I need this game more than I need air right now, and I can’t afford it.
The first Persona game I played was Persona 4 on the Playstation 2, and immediately I knew these games were something special. Funny enough I’d never heard of these games before, and had often passed up the box, assuming it to be the usual JRPG full of wacky teenagers who prance about and save the world. And while my initial estimation wasn’t entirely off, it’s the ways that these teens are wacky that makes them stand head and shoulders above the slop pile of cartoon teenage superheroes.
In case you’re unaware, each of the Persona games are centred around a group of kids who have to balance their school life with their nightly hero escapades. So far so anime, but the first thing that may tip you to the unique qualities of this series is the powers they exhibit. Like a less extravagant Jojo’s bizarre adventure, they summon spirit warriors which they control and use to fight enemies. These Persona are manifestations of the users inner self and reflect their fears and desires, and here’s where things get really interesting.
See Persona is not really about using your spirit-samurai to cut malcontents into pieces, though its definitely part of the experience. Persona is about characters growing, learning and examining themselves so that their powers can reach their true potential, and as in Persona 4 this meant confronting dark versions of themselves. An incredible cast of characters who struggle with their sexuality, gender, responsibilities and often have to battle them quiet literally inside a dungeon of their mind. This is all coupled with a robust and strategic combat system and over 150 usable spirits and you have an incredible experience.
So naturally I went back and played Persona 3 which left me blubbering in ways few games, films or books ever had, and then began my wait for Persona 5. This time your main character is the head of a gang of Persona-using thieves, and outside of that I have no idea because I’ve been protecting myself from even the whiff of a spoiler. My intentions were to pick this game up in its first week of release, lock myself in my room and not emerge until my heart and soul belonged to the virtual teens. And then I discovered it costs €70. WHAT!? It’s been a long time since I’ve bought a brand new console game but when did they get so expensive? I feel like an old man grumbling about how everything was cheaper back in my day…. but it was and I’m right. And then the reviews started rolling in.
94% on Metacritic. Now aggregate review sites can be tricky but I’m lying if I’m saying that doesn’t make me yearn. Have you ever been mildly interested in a game that you probably won’t get to play, but then the reviews comes out and it’s awful. It’s like a load off of your shoulders, one less thing on the infinite list of fun I won’t experience. Well this is the opposite of that. I want this game badly and it’s incredible and everyone is enjoying it, but here I am on my lonesome, replaying Persona 4 and pretending my heart doesn’t ache.
So for all you wealthy and wonderful people who are taking time out of your Persona playing time to read this, please spare a thought for us poor of resource and weak of soul.