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Topic: Persona 3 Reload

Posts 61 to 80 of 91

Pizzamorg

This is my complaint with the game too @LtSarge - I am in late July now I think, the Summer holidays have started. The narrative has definitely got more interesting, more stuff has happened and I am enjoying the way my roster of playable characters is growing, but the overall loop in Reload is extremely lacking for me. So much time just feels sorta... wasted. You go weeks at a time in Reload where literally nothing happens at all, and could just be skipped. P5 Royal made everything matter, even hanging out with someone who had no real bearing on the story or something would still give you a tangible benefit in battle or something, but Reload doesn't really have any real such equivalency.

There is no real reason to not do your next stretch of Tartarus in one sitting, but if you do that, you realise just how lacking and honestly just kinda boring the rest of Reload really is. I am just hanging with these random people at my school or around the town that have absolutely no bearing on anything. And it isn't even like they are interesting little stories either, just the most milquetoast high school anime fluff.

I thought the problem was solved when you unlock the ability to hang around with your party in the dorm but after I think three of those, it warned me there would be no benefit to doing these any further.

So there I go back to working my 60th shift at the coffee shop again as I drift through this desperate to get to some combat again.

It is funny too, because this is exactly what I thought Persona 5 was for years, which is why I bounced off it so much. But then Royal made the social side feel more interwoven with the JRPG side, and it just gave you brilliant characters you wanted to spend lots of time with and I ended up adoring that game in the end. I guess these were innovations that came after Reload existed and they felt somehow the original vision for Reload would be lost including these or something?

So what you end up with is this really boring, vanilla, anime high school life sim that is basically utterly disconnected from the JRPG side and the actual main story. So you spend way more time in the life sim side, but it is by far the least interesting and least important half of the game, so it just feels weird.

I dunno, but I think being faithful to the original is the most harmful thing for Reload, as it feels like - without playing the original P3 - the worst parts here are stuff carried over untouched from the original, and the best parts are all the things they tweaked.

Edited on by Pizzamorg

Life to the living, death to the dead.

Pizzamorg

Man the Hermit boss fight is both a brutal difficulty spike and also one of the most satisfying boss fights I've ever had. This thing hit like a truck, and one of my main damage dealers / my main healer was weak to their type and it had no weaknesses of its own, nor could it be knocked down even with crits on physical moves, so I had to rebuild my entire team, change my entire tactics, really use everything I learnt to overcome this. Took a few tries but got there in the end. Feel elated. Shinji hit a crit with his Theurgy at the end, which I didn't think was possible, hit almost 2k damage and that got us over the line at the end. Just an awesome finish.

Honestly between this, and getting a literal dog in my party, I can take for walks and hang out with, too I am coming around to this a lot.

Life to the living, death to the dead.

HallowMoonshadow

Unfortunately I've been rather out of it with this chest infection that's got worse over the past few days so I haven't made a whole lot of progress with regards to P3R.

I got the fortune rank to lvl 5 I think and I'm near the Hierophant & Lovers shadow. Hard mode hasn't been too challenging though some enemies can hit REAL hard.


It's certainly sending you on a bit of a rollercoaster huh @Pizzamorg? I see you've taken a shine to Best Robot
girl Aigis and of course the best mascot hands down of Koromaru.

After the next full moon boss fight goes down... You might wanna check out the first 2 of the 4 Persona 3 films.

You might appreciate the more condensed format of the films for certain things. That and the animation is pretty darn good in my humble opinion.

Previously known as Foxy-Goddess-Scotchy
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"You don't have to save the world to find meaning in life. Sometimes all you need is something simple, like someone to take care of"

Pizzamorg

Sorry to hear you still aren't feeling well @HallowMoonshadow!

And yeah I dunno, I just think Reload is such a hard game to have an overall feeling on. I actually think the JRPG side is maybe the best out of the three Persona games I've played, but it feels like there is almost not enough of it. With the social side of the game dominating a lot of your playtime, despite it being imo actually genuinely kind of bad.

Likewise, the cast are the most diverse and interesting out of the three Persona games I've played, but I think I am almost into October now and have had barely any direct interactions with any of them. You learn so much about your party in P4 and P5 through their dedicated social links, and you have access to this right out of the gate. It gives you tangible gameplay benefits and a deep connection to the core characters of your story. It just feels so odd this is basically completely missing from Reload.

Like sure, having the ability to spend time with your party at the dorm does unlock gameplay benefits and give you little bits of story, but you learn really minimal amounts information in each of these, so I don't really feel any closer to my party for doing them. As such I just ended up spending most of my time with Koro..

Even characters that have a ramp like the little kid whose name I can't even remember. They just hang around your dorm for like two months and then they are like now they are on the team! And we talk about how ***** up it is to send a kid out to battle for like thirty seconds and it hasn't been brought up again in weeks.

The story also might be really interesting, but it is paced in such a way to drain all intrigue from every beat of it. I really like the sense of doubt around a lot of characters and whether they are really reliable or not, but it also comes from the fact that I feel so distant from everyone. Imagine actually allowing me to bond with these characters first, and then giving me this uneasy sense that not everyone has their cards on the table and how much more effective that would be.

I also love the idea of an alternate team of Persona users trying to stop you, but again, they just spend so much of the game just sorta standing around. You would think learning about these would make them your top priority, but they drop in and out of the story for in game weeks at a time and no one seems to care.

I dunno, it just feels like we got enough story like two in game months, spread over 6 months and there is just so much downtime it kills the pace and investment in the story.

Life to the living, death to the dead.

Pizzamorg

Holy. Reload actually killed off a party member - I never thought they'd do this. Maybe they reverse it later on or something, but they teased this in P5 but undid it immediately and I thought that was one of the low points of that game, narratively. People were like 'what if you had invested in this character and they were your main' or whatever and I thought it was a weak argument. Glad to see Reload agrees.

Interesting to note about this whole sequence, right before this you have the Fortune boss fight. At the end of the fight a new roulette wheel appears Fuuka does the "I have a bad feeling about this" trope, it lands on the picture of a reaper... But nothing happens. The next sequence isn't directly connected to this, but that is the sequence Shinji dies in. Is the implication that this is the result of the roulette somehow? Or is it just an oddly lined up sequence of sequences? If my answer comes later by playing on, don't spoil me!

Life to the living, death to the dead.

HallowMoonshadow

As soon as you mentioned previously the whole Ryuji fakeout in P5 and how much you hated it @Pizzamorg

Untitled

What'd you think about the scene after that with Akihiko and the fact that he has a persona resolution without it being tied to a rank 10 social link like in 5? I'm personally not a fan of the change they did going forward. I get why they do that but... I just like that in P3 not everything revolves around you.

As for the whole Roulette thing... That doesn't happen in the original version of P3 as far as I recall? It's been a long while so maybe there is something similar but I think that's just supposed to be some foreshadowing and with the Greek/Roman influence on the mythology/terminology for 3 it might even be reference to The Fates rather then just the Wheel of Fortune/Fate/Destiny that the Fortune arcana usually revolves around?

As for your previous post... You already know I'm a massive P3 fan girl at this point and there's not much I can really say to you other then I'm looking forward to what you think by the time you're eventually done with it. I think you'll still be a bit unsure on what you think about Persona 3 even then!

I do admit (and I think everyone who loves P3 will also agree) that there is some wild pacing issues with persona 3's plot. But they love the overall narrative and themes of the game which allows people to see past it. It's definitely the case for me at least!

Previously known as Foxy-Goddess-Scotchy
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"You don't have to save the world to find meaning in life. Sometimes all you need is something simple, like someone to take care of"

Pizzamorg

I think it is a blessing, and also a curse, that your protagonist in Reload is sorta just... there. Everything is happening to or around him, but you have very little agency and not a lot is a reaction to you, so much as you are a reaction to events. I feel this approach fits thematically to the wider story, and I do think narratives where the world orbits around the protagonist usually require extreme levels of skill to pull off, but I almost feel like the protagonist is so inconsequential to the entire story they almost don't need to be here at all. There isn't even really much of a personal story to them like you had in P4 and 5 to explore either.

In terms of the Persona evolution thing for Aki and Amada. Eh, it is weird, but I honestly think both characters are so generally underdeveloped that I am not sure if there is any way to really do this in a satisfying way. Especially as the male characters don't have proper social links.

I will say though, I do love the concept of what a Persona is in Reload, even if it may be a little on the edgy side. The Evokers could have just been an edgy visual device, but the concept of the fact that you are effectively proving yourself to the Persona every time you use their abilities by having the resolve to put a gun to your head and pulling the trigger with no fear is a really cool idea to me. That if at any point your resolve wavers this thing has no real obligation to you and isn't bound to you in any real way, so it could absolutely go out of control and rampage. Just a way more interesting concept for these things than in 4 and 5.

In general I think since the game hit the end of September and into October, I have been enjoying it significantly more. I maxed out both my charm and courage, so now I can spend basically all my free time rotating between dorm hangouts or spending time with Fuuka, Yukari and Koro, which is how the social side should have been from the beginning imo and I am glad I don't need to really spend any time now with the various randos in the school and the town who I never had any interest in to begin with.

The story is also picking up significantly too, it feels like it is moving with far more intention, with a nice curve of escalation as the stakes ramp up and the way the world and the past is all fleshing out along with the characters is all very enjoyable indeed. Just feels like there is significantly less wasted downtime where I'm just sorta twiddling my thumbs.

Like I am sure if I look back on it, there is gonna be some necessary evil slower moments early on to set things up for the future, but I really wish they'd spent more time looking at those first four or so months and maybe moved around some things so the story kicks in earlier, or at least the ability to advance or social links with our party members could have been done sooner.

Like it is odd to me I need maxed out Courage to ask Fuuka to walk home with me, but I can spend my time with her in the dorm reading with her, or doing gardening with her, or whatever. Like what gameplay or narrative sense does this limitation make at all.

Edited on by Pizzamorg

Life to the living, death to the dead.

LtSarge

@Pizzamorg I wholeheartedly agree with you. I'm glad to find another person who looks at this game with a fresh perspective instead of with rose-tainted glasses. P3 just has so many glaring problems that should've been remedied in the remake. I'm in August now and I'm severely disappointed by the lack of new content. The first time the whole group interacted with each other in the form of a break from their main mission was the vacation trip and it took over 20 hours before we got to that point. And this was in the original game I might add. Absolutely ridiculous that more events like this weren't added before that point.

I still stand by that this is the best way to experience P3. It's just that the remake is so disappointing to me so far. It could've been so much more. I wouldn't be surprised if it turns out that the developers didn't even add a third semester like they did with P4G and P5R (don't spoil this for me though if there is, I'm just thinking out loud).

Although I do have to say that there are two aspects that I'm liking about P3 more than P4 thanks to the remake. It's the music and the party members. I think I like the music in this game more than P4's now. The party members are also more unique and stand out more than P4's cast. I just want to get to know them more. I don't want to plant vegetables or cook with them. I want to LEARN more about them as individuals. About their past, their struggles in life, their goals and so on. That's what makes Persona games so memorable for me.

Edited on by LtSarge

LtSarge

Pizzamorg

Yeah one of the highest praises I can sing for P3 is their willingness to be weird with it and take risks when it came to the cast. While I think they are absolutely stronger casts because the game actually put the effort in to flesh them out and explore them, it is kinda weird that P4's cast is basically just a bunch of anime trope high schoolers and then P5 basically just did the same cast all over again. I wonder what turned them against P3's approach. I'd honestly love it if P6 is full of loveable animals, waifuu cyborgs and psychopathic children with a complete willingness to kill any of them off at a moments notice. Only I'd also want the kind of social links with them we had in P4 and 5 and they be available from the start.

Life to the living, death to the dead.

clvr

Hi everyone!
I'm a pretty big mainline SMT fan but I've never played any Persona game (despite owning a copy of P5R for my Switch), and recently I came across a cheap copy of P3R for my Series X and bought it.

So my question as a noobie is: do you veterans think I should start with P3R or P5R first?
What would make the most sense?

Clover.

PSN: clvr51

ApostateMage

I much prefer Yukari Takeba's voice and sarcastic tone in P3P than the sweet girl we get in Reload. I like the social links better too when playing as Kotone Shiomi, the femc.

ApostateMage

Pizzamorg

So I believe I'm now gearing up for the final month / final battle of Reload. I've already spoke in length on here about my feelings and they honestly haven't really changed much, but I just wanted to kinda sum it all up before I was done so I could try and process it all.

Overall, I think my posts on here and even this summary will probably sound more negative about this game than I really am. I think it's just frustrating because I don't think this is a bad game or whatever, but just more a really frustrating one. There is an absolute masterpiece in here somewhere I'm sure of it, but it's buried under just a lot of strange creative decisions. Maybe they were present in the original version of P3, but I think that just makes it worse, as they apparently were happy to have a worse game if it meant being "pure" to the original "vision".

Like I actually liked this darker take on Persona, I liked the way the Persona are realised here, the evil group of Persona users, the world building and I'm kinda sad the edges got sanded in the next two games. But whatever this story ever achieves at any time is always undone by it's odd pacing decisions, poor structure, blatant padding and odd progression blockers. It gets so bad at times the game is basically just telling you directly x narrative development is important, because no work has been done to properly set it up to have the big emotional swings really land.

Likewise, I liked this game was willing to be a bit weird with it when it came to the playable cast. It's willingness to commit to betrayals. To character deaths. To not exist in this constant status quo we are constantly looping back around to again. This again seems to be somewhat lost in the sequel games and it's a shame. But again, because of how this game is paced and how this game is structured and everything else, none of this lands like it could have.

You waste like the first four months of the game just chatting to randos around the town or in your school that have no bearing on anything, and can't really spend much time with your core party outside of brief dorm hangouts until the back third of the game.

But also doing these often requires you to have maxed out social stats in a specific area, so for like the last three in game months or longer, all of the activities outside of battle have been worthless to me as I have no stats to level up and all the money I could ever need. So most days for the last three months I've just been going straight to bed lol

All of this is fixed by Persona 4, and then improved further in P5, so the fact they didn't go back and redo all of this is just absolutely baffling to me.

The "Persona 5ification" of the combat is a treat, full of gorgeous animations and dazzling spectacle. However, while I think I liked Tartarus more than say Persona 5's mostly tedious and sometimes frustrating Palaces or Persona 4's bland dungeon crawls, I have to admit I did get pretty bored of Reload's fairly static combat loop in the final third of the game.

I think part of the problem is that outside of a couple of bosses this game is insanely easy, that's not normally something I'd necessarily complain about, but it does make the game feel a bit mindless because it's coupled with systems that are fundamentally quite basic, and don't really evolve or change much over the course of the game.

I hear Reload's ending is absolutely incredible so I'll wait for that before making final judgement. Right now though I'd say it's better than base P5, but unless you're a diehard Persona 3 fan or someone who just wants wants to start the franchise specifically here for some reason, I dunno why you'd play Reload when Royal exists and is just a more refined, more complete, version and vision of this.

I dunno, I just can't help mourn for the game this could have been, more than I can appreciate it for what it is, and I think it's such a shame more work wasn't done to draw out the best parts of this.

Life to the living, death to the dead.

Buizel

@Pizzamorg I'm only as far as the summer vacation so can only comment so much, but my thoughts on the game so far are pretty aligned with yours. I feel like I'm getting a lot more enjoyment out of it - but yeah, there are definitely a lot of growing pains in P3's gameplay loop that are exposed after playing Persona 5 Royal. In P5 everything just feels so perfectly intertwined...whereas yeah, I do wonder how much the social links, social stats, etc., are worth it while I'm playing P3. I also feel like the quality of the social links themselves is a bit lacking - while some have some interesting concepts, they often don't go much further beyond that, and I don't find the interactions between my character and the NPCs to be as genuine or memorable as in other titles. Lack of social links with your party members is a real bummer.

I do kinda disagree with you on Tartarus though. Tartarus is fine - I do enjoy a bit of dungeon crawling here and there, and it feels like a massive step up from the little I've played of FES (especially the combat)...but the palaces in P5 were just so much more interesting. And you're right, outside of missing persons I don't really see much reason to got to Tartarus outside of one marathon of a run at the beginning of the month.

That said, this is still Persona, and I'm really digging the main cast and story. Really keen to see where this goes. Plus the combat is as good as ever - on the same level as P5, really.

Edited on by Buizel

At least 2'8".

HallowMoonshadow

Depends what tickles your fancy really @clvr.

P3R is probably more alligned with the SMT series in some ways with it's more darker tone. It's a very faithful remake to the original versions that came back on the PS2 though so there are some growing pains of when they pivoted the persona series from a simple JRPG to the social sim/JRPG hybrid the series is now known for. It's a slow burn of a game that doesn't hold your hand as the narrative beats slowly build up.

P5R is... Well I don't really like it myself but as you can see from the other replies in the topic most people do and it's the more refined version of the current Persona formula.

Regardless of which one you try... Saying you're a SMT vet you should probably stick the game on hard diificulty to get some challenge from the combat as the persona series is rather easy.

Previously known as Foxy-Goddess-Scotchy
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"You don't have to save the world to find meaning in life. Sometimes all you need is something simple, like someone to take care of"

Pizzamorg

Oh great shout @Buizel actually. I forgot to mention that. Not only are a lot of the social links with randos lacking a tangible gameplay benefit beyond exp bursts, but a lot of them are like one sentence of nothing dialogue, protag then says 'I think I understand them better' even though the person didn't actually say anything of substance and then its finished lol

You can definitely tell the pseudo social links with the male party members are new additions to the game, as they are significantly better written and expansive, reflecting all the learns from P4 onwards.

So again, why they didn't go back and redo the social links to this standard is baffling to me. Why do they want to be so faithful to single lines of meaningless dialogue with randos around town 😂

Life to the living, death to the dead.

HallowMoonshadow

ApostateMage wrote:

I much prefer Yukari Takeba's voice and sarcastic tone in P3P than the sweet girl we get in Reload.

I can't say a whole lot about FeMC's route (I only got to May in Portable) but I agree wholeheartedly with Michelle Ruff's performance as Yukari in the original versions. Not that the new one is bad at all but I definitely liked her more prickley personality traits.

I actually prefer Junpei's more... Hostile tone in the original too. There's something about him that rubs me the wrong way in Reload.


I'm still in the summer vacation and haven't made much progress since the last time I posted.

I really hope you enjoy the final few hours of the game @Pizzamorg.

Edited on by HallowMoonshadow

Previously known as Foxy-Goddess-Scotchy
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"You don't have to save the world to find meaning in life. Sometimes all you need is something simple, like someone to take care of"

LtSarge

@clvr P5R is easier and definitely a better representation of what a Persona game should be. However, playing P3R first will make you less disappointed rather than playing it after P5R as P5R improves upon it in every single way.

Honestly, because of how overwhelming this series can be for a newcomer, I'd recommend going with P5R first.


So I'm actually struggling a bit now to get through the rest of P3R (I'm at the end of October). It's just not as gripping anymore. Even the battles are boring now as the formula has settled in with me. Find the weakness, attack it, do an all-out attack, rinse and repeat. Not to mention that there are still no major social events. Oh you want to participate in the culture festival? Well too bad, a typhoon is going to hit Japan soon. Awesome.

Remember how much fun the culture festival was in Persona 4 Golden? They could've actually done something similar in P3R but no, they wanted to be "faithful" to the original game apparently. And after 50 hours of playtime, I finally get to hang out with Fuuka and Yukari. Great, now is the time to get to know them, as we are just about to finish the game. I can't wait to hang out with Mitsuru and Aigis and learn more about them right before the final battle!

It's at least good that they've added "social links" to the guys of the group, I'll give them that. But they are still so few and so far between.

LtSarge

Pizzamorg

Lol @LtSarge - I waited so I could romance Mitsuru, not realising you can't finish it until a good chunk of the way through December, and then you are immediately thrown into the final developments so I haven't really been able to do anything with this at all.

You can spend Christmas together but it is one brief exchange in the mall and that is it.

Even events afterwards like there is a brief New Years trip to a temple or something where all the girls dress up in their traditional clothes and I didn't even get like a dialogue option to say Mitsuru looked nice.

And I get it, what a cringe thing to ask for but like... why even give me this romance option if the game doesn't even acknowledge it happened 😂

It is funny too, cause they basically do the Mitsuru social link / romance again with Haru, and it is so obvious Mitsuru was the dry run, and since I did the Haru version first this just felt like a more awkward version.

Life to the living, death to the dead.

LtSarge

@Pizzamorg It's absolutely ridiculous that it is like that. But yeah, speaking of romancing, I tend to always romance one of the party members. In P4 it was Rise and in P5 it was Ann. But in the case of P3, having to wait so long before you get to romance any of them dissuaded me from doing so, which is why I went with Chihiro in Portable. However, I am tempted now to romance either Fuuka or Yukari (kinda leaning more towards Yukari). But it still sucks that you can't have meaningful special events with your romance option like in the other Persona games. So I totally get you.

LtSarge

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