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    I play video games, I buy and listen to music of all sorts, I mess around on an acoustic guitar, I own video capture and editing software, I randomly dance around at any opportunity, spend time out shopping for more music/games/film or seeing folk...the usual, really.

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  1. Qazimod

    Let's Play: Persona (1996)

    As mentioned in my lil' edit up there, my party members are now the most charming bunch of individuals in the Mana Castle. As much as I feel like the range of traits and responses could do with cutting down in this game, there's still something satisfying about getting an enemy's spell card and then talking them into fleeing any future encounter (so long as you have that card) - the more cards you gain, the more you can trim down encounter time. Anyway... since I saved in the Black Market last time, I first have to walk a couple of screens into the Mana Castle, but entering it with a near-complete map and fewer threats to worry about means that it doesn't take long to reach the end of the fifth floor. There are a few enemy types on later floors that I didn't negotiate with (because I couldn't hold any more spell cards) so for these I choose to flee, as I'd like to use as little SP as possible before the inevitable boss encounter. As we reach the last door of the fifth floor we find Aki, Kandori and a body on the floor. The one on the floor is Reiji, a St. Hermelin transfer student. There's no time to find out what happened, however, as Nanjo, Brown and Mark immediately want to throw down. Maki tries to talk sense into Aki and persuade her that Kandori is not her "Daddy", but she's not convinced. Maki then asks for the key for the pedestal, but instead Aki hands it to Kandori, and then shouts an incantation which makes a mirror materialise. We're then treated to an FMV where the mirror shows an image of Mikage-cho being blasted by energy, shortly before a castle materialises in the space created by the blast. Kandori explains that this is Deva Yuga, his "new castle", and its creation is possible thanks to this mirror (dubbed the "Chaos Mirror".) The mirror is essentially the logical conclusion of the shenanigans made possible with the Deva System and the compact halves, and Kandori claims that he is destined to become a god and rule over humanity. As a show of power, he blasts Mark and Nanjo with bolts of energy then makes his escape, but not before summoning a new boss in the form of Saurva. This battle begins with Mark and Nanjo at low HP due to the aforementioned energy bolts, but for the moment it's a single-enemy battle, so I have an advantage with the number of turns at my disposal. Magic attacks generally don't do a whole lot of damage to it, but Saurva is weak to Maki's ice attacks. He has single and multi-hit attacks named Magnara and Mamagnara which deal moderate damage to those targeted, and he can also inflict Mute status on party members, preventing them from using persona abilities - this could make things risky if the healers are affected. In reality, things aren't so bad - there were one or two hairy moments where Brown got KO'd but we could still use Revival Beads and Mediarama to get everyone healthy again. After enough attacks Saurva asks if we are really sons of man, vanishes, and we all level up. I improve Vitality and Dexterity just to make it easier to survive in future, and then we check on Reiji. It sounds like he wanted to take our enemies on by himself, but I guess that didn't work out. We get a lead in the form of a haunted mansion - a location where bodies have been known to disappear off to, or something... this might be where Kandori is hiding, and so it's our next stop. Back in control, I head back to the Black Market save point, noting that the haunted mansion is just south of here, and save our progress. I also checked for new gear - there seem to be better guns available in Yin & Yan, but that's about it. I might need to buy more Revival Beads from Satomi Tadashi though! Senpai Kun status: Lv43 Playtime: 36h34m
  2. Qazimod

    Antstream - It's Netflix for Games!

    It sounds pretty neat - I hope your guys are successful! Besides the lag, I wonder how much data usage is involved in streaming a game? I can get protective over my remaining MBs...
  3. Qazimod


    To me it sounds like it could have been a B-side off some 90s-era single release. It's definitely nice to listen to, if not particularly mindblowing.
  4. Qazimod


  5. Qazimod

    Let's Play: Persona (1996)

    Whilst I said that the Mana Castle seemed quite tough, since then I've slowly managed to map out a number of the floors. Party-wide healing is still a great benefit to us, and multi-hit attacks are useful as well. The Mana Castle looks like it suffers from the problem of "islands" that I mentioned before - isolated areas that don't seem to lead anywhere - but the levelling I've done in the meantime has meant that I don't suffer through too many of the random battles (and keep in mind that I have the best gear I could find in the shops.) Also, on the floors I've checked I haven't seen a whole lot of "gimmicks" - no tiles randomly turning me around, no tiles dropping me through the floor, etc. Of course, there's still time for all of that to happen, but for the moment it's a relatively "normal" area. One thing that I tend to do when entering a new dungeon is amble around the entrance and try out negotiations with the various enemies that I see in random battles. It's a useful activity to do when you're underlevelled because you can still get little bonuses and there's not as much threat of being attacked. That being said, we are underlevelled and even when I do figure out the correct interaction for a negotiation I can't actually get the spell card because my level is too low. In a way it's kind of daft - my low level makes combat risky, but negotiations are still a viable non-combat option, but my low level means that I can't obtain spell cards... and so on. (Yes, there are other benefits for negotiation, but they're usually so unsatisfying compared to spell cards that I may as well go for the kill instead.) Whilst I can’t obtain demons just yet, I can at least play around with negotiation so that when I’m levelled up I immediately know what to do. So I made a text file that lists out the enemy types and recommended interactions in this dungeon. Most ones were straightforward; the only negotiation I haven't figured out is Kuchisake-onna, which makes me think that negotiations for that foe need...I dunno, Elly... or Ayase. So, not a whole lot of progress today but I did uncover a large portion of the map, and I'll try and go back around when our levels are high enough to make negotiation viable. UPDATE: okay - after a bit more time levelling (to obtain spell cards) and negotiating, I've gained a whole bunch of new spell cards now... so I should at least be able to talk my way out of battling most of the initial foes in the Mana Castle. Kuchisake-onna is still an unknown but that's no biggie. Senpai Kun status: Lv42 Playtime: 35h41m (adjusted for levelling, mapping and spell card collecting)
  6. Qazimod


  7. I never grew up with a Spectrum so there's no nostalgic attachment, but I was following this and projects like it. I didn't back the Vega, but I pledged £1 towards the Next just to support something that wasn't looking like such a trainwreck.
  8. It's less about convincing me and more about the messaging to people still on the fence, or people who doubt where MS's interests lie. If I only had an Xbox One, the E3 presence of Sekiro, Nier: Automata, Cyberpunk and DMC would at least reassure me that Microsoft are promoting stuff I'm interested in, as opposed to giving huge amounts of showtime to things like Gears, Forza, Halo (all great series... but I kind of lost interest in them.) I know someone's already typing "but but qazi the games you're interested in aren't *voiceover man* EXCLUSIVE though!" - however, it's more about the intention of diversifying what it aims to show off at E3. Conversely, Sony's show was fine but it seemed to be a retread of previous years, with lots of trailer time dedicated to stuff it had shown before and won't be released for ages.
  9. I generally don't like console war talk because you're praising or rubbishing an entire library that could have all sorts of gems or turds in it... however, Xbox One didn't have anything as enticing as PS4's offerings. Admittedly, I'm a huge Street Fighter and Persona fanboy and I'll gravitate to the console that has SFV and P5 on it but even today I'm not sure how many Xbox exclusives could really tempt me into buying the thing, especially when I have a reasonable Windows PC. That said, their E3 this year was excellent.
  10. Didn't TxK on Vita launch at something crazy like £5.49? Very generous considering how much game you got for the asking price.
  11. Qazimod

    'Special Editions' without the game

    I wasn’t aware that this was such a big thing until I saw the Jim Sterling video on how absurd these things can get. I haven’t bought a CE in a while (the closest thing would probably be my Nier Automata Day One Edition which came with some cosmetic DLC items and the game itself on a disc) because I’d prefer a cheaper game, but any “Collector’s Edition” of a game that doesn’t include the game is daft at best and misleading at worst.
  12. Qazimod

    Let's Play: Persona (1996)

    @MatOfTheDead - I'm only familiar with this release (2010's PSP download was the first time Europe got this game!) but there are details here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Revelations:_Persona#Ports_and_localization In my own playthrough, there's a pretty important bit coming up... and those who are familiar with the game will know what's coming next. I've said before that I bounced off this game when I first tried it, but in reality it might have been this moment that messed things up for me and my save file. I present to you - Episode: Gingerbread House. Between this update and my last one I filled out pretty much all of the Lost Forest aside from one room. I'm going to enter that room now, but first I'm going to create a second save file at the Agastya tree in the 3rd ward just outside the Lost Forest, and you'll find out why in a moment. I reload my first save and make my way to a door in one of the few areas of the Lost Forest that I didn't fill out on my map. I enter the door and make my way to the final unexplored area of the forest. There's another Agastya Tree just before an unopened door, and so because I have some Emergency Exit items I overwrite both saves here, as we're not at the important bit just yet. Moving on from this, there's another narrow area leading to a single door - the entrance to a gingerbread house. (No really, that's what even it's labelled as in the game.) As we enter, we see a young girl alone in the house. I'm not sure if this is the "one in the forest" that Aki mentioned earlier but at this point we've mapped out pretty much everywhere we can possibly go in the forest, so this might be our ticket into the Mana Castle. She asks "who's there?", and Mark notes that she looks like the girl we saw in the Exhibition Room that we retrieved the Expel Mirror from (see my July 8 update). The girl is named Mai, and it turns out she has a key that will complete the moon-shaped hole in the pedestal outside of the Mana Castle (see my Saturday update.) Since Aki seems to know Mai, we ask about her, but Mai insists that Aki isn't her friend and is a "bad Mai" that "came out of" Mai after an encounter with Kandori. Considering what we know about the Deva System it's not hard to believe that this could happen. Nanjo asks about the key, and Mai explains that the key "grants wishes", but that she can't use it to locate Aki because the other half is needed - and as we already witnessed, Aki has the other half. She explains that as long as Aki is using her half of the key for her own evil-doings, Mai's own wishes get "cancelled out", so instead she hides in the gingerbread house. Mark asks if we can borrow the half, but Mai insists that us taking it is exactly what Kandori wants. Maki tells her not to hide, but Mai won't budge. She turns to me - Senpai Kun - and asks how safe she is here: This is why this is the Important Bit, and why I created a second save. What happens next is a series of multiple choice questions that either sets you on the Bad Ending path (if you pick a wrong answer) or keeps you on the Good Ending path. I don't think it's nearly as extreme as Yosuke's interrogation in P4, but I think the reason this moment causes so much trouble (compared to later games) is because there's still quite a bit of gameplay between making the choices and seeing the bad ending, and it's easy to unknowingly overwrite your save and be stuck on the bad ending path. Mai: Won't I be safe if I hide here? -"Stop hiding." -"Yes, it's safe here." -"That's true, but..." -"I don't really know." This question is quite straightforward - we need to side with Maki, and the other three options just seem like we're backing down from that kind of attitude. Stop hiding, Mai. Maki says that Senpai Kun is right (yay!) and that problems like these need to be faced head-on, just like our party has been doing throughout the game. Which prompts the next question - why are we so determined? Mai: Why are you all trying so hard? -"For myself." -"Just 'cause." -"For everyone's sake." -"That's how it went." Hmm. The second and fourth options seem waaay too nonchalant as a justification for our actions over the last twentysomething hours, and the first option just makes Senpai Kun sound like a selfish asshole. We're doing this for everyone's sake. There's no real right or wrong confirmation here - Mark blurts out that we're wasting time and begs for her to let us borrow the key. But Mai isn't done. She then asks that with all we've been through, is it painful to keep living? (Jesus Mai, I know the random battles can be a bit rough, but still.) Mai: What are you living for? -"I don't really know." -"To find my reason." Just like the previous question, there's one option here that would make Senpai Kun come across like he doesn't give a fuck. Surely, he's living to find his reason. Brown at least agrees with me, so I guess I did a good, and finally Mai lets us borrow the half-key thing (stored in the "Other" tab of my item list as "Compact Half".) Since wishing to find Aki isn't working in the gingerbread house, Mark suggests that we leave the area and head back to the Mana Castle (one screen up from the Black Market in the 2nd ward.) With our next objective confirmed, I use an Emergency Exit, save at the nearby Agastya Tree in the Black Market, and delete my safety save from PPSSPP's data manager. Once again, however, I may need to do some serious persona management, negotiation and/or levelling because even basic random encounters in the Mana Castle can be tough! EDIT: also Rosa Candida now has the Jagd set, a far better bunch of armour than the Parade sets we're still wearing, so yay. And Yin and Yan have better guns. This could get pricey. Senpai Kun status: Lv38 Playtime: 29h07m (adjusted to allow for levelling in the Mana Castle, grinding out cash for the Jagd set & guns)
  13. Qazimod

    EDGE #322 - The E3 Issue

    Oh yeah, E3 happened didn’t it? At least it’s something to cover at a time when there aren’t any games coming out...
  14. Qazimod

    Gender Diversity / Politics in games (was Tropes Vs. Women)

    That's true but how much of this discussion is "this reaction is bad because she's a woman" and how much is indiscriminate talk about basic social/professional etiquette between two people? Sure, it kind of got turned into a gender thing through subsequent tweets, but there's some interesting views on community engagement too. @Eighthours - hmm ok, I had missed the fact that it wasn't brought up. I still think the Deroir comments could have been less "dictatorial" (this is how dialogue works) and more inquisitive (what do you think of this) though.
  15. Qazimod

    Let's Play: Persona (1996)

    With our skills sufficiently tweaked, I leave the Black Market and find the Mana Castle in the 3rd Ward. When we arrive, a cutscene instantly initiates - Aki (the girl in black) is cornered at the moment, but she boasts that we'll be unable to enter the castle from this location, at least not without the "one in the forest". With that, she opens the door herself and leaves the scene, closing the door behind her. Mark tries to force the door but nothing happens, so he asks Nanjo for any ideas. Apparently Nanjo saw Aki approaching a pedestal beside the door and placing something into the moon-shaped hole on the pedestal. It's a key hunt, in other words, and Maki knows that the forest mentioned by Aki is probably the one at the west of the map, known as the Lost Forest. This area's pretty hard to miss and we passed it a bunch of times when we hadn't yet unlocked the subway route to the 2nd Ward/Black Market - it's represented on the map as a cluster of pink trees, not unlike the Agastya Trees we use to save. Speaking of which, I know that there's a save point just down the road from the forest, so this will make it easier to reach next time around. There's no cutscene when I reach the entrance area to the forest, so I head straight into this new dungeon. The enemies here are formidable (Lv31-ish), but I manage to map out enough to find a Trish's Spring that will heal us for 3'000, and also an Agastya Tree...so I may have to spend some time getting a feel for the difficulty of the enemies here (and levelling) before I make too much progress. One gimmick that is revealed in the Lost Forest is that there are areas of the floor that turn your viewpoint around and move you forward, and they're often placed at crossroads. This would make exploration tricky, but because of how they rotate the view, you can keep stepping on these tiles until you're turned in the direction you want to be going. I've tried striking up negotiations with enemies to get the Eager status and discover a new personae or two, but (just like the newer games) you can't gain a persona if you're below the required level. This is a shame, but it at least simplifies battles - I can either skip negotiations and get straight to combat, or maybe initiate conversations anyway and get them to give me items instead, or leave the battle entirely. Also, certain outcomes from negotiations can still result in EXP rewards, so this may help with levelling for the time being. Anyway I might grind out some experience before my next update just so that I can make progress without the ever-present risk of a KO... (All that being said, it's not compulsory for us to explore the whole forest area; we just need to reach "one in the forest", so if I can inch my way to the right area and get the route mapped out, it might not be as much of a slog as I think. Additionally, the forest doesn't have "floors" according to the map toggles, so we won't have the kind of nightmare scenario that faced us in the SEBEC building or Kama Palace... nevertheless, the forest is still a pretty large area.) Senpai Kun status: Lv32 Playtime: 22h49m (adjusted to allow for mapping, levelling, etc)

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