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Stop Trying To Control My Life!


It's been a little while since I've had a rant... so let's rant. I've finally gotten around to playing Persona 4 and I'm enjoying it thoroughly. As of now it has taken over my life. It isn't without its difficult and frustrating moments and that's okay. What's less okay, though, is what happens when I talk about this with other people.

The conversation tends to go something like this:

"Man, that boss just kicked my arse."
"Oh, he's not so bad, see what you gotta do is make sure you fuse X with Y and also always do it on Tuesday because that means you get Z and did you remember to by some A, B and C from the store?"
"Well, I didn't really--"
"Wait. Please tell me you've maxed out your social links with Q already..."
"Well, no, I--"
"Dude, you're playing it all wrong. It's like ten shitloads harder if you don't have P and Q equipped and you should definitely be blahblahblahblahblah."

This is the point when I stop listening (or offer a critical hit to the nads). I don't know what it is about Persona and maybe JRPGs in general but you only have to read the comments in Giant Bomb's excellent Endurance Run series to realise that there are a lot of people out there all too ready to say 'you're playing it wrong.' If you recognise yourself in the above, then listen carefully:

1) It is okay to make mistakes, even if it makes things a little harder. Most games are built with a little wiggle room and in particular Persona would be no fun at all if you had to do everything one way.

2) You might like to plan every second of your roleplaying time to perfection. That's okay. That's your style. This game is great for people who want to look at every angle and go into fine detail to figure out how to completely optimize their strategy. That's not everyone's style, though! Some people just want to try things, see what happens, take each day as it comes. That approach can work too and for a lot of people it's more fun that way. Please, please accept this, already.

3) I understand, particularly those watching the Giant Bomb videos. It's painful to watch someone doing something badly when you know a much better way to do it. Also, it's okay to offer helpful hints. You know, stuff like 'Sometimes enemies are weak to those instant death spells, so don't dismiss them completely.' That's a nice, constructive tip that someone can take or leave. Why not do more of that, instead of trying to play the game for them?

Here's my ideal version of the above conversation:
"Man, that boss just kicked my arse."
"Want a hint?"
"Sure, if it's not too involved."
"Well, the trick with him is to keep his little helper busy so that he doesn't have a chance to do his powerful attack."
"I'll keep that in mind!"

In summary, gameplay dictators suck and I'm best of friends with a fox.

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About KestrelPione of us since 4:37 AM on 07.16.2008

Age: 30
Location: S.E. London, UK
Hat Size: Medium

Twitter: https://twitter.com/KestrelPi

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