Video Game Inquiry: Persona 5

Video Game Inquiry: Persona 5

Thou hast acquired a new vow...
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High school was an interesting time to say the least. While many friends of mine don't seem to particularly care for it, I have rather fond memories of my high school days. From all the trouble I would get into, to the many friendships I had in high school with both my peers and several of my teachers, I would say it was an overall great time for me. What seems to be missing from my high school life was the ability to enter different realities and fight demons. That would've definitely made it better, oh and it's the premise for this lovely game. As always, these are just my opinions and I do not wish to offend anyone with my thoughts.

The Story

In Persona 5 you play as self-insert character who had to move to a different town because he's currently on probation for a crime he didn't commit. You quickly discover the "Metaverse" or an alternate dimension that not only mirrors the real world but in it exists the darkest and most twisted thoughts of a human as a "Shadow." To be specific, your darkest and most twisted desires are manifested into a being known as a "Shadow." While duel world gameplay is nothing new at this point, Persona 5 has a lot of fun with the idea delivering mostly unique dungeons and a plethora of monsters to fight. While some might find it generic, it is certainly entertaining.

Writing and the Characters

To me, this is Persona 5's best and most unique quality. There are a near infinite amount of games where you play as a character you don't care about. As a result of not giving a rip about said character or characters, your investment in the game is limited. Here, Persona 5 has a plethora of richly developed characters with some of the best character-arks I've seen in some time. In a move shocking me, I actually liked the entire roster of main characters and side characters, as well as even being invested in their personal lives.When my boy Ryuji was pissed, I was pissed. When the cinnamon roll Makoto was sad, I was sad. When the gang was laughing, I too was laughing along side them. The writing in this game also deserves several shout outs for being both genuinely hilarious as well as equally witty. It's been years since I've been this invested in character's lives that after completing the game, I truly felt a Persona shaped hole in my Persona shaped heart.

Gameplay

The gameplay is turn based combat, or when you have all of your units make an action and then the enemy does the same and so on. Persona 5 spices this up by adding in the "weakness mechanic" For example, if you hit a fire monster with an ice attack, you deal extra damage because that monster is weak to ice. If you successfully do the above mentioned formula, you get an extra turn and can string together some excellent combos. Needless to say, the gameplay never really gets dull with all these different variables in play. The most unique thing about this game is that being a high school student isn't just background noise for the game. You actually spend time in class, then choose how to plan out your day. So after class you choose between fighting monsters, hanging out with friends, studying, etc. You have a variety of social stats that keep track of how good you are in certain situations with your friends and so on. Rather than just making this a cool little side project for people who enjoy characters and clever writing, you're heavily rewarded for spending time with friends, studying and so on. The reason being that you have a relationship/friendship rank with each member in your party. The higher the rank goes up, the more stats and abilities that person gets. To fully max out these relationships, you need higher social stats so it then turns into a game of cleverly planning out how you're going to spend your day while also making sure to get the bad guys. It may sound farfetched, but it is an absolutely absorbing experience.

Unfortunately, one of its biggest issues is that there are several different variables to keep track of. Outside your classic weapons, armor and magic types, status conditions plague the game with an overabundance of different ailments that can hinder your character. Hunger, fear, despair, dizzy, burn, shock, freeze, brainwashed, to name only a few. I find that it becomes vexing to remember which ailment does what exactly and since its based on RNG (random number generator) it can feel like "bullshit" when you get afflicted so many times. While we're on the topic of RNG, the overabundance of "insta-kill" spells really drove me up the wall. Once again, because it's based on a dice roll more or less, it can feel daunting with how many times you might die. I'm not suggesting to give it an actual percentage of frequency (Lord only knows that would make it even worse), but rather to purge Persona 5 of instant-kills spells entirely. If there was one dungeon specifically that exemplified all of the worst gameplay features that I've described, it would be without a doubt the fourth dungeon. Seriously, that boss fight as well as it's multitude of status condition abilities can go send itself to the deepest layer of hell.

Conclusion

While I had quite a few things to complain about with the gameplay, this is still one of the best games I've ever played. I cannot overstate how much I cared about these characters and how much anyone would care should they find the time to play this game. The whole social stats system is absolutely brilliant and sucks you right into the world. Overall, I give Persona 5 a 4/4 and I highly recommend this to gamers of all variety to give it a shot.

Cover Image Credit: Neoarcadia.xyz

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When God Gives A Girl A Brother

He gives her a best friend.
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My brother is only 18 months younger than I am, but he's also at least a foot taller than me. Growing up with someone so close to my age has been one of the biggest blessings in my life. Yes, there was a time when I thought every single little thing he did was annoying and his feelings towards me were mutual. Yes, we still get into arguments and disagreements. But for the most part, we enjoy each others company. When God gives a girl a brother, He gives her...

1. A listener

I always have someone to talk to. No matter what, when, or where. Some of my favorite moments are spent chatting my brother's ears off while he absent-mindedly nods and continues to play x-box. Sometimes he just listens and doesn't say anything. Sometimes he gives me long replies. He always knows just how to react to what I am saying to him, which is why I tell him almost everything.

2. A protector

When I think about the man that my brother has become, it seriously brings tears to my eyes. He's so big!! How did this happen? I can remember when I was little and could boss him around and he would actually do whatever I said. Now I'm scared that if he hugs me too hard, I might break in half. My brother cares about me, and lets me know it. I'm so thankful to know that he is there for me no matter what and would do anything to keep me from harm.

3. A dance partner

Another favorite memory is dancing to Juju on that beat in the kitchen while mom is cooking dinner (or dancing with us). Or any other time any other song is on... in any other place... LOL. My brother and I are different in a lot of ways, but we both have no problem busting a move together.

4. A Sonic date

"Hey, wanna go get a sonic drink?" "Yeah, if you're buying!" This is a typical conversation for us, and he actually really does usually buy my food! (With mom's credit card sometimes, does that still count?)

5. An example

Being the older sister, I sometimes feel like I have let my brother down in a lot of ways in that he is probably an example to me more than I am to him. He is incredibly smart, talented, and hard working. Kids FLOCK to this guy, and he has the most creative mind ever. Seriously, I'm so nervous that my future kids are going to like their funny uncle more than me. He's way cooler than I am, and I want to be just like him when I grow up.

6. Comic relief

If you've never heard a "Lane Prevett story," pull up a chair. I will be glad to make you cry from laughing so hard. There's no way you can spend time with him and not laugh. And that, to me, is the best kind of person to be.

7. A best friend

My brother is a lot of things, but my favorite thing about him is that he is my best friend. Yes, we aggravate each other. Sometimes he plays his music too loud, and sometimes I take up all the internet so that he can't play video games. But I know that he would do anything for me, and he knows the same goes for him.

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Sorry, Bella Thorne, But Whoopi Goldberg Has A Point

Nude photos leaked, a scandal on the rise

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It all started with nude photos. Bella Thorne decided to release photos of herself naked after revealing that someone had hacked her things and was threatening to post them. She took it upon herself and said "It's MY DECISION NOW U DON'T GET TO TAKE YET ANOTHER THING FROM ME. I can sleep tonight better, knowing that I took my power back."

Let me make this clear from the very beginning. Bella has taken private, nude photos of herself for a reason we don't know (Probably to send to her boyfriend). She then gets hacked and threatened but decides to show photos anyway of herself naked to show that she has control over the hacker. Phew, I'm already not understand this choice.

Many celebrities and other women have praised her decision to do so, but I'm not one of them, and neither is Whoopi Goldberg from The View. While talking about the situation on the show, she was quoted saying, "Listen, if you're famous, I don't care how old you are, you don't take nude pictures of yourself. When they're hacking you, they're hacking all of your stuff. So, whether it's one picture or a million pictures, once you take that picture, it goes into the cloud, and it's available to any hacker who wants it. If you don't know that in 2019, that this is an issue ... you don't get to do that."

Now correct me if I'm wrong but isn't she making a valid point? Technology now has the ability to do whatever it wants, and hackers can get a hold of anything and everything. Whatever photos you take and send through text or even Snapchat can and will be saved to phones or shared among other people. How many celebrities getting texts, photos, or even calls leaked to the media?

In response to Whoopi, Bella is stating that she should be ashamed of her views, that she is putting the blame on girls for taking photos and is sick and disgusting. Can I make this clear again, she is not shaming you! She is simply saying that people (Not just girls, guys as well) should be smarter with what photos they take, who they send them to and know where they could possibly end up. It's not shaming; it's not a lie; it is the exact truth.

In one of her quotes, Bella says, "So what a girl can't send her boyfriend that she misses photos of her that are sexy? Things he's already seen?". I'm sorry, but I find this sentence very problematic. No one is saying that you can't be sexy for your boyfriend, just be smart about it. Sure, he's seen you naked, sure you've had sex, but the rest of the world hasn't. Just because one person gets the right to see it doesn't mean everyone else does as well. Hackers are out there, they are real, and they are real for celebrities and Hollywood.

Now yet again, Bella is twisting this story into something that it isn't. Now in videos that she has made explaining her view, she suggests that Whoopi is victim-blaming and would say the same thing to someone who survived sexual assault. On Instagram, she said, "So, if I go out to a party drinking and I wanna dance on the dance floor, do I deserve to be raped too?". Now I'm sorry yet again, don't start going on a parade by throwing this into the mix.

You got hacked and someone was going to leak naked photos of you. You decide to leak them yourself because you are not letting a man control your life. Then you compared it to drinking at a party, wanting to dance and asking if you deserved to be raped by doing that? Okay, how are these two even being compared? I'm not going to get too into this but think about it. Taking private photos are risky now with hackers, anyone can get into it without a problem. It's 2019, this has been going on for years. You say a man can't control your life so you release them anyway. A woman being raped at a party where she has no control is different. You chose to take pictures with the risk of them being leaked. A woman does not chose to be raped just because she is dancing at a party. Sorry, there's a difference.

Sorry Bella Thorne, but Whoopi Goldberg is not shaming you, she is not victim blaming. She is simply saying the truth.

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