Geek Babble – Forget the Backlog

I never did make my goal of completing my gaming pile of shame backlog before the arrival of Persona 5. Fortunately, the effort I made wasn’t completely in vain. I did finish Okami HD, finally taking it out of my pile. I restarted my attempts on Fire Emblem Fates: Conquest, but I haven’t decided how I’ll take out the final boss. I may just have to give up my goal of finishing the game without losing any units. Finally, I did put some more effort into Persona 4: Dancing All Night, but I won’t lie, the game is still a chore to play. I want to finish because I’m curious to see how this final Persona 4 spin-off ends.

 

What backlog? It’s all Persona 5:

I dove head-first into Persona 5, which has been a fantastic game. Unfortunately, progress has been slow, given how little time I actually have to play the game. I even wasted one week of vacation in April because I felt too burned out from everything to game. (Thankfully, my May vacation was better and I was able to put about 20 hours into the game.) As of this writing, I sit about 73 hours into the game at the fifth dungeon. Geoff covered a lot of stuff in his review, but I did have some thoughts to add since I’m not sure if I’ll write a second review:

 

  • I really like how elements of other Shin Megami Tensei games have been included. This includes having a gun and a melee weapon like mainline SMT games and the original Persona. However, I’m not too thrilled about old elemental attacks returning like nuclear, since those are more weaknesses to remember. Still, it isn’t as bad as the strike, pierce, and slash damage in Persona 3. Also, light and dark magic aren’t always instant-kill moves. I do like how you’re able to choose what skills a persona will inherit during fusion instead of the game randomly choosing skills for you. My favorite non-combat element has to be the addition of coffee trivia, a la Catherine and its alcohol trivia. (Note to self: I need to spend more time brewing coffee.)

 

  • While I like the new cast for the most part, Ryuji is my least favorite character. The point of wearing a mask while being a thief is to hide your identity, not to become famous. Coming in at a close second is Mishima.

 

  • I do like the fact that dungeons are no longer randomized and that there are more opportunities to save your game within them via “Safe Rooms.” Having more save points means no longer losing as much progress if you die during a random encounter or a mid-boss battle. Additionally, treasure is always where you left it if you die versus losing an item potentially forever if all the treasure is randomized. The downside is that dungeons do go away, so there’s no returning to them if you haven’t done everything you wanted by a certain point in the story.

  • I’ve run into a strange glitch where the menu opens on its own when I’m exploring dungeons while I’m holding down another button. At first I assumed I was just pressing triangle by accident, but while holding down dash (R2), the menu opened and my finger was nowhere near triangle. I’m not sure if it’s an issue with my controller, the game, or if my PS3 just doesn’t like me.

 

  • My biggest fear with the game is not utilizing my social links/confidants and stats to the fullest. I’ve hit a wall and I’m worried I may lose out on maxing out some confidants’ levels if I don’t spend more time raising my stats. I’m not sure if this is by design or if I’m just running through the game poorly. At least I know this won’t be an issue in a second playthrough, if P5 adheres the the formula of previous Persona games by carrying stats over.

 

Even more games for the Pile of Shame:

Now that I’ve gushed paragraphs about Persona 5, I’d also like to talk about The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia which I just added to my backlog. Breath of the Wild was a birthday gift and along with a Switch. Since I’m focusing on P5, my progress will be slow on this game. I played an hour or two, and the game immediately reminds me of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, Zelda style. Sure, there’s a story and major stuff to do, but so much of the game is going at your own pace and letting you do what you want for the most part. While it’s good for relaxing, it’s definitely a departure from previous Zelda entries. Those who like a focused experience may not enjoy this change. I thought I might be among those pining for more focus, but objectives to be completed are always around (with a map marker) so getting back on track never seems to be difficult.

I haven’t started Fire Emblem Echoes, but the game looks like a refreshing departure from the usual Fire Emblem formula. While I generally like this formula, I’m a little burned out from Conquest and I can only take FE Heroes in small doses. I’m not sure if I’ll start the game after Conquest or play another game such as Ace Attorney 6 or 999: Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors beforehand. Talk about first world problems.

At the very least, I may not put a dent in my backlog at this pace, I’m certain I’ll finish Persona 5 before summer’s end.

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