Persona 5 steals my heart, Andromeda gets relief a little too late, and Bayonetta might be coming to the PC.
What was Played
Persona 5, a lot of it. I’ve had my copy for 3 days and I’m already 20 hours in. It’s easily the most polished Persona game, with fantastic visual design and a streamlined combat interface. Persona 5‘s presentation makes P4 and 3 look bland in comparison. The characters are great so far, and I have high hopes for the rest. After only really caring about two characters in Andromeda, having a whole cast that I’m connecting with is an embarrassment of riches. Considering I had never heard the English voice cast, everyone is performing admirably. Persona (and to a lesser extent, Shin Megami Tensei) has been the up and coming jRPG franchise since the late 2000s, and it’s finally obtained the widespread recognition it deserves. Even if you aren’t into this jRPG/anime style this game is worth checking out, and if you ARE into that style of game, you owe it to yourself to check this game out.
Atlus Restricts P5 Streaming and Sharing
However, it will be difficult to check out P5 without seeing it in person. Atlus has made the baffling decision to disable sharing features on the PS4 and added multiple stipulations on what can be streamed or publicly shown. Streamers and YouTubers are find alternate routes to share gameplay, but this choice shows a severe misunderstanding of the current methods players use to discover games. These restrictions include not being to show footage past a certain in-game date, focusing on gameplay instead of cutscenes, etc. Atlus has said the reason for this choice was to minimize the potential of people getting spoiled, but people are accustomed to avoiding spoilers of properties they care about. If I can avoid Game of Thrones Season 6 spoilers for this long, people can avoid spoilers for a niche game. Games like The Walking Dead Season 1, Oxenfree, and Night in the Woods are all narratively focused games that found success in the YouTube and streaming circles, and constricting P5’s ability to join these circles only hurts the game.
Speaking as someone who is a huge fan of the Persona series and has been waiting for this game since November 2013; I was easily able to avoid any kind of spoilers even when people were importing the Japanese release. Saying you’re putting these restrictions on streamers “for the fans” rings hollow, no matter how genuine that intent may be. Atlus’s decision to hamstring their flagship title in this manner makes them look out of touch. Which is a shame since Persona 5 has already shipped over 1.5 million copies worldwide.
NieR: Automata Exceeds 1 Million Copies Shipped
In more upbeat news, P5’s main “OST of 2017” competitor, NieR: Automata has digitally and physically shipped over 1 million copies! Considering the cult-classic appeal of the original I never expected this game to do this well, even with the support of Platinum’s loyal fans. There is going to be a celebratory stream on April 17. Hopefully Square keeps letting Yoko Taro make his beautifully weird games with Platinum since it seems to be a critical and financial success. Perhaps Automata has sold well enough to remaster the original NieR, or even have Platinum remake it.
Mysterious SEGA Bayonetta PC Countdown
Since this was revealed on April 1st, I’m wary of getting too excited for this, but SEGA seems to be teasing a PC release of the original Bayonetta. The countdown is set to end on April 11, so we’ll see if this is true then. Hopefully, if Bayo 1 gets ported we’ll see a 60fps port of Vanquish. Since Nintendo published Bayonetta 2 there is little to no chance of that ever coming to PC.
Mass Effect Andromeda Relief Plan
Announced on April 4 and released April 6, patch 1.05 improved cutscene performance, added options to skip the annoying galaxy map transitions, and several other small improvements. For people who haven’t played the game yet, this is great news, but for those of us who already put in 50-70 hours and beat the main game this is too little too late. Their biggest problems with Andromed wasn’t technical, although those issues didn’t help. Andromeda’s biggest issues are in its characters and world and writing, and those can’t be patched out. Hope springs eternal for the inevitable DLC, but Andromeda is already cemented in the minds of the public and ME fans as a disappointment. But, Bioware promises future patches and DLC will continue to improve the experience, and the promise of quarians and the more obscure races getting time in the spotlight does intrigue me.
(The Last) Persona 5 Update
It’s finally out. It’s finally here. Finally. Out. Finally. Here.
And it looks great, plays great, sounds great, and feels great. This was well worth the wait.
VA-11 HALL-A Update
VA-11 HALL-A still is not available on the Vita.
What’s on the Plate
I’m pretty much just playing Persona 5 in every spare minute I get. Thanks for reading, I hope you have a great weekend, especially if you also got P5. Again, if you enjoy RPGs, “j” or otherwise, to any degree you owe it to yourself to give this game a shot.