I try not to whore myself out too much, but I'm a sucker for a good Atlus game in general, and doubly so for Shin Megami Tensei games in particular. In lieu of my regularly-scheduled blog content, instead nibble on this preview for the upcoming Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor coming to the Nintendo DS.
Kanji is feared by the locals and maintains a confrontational machismo toward the other characters throughout the game. He is a loyal son and employee at his family's textile shop, and it's not until the debut of his alter-ego Shadow Kanji that we are made aware of his inner sexual turmoil.
Xu looks at how homosexuality is viewed in Japanese culture and interviews people at Atlus USA who worked on Persona 4, game journalists and Sex in Video Games author Brenda Brathwaite. Brenda likes many things about Kanji's portrayal, but one thing she dislikes is "the game's juvenile nature in dealing with his sexuality."
Game Description:Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 4 is a console role-playing game (RPG) for Sony's PlayStation 2. Persona 4 takes place in a rural town named Inaba where mysterious murders occur whenever there is fog after heavy rain. The town has a television channel that airs only at midnight called Mayonaka TV, during which it is said that one can see their "other half" while staring at the screen. After hearing about a recent unsolved murder, some characters realize that they had witnessed the murder victim while watching Mayonaka TV. Chronologically the sixth installment in the Persona series, Persona 4 is a suspenseful countryside murder mystery with multiple twists and turns in the plot that will have you guessing all the way to the end.
Game Description:Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3 is a strange and wonderful trip into an anime adventure. You're an orphaned high school student, transferred to Gekkoukan High School on Port Island. After arriving, he's attacked by creatures known as Shadows. The assault awakens his Persona, Orpheus, from the depths of his subconscious, enabling him to defeat the terrifying foes. He soon discovers that he shares this special ability with other students at his new school. From them, he learns of the Dark Hour, a hidden time that exists between one day and the next, swarming with Shadows. Under the supervision of school chairman Shuji Ikutsuki, he joins his new companions in confronting this threat to humanity. With your school as the primary battlefield, you'll be forced to juggle two lives: Student by day, defender by night. And your greatest challenges await you on the eve of each full moon.
Persona 3's mechanics are ingenious and fresh, the characters are well-written and engaging, the voice work and music are top-quality, the art is beautifully stylish, and by couching it all in a real-world setting far from any of the standard fantasy clichés, it establishes an identity and qualities uniquely its own.
It's too early to pick the RPG of the year for 2007, but if I had to vote today Persona 3 would be my choice...hands down. It's a wild and unique gaming experience that melds disparate subgenres into a whole that transcends the sum of the parts. It's not without a few flaws, but the good so definitively outweighs the negatives that it's hard to imagine anyone who's a hardcore RPG fan passing this game up.
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