As my spam-bot readers will recall, I’ve been playing the same damn Playstation 2 game, Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 4, since early June. It isn’t that I’m not that into the game, it is just I don’t drop 5 hours into a game at a time anymore, and this is one of those games that take a lot of time.
It is a JRPG, which means there is a lot of dialog, level grinding, and 30 minute, tedious-ass boss battles.
So, I’ve been plodding away for about two months now, spending a couple of hours per night with a few Pabst and my Special Investigation Team pals Yosuke, Chie, Yukiko, Kanji, Teddy, Rise and Naoto in their hometown of Inaba. We’re wrapping up the case of “who the p*ss has been throwing people in wacky television worlds to die” and about to put the hurt on the culprit. Hopefully we’ll figure out why wacky television world is encroaching into the “real world” in the process.
If I’m lucky, I won’t fricking die in the process either, like the poor schmuck who saved the world from annihilation in the last persona game.
The side-effect of spending so much time with such a character-based game is I almost feel like I’ve spent the summer in Japan with these people. After all, half of the game is a social simulator where you hang out with, and get to know each of them in depth to increase the power of your personas (kind of like summoned monsters). Even if you decide not to hang out with anybody, you practically spend as much time with the storyline in this game as you do with the action. Heck, I just spent over an hour alone in cut-scenes last night thinking I was watching my six-year-old niece die and putting together the final pieces of the whodunit puzzle.
This is after I did it once before and chose the “wrong” dialog choices, achieving the lame-ass, cop out ending.
Coming to the end of my journey with this game and these characters after so much time is kind of like watching the last episodes of a great show or finishing the last in a long series of good books. It ain’t real and the characters aren’t actually your friends, but you’ve still got some weird form of attachment to them.
All of them except the penis in the chariot. He’s still a little creepy. I never “fused” him because his abilities sucked, but I know he’s there, waiting in the velvet room.
It gives me the willies.