To say I’m a sporadic gamer would be a considerable overstatement. I used to play a lot of games back in the 90-s and early 00-s, but nowadays? I have a borrowed PS4 I try to play each Sunday night for a few hours. And since games now expect you to spend dozens of hours with them, well - the number I played is not what would constitute any respect amongst gamer bros.
A few months ago, I managed to finish Persona V. I have no idea how - this is easily a 100 endeavor. And the game itself is weird.
It’s a part dating sim, part pokemon-catcher, part j-RPG, part action game, and part stat-grinding game. I had no particular enjoyment of any of those aspects. However, as a whole? As a whole, I had a blast. The modes interchanged frequently enough not to feel tedious (sans the spaceship dungeon, which made me almost drop the game). When I had enough of fighting, I could return to the dating sim. When I had enough of that, I could return to working on my stats. If I had enough of that, I could start one of the countless mini-games and other mechanisms, but I’m 37 now my time is not limitless anymore.
“I’ve finally found a place where I belong.” – Makoto Niijima
But what kept me going were the characters. The primary story is not exciting nor fascinating, but the characters which occupy the game are amazing. They talk and talk (and talk and talk - seriously, 90% of the time spent creating the game had to be put into this gigantic dialogue tree), but I enjoyed every second of this. Even though their characterization is a bit on the simplistic side and each arc seems similar, the way it was told was a marvel; the way the NPCs interact with each other was simply lovable. Mind you, the latest JRPG I’ve played had to be Final Fantasy VII, so real gamers would not be so shocked.