4 reviews liked by Evoker

All the way back in 2017, I played Persona 5. I picked it up on a whim the day after it released, because my friend loves the Persona series and recommended I get into it, and not too long after I was hooked. That same friend also gave me SMT4 around that same time and I didn't really get into at all. But it did get me more interested in Megaten as a whole. Fast forward to the Summer, I go to TooManyGames 2017. I remember seeing the Persona 5 collectors edition, man good times. Ah anyways, I also stumbled upon Persona 3 FES and Persona 4 inside a glass cabinet along with some other Megaten games. Naturally of them all, I was most interested in P3 and P4 seeing as I was a huge fan of 5. Knowing the price of the Raidou games, I wish I picked those up then since they were only $30 but in the end I bought both FES and P4. Oh, not at the convention btw. I bought them off eBay the day after cuz I realized you could get them for cheaper there. Anyways, to this day I still haven't touched vanilla P4 since I played Golden. But FES, I picked up and dropped several times over the years. I really don't know why it wasn't grabbing me but the furthest I ever until this most recent playthrough was the first full moon operation on the subway. Either way, I can say I've finally beaten Persona 3 FES and I'm happy to say I ended up enjoying it overall.

Let's start with the story. I think overall, it's good and has some really fantastic moments. The beginning scene where the MC awakens to his Persona, to the whole turning point in Junpei's arc near the end of the game (if you know you know) to the whole last hour or two. There's some super good moments throughout the game, I just wish the story's pacing was better. After the MC's awakening in the beginning, I found the story to be super slow up until the middle of the game where it starts picking up again. Then near the end before the grand finale I found it dragged a bit. Pacing-wise, I thought it was the worst of the nusona games but specific moment-wise it's some of the best in the series. I do think the whole theme of facing death head on and not being afraid of it and making the most of life is super strong though, especially in the end-game. They really hammer that theme into you by the end but it works really well.

The main cast is solid overall but it can be a mixed bag. I really liked Akihiko, Yukari, Junpei and Aigis by the end of the game. They all felt really fleshed out and I just liked them the most. Mitsuru is decent but I expected her to be better, idk why I found her somewhat bland. Fuuka and Ken are the definitely the weakest party members imo and a big part of that, besides just not caring about their characters as much, was their voice acting. This game has really solid voice acting (the 4 characters I listed at the beginning) and then it has some really awful voice acting (Fuuka, Ken, Shinjiro, the chairman). Fuuka especially man, she sounded more robotic than Aigis it's crazy. This no doubt took me out of the story a bit just cuz those 4 are so prominent. Oh and can't forget Koromaru, interesting that he's the only normal animal sidekick in which he doesnt actually speak but he's a good boy nonetheless.

Going into more of the game's characters, let's talk about the social links. They're a bit more hit or miss in this game compared to 4 and 5. Akinari may be the best social link in the entire series with how good it is. I was tearing up in literally every rank, no doubt due to the music that plays during it. Yukari, Maiko and Chihiro were probably my favorites then after Akinari. I didn't even think Gourmet King's was bad like some people say considering his whole backstory and everything making me sympathize with him. However, a lot of the others I just thought were decent, very meh or just straight up bad. The worst by far was Kenji's, one of the worst in the series imo and just such a nothing Social Link. Same with Bebe, just did absolutely nothing for me. I didn't love 4's social links either but I think overall they're better in that game, especially since there's no male party member SL in 3. Yeah that's a weird omission, along with being forced to romance all the school girl social links, just overall the weakest of the nusona social links imo. It's not a terrible first try at the social aspect tho, but it's clear it's the first game to try to tackle it. 5 definitely has the best social links I think even if there are a couple duds in that game as well.

Something I actually dissed on stupidly was the game's soundtrack. Idk what was wrong with me but I originally just thought it was out right bad (besides battle for everyone's souls) but have since realized it's actually a super great ost, liking it so much now I think I like it more than 4's soundtrack. 5 is still easily my favorite but never did I think I'd like 3's ost more than 4's. Some of my favorite songs were the aforementioned Battle For Everyone's Souls, Joy, Living With Determination, Memories of the City and many more. Honestly, absolutely insane how much my opinion on the OST changed but I'm super glad I can see now why people love it so much.

Just a couple of random things I liked before I get into the combat. I really like that in part with the theme of death, every single party member experiences the loss of a friend or relative throughout the story. It really makes the dorm's friendship more believable since they can all relate to each other. The 2nd awakenings are easily the best in the nusona games simply because they aren't tied to the social links and are apart of the main story. Really felt impactful, especially Junpei's goddamn man. Also really enjoyed the atmosphere, mostly in the Dark Hour and Tartarus. Seeing how each Tartarus block would look was fun.

Speaking of Tartarus, it's one of the most contentious aspects of the game (along with tactics of course). Some people really love it and some people despise it. Me? It's not terrible but it's definitely the worse of the Nusona dungeons imo (yes I like 4's more) and probably the worst of the PS2 megaten games in terms of its dungeons. Absolutely does not touch DDS1's dungeons for example, but I didn't hate it overall. At first, I was just not getting into it but after a while you get used to the flow of doing a bunch of floors, then social link stuff then Tartarus and repeat. Near the middle of the game is where I was sort of getting burnt out on it a bit, especially since you do have to grind in this game and around that point I feel like enemies weren't giving great exp. Maybe I was over leveled then, idk but near the end game I was getting loads more exp and my personas were actually good so I got over my burn out near the middle of the game. Either way, Tartarus is just meh imo. Thematically it works but gameplay wise it leaves a lot to be desired.

Funnily enough, I ended up thinking more positively on tactics this time around. I still definitely prefer controlling your party members, but tactics works really well for the most part. You just have to not be dumb and engage in the mechanic. If you simply set your party to act freely all the time, then yeah they're gonna do whatever and are more prone to do stupid shit. But if you set them accordingly then I don't see the issue at all really. In fact I found it fun the more tactics you got as you progressed. Though, one issue I personally had is when I want a group heal from Yukari. Someone is super low on health, while the others aren't as low but are still missing a chunk of their health. If only one party member has less than 50% of their health, then she'll single target them and that's it. In that case, I'd want to be able to control my party members but that was about it really. One more still doesn't touch press turn imo, and I'd take controllable party members over tactics I'd say but this game clearly is built around tactics and it works really well.

Honestly, super glad I ended up enjoying FES, even if it's my least favorite nusona and my least favorite PS2 Megaten game. I was expecting to actually dislike this one cuz that's how I felt the few times I tried to get into it. It has its faults but it also has its highs and yeah I recommend playing this even with Reload out now. It may fix some of this games issues idk, but this is still a good time I'd say. Going onto almost 7 years since I got into Persona and Megaten as a whole and I'm just happy to say I've beaten all the nusona games now!

I don't follow the NBA very closely so I tend to buy 2k every other year or so, and this year's 2k is like every year I buy 2k: whatever the newest 2k is is the best basketball video game there's ever been.

I don't want to sound too hyperbolic or anything; there's stuff in here that I don't like. But when it comes to the pure on-the-court basketball? Whatever the newest 2k is the best it's ever been.

Are the newest 2ks my favorite basketball games? It's tough to say, but probably no--that would go to Dunk Kids I think.

Basketball is a skill game--it's tough and wonderful and joyful to watch; I think spiritually it's America's soccer. But the sort of individual skill we see our favorite players display is incredibly had to replicate unless you've got a powerful engine. It's why, for as much as I love NBA Jam, you don't get to feel like those guys like you do in every newest 2k.

If you like basketball, grab this and have a blast. It's incredibly easy to ignore the obnoxious microtransaction stuff.

Greatest video game I’ve ever played in my existence. Music, gameplay, story, everything is a 10. Game saved my life fr