If you really think about it, this whole blog is thanks to Persona 5.
Yes, I have always wanted to start a blog. Yes, I have been thinking about it for a long time; planning, drafting, constantly wondering about my adult internet debut. Yes, my sister has been telling me to start one for years and I have always found an excuse.
But the thing that tipped me over the edge, Persona 5 baby.
I never saw it coming.
This game is so good, I had to start a blog so I could talk about it. It’s more than good really, but lofty words like amazing or fantastic don’t sum it up either. It has such standout style, spirit and soul. Persona 5 is good in every sense of the word. And I love it.
My favorite game of all time is Final Fantasy X: it was my first “hardcore” gaming experience (I call 53 hours of play hardcore), I loved the characters, the world and the story. But what took it over the top for me was how it made me feel. FFX is human; it shows the struggles and sacrifices all humans go through, the turmoil and triumph of being a person with feelings and responsibilities. Yuna’s Sending is such a powerful scene! The battle on Mi’ihen Highroad takes my breath away with its emotional portrayal of the cruelties of war and the loss of human life. The game has flaws (oh hell yeah it does) but it made me feel in a way a video game has never made me feel.
And Persona 5 almost makes me feel the same way.
There are a lot of things similar about the two games, of course. There are certain tropes every JRPG has to have: a cast of interesting, somewhat cookie cutter characters, a bomb soundtrack, clever intricacies in gameplay that keep battles interesting, unsolvable puzzles (yes, I’m looking at you Cloister of Trials and Okumura’s airlock doors). But the thing that sets P5 apart from every other JRPG I’ve played is its relevance; it is powerful in the here-and-now. FFX is a commentary on the human condition, something that is timeless; P5 is a commentary on human society. Today. In 2017. And seeing the flaws of our society laid out in front of you is terrifying.
I don’t want to get into crazy spoiler territory because everyone should play this game if they don’t get impatient with turn-based combat. But this game really takes the nastiest parts of modern society and smacks you in the face with them. Corrupt politicians, nasty corporate presidents, elitist teachers and leaders that lead over an indifferent society that don’t care as long as it is unaffected. Children are taken advantage of, people lose their freedoms, and all are stuck in the routine maze of life with nowhere to run. You and your friends (in game) try to shake the status quo and face life’s modern cruelties head on. It’s an incredible 100-hour journey that engrossed me from the moment I heard its acid jazz intro.
The game is almost a PSA to everyone in the world. It’s challenging you to “wake up, get up and get out there,” to stop being complacent in your comfy life and push the envelope in order to help the greater good. If you hold on, life won’t change. So let go, stand up, and fight for justice. I know this is getting a bit corny, but hey, this is how I feel. This game wasn’t perfect; I had some problems with it but I loved this game. I was a proud Phantom Thief. I just hope I can be one in reality as well.
Only time will tell if P5 takes over FFX as my favorite game of all time. Will its modern-day plot date it in the years to come? We won’t know until much later. But boy, was it good. The two and a half month ride this game took me on is something I’ll never forget. If I told you I haven’t started my New Game + already, I’d be lying.
And that was also something I never saw coming.