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So, I'm a maybe half way into my first game in the series, Persona 3 FES, and mostly liking it so far. I'm not a big fan of the Heroic Mime or randomly-generated dungeons, but it's working for me anyway.
EDIT: I am a tad bit disturbed by how many of the main character's Personas are scantily-clad females, though. And also annoyed that it is apparently impossible to be "just friends" with any female character. If you get the social link to a certain level - bam! - she's your girlfriend and no being friends with any other girls!
So, before I go spend more money on this series, anyone have any particular recommendations or warnings?
edited 11th May '10 2:18:41 PM by ccoa
I've always wanted to get into this series, but I've heard that the games tend to be Nintendo Hard. ;____;
The Persona sub-series, at least, isn't Nintendo Hard unless you set the difficulty to "Hard". Other games tend to vary from fairly average difficulty to very difficult.
@OP: Regarding the girlfriend thing, that problem is thankfully fixed in Persona 4. There is still one social link where dating is mandatory, though, but it's somewhat justified considering the personality of the girl in question.
edited 11th May '10 2:33:05 PM by LizardBite
I haven't found this particular one to be very hard. There are a lot of easily missable things, some of which will be Lost Forever if you miss them, but none of them are crucial to continuing the game. I've been playing on Normal and only died a couple times so far. I imagine Easy would be a cake walk.
The DS games are fairly good. I've kind of reached a bit of boreddom in Devil Summoner, but that could be due to my obsessive RPG grinding habit. Strange Journey is good, as long as you don't mind first-person dungeoncrawlers or those GODDAMN INSTADEATH SPELLS... ehm... yeah, at least you can get an armor that protects you against that very early in the game.
@ccoa: Yeah, the inability to be "just friends" with ladies was a problem they fixed with Persona 4. There are a number of little quirks and issues throughout the game that they generally smoothed over in the sequel.
As for general recommendations: Always be prepared. A lot of SMT's difficulty comes from throwing players things they weren't prepared for, or didn't expect. So carrying Personas/Demons/Whatnot with good resistances and access to a wide variety of elementals is more essential in SMT games than in most RPGs.
Also, the game expects you to abuse its systems, so don't be afraid to spend some extra time trying to get something that looks overpowered. ^^b
I love this series, even as a fan of Mon games in general. However, the only games in the series I've played are Devil Summoner (the Raidou ones), IMAGINE, Devil Survivor and currently Strange Journey.
I have the PSP version of Persona, but I haven't really played it (besides, it plays a bit differently than Persona 3 and 4). The Persona series hasn't really held my interest as far as actually playing them goes; I prefer watching other people play them.
The difficulty of the series in general is dealing with resistances and the death spells, as well as making sure your demons are well grown and diverse. The only advice I can give is to not ignore buff/debuff spells. You'd be surprised how much your support skills will save your life.
Use buffs and debuffs, it'll make life easier and battles go faster. Ideally, to finish off enemies as fast and efficiently as possible, before they wipe your party out or the MC.
SMT: Nocturne has the best writing in the series(this is all IMO obviously), but is very hard.
Persona 4 improves on P3's formula in almost every way(you can control all party members and you can opt to just be friends with female social links, for example) except writing.
I sort of have mixed feelings about this claim. On one hand, the characters in P4 just feel so much more like people to me. On the other hand, P3 had an awesome plot. On yet another hand, it also had terrible pacing...
On the other hand, P4 heavy handed storytelling constantly reminding the player about major plot points as if they were easily distracted five year olds.
^Which was mostly done by Naoto.
...Why do people like her, again?
edited 11th May '10 4:29:35 PM by AkasoRekaso
In the end, I guess which one you prefer comes down to whether you prefer Plot or Characters.
EDIT: ^ Cuz she's smexy
edited 11th May '10 4:30:02 PM by LizardBite
^^ And Yosuke before that. And Chie: "Waaaaaaaaiit a minute, are you saying that person + TV = bad? omigawdnowai!"
^ Especially because she's smexy.
She's an expy of Raidou and she has the whole tomboy thing going for her. In other words, things not related to her role in the story.
I haven't finished watching an LP of P4, but I heard the beef most people had was that it was more light-hearted compared to the other entries.
edited 11th May '10 4:33:54 PM by Customer
I had no trouble with it being lighthearted.
Persona has always been more optimistic than the rest of the series.
The light-heartedness, in all honesty, was refreshing considering how Grim Dark the game industry is.
Eh, Shin Megami Tensei is an example of good grim dark.
Actually dealing with mature themes as opposed to just having Jerkass protagonists and lots of gore.
<Demon> oh hai i ate your mother :3
If that's a spoiler I will haunt your computer.
It's a spoiler for the first five minutes of the original Shin Megami Tensei.
Joy. I hate spoilers. Thanks a lot.
The only SMT titles I've played are Persona 3 FES, Persona 4, and Digital Devil Saga (the first). Because I live in Europe where we're deprived of this series. D:
I'm currently trying to gather willpower to finish The Answer. So far, I'm 15 hours in, so I guess I'm about halfway through. 15 more hours of grinding and cutscenes and grinding and grinding. Joy.
I got into these games started with Digital Devil Saga, but they were always on my radar. I'm a big fan of the franchise as a whole, but the different series are wildly divergent in playstyle and some of the older ones have serious issues.
I'm chomping at the bit to see what platform Persona 5 shows up on. P3 vs. P4 for me? P4, I'll always take a character-centric plot over an epic plot. But they're still excellent games as far as I'm concerned.
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