I did not have a WiiU and didn’t really look into this game around its initial release, but have been playing the Switch version and loving it.
I’m fond of Shin Megami Tensei and Atelier combat systems, and this game ends up feeling like a good mix of both. It is a credit to how fun it is to watch session chains play out that I took so long to leave the fast sessions toggle on. The writing and general tone has been very endearing in its dedication to its premise, and just plain endearing for the most part. I’ve been really impressed by the steady incrementing of new mechanics over the course of the game, I feel like that’s easy to mess up - giving too much to manage at once or too little to sustain interest. I like that the game just commits to Itsuki being denser than a black hole, although I wonder how it’s going to land it.
I do wish the game weren’t so casually fatphobic and misogynistic in places, it’s certainly not perfect. And as a white person I’m totally unequipped to say anything insightful about the game’s way of touching on race. It feels bad when the game’s lead character is introduced to someone and immediately talks about them being biracial in a way that feels extremely inappropriate even to someone with my negligible social skills. Still very much enjoying the game as a whole, but I am not blind to its flaws.
My brain is currently mush for sleep reasons, so I don’t have much intelligent to say about the game, but I’m curious what other people think. Did you play it when it first came out? Has the Switch port changed much? What are people’s favourite characters, costumes, songs?
It’s very similar to Persona 4 and 5 as far as those games’ strengths and weaknesses. There isn’t a ticking clock requiring that you carefully decide how to spend your time, but the “social scene > upgrade > dungeon” loop is mostly the same.
In fact, it’s more tightly paced here than those games, and it’s almost as good as a Chrono Trigger as far as how good the overall pacing is. As mentioned in the OP, it’s a real challenge to make an RPG that threads the needle between doling out new abilities/tools to feel rewarding, without dumping too much on the player to where they feel overwhelmed.
But it’s notably worse than Persona 4/5 as far as characterization—they’re all very boring archetypes—and yeah, there’s that same casual othering of people on the margins of society, plus the typical gross male gaze stuff with underage/infantilized characters. The fact that some creeps made a stir about the localized version being slightly less horny is an indictment about both theirs and the game’s priorities.
I’m really curious if it manages to keep up the tight pacing in the first few hours, since it’s the main thing pushing me to overlook the really bad elements of the writing.
As far as games that lean all the way into anime bullshit go, I’m really enjoying Tokyo Mirage Sessions a good deal. The way it marries the respective rock-paper-scissors mechanics of both Shin Megami Tensei and Fire Emblem into something of a mess that eventually leads to you pressing two buttons to watch cutscenes play out for over a minute is honestly a lot more fun than it has any right to be. I love the music, and there’s something kinda silly yet endearing about the heroes fighting monsters of the week with the power of
friendship creativity and emotional expression.
In terms of the characters, I personally like everyone in the cast, though I get others’ reservations. Ultimately, everyone’s an archetype, and unlike something like the Trails series, its archetypal writing isn’t going to make way for smart subversions down the line. Instead, TMS offers a cast of who I find to be very likable people with a few key points to them, but all have a fun chemistry together most of the time. With the scene where you meet Ellie, all I’ll say is I’m glad there was an option to not make her race be the first thing you mention to her. For me, that topic came up much more naturally, allowing that aspect of her character to feel more significant to her rather than to my perspective character. The fatphobia stuff is there too, and yeah, it sucks.
I don’t know, I like Tokyo Mirage Sessions a lot. Going by the Anime Feminist scale of consideration, it would definitely be under a problematic fave designation, but one that I don’t have to feel totally embarrassed or hesitant to show to other people. For whatever it loses in its “Designed by Atlus” sensibilities, it makes up for with a fun story full of very funny scenes and enjoyable turn-based combat. I get that its shortcomings are too much to get over for some, but for me, I’m almost to the end and I had a great time getting there.
Full disclosure, I’m a huge mark for TMS.
I’ve loved TMS for years now. I think it has maybe the best JRPG combat of it’s kind, certainly the best of any Shin Megami Tensei style game. To me, TMS is ultimately just a damn good combat game with some great aesthetics and theming.
It does so much more with “weak points” than any Persona game does. Session attacks are more interesting that All Out Attacks. It factors more into how you’re building your team and who should be hitting what weak points at what time. The special moves and improv attacks are nice additions as well.
The theming is the other strength of this game, it goes all out on the entertainment industry theme. Each dungeon is a different part of the industry, each fight takes place on a stage, there are music videos, but this is just the big stuff. I think what it really stands out is the small details like the character’s “status” page having a signed copy of their head-shots. Or how your party composition isn’t called like, “party select”, it’s called “casting”. This game is full of little touches that I think really bring a lot to the table.
It’s story isn’t much to write home about, it’s characters aren’t much more than tired tropes, and yeah the MC is the human equivalent of plain white bread. I think they were just going for a cast of likable enough characters without much else. If that’s a deal breaker or a big turn off I totally get it, but I enjoy this game as just a mostly uncomplicated good time with a JRPG.
I don’t wanna die on the hill of saying that it’s like… not problematic, because it totally is. What I’ll say is that it’s the least problematic. It’s got some casual fat-phobia & misogyny, and it does infantilize it’s female characters. But you’re not going to encounter anything nearly as gnarly as Persona 3’s transphobia or Persona 4 & 5’s homophobia. TMS’s localization team even seemed to have more self awareness of this stuff than the Persona stuff because they swap out the skimpy bikini costumes the girls can wear for some funky lookin street wear.
Ultimately if you’re just looking for a good time. TMS will deliver. If you’re looking for a Persona game, you’ll likely be let down.
I just started playing and I’m all here for this cheesy anime plot so far. The idea of ones ability to perform being their source of power and all the great terminology is just great.
That said I was completely blind sided by the glasses question and had to look up what that actually was about.
I played it on the wiiu and I’m very excited about more people playing it now. It’s The Best Persona Game. don’t @ me.
y’all don’t get the fun of looking down at the gamepad to read your texts tho huh gotta open a menu or something? that sucks
I love the designs if the not!personas, my favourite off the top of my head was (fairly late game I think?) lon’qu, with the Arms-esque spiral arm thing? good stuff
Yeah, it’s a menu that pops up instead of the gamepad, it’s a lot less fun. Plus the stats of enemies aren’t readily available on screen like they were on the gamepad.
I posted this in the “should I buy this game” thread:
I’m thinking I want to try out Tokyo Mirage Sessions! What is the consensus about the game on the forum?
Persona 5 is one of my favorite games of all time. The story is whatever, but I loved just hanging out with friends and the battle system is the best I’ve ever played. However, I hated Persona 4 Golden. I didn’t like the characters, the story (didn’t finish) was often abhorrent and offensive, and the combat was much less engaging than Persona 5. In P5 you were encouraged to knock down demons and recruit them, or all out attack if all enemies were downed. Every encounter felt like you could win before the enemy had a chance if you played it smart, but also if that didn’t happen you could easily get TPKOd. Every encounter was thrilling and dangerous. P4G lacked that feeling, and the card persona system was boring. Also dungeon design in P5 was leaps and bounds better than P4G. I’ve never played a Fire Emblem game, but I main Ike in Smash.
that being said, is this game for me?
I’m thinking after reading this thread it is, plus my wife is actually interested in it! Which is great, because she’s never really tried a JRPG, and it’s one of my favorite genres
I knew it existed on the WiiU, but thats about it before I started playing on the Switch.
Like the character designs, Kiria and her Performa self that looks like Cyber-Sailor-Eyepatch-Miku in particular is one of my favorite designs to come out of the Persona team for years.
Other initial impressions is that it’s a much tighter game than other SMT games, things are happening at a relatively brisk pace.
Finished this today, around 45 hours total. The side missions are technically optional, but there’s so much content in them (every characters has at least one animated musical number) it would have felt weird to skip em. Was impressed with just how much original music they crammed into this game.
Initial impression of this being a brisker, “persona lite” holds up. Not necessarily a bad thing, I appreciate not having a 60 hours plus Persona experience.
A few criticisms off the bat: some dungeon puzzles clearly designed with having a tablet with a map handy. Annoying, but not a deal breaker.
Barry sucks, worst character in the game. Especially considering they could have gone with the heavy metal stuff.
This is the game I’ve been waiting to come to Switch, so I preordered as soon as it was announced. Of course, I just started Dragon Quest XI, so this is gonna have to wait for a bit. Super excited for it though!