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Persona series:

I actually played the FES version of P3, so Victory Cry did not come naturally. Nevertheless, it was trivial to use a fusion recipe which did give Victory Cry to Helel, so it was only slightly more Guide Dang It.

I mostly used it to brush off the Reaper every time I ran into it, while levelling in Monad. I suppose without a bonus dungeon type in P4, there's not much need for it. (Apart from stuff like the Reaper, of course.)

Random: I know to get the full replay experience, I should be going for another Social Link to get into a Lover relationship. But dammit, Yukiko is just too cute. Sorry, Chie, Rise, Naoto, Ai, and Yumi.

edited 8th Jul '09 11:31:20 AM by dkellis

Further random: Am I strange for tearing up, even if ever so slightly, whenever I hear the theme for Nanako's dungeon? Even with the Engrish and all?

It's mostly the buildup to it, I suppose. It's not the part about Nanako getting kidnapped or later getting hospitalized, but the conversation between the other characters when they're at the entrance to the dungeon:

"This looks like a child's idea of Heaven, doesn't it? ... Nanako must miss her mother very much."

Instant Tear Jerker.

Mm. If it's strange, I'm right there with you. I can't hardly listen to that song in my car any more.
 
Squad Leader
I sort of mitigated the sadness by the fact that I went in and saved her on the very first day. But it is still a sad song.

But my favorite is still "Backside of the TV".
I'm a big fan of "The Almighty" (the one that plays when you fight Ame-no-Sagiri) myself. And the one that plays during the final dungeon/bad-ending credits.
 
I like "Reach Out To The Truth" aka the battle music, mostly because it's kind of upbeat. And "I'll Face Myself" (the boss battle music and another version for the Shadow acceptance) has such a strong melody line that I keep feeling like making up lyrics for it.

Several of the "daily life" themes are quite catchy: "New Days" (which is a remix of the ending theme "Never More"), "Signs of Love", "Your Affection", "specialist", "Heartbeat, Heartbeat", and of course "every day is great at your Ju-nes".

For dungeon themes, apart from the aforementioned "Heaven" (which is still my favourite from this game), there's "Game" (Void Quest), and "Secret Base".

First place goes to "Poem for Everyone's Souls", ever since I heard it in P3. Probably because I spent so much time in the Velvet Room/Elevator/Limousine trying to get those skills just right.

edited 8th Jul '09 1:22:59 PM by dkellis

Squad Leader
I eventually got sick of "Reach out to the Truth", which I solved by just playing whatever badass music I wanted over it.

And on a side note, "You're Gonna Go Far, Kid" by The Offspring is a great song for mocking Adachi, as I was constantly snarking it up whenever he talked right before his boss battle.

edited 8th Jul '09 1:28:43 PM by Rogue 7

Fair enough. I actually once tried playing "Mass Destruction" (P3 battle music) in a regular battle, and decided that I prefer "Reach Out To The Truth".

Tangent: I see a track called "Hito no Mono" ("person's thing"? I don't know how best to translate it) on the soundtrack. It's a very enka-sounding tune; where's it played in the game?

Further tangent: Am I the only one who is seriously considering coming up with lyrics for the Junes theme?

edited 8th Jul '09 1:35:47 PM by dkellis

Squad Leader
Come to think of it, I need to find a torrent of the soundtrack, seeing as how my used copy of the game didn't come with it.
New releases only come with the first disc of the soundtrack anyway. Hence why I don't know the names of some of the songs.
 
Squad Leader
I torrented it last night. Got the whole thing, but either something got a bit screwed up in the Torrent or iTunes can't handle kanji/hiragana, because a lot of the song titles plus the artist came out as gibberish.

And What do you guys think- once I get the true ending, should I go back and play through this again (I'm thinking I might try hard difficulty- no new game plus) or jump to Persona 3, whose plot I already know thanks to a Let's Play?
The basic gameplay is more or less the same, so if you wanted to do a non-New Game+ of Persona 4, it's almost like a new game of Persona 3.

The Yosuke-analogue in P3 (Junpei Iori) is a great deal more annoying. I found Yosuke to be so much better that I couldn't understand the claims that he's a Jerk Ass (in a typical teenager kind of way) until I stopped to think about it.

The battle system is almost the same, but P4 refined it in several ways to make it slightly easier for the player. Which means that if you play P3, you'll have to re-learn everything and forget muscle memory. (For example, attacking an opponent who's Down doesn't dizzy them; it brings them back up.) You also can't directly control your teammates.

You will hate the Fatigue system. Weirdly, you probably won't need to grind in dungeons that much; I found that exploiting weaknesses allowed me to overcome storyline bosses so early that I gained three to four levels upon their defeat.

You can go up Tartarus. You can't go back down, unless you go all the way to the lobby (via checkpoints or a rare item), go back up to the nearest checkpoint, and then work your way back up. Since the floors are truly randomized, you probably don't need to do this anyway. The "go back to the beginning" item (Traesto Gems) is not sold in normal stores, unlike the Goho-M in P4.

Social Links are a lot harder to do hundred percent completion on, especially in non-FES. Also, I don't know if this is also in P4, but there's a sort of time limit per social link in P3 where you have to see them, or they'll Break and you have to spend time to repair it. This time limit varies depending on whether they're male or female, and whether the female link is after a certain rank (whereupon they automatically become your girlfriend), and whether you've seen any other female social links in that time. (I got bitten by this in my first play-through of P3.)

Some Personae are in different arcana. It's occasionally confusing.

Overall, I like the city-atmosphere of P3 better, but I really like the gameplay improvements of P4. (Apart from the Early Bird Boss of Yukiko's Shadow.) There's a strange sense of urgency in P3 that I felt a bit lacking in P4, possibly due to the more lax Social Links, or possibly because in P3, the storyline bosses turn up on schedule at fixed dates, rather than being able to defeat them within a certain window.

P4 is also significantly happier, and less DOOM-y.

Also: the animations in battle (apart from the individual flair each character does when shooting themselves in the head) in P3 are significantly less awesome than in P4.

edited 10th Jul '09 10:54:12 AM by dkellis

Squad Leader
Cool. I knew most of that, thanks to the Let's Play, but thanks all the same.

And the voice cast for Persona 3 is friggin' unbelievable. I've got a feeling Akihiko is going to prominently feature in my party because A. Liam O'Brien is really good, and B. He sounds a lot like Gaara, and Gaara is awesome. The same holds true for Yukari and Michelle Ruff.
The voice cast of P3 is really solid, except for some glaring exceptions like Fuuka and Ken. The P4 voice cast had to grow on me for quite awhile before I could say that I liked them.

I think the significant difference in urgency level between the two games was because P3 was leading to a much harder deadline and was clearly more of a Crapsack World. P4 had a "you know, some bad shit is going down, see if you can get to it sometime this month" sorta vibe. Even that game's ultimate doom, while not a pleasant circumstance, isn't as severe (the existance of Teddie is itself proof that it might not be as bad as it sounds).

Both great games; the tone difference is one of the great things about them.
"The secret we should never let the gamemasters know is that they don't need any rules." - E. Gary Gygax
My final party (and by far over-levelled compared to the others) was Yukari, Mitsuru, and Akihiko, partly because they all could heal (Yukari's the main healer, Mitsuru and the MC the backup, and Akihiko the pinch), and they covered the elemental damage nicely; the MC took care of Fire and Hama/Mudo. (Your first Persona, Orpheus, has Agi.)

I've noticed this same trend when playing P4: the MC's first Persona, Izanagi, has Zio as their elemental spell, and my game consisted of the MC taking care of that side of the elemental damage, while the rest of my party covered the others. The party becomes fairly static after that.

The P3 MC also seems to have a lot of dialogue options basically going "whatever", which makes him seem like the apathetic type. (The manga has him dozing off in just about every scene he's in.) The P4 MC is a lot livelier, although his catchphrase appears to be "calm down".

I've always thought of P3's protagonist as the "cool", apathetic, "I don't really give a damn" Squall type of character. Whereas P4's protag is basically that giant dork who everybody loves, without really knowing why. I mean, come on. Dude's first reaction to sticking his freaking head inside a giant TV? "Hay, gaiz, there's lots of space back here".
 
Maybe that's why it's so much easier to max social links in P4 than in P3.

 168 Basarin, Sat, 11th Jul '09 3:18:59 AM from Seoul, South Korea
The Lurkabout
Additionally, with the Social Links between the MC and girls in 3, it got kind of picky. I recall that no matter what, if you reach the fifth level with a girl, the game assigns the MC as going steady with her, and from there sits back on the lawn chair with a giant Social Link reversal stick at the ready if you try to push other girls' Social Link level. In 4, it kind of feels like the game's just saying, "Whatever you want, dude."
I'll find something relevant to put here someday.
It varies, depending on the girl in question. Once you reach whatever rank it is (usually ranks six to eight), the girl will "get jealous if you see another girl", and cut down the time to the next social link meeting by fifteen days every time you do, from the maximum of sixty days.

And even some of the guys can feel ignored and Break Social Links with you, with a ninety-day limit. I hear this was due to the original idea of letting the player pick the MC's gender, but I have no proof either way.

This is also why I welcomed the branching "only friends" route in P4. Just because I want to be close friends with a girl doesn't mean I want to boink them; in some cases (like Ayane) it seems a little like taking advantage of their reliance on the MC.

Squad Leader
Mother of frak!

So last night I start in on the true ending. The dungeon's a piece of cake thanks to the ridiculous offensive power my team can put out (half the times the MC- who went last- never even needed to go) and I was dealing with the final boss...well, not easily, but I wasn't ever really in danger. Until she mind charges, and I, like a fool, think "Odin nulls 3 out of 4 of the elemental attacks. I'll be fine!" So I didn't guard and instead...hell, I don't even know what I did. So she unloads and kills me. What tears it is that her second attack that did it missed everyone else. They were all fine!

  • Grumble grumble.*
 171 Basarin, Sun, 12th Jul '09 6:37:54 AM from Seoul, South Korea
The Lurkabout
I'm not there yet, so I can't comment on that particular fight. But I agree that getting hit by those hit or miss spells is just damn aggravating. The Mahama spell one guy uses on me misses everyone else, but it hits me. Game Over, back to grinding! *grumble*

That being said, sounds rough. Hope your next try turns out better than that one.
I'll find something relevant to put here someday.
This is one reason why I don't dare play above Beginner and the "continue from death" items. The only times I've ever needed them in P3 and P4 were against Hama/Mudo spells. Especially before the Homunculus items start showing up.

Squad Leader
I never really ran into Hama/Mudo before Homunculi started showing up (and it was irritating when they did because my teammates would waste them. I can bring you back, Yosuke! Stop wasing the items that'll save me from an insta-game over!

And I went back and kicked copious amounts of ass last night. I was never particularly close to death.

And now I think Persona 4 run 2 will be on hard mode.
I was never brave enough to try the hard mode. I'm something of a gaming masochist, but there are levels of pain that even I try to avoid.
 
Squad Leader
If it ends up being "Oh my god, please just kill me now I can't take this" levels of pain, I'll just restart and go on normal[[hottip: Yeah, that's the most likely course of action.]]

Plus it's probably good practice if I ever want to tackle The Answer.

edited 13th Jul '09 7:33:20 AM by Rogue 7

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