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07/12/2019 05:13:34

Here's a follow up to the review above.

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CHECK BOTH THIS REVIEW AND THE REPLY BELOW. THIS ALONE IS NOT THE FULL REVIEW.

While this game is certainly fit to be a black horse game, there are issues and advantages that the author above does not tell you. It's also quite spoiler heavy so watch at your own risk.

At first, the better sides.

  • One of the biggest issues of Rei's arc is that the game literally tells you close to nothing about it, there's seemingly no warning, all of the bad stuff just pops up for approximately ten minutes and everything just goes downhill. Hikari's arc is a bit more obvious since the game goes all out of the way to foreshadow the movies and Hikari are related. If you paid attention, they also go out of the way to warn you that Nagi is the Big Bad.
  • While Hikari's arc is nowhere, and i mean...nowhere near as tragic as Rei (It should also be noteworthy that The Reveal of this game is the aftermath and not the beginning of a tragedy), it sure appears to be relatable and a lot more human than how most JRPG characters are written even for Persona standards, which inversely makes the whole thing a lot more disturbing than it appears to be. Just compare it with Adachi's writing for reference since they are the most similar. Making a tragic character/psychopath having a human motive and background doesn't exactly make them really tragic or impactful, but it makes them more fucked up and chilling.
  • The other one is that the characters are less flanderized than what they are in Q1. There are severe ones every now and then such as the onmipresent Akihiko "protein" and Yusuke being literally "hungry" (He's actually starving for artistic inspiration, not literally food) but the rest are fine.
  • The game gives you an appropriate merit to attack the Big Bad. This is a step up from Q1 since in Q1 you have no reason to take the Big Bad down at all and The Velvet Attendants even tell you to leave.

(Sorry Tropes doesn't let me upload more than 3000 chars so...)

07/10/2019 00:00:00

(...Here's a follow-up...)

...And the downsides.

  • Most of the boss battles are incredibly hard and even harder than the F.O.Es, which is the reverse of Q1. The first 2 are the hardest and can easily put you right into Early Game Hell. The Third one is just a horrible waste of time, especially if you do not know that you can hack him multiple times in a single turn.
    • Speaking of which, all of the F.O.Es are easy to defeat since you can just bindlock them. In fact, if you are confident you can kill them right on the spot even before defeating any boss. Velvet Attendants are close to the same thing while standalone.
  • The majority of characters that are not named the Phantom Thieves, P3P Heroine, Hikari, Nagi or Doe are dead air in the story and have little or no involvement in them.
  • The first 3 stratums are boring since they all follow the same recipe. It's basically "An authority enforces an idea, anyone who doesn't follow gets executed." Sure it's Stylistic Suck but it doesn't translate well here. You can basically skip all of the cutscenes after you read them once.
  • There isn't a bonus persona for you to get, I wished that there can be some sort of Enki or Gilgamesh but....no.
  • Hikari's sole support skill is not that useful for bind recovery in spite of being a major character. It's simply too costly to merit frequent use. The only use for it is to overkill endgame bosses, in which you will not even notice unless your really good at overkill builds.
  • While the game goes out of their way to tell you something, some vital elements are left ambiguous. For example, the game never directly tells you how everyone ended up in the Cinema from movies. It's implied that Doe did it but it's simply ambiguous and up to speculation. PQ1 literally tells you such a thing.
    • Another thing is that all of the theatergoers including Hikari are NOT abducted randomly or in a coma; They are moving and alive people but are depressed and withdrawn; This is never implied or bought out until you beat the 4th stratum boss and in a cutscene during the epilogue. The game never directly tells you about this and it wants you to believe that they are real people.
    • The Final Boss is also complete nonsense unless you know a lot of Etrian Odyssey lore.
  • There's no point going to New Game+ unless you like steamrolling things.

07/10/2019 00:00:00

Part of the reason why I didn't mention the spoilers in my review is that if I do, it's of little benefit to people who want to learn more about the game without being spoiled. It also doesn't help that a lot of readers will be fairly lost considering that a lot of your comments are difficult to understand if you haven't played the game.

Part of the reason why Rei's somewhat more effective as a character than Hikari is that she has more interaction with the rest of the party. Throughout the story, she bonds with Zen and the rest of the party, provides a source of comic relief and even helps out in the P4 side's version of the third dungeon. The fact that she's taken away, as well as the circumstances under which it happens, helps set the dark and tragic tone for the game's final act. While the stakes aren't as high as in PQ 2's endgame, the party isn't about to abandon Rei any more than the Investigation Team would abandon someone who was thrown into the TV(i.e. most of the party and even Mitsuo), or SEES would abandon someone like Fuuka.

Your description of the first three labyrinths oversimplifies things. The first labyrinth is about an authority figure who gets away with abusing his power because the citizens don't think for themselves. The second labyrinth is more about peer pressure and a desire to fit in. The third labyrinth focuses on how people are persecuted for not fitting in. One recurring theme is that while various people may mistreat others for not conforming, it's still one's responsibility to think for oneself, which relates to how Hikari eventually had to regain the courage to be her own person.

Incidentally, does continuing a review in the comments section violate the "no circumventing the word count limit" rule the same way posting a two-part review does?

07/11/2019 00:00:00

Yes it is. Doing that is against the rules.

07/11/2019 00:00:00

I hesitate to cast the first stone in this regard, as I have done so once or twice. Albeit, usually for a sentence or two of specific nitpicky examples or recommendations for other media with a similar theme or genre, rather than such an extensive addition to the original review.

07/11/2019 00:00:00

I agree with Spectral Time. The one time I did it was to add some commentary on how Three Point Shot handled some characters (a few of whom were killers/victims), which I obviously couldn\'t include in my review, lest I spoil the plot. That\'s why I decided to ask for other people\'s opinions rather than simply go ahead and flag it.

07/12/2019 00:00:00

Sorry I wasn\'t aware of this rule at the first time I made it.


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