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SeymourDuncan17's blog

7 hours ago - 4:03 AM on 10.06.2015


Even if you're new, you probably know I'm a huge Persona fan. Heck, if you met me just today, I probably wore my Investigation Team tee to break the ice.

The more and more I think about it, Persona 4: Golden, specifically, may be my favorite game of all time. I get extreme drives to play and beat it again pretty often, despite being fully aware that a playthrough can easily take anywhere from 70-120+ hours. I have many many other games to play, that I want to play, but, sometimes, it's hard to think of any better way to spend my free time.

I start to feel real bubbly whenever I think of the game's many awesome characters. While the game's story was certainly not perfect, it's writing and voice performances were, generally, excellent. Throughout my Persona 4: Golden venture, I became surprisingly close to even characters I didn't care for in the end as "written" characters. But, as people, I respected them.

One such character was RIsette. The ditzy idol gal with a creepy infatuation with the player character. She always forced herself into being the center of attention, making wild assertions that didn't just throw me, a 4th-wall perspective, off, but Chie as well (which was not only fitting to her character, but consistently hilarious).

Crafting a new canon story around Rise didn't seem like it would work for me. To that end, introducing a heap of new idol characters sounded like just about the worst thing imaginable.

And have I mentioned that this is now a rhythm game?

Let's not talk about the story for a second and just take that last bit in: this is a rhythm game. A 2D fighter spin-off may seem like much for what was previously a 3D turn-based RPG to some, but we have reached new heights of insanity with Dancing All Night.

We've got some 'splainin to do. You start up a track, you see some colored discs moving towards the edges of the screen, you start to panic, WHAT DO I DO?! Are these shortbread cookies? Are these the answer to everything? Will it hurt? Don't worry! All you have to do is press the corresponding button of a whopping six to, eventually, succeed.

Sometimes, though, there will be a unison note. Which is two notes at once. Imagine that. There are also hold notes. Which means you hold the notes. Can you even wrap your head around unison hold notes? Whoa! What?!

Scratch notes are a thing too, and I know what you're thinking: I'm going to have to scratch at my Vita in order to pull these off. Well, firstly, they're optional and only necessary if you're a perfectionist. Secondly, you actually just flick either of the control sticks to pull them off. Did I scare you? It's not my fault you take things so literally.

BUT WAIT! Play on All Night difficultly and you'll also receive hold notes with scratch notes to be played while still holding, triplet scratch notes, unison hold notes that require breaking off one hold to continue playing single notes and/or other holds, and so much more!

The game does a pretty good amount with these four note types, working your thumbs into some very satisfying motions in-time with the music. Typically, by way of the scratch notes. So, not only are those fun to pull off for various reasons, but they are worth it for the KING CRAZY ratings and highest scores possible.

The choreographed dances that match much of the music tracks are also very lovely, with each character totally in-tune with their unique personalities. Chie's dances are powerful yet cute, Yukiko's are graceful, Kanji's are awkward though masculine, Nanako's ooze adorableness, Yosuke's are... actually pretty slick. He may be a clutz, but the dude can fucking dance. Who knew?

My favorite's are Chie's, Naoto's, and Margeret's. Margeret has the whole Vogue thing goin' on, sans the pretention, and I dig that a lot.

One small criticism is that sometimes the arm motions sometimes seem very unnatural. Not necessarily because of their movements, but because of how their static clothing curves and stretches with the motion capture. Not that you'll notice much while playing.

To that, the rotoscoping in the anime intro looks really freaking weird. Take On Me, it ain't.

The setlist fares even better. Consisting of 27 tracks on-cart, it's both amazing on and off the stage.

There isn't much else to say that hasn't already been said about the marvelous vanilla tracks (all of which are their Reincarnation album versions, minus the theme tracks), but most of the remixes are splendid. Some even outdoing their originals!

Backside of the TV was far from a favorite of mine back with Persona 4 proper. It suited the game more than it suited itself, better heard as background music than to be heard without any sort of context. But, with Dancing All Night, it's easily one of the best remixes. It's also one of the more natural transitions. Rather than switching up the song's genre entirely like most of the other remixes, it mixes the familiar with a much-needed dose of freshness and what results is something incredible.

Now a fully fleshed-out hip-hop track hip-hopped by Persona mainstay Lotus Juice (whom is also responsible for the narration during the game's dozen+ loading screens, which is super cool), I am consistently enthralled by it each time I play it. The outro always brings it together so well. I had goosebumps the first time I heard it. There is an energy to this track that not many songs, in general, match.

Other favorites include the Akira Yamaoka remix of Time To Make History (it's now essentially a No More Heroes track), the NARASAKI remix of Snowflakes, the Banvox remix of Best Friends, and the Norihiko Hibino remix of Heaven. Sadly, this blog would go on for way too long if I gave my extended thoughts on every one.

The only one I'm not a huge fan of would be the Daisuke Asakura remix of Your Affection. And while the setlist is pretty ace, I do have my criticisms of the song selection that I will get into towards the end of the review.

Believe it or not, there is actually a Story Mode on top of the Free Dance greatness. More unbelieveable is that it actually kind of works.

Sure. It's pretty hokey when they plot dump, early on, exactly why it is that dancing works as a defense against these (sort of) new Shadows within this "Midnight Stage", but, after a while, I began to roll with it and even really enjoy myself.

All the characters have been faithfully written and performed (yes, even Ashley Burch's portrayal of Rise, who is not a farcry from the switch to the new Naoto that nobody seems to have an issue with), the dialogue is handled well, and if you had little issue with Persona 4 proper's pacing, then you will feel welcome here. There is practically zero gameplay for the first hour and, for a rhythm game, that is both insane and hilarious.

At one or two points, the story even gets surprisingly unsettling. For as early as I caught on to the big "twist", the way it's presented is pretty frightening and visibly traumatic for the person(s) involved.

For a few hours, the story settles into an almost too-comfortable groove. Following a rigorous step-by-step of plot and gameplay. Much like if all Persona 4 consisted of were it's dungeons and boss fights. It made continuing forward actual work, as even the gameplay difficulty only goes up to Normal and, very quickly, that became a tad too mundane for me personally (*flex*).

But, once perspective switches over to Kanami, one of the new characters (unless you count Persona 4's passing mention of her), things become interesting again. I wouldn't call her a saving grace as she isn't perfect, neither as a character or as a voice performance, but she was a welcome change that saved the story from becoming purely a slog for only the most hardcore of Persona fans.

The host of other new characters, though, with the exception of Ochimizu (who resembles SMTIV's Kaga and P4: Golden's Marie's hypothetical lesbian lovechild), are pretty much a means to an end. While they do provide some semi-interesting perspective (DAN's story handles "Shadow selves" in a similar way to Persona 4 proper), they're immediately forgotten until they're once again needed for some tasty plot convenience towards the end.

All in all, the 15-hour story (yes, you heard me) is actually very serviceable as a supplementary to the already existing canon. For me, however, I think it would've worked much better as a visual novel with the gameplay sections being strictly visual showcases. That way, they could've more easily circumvented the monotony that eventually crops up and have lost essentially nothing in the process.

I may have even preferred Story Mode to be ridden of entirely in favor of a Free Dance crossover with all of Persona 3/4's universes, including Q and Arena/Ultimax. More stages, more tracks, more characters, more gag accessories! But, who knows how possibly that would've been.

My one remaining critcism would be the game's DLC practices, which brings into question not just that but the song selection.

On-cart, we have 3 versions of Pursuing My True Self and yet the Persona 4 credits track, Never More, a very important and absolutely beautiful track, has been relegated to a 1-dollar download. The swimsuits and crossdressing outfits, outfits ATLUS surely knows people expect, have also been made DLC while many other Persona 4 outfits remain intact. I should add that these costumes are more expensive than the others.

Why? Because they can do that. Thankfully, at least my gaifu Teddie's Alice costume isn't DLC (though, it is random whenever it pops up). That would've been unforgivable.

There's no way around it. ATLUS is exploiting it's fans and is doing it pretty well. I feel dirty doing it, but even I have given them some leeway. They may wish to keep players invested by trickling out DLC week by week (and there is plenty to come), but, from my perspective, it's pretty slimy. Depending on my mood, it's questionable at best.

I'm sure their intentions aren't as insidious as other publishers', but it's worth mentioning nonetheless. I'm not buying these because I feel I want extra content, but because I feel there are things missing from my experience. Things shouldn't feel missing when I'm already paying the 10 dollar ATLUS premium on top of my 40 dollar purchase. That's a huge load of bull's shat.

The only true "extras" here are the Marie and Adachi DLC's, as well as the launch tracks sans Never More. Everything else would've been better off as part of the core product.

As a story, Dancing All Night is satisfying enough. But, as a rhythm game and high score affair, despite it's DLC woes, it's pretty goddamned addicting.

If you're into chasing leaderboards and tweaking handicaps for some added challenge (and then some), you'll be playing this for a long time.


6:32 AM on 10.05.2015

Can you guys fix up the blog editor? It's a tiiiiny bit infuriating having to fix up extra paragraph spacing and paragraph merging whenever I save my drafts. And what's with ditching the photo side panel? Mmf.


9:47 AM on 10.04.2015

So, I plan on using my GameStop Power-Up Rewards points (yes) to buy all the eventual P4DAN DLC. Even though the practices are very suspect. I am so not made of stone. Moreso blubber and Dr. Pepper.


11:11 PM on 09.29.2015

You thought it was nuts for Persona 4 to begin as slow as it did? Tell me it isn't hilarious that Dancing All Night is just as extensive. Been playing for at least an hour in Story Mode, and I've only done two songs. It's done well, just... wow.


2:49 AM on 09.26.2015

I am lonely, broken, and do not know what is life after SOMA. Somebody hold me, tightly, with some groping.


1:07 AM on 09.24.2015

Dammit, SOMA. Why you gotta make me think things? Never have I considered a synthetic body before now and YOU PUT THAT IN MY HEAD! This is weird. [claws at temples]


10:25 AM on 09.20.2015

I posted this earlier, but made some small improvements. Here's my cover of Jonathan Coulton's "Re: Your Brains". I promise I won't just keep spamming my work :p


12:47 PM on 09.18.2015

It's not often that I make a new video. [youtube][/youtube] That last line was originally going to be far more... brutal. I didn't wanna give Nintendo more of a reason to take it down than they already have.


4:45 PM on 09.17.2015

Just did up a quick cover of I Don't Wanna Set the World on Fire. Been really anxious, going through all the Fallout's leading up to 4.


10:32 AM on 09.15.2015

Oh, my medication... [img][/img]


7:00 PM on 09.13.2015

Alamo City Comic-Con was better than infinite ice cream minus the fat/diabetes

Last year, I went to my first ever convention: the Alamo City Comic-Con. I got to meet plenty of fellow dorks, famous faces, and spend way too much money. It was such a wonderful social experience and to say that it was life-affirming would be an understatement. 

Even now, though, the con is still in it's early stages of development. Just 3 or so years running. However, in just that short time, it's grown to be amongst the most popular of comic conventions in the country, entertaining a whopping 75,000+ in 2014. This year was hoping to see nearly 100,000 attendees and I would not be surprised to see them reach that once the statistics are in order.

Just as I had planned since the end of last year's, I went again this year. While my ambitions to go two whole days didn't quite pan out, my Friday outing was more than enough. In some ways, it was even better than before!

Just like my first visit, it made me feel awesome that I was as huge a nerd as I was. 

Drowning yourself in geek culture is no longer merely escapism or for the pleasure of you and some local friends, it's fuel for one of the most thrilling aspects of geek life: the modern comic convention. Nowadays, everyone goes to them. Not just the dedicated, but the casuals. Video games, superheroes, collector's items, etc. are fast becoming the norm, which means your adult conversation about your love of Transformers or Pokemon is becoming less and less likely to get you scolded for being "childish". 

Now that we're all comfortable with eachother, we can admit that Deadpool is pretty rad and that Star Wars used to be cool but might be cool again come Episode VII. 

Combining a love for all mediums and what is essentially a stageplay, I cannot recommend going to one of these things enough. I literally cannot. It's all I think about days before, during, and days after the fact. The people I met, the stars I shoke hands with, the awesome concessions, the conversations that I had, and not to mention I've probably spent an accumulated time of at least an hour looking through my phone at all the pictures I took. 

Smoothpool signaled Spider-Griffin over for a fanfic proposition. I wonder how that is going to turn out?

That's a damn fine vehicle. 

I hope Mecha-Link has a butt flap because that is hawt. 

I sort of really like cosplays like this. Where it's not a 1:1 recreation of the character, it's cheap, and the cosplayer is forced to get creative. 

Sort of like down on his luck Batman! He was also here last time and it was just as good now. I think he's even gained a bit of muscle, so things might be looking up!

This picture doesn't do her justice. Korra was especially impressive. 

Something I didn't do last year that I made an effort to do this year was talk with more of the artists, whether in passing by or in having a conversation with them whilst browsing their wares. 

One particular artist that I was looking forward to seeing was Matt Frank, the man behind much of the Godzilla comics of the last 5 years. I had never actually bought or even seen a single Godzilla comic, but I do love the Godzilla films. Or, at least I did love them when I was much younger. Destroyah was my favorite beast because he was literally like out of the mind of a very talented and slightly warped 13-year old. Naturally, it spoke to me and I still love him as a child at heart. 

So, I asked if Matt had any singular pieces featuring the giant devil unicorn lizard. He had none but an entire volume featuring the likes of not only Destroyah, but Biollante, Anguirus, and, of course, MechaGodzilla. I didn't see any SpaceGodzilla, though. I told him that that sucked and he agreed. As a consolation, he drew me a chibi Destroyah next to his signature! It's kind of adorable. 

The man himself was lovely. Very social and friendly. Definitely a good dudeman. He also convinced me to give Pacific Rim a watch after I confused Azure Defiant for a rebooted Jet Jaguar. 

Abe Lopez was the best, though. Not just for the surprise Cagebomb or his flattering signature, but his art was spectacular! Creative, fun, and very expressive. Way more impressive than those that were just marking over established shots and selling it as their own or those that went for striking realism. Life needs a bit of personality and this guy's work had it in spades. 

Yeah. He's a real big fan of Harley + Joker. 

When I got home, I just had to search up his Facebook and Deviant Art pages and now I'm a fan!

Most surprising was that a lot of the higher quality prints like his were no more than 20 dollars. Some absolutely incredible ones were even as cheap as 10! 

Such as this absolutely amazing Splatfest piece that I got from some place I wish I could remember the name of. I don't know if I'm going to frame it or even hang it up, but I will at least be keeping it safe in some way. If you can find the source, go and give it a slap of your wallet if Splatoon is your digs. 

Had to support ma waifu. It's getting framed alongside my Zelda X Ganon piece that I got from last year's con. 

Yes. I actually did buy that Fallout: Equestria piece. Because it was cute. And because these guys were actually pretty damn awesome. 

Despite their chosen passion and the fanbase's stigma, the one on the left was the most well-spoken, enthusiastic, and friendly person I met at the convention. We even had a minute or two-long conversation about the extensiveness of this actually real-as-the-stank-on-your-bum fanfiction of the same name. It's supposedly, in their own words, the size of several Harry Potter novels. 

Willickers. What an... interesting group of people. I kind of wanna love them.

Marcus Fenix from GEARS OF CHUFFING WAR!

These are some skinny motherfuckers! 

Catching Smoothpool again as he walks by. I also met up with him a third time at the bus stop as he was calling for his ride and completely out of character. He should be ashamed. 

There was a surprising amount of female Starlords. Go figure. 

I couldn't help but sing Come And Get Your Love for at least several minutes after meeting each one. 

I asked him to do the nut punch and he... almost nailed it!

Another splendidly creative cosplay!

A SPITTING image of Devito's portrayal of the Penguin. All he's missing is the gut. A top 5 cosplay for sure. 

I can't help but sqweal a bit on the inside whenever I see this picture. I always gravitate towards his tummy and think "I wanna poke it.". Such an adorable scamp. 


Here coooomes the Crimson Chiiiiiin!

No rest for our heroes, even in the food court!

I really fucking love Freeze's googles. I want me a pair ASAP.

Me and a lady Wonka. She even gave me a chocolate!

"Step up, bitch!"

Props to her make-up. It's not perfect, but I know it can be monotonous putting that shit on. Just my eye make-up from last year was a pain.

W-whoa =o.o=

There were plenty of awesome cosplays I captured, but posting literally every one would overload your 56K modem. So, I'll begin jumping into the final segment: the stars! 

Above, we have Judith Hoag. She was the live-action April O'Neil and still is such a beaut! 

Not only that, but she was surprisingly social. I'm not used to the big wigs being the ones that talk the most. She and last year's Troy Baker stick out in my memory for the same reasons. They clearly love their fans and will even indulge the most quiet of people. We even talked about career paths and what I should do should I choose to pursue one or the other. 

Eventually, I wasn't so caught off-guard by her forwardness and I ended up loving getting a chance to meet her. She was an awesome surprise!

This is Franchois Chau, known to most as the live-action Shredder, Dr. Chang from LOST, and as someone with a pretty hard to pronounce name. 

He was a rather straightforward experience. With that said, very nice, formal, polite, etc. Generally really liked meeting him!  Made me wanna rewatch LOST like I've been meaning to for some time. 

Like with Judith, I had him sign my Secret of the Ooze blu-ray. 

Mathematical! It's Jeremy Shada! Otherwise known as Finn from Adventure Time. Another pleasant experience. I only wish John DiMaggio (Jake) was there as well. Oh man, that would've been perfect. 

I mean, all things considered, it was wonderful. But, despite Jeremy's experience outside Adventure Time, DiMaggio has plenty more than just that which I personally appreciate. Bender from Futurama, Marcus Fenix from Gears of War, and tons of other smaller roles. 

Then again...

Polly was the most amazing little lady. She wasn't even listed as being there! I lost my shit just a tad when I peeped her set up next to Jeremy.

Lemme tell you guys, she is not just the voice behind Tree Trunks. No. She is literally Tree Trunks. Her voice, her speech, her mannerisms, her personality, everything. It was like talking to Tree Trunks. Incredibly surreal. Just as wholesome, happy, and sweet. The most wonderful lady. I wish I could've gone back the next day to meet her again.

She also had some words for my cosplay. "Well, you look just lovely!". For some reason, she thought I was from somewhere more akin to New York rather than deep South Texas. "I just don't believe that!", she remarked as I cleared things up. Somebody wanna fill me in? Maybe it was some vague generalization that I don't understand, heh. 

I can't help but put on a big smile whenever I think about my time with her. 

Poor thing wasn't looking at the camera, though. Couldn't muster up the nerve to ask her again. I didn't want to disappoint her in any way. 



Because I love you guys almost as much as a bacon breakfast with a side of fresh orange juice, I gathered up some video footage as well! Enjoy it and make sure to stick around until the end for a personal request I gave to the ocarina dude from the beginning. 

Alamo City Comic-Con was a stupendous time. Even if the star attraction, Ron Perlman, wasn't there on Friday. Neither was Michael Rooker, who I reeeeally wanted to have give me a hardy "MERLENDERL!" after signing my Guardians of the Galaxy blu-ray. 

I can hardly wait for PAX South! 


7:33 PM on 09.11.2015

5 hours straight of walking and picture-taking later, my first day of Alamo City Comic-Con is done! It was so great! A small taste of my blog to come: Me and Finn (Jeremy Shada) from Adventure Time. [img][/img]


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