Kissed by the Baddest Bidder [ Ota Kisaki Route +sequels ]

Were you interested in playing a Voltage dating sim and figuring out who would be the best love interest period? Stop playing them all, Ota Kisaki is the best. Nothing satisfies me as much as this beautiful sexy man and his beautiful sexy face.

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Ota’s take on winning you in the auction is simple: You’re my pet. If you aren’t aware every route forces a guy to ‘buy’ you in order to cover up their illegal auctions downstairs. Ota has one of the more funny routes but at the same time completely intimate and sexy. I can emphasize this thoroughly: You won’t find much sexier than this dude. I think so far my list of the guys goes Ota -> Soryu -> Eisuke -> Mamoru? I haven’t finished Mamoru’s just yet and Baba’s is next but so far I think Ota and Soryu play their tropes the best.

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As always, a grown man showing he has grown adult urges and appetites appeals to me. Ota’s route has you sleeping with him pretty early and he’s just. .. it’s right. You acknowledge each other in every way and it’s just right! The last time I went, yup, this is a thing is Mitsuru’s route from First Love Diaries. You know who else was this good? Takao from my Forged Wedding (pre his sequels, which ruin his character IMO) and Saeki from the same game. Ota just ranks up there with natural characters.

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Ugh, it’s just amazing to play Ota’s route. He doesn’t suffer from lacksadsical bullshit, you know when things are happening and even when you see it coming you enjoy it. You want to know how he deals with it, and he usually deals with it sexually. That’s so okay. Really, keep doing it. I mean it.

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I will say once again that the main character is a shrinking violet who might want to have sex but never expresses it. I don’t know whether I despise or enjoy that? Would it be so hard for a woman to go ‘damn..I really want to have sex with him he’s so hot’? I mean, if I was trapped in an apartment with Ota Kisaki that’s what I’d be saying.

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Now, I’m an artist. I don’t know if any of you know this, but it’s pretty much my chosen profession and so when there is the rare route where an artist is the focus I’m usually pleased. Then again it’s really hard to say that they always get it right, because Kiyoto’s at time felt more like he was a college kid than an art college kid, there is a huge difference and it’s called four hour classes and every night of needing to study. Ota is a graduated student and so his art and how he spends time with it really resonates as true: He has a studio he visits, he gets art blocks, and he’s naturally happier when he is working on his art.

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IT also rings true that even when an artist stops, they never stop. They have many works they do either paid for or just doodles, just for fun, art that captivates them. Because of how well they portray his profession I’d say out of every single person in Kissed by The Baddest Bidder I genuinely believe Ota is what he says he is and does what he says he does. Eisuke kind of waved his magical finger and did things, Mamo is a crooked cop who also isn’t crooked, Soryu has a profession that’s impossible to judge and the same goes for Baba. The only one left, Ota, is written so well I couldn’t help but buy his sequels. I loved being his pet, getting to know him, sleeping with him, and experiencing his tragedy.

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His sequels get a little sticky. His outright sequel isn’t so bad and offers some insight into him, but how it ends and the nature of Dubai and the entire plot of the Season 2 Living with him is too much. Voltage INC has this issue that sometimes crops up. Either the story they write has so little going on or does a poor job at flowing into our interests, or they’re so concerned about us liking it they shove in an absurd amount of content in order for us to play. With Ichigo in ‘Dreamy Days’ I always felt like he was probably the perfect continued romance: you knew each other as kids, found each other, he went abroad, you stayed faithful, you kept your love alive, you moved in together, and you’ll definitely get married and MAYBE VOLTAGE WILL LET ME HAVE MY DREAMS AND GET YOU PREGNANT AAAGH, but Ota? He’s an artist! So what do they think they have to do?

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Go freaking overboard. Ota gets a job at the freaking Olympics and it becomes political and convoluted and I don’t want to see that! Playing living the him for Ota was actually kind of painful. There was so much drama and the new character’s were so blatant in their desire to screw you over I just couldn’t help but sigh. Sometimes the main character is a genius who thinks up solutions, but the main character in the Ota route is far from it. Where was she in the original going to the press to save Ota’s reputation? She just begged him not to. All she had to do to be really cunning and create drama for every single sequel was say this: “I have been sabotaging Ota, I told everyone about his paintings because I wanted to ruin his reputation, I’ve been working with (the woman who stole his artwork) to ruin him.”

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Ota would know immediately this isn’t the truth and that you sabotaged yourself for him. He’d both be furious and know he owed you a great debt, and it would force you to deal with the fact that the media would never accept you two together. Sometimes Voltage needs to stop trying too hard and writing absurd stories like going to the Olympics or Dubai and just work with a smaller but equally dramatic and cool story. You don’t have to amp it up to a million to make a story anxiety ridden but also absurdly endearing. It’s a problem with most novels, a desire to keep every character pristine without dealing with the issues.

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Ota doesn’t need that. HE IS PERFECT. NOTHING CAN TARNISH MY PRECIOUS. Even though there are awkward parts, I can do nothing but recommend this route. Buy this cutie and the CGs are really worth it in the sequel, plus if you get the good and not the happy ending you learn just how freaking great the bidders are all together and the reason why everyone loves this game: At the end of the day you’re now best buddies with a bunch of rich egomaniacs who could probably tap dance on the President’s dinner and get away with it. Seriously, these guys are freaking hilarious.

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Guys. ANGELIC ARTIST. ANGELIC ARTIST. So for Voltage, Ota gets a resounding 9 out of 10, his sequels fetching an 8 out of 10 and a 7 out of 10 respectively.

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yes….yes I do.

Oki

Pokemon ORAS [7.8 too much water, just kidding.]


pokemon-oras-cover (1)
I’m going to be the first person to admit that I never liked Hoenn in the old games, it was my least favorite region for a multitude of reasons. [Least fav starters, bad evil teams, too much water, ect.] So when the remakes were announced I was like, “Oh great, that thing I never wanted” but being a fan of the Pokemon series I owed it to Nintendo to go back and give Hoenn a fighting chance, maybe the remakes would make me not hate it, maybe I could come out saying “Hey, that wasn’t so bad.” So i sucked up my pride and pre-ordered myself a copy of Alpha Sapphire. Upon booting up the game I realized, MY MEMORY OF THIS GAME IS HORRID!

I can’t even name half the gym leaders, much less any of the elite four. I remember the Team leaders names but that’s from years of sheer unadulterated loathing! How did the plot go again?

I DON’T REMEMBER! I remember showing up in a moving truck and Norman being your Dad, that’s like…it. So basically I noticed I would be playing this game all over for the first time for the most part.

Now, what did I think of it? Honestly? I loved it. There were a lot of small details to this game that made me really happy. First off, the graphics are amazing, half the time I can hardly convince myself I’m playing a Pokemon game with how lovely everything looks. Second, cut scenes, yes you heard me right. Pokemon, with cut scenes.

One that really stands out in my mind is when you reach the end of Petalburg Woods and it cuts to the Aqua Grunt you just beat calling their superior, I nearly burst out into tears. One of my favorite things about Pokemon is their evil organizations and getting just to see something as small as that, giving us insight into how they work was a huge treat.

The plot was a lot more polished and finished then I remember it being before as well, everything fell into place and for the first time ever I found myself not hating Team Aqua or screaming about how stupid their plan was. Why? What changed? Was it the way they put more depth to Archies character? How everyone responded when Kyogre did start the huge downpour? I can’t say for sure but as completely jaded as I was against these teams I expected to hate them a whole hell of a lot more then I did.
The after game also had a really interesting and engaging plot going on to get you to Rayquaza and Deoxys.

ORAS of course plays pretty much like your typical Pokemon game, integrating things from the new game into the old. New things that were kept include Super Training and Pokemon-Amie, though we lose the roller skates and the ability to customize our characters. [-sobs softly-] We gain Pokemon contests and Secret bases which were some of the staples of the original Sapphire and Ruby games. I haven’t done much with my secret base yet so I don’t have much room to comment on how that works I have run a few Pokemon through the contests. Somehow, they seem easier then I recall perhaps that’s just my bad memory of the game though.

One thing does bug me about the contest though, THESE THINGS, these ugly ass outfits! I mean, the contests are fun, the cosplay pikachu you get is adorable but what are these?! An absolute fashion disaster that’s what! If we couldn’t have customization anywhere else in the game we could of at least had it during the contests so we wouldn’t have to look like freaks! I’m not sure which outfit is worse, the ugly tutu that the girl is wearing or the….1970’s vomit that the guy is stuck with.

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Something I know is easier is making Poke’blocks, there used to be a mini game to create your poke’blocks but now it’s as easy as popping four berries into the blender and hoping it will spit out the poke’block you want, I saw some kind of guide on how to make them so I guess there is some kind of skill to it but honestly it was never a function I was a huge fan of, call me when we’re mixing up poffins in Sinnoh.

Another new thing that transferred over from the new games was the new experience share. I know this bothered a lot of people since they claim it makes the game too easy, but as a person who plays Pokemon casually I think it’s the greatest invention since the Pokemon Storage system. That being said however, I feel like the challenge level of this game was relatively low, I can’t recall being overly threatened by any of the gym leaders and I laughed at every Team Aqua battle and took out their pokemon with one magical leaf or psychic attack. The only battles that I struggled with at all at first were the elite four and the champion.
[Mega Metagross is evil and needs to be burned.]

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Another new feature that you get near the end of the game is the Eon Flute, which allows you to summon the Latios/Latias you were given earlier in the game from anywhere and fly around the skies of Hoenn might be the most wonderful thing ever. It totally eliminates the need for the HM for fly. which is a good thing because that brings me to my biggest complaint of this game.

SO MANY HM’S! You need surf, you need Dive, you need Waterfall, you need Cut, you need Rock Smash, you need Strength…. I can’t even with this. I know this is the way it used to be but gonna be rather honest with you, didn’t miss it. I ended up with two HM slaves on my team just to accommodate all of the HM’s I needed just to get through the main story line. I should not need two HM slaves just to finish the main story.

TOO MANY, DON'T LIKE!

TOO MANY, DON’T LIKE!

That aside, everything in this game was really spot on. I have a whole new view of Hoenn, I like it a lot better then I did before and i’m hoping for more remakes like this is the future.

Can you imagine Team Galactic blowing up a lake in these high res graphics? That’s the things my nightmares are made of and of course, my largest dream would be to see the Kanto region done like this. Can you imagine having cut scenes with Team Rocket and interacting more with Giovanni? I would sob my eyes out in happiness.
Overall, this was a great experience that gave me a whole new view of a game I previously hated. Oh and IGN can suck it, there wasn’t too much water! There was actually LESS water then i remember there being…at least I think there was…maybe the same amount.

Maybe…

~Midnight


SAVAGE

So, I come from a rather different perspective from my pal Midnight. For one, Gen 3 is one of my favorite if not my favorite generation of pokemon. It was the last gen I played with my dad (who was pretty much the only other person who played pokemon with me at the time), and it was the time for me when a brand new pokemon game was still fresh and new. Its also one I played with the most often, since I lacked pretty much anything else to do at that point in my life. So, overall, I came in to ORAS with very high expectations. And?

I will say this-it definitely feels like Hoenn. It captures the feel of the old games, and the new things seem to fit in perfectly. The entire game feels very familiar and fills me with all kinds of nostalgia. In addition, the new designs, graphics, and other gameplay elements really worked great for the game. Things like Flannery being so adorkable and Wally being so frail, the new designs and the ways the characters are animated just do so much better to give the characters and places personality. As for the new elements to the story, I really like them too. The new motivations for Magma and Aqua, the new stuff with Steven, the entire Delta episode all were great and added so much more to the game’s story, which was pretty ambitious to begin with. However, I will say I don’t really like Zinnia…she just really annoys me with how high and mighty she is about everything. But hey, that’s one part.

In terms of gameplay stuff, there was a lot to like. I really like the tip-toe and pokenav feature, so you can find pokemon with egg moves with just a little bit of patience rather than chain breeding things. The Eon Flute was also just a brilliant new addition, as it makes flying around so much easier…pretty much making the HM Fly utterly obsolete. Supertraining and pokemon amie are still here, and they remain great. However, there are some issues I found with the game, part of them dealing with some things that are a little too old fashioned. Having separate poke centers and poke marts is a small thing, but it does get a bit on the annoying side at times. Also, one thing that did change I’m not happy about is that the Safari zone…isn’t even the safari zone anymore. Its nice to catch pokemon by battling and your own poke balls, but there isn’t that sense of variety. Though now I remember, the old Safari Zone in Gen 3 wasn’t that amazing either. I do like the Mirage Islands and the new way to catch legendaries. With nearly every legendary absent from X and Y, you can catch so many. Though I find it funny some legendaries are so easy to capture, but the Golems remain just as they were, incredibly complex riddles to get to them all.

I will say, my first play through was a Nuzlocke, and it was very rewarding in terms of difficulty. The game without exp all remains tough, and while I had a good mid-point, I was nearly destroyed the 8th badge and onward. Seriously, Wallace’s Milotic is a freaking nightmare. But with alot of determination…and using two pokemon pretty much to take on the Elite Four, I succeeded. It reminded me of the challenge there was in the original Ruby and Sapphire, and I’m quite happy after you beat the Elite Four, they get bumped up to be even more powerful.

Overall, these games are fun, nice, and most significantly, beautiful. Gamefreak really put their all to make everything look amazing and it does. The scenery, the birds, the water, the character designs, it all works awesomely. Its been fun seeing the remakes of the games, and while they didn’t add an insane bunch of new features, or even some features people loved in X and Y, they made sure this was an incredibly well done remake. If you’re a pokemon fan..you probably have it already, but really if you don’t you should get it. Its just a lot of fun and I can’t wait to see what other surprises the game may show next.

~Savage

Pokemon ORAS [7.8 too much water, just kidding.]


pokemon-oras-cover (1)
I’m going to be the first person to admit that I never liked Hoenn in the old games, it was my least favorite region for a multitude of reasons. [Least fav starters, bad evil teams, too much water, ect.] So when the remakes were announced I was like, “Oh great, that thing I never wanted” but being a fan of the Pokemon series I owed it to Nintendo to go back and give Hoenn a fighting chance, maybe the remakes would make me not hate it, maybe I could come out saying “Hey, that wasn’t so bad.” So i sucked up my pride and pre-ordered myself a copy of Alpha Sapphire. Upon booting up the game I realized, MY MEMORY OF THIS GAME IS HORRID!

I can’t even name half the gym leaders, much less any of the elite four. I remember the Team leaders names but that’s from years of sheer unadulterated loathing! How did the plot go again?

I DON’T REMEMBER! I remember showing up in a moving truck and Norman being your Dad, that’s like…it. So basically I noticed I would be playing this game all over for the first time for the most part.

Now, what did I think of it? Honestly? I loved it. There were a lot of small details to this game that made me really happy. First off, the graphics are amazing, half the time I can hardly convince myself I’m playing a Pokemon game with how lovely everything looks. Second, cut scenes, yes you heard me right. Pokemon, with cut scenes.

One that really stands out in my mind is when you reach the end of Petalburg Woods and it cuts to the Aqua Grunt you just beat calling their superior, I nearly burst out into tears. One of my favorite things about Pokemon is their evil organizations and getting just to see something as small as that, giving us insight into how they work was a huge treat.

The plot was a lot more polished and finished then I remember it being before as well, everything fell into place and for the first time ever I found myself not hating Team Aqua or screaming about how stupid their plan was. Why? What changed? Was it the way they put more depth to Archies character? How everyone responded when Kyogre did start the huge downpour? I can’t say for sure but as completely jaded as I was against these teams I expected to hate them a whole hell of a lot more then I did.
The after game also had a really interesting and engaging plot going on to get you to Rayquaza and Deoxys.

ORAS of course plays pretty much like your typical Pokemon game, integrating things from the new game into the old. New things that were kept include Super Training and Pokemon-Amie, though we lose the roller skates and the ability to customize our characters. [-sobs softly-] We gain Pokemon contests and Secret bases which were some of the staples of the original Sapphire and Ruby games. I haven’t done much with my secret base yet so I don’t have much room to comment on how that works I have run a few Pokemon through the contests. Somehow, they seem easier then I recall perhaps that’s just my bad memory of the game though.

One thing does bug me about the contest though, THESE THINGS, these ugly ass outfits! I mean, the contests are fun, the cosplay pikachu you get is adorable but what are these?! An absolute fashion disaster that’s what! If we couldn’t have customization anywhere else in the game we could of at least had it during the contests so we wouldn’t have to look like freaks! I’m not sure which outfit is worse, the ugly tutu that the girl is wearing or the….1970’s vomit that the guy is stuck with.

hero_heroine_contest

Something I know is easier is making Poke’blocks, there used to be a mini game to create your poke’blocks but now it’s as easy as popping four berries into the blender and hoping it will spit out the poke’block you want, I saw some kind of guide on how to make them so I guess there is some kind of skill to it but honestly it was never a function I was a huge fan of, call me when we’re mixing up poffins in Sinnoh.

Another new thing that transferred over from the new games was the new experience share. I know this bothered a lot of people since they claim it makes the game too easy, but as a person who plays Pokemon casually I think it’s the greatest invention since the Pokemon Storage system. That being said however, I feel like the challenge level of this game was relatively low, I can’t recall being overly threatened by any of the gym leaders and I laughed at every Team Aqua battle and took out their pokemon with one magical leaf or psychic attack. The only battles that I struggled with at all at first were the elite four and the champion.
[Mega Metagross is evil and needs to be burned.]

mega-metagross

Another new feature that you get near the end of the game is the Eon Flute, which allows you to summon the Latios/Latias you were given earlier in the game from anywhere and fly around the skies of Hoenn might be the most wonderful thing ever. It totally eliminates the need for the HM for fly. which is a good thing because that brings me to my biggest complaint of this game.

SO MANY HM’S! You need surf, you need Dive, you need Waterfall, you need Cut, you need Rock Smash, you need Strength…. I can’t even with this. I know this is the way it used to be but gonna be rather honest with you, didn’t miss it. I ended up with two HM slaves on my team just to accommodate all of the HM’s I needed just to get through the main story line. I should not need two HM slaves just to finish the main story.

TOO MANY, DON'T LIKE!

TOO MANY, DON’T LIKE!

That aside, everything in this game was really spot on. I have a whole new view of Hoenn, I like it a lot better then I did before and i’m hoping for more remakes like this is the future.

Can you imagine Team Galactic blowing up a lake in these high res graphics? That’s the things my nightmares are made of and of course, my largest dream would be to see the Kanto region done like this. Can you imagine having cut scenes with Team Rocket and interacting more with Giovanni? I would sob my eyes out in happiness.
Overall, this was a great experience that gave me a whole new view of a game I previously hated. Oh and IGN can suck it, there wasn’t too much water! There was actually LESS water then i remember there being…at least I think there was…maybe the same amount.

Maybe…

~Midnight


SAVAGE

So, I come from a rather different perspective from my pal Midnight. For one, Gen 3 is one of my favorite if not my favorite generation of pokemon. It was the last gen I played with my dad (who was pretty much the only other person who played pokemon with me at the time), and it was the time for me when a brand new pokemon game was still fresh and new. Its also one I played with the most often, since I lacked pretty much anything else to do at that point in my life. So, overall, I came in to ORAS with very high expectations. And?

I will say this-it definitely feels like Hoenn. It captures the feel of the old games, and the new things seem to fit in perfectly. The entire game feels very familiar and fills me with all kinds of nostalgia. In addition, the new designs, graphics, and other gameplay elements really worked great for the game. Things like Flannery being so adorkable and Wally being so frail, the new designs and the ways the characters are animated just do so much better to give the characters and places personality. As for the new elements to the story, I really like them too. The new motivations for Magma and Aqua, the new stuff with Steven, the entire Delta episode all were great and added so much more to the game’s story, which was pretty ambitious to begin with. However, I will say I don’t really like Zinnia…she just really annoys me with how high and mighty she is about everything. But hey, that’s one part.

In terms of gameplay stuff, there was a lot to like. I really like the tip-toe and pokenav feature, so you can find pokemon with egg moves with just a little bit of patience rather than chain breeding things. The Eon Flute was also just a brilliant new addition, as it makes flying around so much easier…pretty much making the HM Fly utterly obsolete. Supertraining and pokemon amie are still here, and they remain great. However, there are some issues I found with the game, part of them dealing with some things that are a little too old fashioned. Having separate poke centers and poke marts is a small thing, but it does get a bit on the annoying side at times. Also, one thing that did change I’m not happy about is that the Safari zone…isn’t even the safari zone anymore. Its nice to catch pokemon by battling and your own poke balls, but there isn’t that sense of variety. Though now I remember, the old Safari Zone in Gen 3 wasn’t that amazing either. I do like the Mirage Islands and the new way to catch legendaries. With nearly every legendary absent from X and Y, you can catch so many. Though I find it funny some legendaries are so easy to capture, but the Golems remain just as they were, incredibly complex riddles to get to them all.

I will say, my first play through was a Nuzlocke, and it was very rewarding in terms of difficulty. The game without exp all remains tough, and while I had a good mid-point, I was nearly destroyed the 8th badge and onward. Seriously, Wallace’s Milotic is a freaking nightmare. But with alot of determination…and using two pokemon pretty much to take on the Elite Four, I succeeded. It reminded me of the challenge there was in the original Ruby and Sapphire, and I’m quite happy after you beat the Elite Four, they get bumped up to be even more powerful.

Overall, these games are fun, nice, and most significantly, beautiful. Gamefreak really put their all to make everything look amazing and it does. The scenery, the birds, the water, the character designs, it all works awesomely. Its been fun seeing the remakes of the games, and while they didn’t add an insane bunch of new features, or even some features people loved in X and Y, they made sure this was an incredibly well done remake. If you’re a pokemon fan..you probably have it already, but really if you don’t you should get it. Its just a lot of fun and I can’t wait to see what other surprises the game may show next.

~Savage

First Impressions: Persona Q Shadow of the Labyrinth (3DS)

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From left to right: Ken (P3), Zen, Rise (P4), Rei and Fuuka (P3). Zen and Rei are brand new characters exclusive to PQ.

First impressions on the first Persona game for the Nintendo 3DS, Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth!

Sidekick’s First Impressions

Note: I’m totally NOT a video game expert (I barely play anything aside from JRPGs), just a very passionate Persona fan. I have also never touched the Etrian Odyssey series. As such, this post is just me sharing some of the thoughts I have regarding Persona Q as a Persona fan, and is in no way supposed to be a serious ‘review’. Also, this post is spoiler-free, so if you haven’t played the game yet, no worries!

As I’m writing this post, I’ve just finished clearing my first dungeon in Persona Q and have clocked about 12 hours of playtime playing in the Persona 3-centered route, playing on hard for 3 hours or so before chickening out and sticking with Normal mode.

To my fellow Persona Fans

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Please don’t come in expecting this game to play like P3 or P4. They honestly play very differently. This totally doesn’t mean that Persona Q is an awful game though, just that you’re not going to like this game for the same reasons why you liked P3 or P4.

You’re gonna have to dungeon crawl the old-school style – first person perspectives with grid-like movements, and CARTOGRAPHY. OH MY GOD, CARTOGRAPHY. I never thought I’d have to play a game where I’d have to draw maps. Personally though, it is a lot more fun and satisfying than I expected! It does require more patience than your usual Persona dungeon of course, but for the most part the added challenge was ridiculously satisfying. The feeling of completing exploration of the floor and seeing that 100% on the screen is just so wonderful.

Also, you’re going to have to solve puzzles in dungeons so you can’t just rush into areas and fight whatever comes your way. This is especially so with the presence of FOEs (they originate from the Etrian games) – kind of like mid-bosses, but ridiculously tough and difficult. It’s always recommended you escape fighting them. You will have to read the patterns of their movements and act accordingly to try and avoid them. There was one room in the 3rd floor of the first dungeon that was absolute HELL for me because there were THREE FOEs I had to avoid. I spent about 2 hours trying to work my way around it before I gave in and forced my way through by defeating one of the FOEs, lol.

There is still a semblance of the enemy exploitation system (This includes all-out attacks that are still a thing! Yay!) as well as Persona fusion though, so its not all unfamiliar stuff.

However, if you have been a more long-time Persona and Shin Megami Tensei fan, you’re going to find yourself in some very familiar ground. The gameplay style has remnants of the old Persona 1 and Persona 2 games, as well as the original Shin Megami Tensei games (namely SMT AND SMT2), except with less monster encounter rate, so no more of that walking for 3 steps and bumping into a Shadow nonsense.

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Aigis <3

My biggest gripe with the game is surprisingly not the first-person perspective dungeons, but actually the replacement of the Social Link system for the Stroll system. The best part of Persona was always knowing that the stuff you do outside of Tartarus/TV world would amount to something and was truly significant, creating a kind of unique balance other games wish they had. In Persona Q though, the Stroll system is kind of just…there. It’s just a cosmetic addition to the game that frankly isn’t that significant in regards to the story.

Conversations you unlock in Stroll are in GROUPS, meaning no 1-to-1, personal time with your favourite character. They kinda all just hang out in groups of 4-5 and chat, and you join in as the protagonist. It’s understandable considering the size of the cast, but was still a letdown. The worst part about this is that, just like the characters being cute little caricatures of their usual appearances, they were kind of caricatures of themselves. Most of them are reduced to shadows (hah) of their usual selves – the game relies on very one-note characterization where one character’s entire personality is reliant on like one or two ‘quirky’ traits. The biggest offenders of this are Teddie and Chie from Persona 4, as well as Shinjiro and Akihiko from Persona 3. Teddie’s existential and identity crises are totally never mentioned and he instead just hits on the girls a lot and makes a couple of bear puns here and there. Chie only talks about meat. Akihiko is characterized by his undying love for protein and dumb man-baby arguments with Shinjiro (they are amusing though, to be fair), and Shinjiro just has the man-baby arguments. The characters are still kinda the same, but they’re also not. They lack the nuance and depth they had. I’m not saying I wanted to see all their character arcs in PQ, that’s impossible. I just wish they’d try to add more subtlety in the writing.

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Still, as fanservice (which is like the main aim of this game, obviously) the Stroll system definitely works. Sure, there aren’t anymore deep conversations about identity or whatever, but for the most part Persona’s unique brand of humor is still very much present, and its always fun to see your favourite characters interact with one another. I was personally just happy to reunite with the Persona characters and spend time with them again, even if the in-game conversations are a lacking in depth. (Btw, I got teary-eyed seeing Aigis and Shinjiro again. That is how much I missed them ;_;)

The game is also more stylistically similar to Persona than Etrian Odyssey, with some creepy, trippy dungeon designs, brightly coloured menus and whatnot. Shoji Meguro was in charge of composing the OST again, so more Lotus Juice Persona music goodness. There’s a great mix of remixed old tracks as well as brand new tracks, all of which sound bloody amazing. I forgot how good Persona music is.

I had to physically divorce myself from my 3DS; this post is just an excuse for me to get away from the game. So yeah, I love it. Definitely two thumbs up from me so far.

Bottom Line: This game was made for me, though for different reasons than what I had expected. If you really hate puzzles and drawing maps, this game may not be for you. Also, this game is MUCH tougher than your usual Persona game, so be ready for a challenge. (Though we all know how piss-easy Persona 4 Golden is….that stuff spoils you.)

My suggestion to non-Persona fans: Honestly, this is not where you should start, whether you’re interested in Etrian Odyssey or Persona (I’d assume most of you are in the latter group). Unless you just really, reaaaally want a challenge, I can’t recommend this game to you. You’d be heavily missing out on the story elements, and the battle system, being a hybrid of the two…you might as well just start off playing either the Persona or Etrian Odyssey games and come back later.

Like seriously, Etrian Odyssey is often on sale on the Nintendo eShop (ATLUS games are almost ALWAYS on sale so look out for them!) and there are demos available for you to try the franchise out. As for Persona, you can get Persona 3 AND Persona 4 for $10 each under PS2 classics. If you have a Vita like me you can play Persona 3 Portable and Persona 4 Golden, which are also totally OK ways to play Persona.

Bottom Line: Just, nah. Play EO and/or Persona, then come back later.

My suggestion to Etrian Odyssey fans: This game is a bit of a hard sell, but gameplay mechanics are familiar stuff so if that’s all you care about then I think it’s good to go right ahead. It is noticeably easier than the EO demos I played though, and there’s a lot more hand-holding through the experience in Persona Q than in the EO demos. If you want to get the most out of it though, with the story and everything, then of course it is recommended to play P3 and P4 first.

First Love Diaries [Mitsuru Sanada Route]

When I first saw Mitsuru in the prologue I did not want to own him. Recently, I bought him on a whim thinking ‘what can it hurt? It might be fun watching him be a jerk’. Ladies and gentlemen, my freaking husband.

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This route is my favorite in the game. Freaking stupid amazing megane guy! I had you and your PERFECTION. YOU’RE PERFECTION. /frames Mitsuru’s face/ I LOVE EVERYTHING ABOUT THIS ROUTE! Normally there is at least one thing boring me about a route that I have to slog through in order to get back to the good stuff. Nope! I love every moment of this smarmy dork bunny loving bastard’s route. I love him so much I can’t stand it! I’m seriously fangirling over here, ugh!

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This guy is such a dork, and I do not say that just because he is a study hard type of guy. No, this guy is adorable. He has no idea of love or relationships and is harsh on the concept, but once you get to him he’s just adorbs. I think he wants to hate those things but given he is too young, he doesnt have the experience necessary to just push away a girl he actually likes. One of my favorite scenes is when he forces you to study because ‘his girlfriend has to have a degree of intelligence’ and then he turns around later and is like. . . “omg. . .see bunnies with me.”

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I shit you not! He uses you to get to pet bunnies! He is the most awkwardly amazing thing I’ve ever seen. Not once while playing this route did I feel bored or uninterested. He teases you, taunts you, forces you to study, drags you to places with bunnies, and deep down he is a softy who wants to become a vet. His father disapproves and wants him to inherit the hospital he owns, but he knows only one thing will make him happy.

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I will say I feel the main character is a wibbling waifu. Her main existence is to help support him through to his decisions. I will say a lot of games have that, but I don’t know if it’s bad? You do think about your future, you just aren’t sure. I can’t judge Voltage for making their characters act like real people are, few teenagers are sure of what they want. Not to mention that they do usually give women careers and have them think on what they want to do- it is nice to see someone support their love interest and also consider their future because of them.

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Mitsuru is such a good route, I hate to explain it all away. He develops a lot from start to finish and his beginning is absolutely adorable. Gah, everything about this dork is completely enthralling. You sleep with him faster than the others, his atmosphere is more sensual and mature, he still maintains his age and develops and grows with you, he is a sweety who loves DOGS AND BUNNIES AND EVERYTHING!!! He makes you study, he is standoffish and so fun to win over. All I can do about this guy is GUSH!

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I cannot recommend this route ENOUGH. If you like otome games and sweet romances, Mitsuru will piss you off only to turn your heart into jello. He LOVES PUPPIES! AND BUNNIES! AND YOU, HE REALLY LIKES YOU!

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Route comes built in with paternal approval, steamy scenes, heart breaking puppies, and an enormously big dork who loves you.

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Oki