom Hearts games? Just wondering.

Not a Kingdom Hears fan.

What I meant was that it's hard to make a good game while the goal is obviously to milk the existing cast of earlier titles.
 

Cannon_Fodder

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Jul 3, 2014
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Great OP, thanks for putting together such a good summary.

I for one am very excited about the fantasy direction they're taking. I really don't think there are many recent fantasy JRPGs, and even less that are pure fantasy (ignoring things like isekai or technological elements). The fact that Re:Fantasy is going all in on fantasy seems fresh to me.

That said, I really hope they do some kind of new turn-based battle system. Less targeting weaknesses and more using your skills appropriately. So within the Atlus catalogue, I'm hoping for closer to Etrian Odyssey than SMT.

My biggest concern is actually for the localization. I certainly don't want another P5 situation where we in the West wait months for a wonky translation. As I see it, both Atlus JP and Atlus USA have room for improvement here
 

Lynx_7

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Apr 27, 2013
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I am not confident they'll be able to subvert the genre's expectations as much as they want to. Medieval settings are overabundant in all kinds of media and it's hard to think of something that hasn't been done before. At this point, it has been deconstructed and reconstructed to death. Besides, I don't expect them to make the kinds of design decisions it'd take to make a truly "counter culture" fantasy RPG.

What I do expect it to be is a very high quality product all around and I'm pretty excited about the project. I like medieval settings myself so I really have no issue in playing even a somewhat generic variation of it. I don't expect it to be quite as good as Persona or the best Megaten games, but hopefully it'll still be up there in the higher echellion of Atlus titles.
Also, hopefully they take a look at ASOIAF too instead of just Lord of the Rings.
 

Opa-Pa

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Feb 6, 2016
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I really don't think the Persona spinoffs are representative of the full potential of their "B" team, and even if it were, well, Persona Q is one of the best Persona branded games mechanically speaking, and part of P Studio worked on that (collaborating with the EO team, of course).

Sure they're untested in some aspects, but if it's story what really worries people then I dunno. I liked P5 but it's not some masterpiece writing wise, and has a lot of elements that are extremely tone deaf and embarrassing to see play out, so if anything this could be an opportunity for Persona to get /better/. I'm not saying it'll be easy for them but who knows, maybe they're more capable than the main team if given the chance.
 

Sami+

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May 2, 2013
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Honestly, more mature dialogue and writing. Persona 5's themes suffer a lot from writing that's way too on the nose, imo. I'd rather they either not take themselves as seriously or do a better job of delivering the serious themes they want to convey - personally I would prefer the latter.

By "mature" I don't mean "darker", btw. P5 is plenty dark. It's just fairly juvenile in its conveyance of that tone imo.
 

eyeball_kid

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Jul 25, 2011
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Instead we got a rpg...with AI party members.. :/

And I liked it. Felt like I was just one member of a group. If you paid attention in P3, the AI of each party member even corresponded to their personalities. But the AI in P5 can't handle all the strategic options and is pretty much unusable for anything but simple fights. So Atlus would have to do a ton of work on their AI to make it even passable for use in a ARPG.

But here's hoping it stays turn-based.

Honestly, more mature dialogue and writing. Persona 5's themes suffer a lot from writing that's way too on the nose, imo. I'd rather they either not take themselves as seriously or do a better job of delivering the serious themes they want to convey - personally I would prefer the latter.

By "mature" I don't mean "darker", btw. P5 is plenty dark. It's just fairly juvenile in its conveyance of that tone imo.

They did a much better writing (and localization) job with Catherine. So I know they have it in them. I think part of it is just the difference between writing for adults and emotionally inexperienced, over-earnest, naive teenagers.
 

Cannon_Fodder

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Jul 3, 2014
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I am not confident they'll be able to subvert the genre's expectations as much as they want to. Medieval settings are overabundant in all kinds of media and it's hard to think of something that hasn't been done before. At this point, it has been deconstructed and reconstructed to death. Besides, I don't expect them to make the kinds of design decisions it'd take to make a truly "counter culture" fantasy RPG.

What I do expect it to be is a very high quality product all around and I'm pretty excited about the project. I like medieval settings myself so I really have no issue in playing even a somewhat generic variation of it. I don't expect it to be quite as good as Persona or the best Megaten games, but hopefully it'll still be up there in the higher echellion of Atlus titles.
Also, hopefully they take a look at ASOIAF too instead of just Lord of the Rings.

I'm pretty sure Hashino's whole point is that most fantasy settings nowadays try so hard to be "counter culture" that they all end up looking the same. Therefore, doing a fantasy setting with NO subversion is one way to stand out. And I think he has a point. Japan loves their "counter culture" fantasy (it's an otaku in a fantasy land!), but as a consequence not many stories play it straight.
 

Zolo

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Jan 3, 2015
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I'm pretty sure Hashino's whole point is that most fantasy settings nowadays try so hard to be "counter culture" that they all end up looking the same. Therefore, doing a fantasy setting with NO subversion is one way to stand out. And I think he has a point. Japan loves their "counter culture" fantasy (it's an otaku in a fantasy land!), but as a consequence not many stories play it straight.

Yeah, and Lord of the Rings still holds up amazingly well. Great stories of camaraderie. Human weaknesses from Boromir and Frodo losing themselves to temptation instead of necessarily overcoming it. Obviously fantastic fantasy settings.
 

duckroll

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Persona is not "mature" unless you mean the ESRB rating. Persona is never meant to be mature. It's a RPG series about juveniles, for juveniles. The target audience is not adults, but school children who can best relate to the themes and characters in the games directly. They're not meant to be totally serious and complicated deconstructions of their own themes. They are for the most part WYSIWYG. There are interesting themes and lots of social commentary, but they're wrapped in narratives which are meant to be appealing and engaging for teenagers. Criticizing Persona for not being mature enough is like asking why Naruto doesn't target adults instead.
 

Sumio Mondo

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May 27, 2015
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An all new tactical turn based battle system. Hashino was one of the geniuses that came up with Press Turn system for SMT3: Nocturne and adapted it for Persona series with variations on the system used since then so I hope they do something else fresh with this new IP. I certainly wouldn't mind a hybrid system of sorts if they wanted to do that, either.

Listening to Meguro's music for the project so far really reminds me of his work on SMT: Strange Journey, just great stuff all around. I know he will deliver, as will Soejima, who's really grown as an artist.

I just hope the scenario is up to snuff, they should concentrate really hard on it since if it's Medieval and missing certain story elements like S-Links/Confidants (although they may do some variation on that with "Bonds" system or whatever they decide to call it) then it needs to make for better writing in other areas so that it doesn't feel lacking. The base story needs to feel fresh in such a setting as do the characters.

And I kinda hope Hashino keeps his challenging gameplay intact, Nocturne was incredibly challenging, as was Digital Devil Saga and Catherine so I hope he and his team hones in more into that rather than the P4 ease factor.

Other than that, I have full faith in this team, Hashino hasn't set a foot wrong yet for me, neither has Meguro as composer or Soejima as artist, so best of luck to them and I look forward to seeing it in a couple of years.
 

Guess Who

Banned
Oct 21, 2012
10,408
1
0
Persona is not "mature" unless you mean the ESRB rating. Persona is never meant to be mature. It's a RPG series about juveniles, for juveniles. The target audience is not adults, but school children who can best relate to the themes and characters in the games directly. They're not meant to be totally serious and complicated deconstructions of their own themes. They are for the most part WYSIWYG. There are interesting themes and lots of social commentary, but they're wrapped in narratives which are meant to be appealing and engaging for teenagers. Criticizing Persona for not being mature enough is like asking why Naruto doesn't target adults instead.

At least if we're going by Japanese fan polls, the P5 audience is actually 20+, and by a pretty large margin. Even the 30-39 demo polled higher than actual teens.

P3 and P4 are probably more targeted at actual teens in comparison, but I think P5 reflects a 20+ target demographic very well - relative to P3 and P4, the subject matter is much more adult, there's lots of talk about sexual assault and drugs and prostitution and politics, there are adult romance options, characters in the localization actually say "fuck" now and then, etc.
 

like.a.ser

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May 12, 2015
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Kind of worried about some of the responses in this thread where people are essentially asking for more Persona. I like Persona, but in a new IP, I hope for something COMPLETELY different.

Personally, I'm comforted by the idea of a high fantasy setting. It's something that's becoming increasingly rare in games, with most games opting instead to throw technology or sci-fi elements into the mix.
 

duckroll

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At least if we're going by Japanese fan polls, the P5 audience is actually 20+, and by a pretty large margin. Even the 30-39 demo polled higher than actual teens.

P3 and P4 are probably more targeted at actual teens in comparison, but I think P5 reflects a 20+ target demographic very well - relative to P3 and P4, the subject matter is much more adult, there's lots of talk about sexual assault and drugs and prostitution and politics, there are adult romance options, characters in the localization actually say "fuck" now and then, etc.

Do you really think for a game which has sold over 500k in Japan, a poll on Dengeki Playstation is representative of anything? Would it be surprising that the readership of Dengeki Playstation, especially those who would bother to submit stuff to a poll, is skewed towards older audiences? We're not even talking about the most popular gaming magazine in Japan here, we're talking about a platform brand exclusive bi-weekly magazine.
 

Guess Who

Banned
Oct 21, 2012
10,408
1
0
Do you really think for a game which has sold over 500k in Japan, a poll on Dengeki Playstation is representative of anything? Would it be surprising that the readership of Dengeki Playstation, especially those who would bother to submit stuff to a poll, is skewed towards older audiences? We're not even talking about the most popular gaming magazine in Japan here, we're talking about a platform brand exclusive bi-weekly magazine.

Is there any other, better data out there about this? I don't exactly find it hard to believe - tons of media in Japan about teenagers is actually aimed at an older audience, and I've already stated several reasons I think the content of P5 reflects this as well.

I'm fairly sure I've read Hashino interviews where he discussed how the Persona audience is getting older as well - P3 and P4 were a decade ago now, after all.
 

MaximumSpider

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Nov 12, 2013
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Although I prefer the modern setting of the Persona games (and Catherine), this is my dream team when it comes to gaming so I expect great things out of them anyway. I can't get excited right now because I know it won't be out for a while now. :(
 

Opa-Pa

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Feb 6, 2016
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Persona is not "mature" unless you mean the ESRB rating. Persona is never meant to be mature. It's a RPG series about juveniles, for juveniles. The target audience is not adults, but school children who can best relate to the themes and characters in the games directly. They're not meant to be totally serious and complicated deconstructions of their own themes. They are for the most part WYSIWYG. There are interesting themes and lots of social commentary, but they're wrapped in narratives which are meant to be appealing and engaging for teenagers. Criticizing Persona for not being mature enough is like asking why Naruto doesn't target adults instead.

I think it depends on what people mean by mature. Personally I enjoy when Persona focuses on themes teenagers can resonate with, same with silly concepts like "let's use our super hero powers to teach those shitty adults what's good!".

What I mean with wanting them to be more mature is basically respecting women and LGBT+ people instead of using them as objects and comic relief, that's pretty much it. The rest is perfectly fine as is, whether they choose to go with a dark or upbeat tone, I don't care.
 

Dantis

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Apr 18, 2012
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Maybe I'm misremembering but didn't someone from Atlus say the target audience for Persona was 16-21 year olds?

As far as maturity goes, a story can be told maturely whilst not being a mature story. P5 has an awful habit of treating the player like an idiot, and it has some serious gaps in logic when it comes to motivation and consequence. The exact same story could be told better, and I think doing so would make it more 'mature'.
 

Setsu00

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Nov 28, 2013
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Lmao. Do you know who the Osaka Team is and how they handled some Kingdom Hearts games? Just wondering.

That's not really a fair comparison. The Osaka team was and is being supervised by Nomura and a large chunk of the writing staff is the same. The Persona B team no longer has Hashino (arguably the main creative and according to the artbooks the one who is actually willing to do something more bold with his games) and lost its entire lead writing staff to Re Fantasy.
 

duckroll

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Jun 7, 2004
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Is there any other, better data out there about this? I don't exactly find it hard to believe - tons of media in Japan about teenagers is actually aimed at an older audience, and I've already stated several reasons I think the content of P5 reflects this as well.

I'm fairly sure I've read Hashino interviews where he discussed how the Persona audience is getting older as well - P3 and P4 were a decade ago now, after all.

I mean, as far as maturity of content goes, do you really feel that media in Japan about teenagers is aimed at older audiences who desire more mature storytelling, or do they simply sell to older audiences who dig the same childish stuff teenagers do, but have more spending power? Because I firmly believe it is the latter rather than the former.

As far as the Persona audience "growing up" goes, sure, but Persona 5 sold so much more than P3 and P4 that it seems it hardly matters. The audience has expanded significantly, so it's not like they put all their effort into just appealing to the same base that aged up.

I see Catherine as a title from the same creators actually targeting adults specifically, with little consideration for making things particularly interesting for younger audiences. On the other hand, Persona panders about as much as you can expect for something that wants to hit all the check boxes on popular topics, designs, memes, and trends when it comes to teens and young adults.
 

Mediking

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Aug 22, 2015
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Persona is not "mature" unless you mean the ESRB rating. Persona is never meant to be mature. It's a RPG series about juveniles, for juveniles. The target audience is not adults, but school children who can best relate to the themes and characters in the games directly. They're not meant to be totally serious and complicated deconstructions of their own themes. They are for the most part WYSIWYG. There are interesting themes and lots of social commentary, but they're wrapped in narratives which are meant to be appealing and engaging for teenagers. Criticizing Persona for not being mature enough is like asking why Naruto doesn't target adults instead.

Kamoshida, who?

Putting a gun to my head to activate a power, who?

Those aren't mature?

I understand what you're saying... I think.
 

Green Mamba

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Dec 31, 2008
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P3 delves into some mature themes but its overall visual design including its Persona summoning method is over the top and incredibly goofy.
 

Son Of Sparda

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The popular theory is that the fool arcana from the logo will most likely be the main character right?

 

BRSxIgnition

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Sep 12, 2014
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Shadow the Hedgehog is edgy.

Riku from Kingdom Hearts is edgy.

Putting a gun to my head as symbolism that I'm killing myself for power is not edgy, in my opinion.

With all due respect, it may have basis in the game's themes, but it's still damn edgy.
 

Setsu00

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Nov 28, 2013
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The popular theory is that the fool arcana from the logo will most likely be the main character right?

This is what Hashino wrote about tarot when P5 came out (translated by the wonderful nenilein):

The story of Tarot, starting with ”The Fool"

To my understanding, Tarot doesn't simply symbolize a human life from the crib to the grave, but much rather, the individual process of proceeding in life while taking on values from the people around you, realizing that overcoming hardships with only those values is difficult, deciding to start over from Zero and finally attaining happiness that way, over and over again, in an endless circle. Seen from this perspective, the name of the Arcana Number 0, ”The Fool" is not to be taken to literally mean ”a foolish person", but rather the idea of a ”blank slate" who is still open to absorb many different influences.

The flow beginning from Arcana #0 and ending at Arcana#3 - namely, the ”Death" Arcana of Tarot, is the them of Persona 3. The story ends after the encounter with Number 13, at which point you're supposed to look back at the experiences and values you've fostered within yourself. The player, who has been projecting themselves onto the protagonist up to that point, is supposed to continue this journey from that point on in their real life. That's the intention I had when making the game, at least.

Persona 4 is the Arcana #14, ”Temperance". It's the story of people who have already passed the point of deciding to start over from scratch and are continuing on while trying to keep a sense of balance in their lives. You're not supposed to just absorb the information and emotions all around you unfiltered, but think for yourself and draw your own conclusions in order to reach all the way to the True Ending. That's how the ”Temperance" theme shows in the way we constructed this game.

Catherine is a story of the Arcana #15 and 16#, ”The Devil" and ”The Tower", meaning it is a story of ”temptation" and ”ruin".

Persona 5 is the Arcana #17, ”The Star", the theme of rising up from ”ruin" into ”hope". In the planning phase of the games, I made source to thoroughly follow this concept, but I haven't really ever spoken about this before. I just feel like the Arcana are applicable to all these different eras (of me producing video games), which is something that can really be felt, and this sort of universal interpretation of it just intruiges me.

The final card of the Major Tarot Arcana is ”The World", which stands for the possibility of reaching fulfillment in the end, so you are ready for a new departure. The endings of Persona 3 and Persona 4 are very different in nature, but both of them depict an arrival at this goal.

That same idea lies at the core of Persona 5. The idea may overlap with those of the past games, but I sincerely hope you will be able to enjoy this new game in it's very own way, as its very own story. That would make me very happy.

The implication here is that his next game is about The Moon (#18), which is all about being trapped in illusions.
 

Mediking

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With all due respect, it may have basis in the game's themes, but it's still damn edgy.

Putting a gun to my head and pulling the trigger is edgy and not mature?

But Vincent's situation of being torn between a
demonic succubus
and a tsundere is sooooo mature?

Dont get me wrong. I love Catherine.
 

Setsu00

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Nov 28, 2013
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Putting a gun to my head and pulling the trigger is edgy and not mature?

But Vincent's situation of being torn between a
demonic succubus
and a tsundere is sooooo mature?

Dont get me wrong. I love Catherine.

You're comparing apples and oranges. You're comparing a visual metaphor with a character's relationship to two women.
 

Mediking

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You're comparing apples and oranges. You're comparing a visual metaphor with a character's relationship to two women.

But Vincent's situation is the entire situation of Catherine. Besides some side stories... its all about that love triangle.

And the visual metaphor of a gun to my head is vital just like how ripping off a mask is important in P5.
 

Opa-Pa

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Feb 6, 2016
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This is one bizarre argument.

Evokers as a means to summon personas is just a couple steps above giving Shadow guns and motorcycles to appeal to teens, as far as maturity goes.

Don't get me wrong, I dig evokers, I see them as endearingly edgy and they fit the game. But mature?... No lol. Elements in media that aren't meant for younger audiences =/= Mature content.
 

Lynx_7

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I'm pretty sure Hashino's whole point is that most fantasy settings nowadays try so hard to be "counter culture" that they all end up looking the same. Therefore, doing a fantasy setting with NO subversion is one way to stand out. And I think he has a point. Japan loves their "counter culture" fantasy (it's an otaku in a fantasy land!), but as a consequence not many stories play it straight.

Doing a fantasy setting with no subversions is something Dragon Quest already does quite well in the JRPG realm so I'm not sure if that's really a great way to stand out, but we'll see.
 

Mediking

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This is one bizarre argument.

Evokers as a means to summon personas is just a couple steps above giving Shadow guns and motorcycles to appeal to teens, as far as maturity goes.

Don't get me wrong, I dig evokers, I see them as endearingly edgy and they fit the game. But mature?... No lol. Elements in media that aren't meant for younger audiences =/= Mature content.

Yeah that legendary scene of Yukari sweating about putting a gun to her head is edgy and not mature at all.

Come on, man. Lol work with me.

....

Maybe deep down... I just don't like the somewhat negative connotation that the word "edgy" has.
 

_Ryo_

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May 6, 2013
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More focus on Social Links/Community/Cooperation/Confidants that actually impact the story and the story impacting the SLinks.

For example Links should have benefits like in P5 but if you break a Link that benefit is disabled, your team mates should comment and react naturally, and breaking a large ammount should affect the ending in some way.

Open World similar to Dragon Quest XI.

Turned Based like Dragon Quest XI.
 

Cannon_Fodder

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Doing a fantasy setting with no subversions is something Dragon Quest already does quite well in the JRPG realm so I'm not sure if that's really a great way to stand out, but we'll see.
I see your point, but that's just one series. The fact that its something as big as Dragon Quest almost makes it its own category.

Between contemporary anime, manga, and games I feel like there are a lot more "subversive" or genre-blend ones. Stuff like Etrian Odyssey, Re:Zero, SAO, Grimgar, and others that escape me right now.
 

Akainu

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And I liked it. Felt like I was just one member of a group. If you paid attention in P3, the AI of each party member even corresponded to their personalities. But the AI in P5 can't handle all the strategic options and is pretty much unusable for anything but simple fights. So Atlus would have to do a ton of work on their AI to make it even passable for use in a ARPG.
So what part of mitsuru's personality is trying to seduce everything?
 

eyeball_kid

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Jul 25, 2011
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So what part of mitsuru's personality is trying to seduce everything?

Mitsuru wanted to tell everyone what to do, including the shadows. Junpei would often go for the big brash attacks, Ken would do lots of things that showed his inexperience in battle, Yukari's self-centeredness showed in that she would often choose to heal herself rather than her teammates, Akihiko usually made smart tactical decisions, and Koromaru was constantly showing himself to be man's best friend by always saving your ass with a clutch death spell.
 
Dec 1, 2004
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An all new tactical turn based battle system. Hashino was one of the geniuses that came up with Press Turn system for SMT3: Nocturne and adapted it for Persona series with variations on the system used since then so I hope they do something else fresh with this new IP. I certainly wouldn't mind a hybrid system of sorts if they wanted to do that, either.

Listening to Meguro's music for the project so far really reminds me of his work on SMT: Strange Journey, just great stuff all around. I know he will deliver, as will Soejima, who's really grown as an artist.

I just hope the scenario is up to snuff, they should concentrate really hard on it since if it's Medieval and missing certain story elements like S-Links/Confidants (although they may do some variation on that with "Bonds" system or whatever they decide to call it) then it needs to make for better writing in other areas so that it doesn't feel lacking. The base story needs to feel fresh in such a setting as do the characters.

And I kinda hope Hashino keeps his challenging gameplay intact, Nocturne was incredibly challenging, as was Digital Devil Saga and Catherine so I hope he and his team hones in more into that rather than the P4 ease factor.

Other than that, I have full faith in this team, Hashino hasn't set a foot wrong yet for me, neither has Meguro as composer or Soejima as artist, so best of luck to them and I look forward to seeing it in a couple of years.

This is the right take on this. These dead eyed straight shooters never miss, no matter the target.
 

Lynx_7

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This is what Hashino wrote about tarot when P5 came out (translated by the wonderful nenilein):



The implication here is that his next game is about The Moon (#18), which is all about being trapped in illusions.
I can see that being the case. Escapism, being "trapped in illusions" and a fantasy medieval setting mix together really well thematically. I remember I read somewhere he wanted to explore the reasons why people seek fantasy settings in the first place and I'm hoping that means he plans to explore the aforementioned aspects since it definitely ties in.

I see your point, but that's just one series. The fact that its something as big as Dragon Quest almost makes it its own category.

Between contemporary anime, manga, and games I feel like there are a lot more "subversive" or genre-blend ones. Stuff like Etrian Odyssey, Re:Zero, SAO, Grimgar, and others that escape me right now.

I know where you're coming from, but anime/light novel/jrpg subversions of medieval tropes is more often than not very basic "this game is medieval... but with a sci-fi/steampunk/mecha twist!" or "this is Narnia! a fantasy land but the protagonist comes from the modern world!" or even "this game is medieval, but anime tropes" and other similar approaches which I don't really consider that much of a departure from generic fantasy when all is said and done. Most of them are still bogstandard stories that wouldn't be all that out of place in a "playing it straight" fantasy setting, all they really have going is some window dressing (most of them, there are a few exceptions). I'd argue serious political takes on the formula (FFT, FE 4) are the rarest breed as far as JRPGs are concerned, even moreso if you don't count SRPGs.

I don't really have an issue if they play the setting itself straight anyway, but I definitely want them to do something different with the narrative and themes, even if it's still inside the confines of the "a hero's journey" template.
 

eyeball_kid

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Escapism, being "trapped in illusions" and a fantasy medieval setting mix together really well thematically.

See also: Deep Down, which if I remember was to have some futuristic people exploring ancient memories of a fantasy world.
 

Acid08

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Feb 4, 2008
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I'm hoping for a unique take on the fantasy setting. I'm not a huge fan of fantasy in general which is why the destroyed or stylish cities of SMT always resonated with me more than any of the numerous games set in fantasy worlds did.

I saw a Hashino quote where he said he was reading Lord of the Rings in preparation to get started on this and that....isn't exactly inspiring much confidence in me. The LotR take on fantasy is not anything I feel like I want or need more of. Hopefully Hashino feels the same way but who knows!