Sunday, January 6, 2013

The Definition of Madness

Sorry for not updating here for so long. New job, lack of creative ideas and other stuff kinda hold me back. I will try really hard to update at least once a week. I also decided to use less characters in my comic, to make it easier to tackle the characters. So, Momotaros, Rei, Miku and Eyes will probably be the only ones I will use from now on.

Now, if you played Far Cry 3, you know one of the main villains, Vaas, defined insanity as doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results each time. It is how many game 'fans' act. They see something they don't like, rage over the internet a lot, buy whatever they raged over anyway, the game companies do it again, they rage again, buy product again and you get the idea.

Keeping this same vicious cycle every time, expecting things to change, will never cause change. Doing something different, like refusing to buy a game that do something you don't like, instead of buying it because you 'need' to play it, is what will cause change. Repeating the same rage-buy-rage process over and over again changes nothing.

With such a bunch of self-centered, instant-gratification seekers that many people become today, it is very hard to see any change. Maybe people are really mad. How else we can explain people doing the same things over and over again expecting things to change?

Thursday, September 6, 2012

7 Hints About Persona 5 Dropped in Persona 4 Arena


So, I finally finished all characters story in Persona 4 Arena. And yes, it is a great fighting game with one of the most interesting stories in gaming. But more importantly, Persona 4 Arena finishes in one of the biggest cliffhangers ever. With Atlus' works in Persona 5 already confirmed, it means that this cliffhanger probably aims towards the next true sequel to the Persona series. Yes, it could just mean that we will have a Persona 4 Arena 2, which, besides being one of the most stupid game names, it is a possibility due to the great numbers P4A have being able to do.

But since P4A is a cooperative job, and both Atlus working in Persona 5 and Arc System Works doing its next BlazBlue game, it may be a long time before we got a sequel in the fighting games. So, I am more inclined thinking that all hints dropped in P4A about a sequel in its story points towards the Persona 5 game, which I am eager waiting to play. And here I show all the hints that may say what we should expect from this future Persona title.

7. It may be set in college, not in high school.

A lot of gamers I know hopes that Persona 5 have a college setting. And this may be just the case! In Akihiko's story mode, he talks about going back to college. Fuuka is in college, it seems. But there is one bigger reason why this may happen. Everyone from the cast of Persona 3 and 4 will be at college age by the time P5 hits the shelves.

See, most of  the protagonists in both games are already in college age by now. The P3 cast all where in high school in 2009. Even if they were 1st year students, they would be, at best (or worst) in their last year in high school by now. And if P5 is set in the same year, or the next year of its launch, it means that it will be set in 2014 at earliest. And everyone from both casts will be in college age, maybe some will be even graduating by that time.

Setting the game in high school would simple make any characters from P3 and P4 unable to be more than cameos in P5. And it is unlikely this will be the case, because...

6. The characters from Persona 3 and Persona 4 said they will be meddling in the Persona 5 story.

The Shadow Operatives, a spec ops group fighting shadows formed by many members of the P3 cast, and the Investigation Team formed by the P4 cast, said they would investigate the responsible for the events in P4A, meaning they will be an important part of the events that will happen in P5. And it will be hard to interact with the P5 cast if they are high school students, when most of the old characters will be in college age.

From P3, only Aigis and Ken Amada would be able to go to high school. Ken, because he was in middle school in P3, but since nobody I know likes him, he would be an unlikely choice. Aigis is an android, meaning she don't age, so she can pass as a high school student. From P4, Naoto, Rise and Kanji could pass up as high school students. Maybe Teddy too. But they will all be in college age if P5 is set in 2014. Labrys, the original character from P4A is likely to make a return, specially since she is already a fan favorite.

So, it is likely that at least one of the characters from both P3 and P4 will make a return to P5 in some form, and since is more likely they will have an active role, I doubt they will make just cameos, but in fact be playable characters in P5. So, making the college setting more likely. And remember that Atlus already make a game with an older set of characters, Catherine, and it was a success for them. So, I am betting in their return. In college!

Please, Atlus, make her and her sweet accent be playable in Persona 5. Thank you.
5. Port Island will be the game's city again.

The reason why I believe Port Island, the city from Persona 3 will make a return is because the Investigation Team from P4 said they were going there to investigate the Labrys' incident. Not only that, it is hinted that the responsible for the incident may have connections with the Kirijo Group, the corporation Mitsuru's family ran over in P3. So, no better place than investigate the mystery than in there.

Not only that, a big city like Port Island probably will have a big college somewhere, and it will be a better, more exciting place than the small Inaba. Of course, I am also betting we will be able to travel to locations from previous Persona games because the Malign Entity from P4A is aiming in stealing Personas from its users, making more likely that people from Persona 1 and 2 could make at least a cameo and that their cities may be visited during the investigation.

So, the familiar ground (probably with brand new locales to visit instead of updated old ones), is more likely to make a second appearance this time.

4. Elizabeth and her quest will be in Persona 5.

In the end of Persona 3, the main character uses his own soul to keep humanity desires for death to reach Nyx, a powerful entity who could kill all humanity. Elizabeth, Igor's assistant in the Velvet Room is in a quest to attempt to free the main character' soul. While I doubt that this will be in the main quest, I can easily see it as a side quest, like The Answer in Persona 3 or the Snow Queen quest in the original Persona

It would be an interesting quest, who could add a new layer of difficulty to the game (the side quests in Persona tends to be more difficulty than the main quest) and to add a new layer on the usually complex stories told in the series.

Also, it would be a nice incentive to play if you could add either Elizabeth or the main character from Persona 3 to your party by finishing this quest. Just saying.

3. It will deal with more mature and personal themes.

Catherine, the first HD game from Atlus and made by the Persona team, is a game with a very personal story and who dealt with themes who usually arouse between adults, like sex, marriage, job, responsibility. I believe Atlus was testing the waters, to see if they could pull out a game like that and sell enough copies. Since they did, there is a likely chance that P5 will be a more mature game than their prequels.

P4A, specially in Labrys own story, already dealt with a very personal and deep story, so I believe the tone for the next game will be darker and mature somehow. Not that they will forget about the slice of life side that made P3 and P4 a hit, but they will probably throw a less 'funny' story this time around. And I am all for that. The college setting would help a lot in this, since then we would have the cast facing the problems of adults and not anymore the problems of teenagers.

2. The Villain will be a returning one.

OK, likely it will not be Danny de Vitto/Igor. But I have a feeling the villain in P4A is someone (something?) who have encountered persona users before, meaning that it have appeared in some of the old titles before, even if in smaller roles.

The voice who talked with Labrys in her story and showed her the school from P4 sounded a lot like the voice of Philemon, a character from the first Persona. It don't mean that he will be the villain, mind you, but that he may be involved somehow. And of course, using an old villain would be a very interesting way to connect all Persona games in the same universe it seems they are set in.

Why not?
1. It will have a new main character.

Not her, sadly.
I know, it doesn't say in P4A that it will have a new character. But it is highly unlikely that any old character would be the lead role. Sure, it will have at least one or two old characters as playable, in my opinion, but P5 will have a lot of new faces, starting with the main character.

The reason for that is that the Malign Entity in P4A already targeted the old casts, meaning he will probably not target them again, but try his/her luck with new persona users, unaware of his/her existence. It may even help them to awake their personas, just so he can try to steal them afterwards. It make more sense to have at least many new characters as old ones.

Also, I am hopeful that we will be able to choose the gender of the main character. It was a great new feature in Persona 3 Portable, so having this option from the get go in P5 would be great.

So, what do you think? What hints Persona 4 Arena gave you about the next game?

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Weirder Than Thou

This is what I always want to do with the guys on forums who start criticizing others by liking characters from anime or Japanese games while completely doing the same for western characters. Both are liking fictional characters. But of course, the critic's preferences are completely normal while the criticized is the weird one, despite both being more equal than different from each other.

It strike me as stupidity when we live in a world where we have to defend our hobbies that instead of getting together we spend so much time and energy trying to prove that we are normal while the other are weird, instead of just appreciating our hobbies and letting others appreciate theirs. In the end, this just prove that those legends that nerds, geek, gamers or other people who were ridicularized because of their hobbies are in fact more similar to their bullies than they want to admit.

And as long as people try to defend their preferences by attacking the preference of others, this will never ends.

Saturday, August 18, 2012


Like the OUYA, OnLive promised cheap gaming with a better experience and too many gamers were hopeful it would live its promises and potential. And like the OUYA, too many gamers ignored the obvious flaws in the proper execution of it to be cautiously optimistic.

On paper, OnLive would be great, but reality kicked in. The precarious infrastructure around the world, the price of servers and many other problems put OnLive in its current situation. But gamers seems so desperate for a cheaper, better option for games than the current one that they sure forget the advantages of what we have now and disadvantages of what is promised. And specially when the promises are so good, we tend to want to believe.

In the end, the game market is not an easy one, even if you are making the right promises. You need to earn money to keep making it. And if you fail to earn enough money, you can't make true to your promises. A hard lesson that all dreamer must keep in mind before entering in this business.

Friday, August 17, 2012

The Darkest Day

And for more of an exaggeration this is, we are really coming too close of the time where making jokes will be impossible. I am not saying that all is excused just because it is supposed to be a joke or that people cannot feel offended, but we are coming to the ridiculous point were people actively try to be offended. Take these examples.

What people need to stop to do is taking everything personally, specially when it have nothing to do with them in any way. Sometimes there was no real offense being done, except the one the 'offended' choose to put in the joke in order to justify his 'hate'. What it feels is that people aren't being 'offended' but is just searching their minutes of spotlight by acting like that.

And the day that humor will be no more seems more closer and real than ever.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Why Evangelion is the Best and Worse Thing That Happened to Anime

If you are into anime, even a little bit, chances are you have heard of Neon Genesis Evangelion. this 90s anime, at first glance, it is about a bunch of highschool kids fighting monsters in cool giant robots. But you need not more than three episodes to understand that it is way deeper than that. It is way more dark, confusing, deeper and gray than that.

The characters all have a dark past, traumas and are far from being heroic. The story hide several hidden agendas from many characters and organizations. The main characters aren't the usual unchangeable characters that most western shows have. They change a lot during the run of the show. It become a great success and launched several trends that anime follow to this date. So, let's start with all the bad things Evangelion left.

The very first thing it made that I really don't like is all the gore. Sure, Akira had a hand in that, but Akira was not the commercial success that Evangelion is. Evangelion set the way for extremely violent shows, like Elfen Lied. And now it seems any show trying to be more 'mature' seems to rely on great quantities of blood, meat masses exploding and killing people in gruesome ways. It is not a sign of maturity, but the fact that the writers cannot seem to think of mature writing, and just add gore instead.

Another bad trending is the one of making insane plots. Many anime trying to be mature put really hard to follow and understand plots, like making the plot a mess is a sign of cleverness. It is not. Confusing the viewer doesn't help to sell a story, it make them hate it. It is the same as the gore, a cheap tactic to make the writing seem more mature, not just lazy.

The third trend it created is the obsessive fans. Evangelion started the trend of obsessive fans collecting all the stuff made about it, fans who cannot shut up about it. Sure, it is not fault of the show per se, but it is an annoying thing. What is fault of the show is the moe trend. Rei and Asuka pretty much started it all, making today's anime filled with cute girls to gather to the obsessive fans.

The last trend I hate, but this one is very particular to me, is the trend of making characters' life hell. I want to watch TV shows and movies to relax. life is already too hard to just sit and see people suffering during twenty minutes. Many shows have being doing it recently. Some do it for the 'realism' (yeah, realism about a show where giant mechas fight monsters) but honestly, I prefer something more lighthearted.

Of course, I would be unfair saying only the bad things. Evangelion have positive influences in the anime world.

It showed that an anime could gather to an older audience, and that old audience could be as profitable as the children. By that, it opened the door to many people to create works trying to aim at people whose classic stories were not enough. We would probably never had animes like Cowboy Bebop if Evangelion wasn't a success.

It also showed that animation could go deeper with its themes, not being locked like western animation in the old cartoon tropes.It could tell stories about human relationships, about philosophy and about human nature, even if superficially at first in Evangelion.

It created a new kind of star. Megumi Hayashibara (Rei's voice) was one of the first voice actresses to become a success outside of the voice acting, becoming a hit singer. This helped the animation to become more than itself.

It helped small studios gain attention and being able to put their shows on TV, as Gainax at the time was not a very big studio. Many were able to create series who weren't as long but that left a mark in the industry.

And finally, it helped expanding anime not only by broadening the audience back in Japan, but by being one of the first animes to gain world wide fame and success. It was to many the first contact to anime, and in many countries is one of the most known and loved shows ever made.

In the end, what happened is what happens with all successful media. The surprising success made several studios trying to find the one reason that made Evangelion a success, copy it and then multiplying one or several factors of it tenfold, hoping that the more 'in your face' attitude could create a similar success, or bigger.

If you are watching any anime made after Evangelion, the chances are you will find lots of influences of it in the show you are watching. Of course some influences are better than others. But for the good and for the bad, even if you didn't liked the show, Evangelion's influence is there. At the same time that it made the anime a bigger industry today, it also created some of its biggest problems.

I love Evangelion, mind you. But it is clear that many of the negative things I see in modern anime comes from it. But love it or hate it, to this date, Evangelion is one of the most influential shows not only in the anime industry, but in several other media. And if you love or hate anime to this day, you can be sure it have Evangelion's influence in it.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Decisions, Decisions, Decisions...

I had played three different games recently who put heavy emphasis in the choices you make. InFamous  2, The Walking Dead and Mass Effect 3. InFamous 2 was a very bipolar experience. You either is evil or good. All black and white. The Walking Dead and Mass Effect where very gray in a lot of its decisions. While Mass Effect sure made my past decisions, some of them tracking back to the very first game, make its weight be felt in the later games, specially the third one, The Walking Dead is still to show me this weight ( I have played only two episodes).

I think it is nice to see games holding players responsible for their decisions, even when they were made a long time ago. And specially when they make it seem a good idea at the time. Like most things in the 80s. And I swear, the mullet hair style should be at least a felony. if you have one, don't delude yourself, you are not cool. No, you aren't.