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Persona 5 is all about facing yourself with the help of others, so you can in turn face the world

MudoSkills

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Mar 2, 2014
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What makes Persona 3's story better than 4 or 5?
Personally I like the fact that there's more conflict in the team, as well as the fact that character development for the other party members happens outside of interactions with the MC. I love the cast of P4 but it's where the series really leaned into the idea that it's you who is at the centre of everything.

Gameplay wise I also enjoyed the fact you had to put more effort into the social links - they could reverse or break if you made poor decisions/left it a long time between hanging out.
 
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MigueelDnd

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Jan 16, 2012
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Persona 5's story was really bad. Given that Persona 3 had a better story than Persona 4 which had a better story than Persona 5 I'm beginning to worry that this is a conscious decision on Atlus's part to appeal to a broader (and stupider) audience.
This is very likely the case. After P4 came out, I remember Hashino saying something along the lines of him wanting to improve the gameplay so that the franchise became more accessible for everyone. This is already reflected even in P4 -- which is NOT a bad thing, might I clarify -- when you compare it with P3; P4 is much more narratively simple with just a group of friends trying to solve a mystery (although the plot twist is surprisingly more complex than P3's), as well as being more lighthearted and optimistic, and even when the stakes get similarly higher, in the latter they opt to go through with a more... positive outcome (to name an example, just compare the circumstances that led to Trismegistus's birth in P3 vs how everyone ends up when you correctly complete Heaven in P4). P5 is just a natural evolution of this. That's why I'm not sure Hashino stepping down from developing Persona games is not a good thing -- P3 was his design, and he really took the Persona franchise into a much more complex setting by incorporing the things OP very astutely pointed out in his post. I have no idea who'll come in to helm P6, but if they just look at what made P6 successful and decide to continue with it... well, things are not looking good for us fans of P3.

What makes Persona 3's story better than 4 or 5?
I know this question wasn't meant for me, so apologies for butting in. That being said: even as someone who vastly prefers P3 over all other SMT games, I can't really say its story is the best one. From a narrative design point of view (just to avoid specifics and prevent spoilers), P4 is more solid and consistent throughout its entire run as it has the benefit of the Investigation Team facing almost everything together as a group with their personal dilemmas sprinkled throughout, which makes it so that if you don't particularly care for one character you rarely ever feel like you have to go through a slog to get to a more interesting part. How could you not love any of P4's characters is beyond me, mind you.

The reason why I rate P3 higher is because it hits deeper and (to me) more interesting points in its story, as it doesn't shy away from hitting you with deaths or negative outcomes to make sure a narrative point his close to your heart. Curiously, it tackles several issues multiple times and sometimes even in one single narrative arc, like inevitable death, loss, monotony, and meaning, but it does so with different characters and you end up getting away with something completely different from each piece of the story that you don't even notice that they're recycling themes at times. P4's themes are less intense, but not less interesting or serious, tackling several kinds of identity issues, heritage, purpose, and so on. Can yo see the thematic differences? Well, that's what makes P3 better to me. There's only so much negative and serious stuff you can talk about before the game becomes a depression-fest, aye? Well, they struck gold with that balance in P3 and you manage to get away with something unique that I have only found replicated to some success in one game ever since (Spiritfarer). Just as an extra comment, multiple indie studios have tried time and time again to tackle issues like this with no luck at all, coming off as pretentious, cringy, or fake. That's Hashino's magic, mate. He made it work once and it'll probably never happen again, because where the fuck do you go from there? Having rebellion as a central theme in P5 was incredibly interesting to me, and they just ended up doing a pretty traditional JRPG story of us vs the world. That's not what rebellion is, and it's certainly not in vein with how P3, P4 (and to an extent even P2) tackled their respective main issues.

Some of the takes in this thread, sound like resetera posts.
Are you here just to drive-by and farm reactions, or to actually discuss something? Because as someone who actually spent some time criticizing this game on Reeee and got bombarded with shite from it, I just don't see it. People over there love this game to death, and they only thing you're really it is the gay stuff (which I don't see anyone mentioning at all). If you're upset about the Ann stuff, well, guess what? Be it a male or female character, throwing all of their development out of the window just for lols is not a good narrative decision, and just helps send the message to more astute players that what you do in the game doesn't really have a lasting impact on the world itself.
 

laynelane

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Having rebellion as a central theme in P5 was incredibly interesting to me, and they just ended up doing a pretty traditional JRPG story of us vs the world. That's not what rebellion is, and it's certainly not in vein with how P3, P4 (and to an extent even P2) tackled their respective main issues.

I interpreted the main theme of P5's rebellion not as a JRPG story of us vs. the world, but rather as fighting against those who want to control the world. That can be seen in the final boss who wants to control the world in a malignant way and the final boss of Royal who, while seemingly benign, is still exerting control over the world. It can also be seen, to a lesser degree, in most of the palace bosses and in ideas like the use of the media to sway public thought. There's the idea running throughout that those in power view others, the masses, as mindless cattle. More concrete examples are Kamoshida's viewpoint on the students, Madarame's viewpoint on any child or young person with art talent, Kanashiro's view on anyone with money, etc. That mindset and the destructiveness it brings is what the Phantom Thieves are fighting against.

As well, I've enjoyed reading your thoughts on P3. It was my first Persona game and is very near and dear to my heart.
 
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MigueelDnd

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I interpreted the main theme of P5's rebellion not as a JRPG story of us vs. the world, but rather as fighting against those who want to control the world. That can be seen in the final boss who wants to control world in a malignant way and the final boss of Royal who, while seemingly benign, is still exerting control over the world. It can also be seen, to a lesser degree, in most of the palace bosses and in ideas like the use of the media to sway public thought. There's the idea running throughout that those in power view others, the masses, as mindless cattle. More concrete examples are Kamoshida's viewpoint on the students, Madarame's viewpoint on any child or young person with art talent, Kanashiro's view on anyone with money, etc. That mindset and the destructiveness it brings is what the Phantom Thieves are fighting against.

As well, I've enjoyed reading your thoughts on P3. It was my first Persona game and is very near and dear to my heart.
Fundamentally speaking, rebelling is fighting against dominion and oppression, so you make a very fair point. Perhaps I overlooked more stuff like that in my playthrough due to being mildly annoyed by what I disliked about it.

I didn't play P5 Royal as I didn't want to submit myself through that slog once again just for a new semester, so I can't really talk about it, but I guess my main issue with vanilla P5 is that that the Phantom Thieves feel more like means to an end (reaching the various plot points) rather than a fundamental part of the experience. If you're going to have a game with multiple chapters that all deal with different issues and characters, you need a good driving force (like P4's general mystery, which is established quite well in the 3h long prologue) and at least a palpable sense of general progression (like P3's excellent ping-pong like character development) or you'll end up losing players who are not that invested in the general mystery, like me. I feel like the social links also suffer from this. For instance, Dr. Takemi and Kawakami-sensei worked as very out-of-the-box social links that seemed madly interesting to me, but they end up feeling somewhat disappointing because they don't really contribute anything to the central theme of rebellion nor do they help understand or progress the world in any meaningful way. Hifumi also had the potential to become one of the most interesting characters in the game, but they ended up doing absolutely nothing impactful with her!It makes me wonder if they lacked some more development time to iron out some of these narrative details, as the building blocks for proper world building are all there, but don't end up constructing anything I hadn't seen before.
 

laynelane

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Aug 21, 2019
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Fundamentally speaking, rebelling is fighting against dominion and oppression, so you make a very fair point. Perhaps I overlooked more stuff like that in my playthrough due to being mildly annoyed by what I disliked about it.

I didn't play P5 Royal as I didn't want to submit myself through that slog once again just for a new semester, so I can't really talk about it, but I guess my main issue with vanilla P5 is that that the Phantom Thieves feel more like means to an end (reaching the various plot points) rather than a fundamental part of the experience. If you're going to have a game with multiple chapters that all deal with different issues and characters, you need a good driving force (like P4's general mystery, which is established quite well in the 3h long prologue) and at least a palpable sense of general progression (like P3's excellent ping-pong like character development) or you'll end up losing players who are not that invested in the general mystery, like me. I feel like the social links also suffer from this. For instance, Dr. Takemi and Kawakami-sensei worked as very out-of-the-box social links that seemed madly interesting to me, but they end up feeling somewhat disappointing because they don't really contribute anything to the central theme of rebellion nor do they help understand or progress the world in any meaningful way. Hifumi also had the potential to become one of the most interesting characters in the game, but they ended up doing absolutely nothing impactful with her!It makes me wonder if they lacked some more development time to iron out some of these narrative details, as the building blocks for proper world building are all there, but don't end up constructing anything I hadn't seen before.

It's too bad the game felt like a slog to you. No matter what content a game has, if it's not fun or interesting then it will lose a player. I had some issues with the pacing at times, but also have that issue with P4 too. P3 kept me hooked from start to finish, though.

As for the confidants, Igor mentions that they are "others who have been robbed of their place to belong". So, Kawakami with teaching and her goal to care for her students and be a pillar they can trust and rely on, Takemi being ostracized by the medical industry in general, and Hifumi with her peers in the shogi world and the shogi world in general. All those situations are caused by corrupt individuals who exert control over the three. I liked that once you fought the controlling influence in Memotos, you're given a glimpse into why they acted that way - eg. the couple who extorted Kawakami felt worthless and believed luxury goods/money would make them equal to others, the doctor who framed Takemi knew he was a mediocre doctor and was jealous of her talent, and Hifumi's mother saw her as a way to achieve what she was unable to. The end resolution for each social link in the game involves finding or reclaiming that place to belong. I think the social links do tie into the game's central themes quite well, but in a different way than previous games. That can be a hit or miss situation and it sounds like a miss for you.

Maybe that's the issue. P5 heavily focuses on its central themes and, for some, it's to the detriment of a cohesive story. Also, agreed that more could have been done with Hifumi. I like her and her social link, but recently came upon some extra scenes with her. I saw potential in those scenes that never develops in the overall story.
 

JayK47

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Nov 2, 2019
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It has been a while since I played the lowly original version, but the plot got so crazy at the end, I can't go back to play the game a second time. They literally lost me.
 

MigueelDnd

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Jan 16, 2012
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As for the confidants, Igor mentions that they are "others who have been robbed of their place to belong". So, Kawakami with teaching and her goal to care for her students and be a pillar they can trust and rely on, Takemi being ostracized by the medical industry in general, and Hifumi with her peers in the shogi world and the shogi world in general.
See, I don't have any recollection of that quote at all, but having that in mind would've probably made me see the SLs in a different light. For what it's worth, I think Dr. Takemi's SL is the most interesting out of them bunch, but that's probably due to me being a doctor as well and experimenting how the industry is full of injustice and jealousy, just like in her case. That being said, I'll have to disagree on your second point as I don't really see how they connect to the main plot at all, but at this point this is just me continuing to be pedantic lol so you'll have to excuse me on that.

It's still quite a good game that deserves to be played at least once, IMO, and with Royal apparently improving on a lot of my nitpickings, then (for anyone reading this) there's no reason to not give it a go if you have a PS4 or PS5. If it helps bring more fans to the series then all's well!
 
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Keihart

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Jun 23, 2013
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So i was replaying the Persona 1 remaster on Vita and recalled this thread, its explained so in your face in this cutscene.
The Carl Jung theory of people wearing personas its basically the whole premise of the series, the common ground between games since the first one.

 

KhrisNF

Neo Member
Sep 3, 2019
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Fundamentally speaking, rebelling is fighting against dominion and oppression, so you make a very fair point. Perhaps I overlooked more stuff like that in my playthrough due to being mildly annoyed by what I disliked about it.

I didn't play P5 Royal as I didn't want to submit myself through that slog once again just for a new semester, so I can't really talk about it, but I guess my main issue with vanilla P5 is that that the Phantom Thieves feel more like means to an end (reaching the various plot points) rather than a fundamental part of the experience. If you're going to have a game with multiple chapters that all deal with different issues and characters, you need a good driving force (like P4's general mystery, which is established quite well in the 3h long prologue) and at least a palpable sense of general progression (like P3's excellent ping-pong like character development) or you'll end up losing players who are not that invested in the general mystery, like me. I feel like the social links also suffer from this. For instance, Dr. Takemi and Kawakami-sensei worked as very out-of-the-box social links that seemed madly interesting to me, but they end up feeling somewhat disappointing because they don't really contribute anything to the central theme of rebellion nor do they help understand or progress the world in any meaningful way. Hifumi also had the potential to become one of the most interesting characters in the game, but they ended up doing absolutely nothing impactful with her!It makes me wonder if they lacked some more development time to iron out some of these narrative details, as the building blocks for proper world building are all there, but don't end up constructing anything I hadn't seen before.

Wasn't Hifumi supposed to be a playable character? Man that would've been ace.
 

L0la H4vana

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Jan 10, 2021
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Thank you for this thread! It made me look up Jung's talks about the human shadow which is infinitely interesting and important and something i have never actually delved deeper into or really understood until today.

This site in particular stands out:

Really good stuff.

Maybe I'll finally play Persona 5 after all. I'm no good with repetitive dungeons unless there are a million savepoints scattered throughout where i can OCD save constantly.
Is this better or worse in Royal?
 
Dec 7, 2020
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Thank you for this thread! It made me look up Jung's talks about the human shadow which is infinitely interesting and important and something i have never actually delved deeper into or really understood until today.

This site in particular stands out:

Really good stuff.

Maybe I'll finally play Persona 5 after all. I'm no good with repetitive dungeons unless there are a million savepoints scattered throughout where i can OCD save constantly.
Is this better or worse in Royal?
The dungeons let you save quite frequently IMO. I never had any issues with the dungeons themselves, only a couple of the bosses. I’m around 60% through Royal.
 
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ClosBSAS

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While i understand this forum isnt era or filled with era members, my god. Some of the comments here are from like 5 year olds. Why os it so hard to have a conversation about something like this.
 

laynelane

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Aug 21, 2019
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Thank you for this thread! It made me look up Jung's talks about the human shadow which is infinitely interesting and important and something i have never actually delved deeper into or really understood until today.

This site in particular stands out:

Really good stuff.

Maybe I'll finally play Persona 5 after all. I'm no good with repetitive dungeons unless there are a million savepoints scattered throughout where i can OCD save constantly.
Is this better or worse in Royal?

The save points in the dungeons are decent. Some are more numerous than others. One thing I really appreciate, though, is that for many mini-boss and all boss fights, you have the option to restart the fight or go back to your last save if you die. Since some of the bosses can be a bit of trial and error, it's helpful for saving time and avoiding frustration.
 

lostinblue

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Dec 22, 2008
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No, it's about blaming adults because "I'm so edgy and rebellious and know more about life than people that are three times older than meeeeeeeeeeee!"
Spot on.

The amount of times the word "Adults" comes up in this game, it's really a kids vs adults troupe in a way other no other persona game felt like, the issue really is the generalization of the plural, it's vague, lacks focus, falls into the concept of populism. Complete with null character development for most of the characters and world, you just don't feel attachment like you should if they were better written, if the whole story was better written. To be fair even the main characters are bland in the game, self centered and boring. So interacting with them becomes a chore, and to make things worse, that interacting is really limited in the original version too.

I never skipped text in a Persona game, but on Persona 5? game treated me like a retard and foreshadowed everything, I just started skipping everything (and yet, I didn't lose the plot at all) but kept seeing the world "Adults" popping up.

Persona 5 felt to me as a persona fan, like Paper Mario Sticker Star did, as a Paper Mario fan. Except Sticker Star was short, Persona 5 was a behemoth of phone text.

Hollow.
 
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Lone Denjin

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Dec 15, 2020
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Spot on.

The amount of times the word "Adults" comes up in this game, it's really a kids vs adults troupe in a way other no other persona game felt like, the issue really is the generalization of the plural, it's vague, lacks focus, falls into the concept of populism. Complete with null character development for most of the characters and world, you just don't feel attachment like you should if they were better written, if the whole story was better written. To be fair even the main characters are bland in the game, self centered and boring. So interacting with them becomes a chore, and to make things worse, that interacting is really limited in the original version too.

I never skipped text in a Persona game, but on Persona 5? game treated me like a retard and foreshadowed everything, I just started skipping everything (and yet, I didn't lose the plot at all) but kept seeing the world "Adults" popping up.

Persona 5 felt to me as a persona fan, like Paper Mario Sticker Star did, as a Paper Mario fan. Except Sticker Star was short, Persona 5 was a behemoth of phone text.

Hollow.
I think the idea would have been a lot better done if it was real issues, that the PT faced. To me it was 1st world problems that they were moaning about.
Everyone thinks i am bimbo, because i dress like one.
Everyone thinks i am a delinquent because i colour my hair blonde and fight with teachers, but i am not really like that. Examples from the first 2 party members.
These are problems made by themselves. You will never have a Persona game addressing someone so poor he has to choose between keeping the heating running that night or eating food for example. Then the whole thing about the boss wanting to create a world without suffering. It is a perfectly noble goal. I see the flaws of course, you can't please everyone. But they never address the argument in any way other than "To suffer, is human".
 
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L0la H4vana

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The dungeons let you save quite frequently IMO. I never had any issues with the dungeons themselves, only a couple of the bosses. I’m around 60% through Royal
Thank you very much! Becoming overwhelmed in dungeons when the last save point was half an hour away is ragequit inducing to me, so knowing that the saves are frequent and the dungeons not so bad is very motivating.
The save points in the dungeons are decent. Some are more numerous than others. One thing I really appreciate, though, is that for many mini-boss and all boss fights, you have the option to restart the fight or go back to your last save if you die. Since some of the bosses can be a bit of trial and error, it's helpful for saving time and avoiding frustration.
Thank you very much as well! Having those two options in game is a serious timesaver for sure. Nice to know this game is not overly frustrating dungeon and battlewise and doesn't skimp on the saves to add difficulty.

Ok i'm convinced i'm going to buy it next sale.
 
Dec 7, 2020
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Thank you very much! Becoming overwhelmed in dungeons when the last save point was half an hour away is ragequit inducing to me, so knowing that the saves are frequent and the dungeons not so bad is very motivating.

Thank you very much as well! Having those two options in game is a serious timesaver for sure. Nice to know this game is not overly frustrating dungeon and battlewise and doesn't skimp on the saves to add difficulty.

Ok i'm convinced i'm going to buy it next sale.
I think Royal is actually on a decent sale right now? Not 100% sure but I thought I read that.
 
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Aion002

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Nov 21, 2019
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It's ok but P3 is better so
And 2 EP is even better (minus gameplay) in my opinion.

Persona is a cool series and while the gameplay is improving, the story and characters are becoming more and more different from the originals after 3.


I am not saying that they are bad, just that 4 and 5 are way more light-hearted than the others.

It's a pity that most people don't even know about the first games....