Persona 4 Golden Review

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Ive been on a serious PlayStation Vita kick the last month or so. Ive had Persona 4 Golden for a few years now and have been meaning to sit down and give it a serious go one of these days but it just kept getting pushed back. I find I don’t have the time I once use to when it comes to smashing hours into a game. Even when that game is portable. But this time around I made a serious conscious effort to finally play through Persona 4 Golden. I consider Persona 3 to be one of the best JRPs I have ever played. Im not sure how well it still holds up now but from my memory of playing through it in high school it was one of the most genuine JRPG experiences I ever had. Who would have thought mixing dating sims, Pokemon and a collectible card game with a traditional dungeon crawler would yield such results.

Persona 4 Golden is no exception. It is a further refined version of the play style and systems made popular in Persona 3. I haven’t played Persona 5 yet but due to how well that games doing I would suspect its been refined even further there. Persona 4 Golden starts off with your voiceless, nameless (Yu Narukami the in game story name if you want to use it) character moving to Inaba a small country side town of Japan. You live with your uncle Dojima and little cousin Nanako. Soon after arriving you find yourself intertwined with a world inside the TVs and a series of murders you and your high school Investigation team have to solve. The characters are all so dynamic and genuine. You can’t help but feel a friendship grow between them. During my first play through I would think on certain days oh I haven’t seen so and so in a while I should go hangout with them, not because of some advantage I might gain later but because I like the character and want to see what they are up to.

As the game progresses you will build “social links” with others who inhabit the town. These social links are directly connected to a persona type. I look at it like types of Pokemon. You have Fire, Dragon, Psychic and so on in Pokemon and in Persona you have types like Magician, Justice, Chariot. A lot of which are based off tarot cards. The more you use these persona in battle the more they will level, again like Pokemon. The stronger your social links are with the corresponding person that represents that personas type the stronger your persona will be and the more powerful the personas you make of that corresponding type in the future will be. It’s safe to say the out of combat social link aspects are the most important part of the game overall. It’s also the most interesting part for me personally. I genuinely feel connected to the characters I formed strong bonds with through the game. When I finished my first play through I felt a sinking feeling in my chest thinking about how its over and I won’t see them again from my perspective.

Which is partly why I’m playing through it again on New Game Plus (NG+). Got to catch all those Pokemon right, I mean Personas. NG+ is an option you unlock after your first play through. On your first play through you will encounter options you wont be able to use due to insufficient Courage or Knowledge and such. These are things you will raise through the game as you do certain things. They can be maxed out and it would be best to max them out before the end of your first play through. Which you can do very easily on your first play through by simply keeping an eye on it and doing the corresponding tasks to raise them. Another thing that carries over with NG+ is your Persona Compendium which is basically your list of Persona you have created or found over your first play through. Some other things also carry over but I would say these are the most important and standout aspects you get to take with you. Also something very useful with NG+ is the option to change your difficulty in game. On your first play through you will be locked into the difficulty you choose when you start the game so choose wisely. I went with Normal and found it fairly challenging myself. Im now replaying it on Very Easy and well its very easy. This is meant to be a Trophy run for me so I’m ok with that but I think the best middle ground for me would have been “Easy”. If I were to pick it up again just for fun in like 10 years that’s the difficulty I would pick.

Speaking of trophies. You cannot get all the trophies in your first play though. You can get a lot of them but you will be missing some that are ment for a following play through. Which is partly why NG+ exists. Its a genuinely great feature for a game like this. I don’t have many cons for this game but one I will bring up is when it came to the overall investigation of the murders I found every person I was suspicious of ended up being a key part of story. Best way I can put it without spoiling anything is I called it every step of the way and I’m talking about the True Ending here where there’s a lot going on. In the games defense I am a big fan of mystery in general. Sherlock Holmes is one of my heroes so naturally when dealing with a murder investigation in a game I’m trying to break it down very aggressively. Also a bit of a humble brag here but I am also a licensed private investigator here in Canada so I’m a bit more suspicious than most people would be simply playing through this game. It’s also why I love Naoto Shirogane so much. So thats one issue with the game which again is more an issue with me than the game itself.

Another small issue I have is after you max out a social link you really loose the incentive to see that person again. It feels a lot like I got what I needed from you now buzz off. Which feels really bad from the standpoint of someone you got to know well enough to max out their social link. Even something as simple as experience points following a maxed out social link to the corresponding persona type would have been a good enough incentive. I wonder if they made a change to this in Persona 5.

Persona 4 Golden is a 10/10 all day every day. This game is a reason to buy a PlayStation Vita if you haven’t got one already. If this is the only game you ever get for the Vita than it would be money well spent. I cant seem to get myself to put it down. Ive even gone as far as having a 2 different dreams about the game. Im already planing out my fall schedule so I can finally play Persona 5. Keep an eye out for that review.

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Final Space Season 1 Review

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Its rare for a show to make it to my top 10 tv shows list and my top 10 animated tv series list at the same time. The last time I think this has happened is The Last Avatar, not to be confused with The Legend of Korra which was dog trash and a disgrace to the masterpiece that is The Last Avatar.

Final Space has done it though. It merges the line between funny and serious in a way rarely seen or at least done right. The best example I can think of is Deadpool 1 and 2. They keep it epic, beautiful and most importantly funny the whole time.

At first, I thought it kind of had Futurama meets Rick and Morty vibe but Final Space is really its own thing. I find it to be much more beautiful than either of those shows though. Shot after shot and scene after scene I find myself thinking “Oh this would make an awesome wallpaper”. The main characters comedy might not be for everyone but I love it. Its just constant and random but still feels grounded in the character.

Which I exacted from Olan Rogers who I have been a fan of since the Lions Blaze. (Linked down below) I have not been following his work the past few years so I was surprised out of my mind when I could have sworn I recognized the voice of Gary. Then I see Olan Rogers name come up and I lost it. To see how far he’s come from a fun YouTuber to working with Conan O’Brien. I’m just super proud of the guy.

Final Space is quality all around and any Olan Rogers fan can see and hear his comedy resonate through every part of this show. I can’t say more good things about it. 10/10, do yourself a favor and watch it. Season 2 can’t come sooner.

 

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Ant-Man and the Wasp Review

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When I finished watching Antman and the Wasp I have to say my feelings were indifferent. I didn’t dislike the movie but I didn’t like it either. I found it hard to watch a Marvel movie after Infinity War. Everything comes off as being small in comparison. Pun intended. I didn’t like what they did with Ghost at all. I’m really getting tired of this every character needs to be either not white or a woman regardless of the source material. If you want to add in more people of color or woman into your media make new interesting characters for them. Don’t take characters we know and love and change them for your agenda. I’m looking you Starfire.

I also didn’t care about wasps mother one bit. Sure she might help kick off things with Thanos in the future but I don’t think she was overall needed for that. I’m sure they could have easily tweaked things here and there to get the same results. Other than that which is quite a bit really I liked the movie. I think Paul Rudd was hilarious and lovable again as Ant-man. I love the dynamic he has with his agent caretaker. They sold me on the relationship they had from the moment they were on the screen together. I really want to see more of this agent in the future.

Michael Pena as Luis is also back and he’s got a good bit of screen time. I think Luis is one of my favorite characters in the MCU. I wouldn’t mind a show or movies about Luis going around getting himself into trouble. I would love to see that. Overall I think the movie was a fun watch and worth seeing if you are a Marvel fan or an Ant-man fan. If you’re not one of these 2 groups you aren’t missing anything by skipping this movie.

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Writers Notebook

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I’ve found myself writing a lot more recently and decided to get a notebook to dedicate to writing. I wanted to transcribe anything I find useful from my previous notebooks. When doing this I found an interesting trend with my writing through the years. This is a 4 year span of notes I’ve been taking. All the tabs represent writing points and exclude things like “Video games I need to beat” lists. The pink tabs are during my time in college 2014-2015. The blue tabs are all after college when I was still figuring out my job. Clearly, this is when I had the most time to write. I actually held back on the tabs here. 2015-2016. The purple tabs are from when I was comfortable and established with my job. As you can see there was a huge drop in writing 2016-2017. And the green tabs are 2017-present(2018 as of writing this). I started using my notebook differently with the most current Moleskine, because of this I ended up having far less in it than I otherwise would have around this time.

Based on the level of consistency with the last 3 I would be on my 5th Moleskine now if I kept up with my previous writing trend. That writing trend being the back half of the notebook being used as a journal. I stopped doing this because I didn’t see the point of keeping a journal. I thought any writing points I needed I can add throughout the notebook. What Ended up happening is I started writing less. Which now is fixed with the dedicated Writers Notebook. I went with the Moleskine large soft cover for my Writers Notebook because I didn’t want too many pages on a subject if I can help it. If you are looking at picking up a Moleskine notebook and having trouble deciding between the soft cover and hard. I personally prefer soft cover. I find it overall nicer but I do find it more difficult to write in on a general basis. That being said if you need to write say standing in a train than I think the softcover it better. You can fold it back on itself and write fairly comfortably.

With a dedicated writers notebook, I found it much easier to work on my writing and blog post, this post included. Its hard to beat the level of convenience you get with having a single reference point. I didn’t organize it in any special way. Just numbered the pages, transcribed any quotes or ideas I had over the years and left a few pages after to expand on. If I fill those pages up ill just leave a small note on what page it continues on. I’ve already found that I’m seeing results in my writing after doing this. Just last night as I was going to bed I came up with some talking points for a project I’m working on. I jumped out of my bed and wrote them down in my Writers Notebook. I’ve already started implementing them into my project today. It’s not the first time I’ve come up with ideas like this but I never got out of bed before to write it down. The lack of having a focal point made me lazy and wander off. I would tell myself ill just remember it. Now I don’t have to.

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Why Do You Love Violence While Being Pacifists?

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Over the years people have grown more and more attached to violence in media. It has become a day to day fact for life for us. Who gets killed next in Game of Thrones? Don’t tell me I can’t wait to see for myself. Who got bit this week on The Walking Dead? I hope it’s not Rick but man would that be some crazy character development for Carl. Yeah, a son watching his father die to only come back as a monster and then die again is character development now. It’s exciting, it’s entertaining, its violence. Now Im not here to say let’s end it if that’s what you think I’m doing. If you know me even a little you know very well I’m not on the side of the angels. 🙂

The question is why? Why does our society get off on violence? In music, in tv and movies and the good old classic media target, video games. Well, it’s simple. Everyone deep down is a psychopath. Maybe not to the same degree as others but you all have a little bit of the devil in you. The thing that scares you is you like it. You won’t admit it but we both know you like it just a little. Violence being a part of our culture isn’t a new thing actually. It has always been here we just evolved it as we changed our overall views on life. As we slowly became more and more passive and told ourselves things like violence and being mad isn’t a good thing.

Back in the day, we would watch gladiators murder the living shit out of each other to keep the peace, now we watch Spartacus do the same and get off on random boobs that pop up on the show. At least that’s why I watch it. The thing is you can’t admit anymore you are into violence. I’ve even been looked at all side-eyed glare for saying I’m a Mike Tyson fan. I don’t care if Tyson killed a box of puppies on front street, the guy is a living legend. A true monster among men. These same people that don’t like Tyson or boxing or MMA then go home and jerk off to Game of Thrones and Call of Duty and I got to sit there like an ass hole explaining why Mr. Tyson is the greatest.

The pussification of our society is in direct correlation to the amount of violence we encounter in media. You have a problem with someone in school? Don’t kick the kid in the teeth and teach him a lesson he will never forget, no don’t do that. Instead, go tell a teacher who will make both of you apologize for some fucking reason. Someones being a real prick to you? Well don’t do anything, just keep your head down and get on your knees and suck it up. No, I’m fine right here thanks. The passivity of today’s society, the lack of anger is in direct correlation to the amount of violence in everything else. People are too pussy to have a voice or stand up for themselves or each other so they watch super hero’s do it on the big screen while secretly rooting for the bad guy. I’ll be honest, The Joker and Two-Face made a lot more sense to me than Batman did. My respect to the caped crusader but I rather am a dog chasing cars.

All I’m saying is stop being a little fuck about everything. Pacifist will say this is male posturing or an overdeveloped ego. To that, all I got to say is “blow me”. You’re wrong. The fire in your veins and the Devil in your heart isn’t something you have to hide from the world. You should be proud of it, indulge it, feed it. Not with The Walking Dead and Game of Thrones, but by getting off your ass and defending yourself, by not just sitting there with your phone out recording something horrible happen. If you are going to secretly be a bad person then try and do a good thing for yourself or a few others once in your life. Make love not war sure, but if war is looking you in the eye don’t blink, cause you will wake up later feeling like a piece of shit.

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A Lucid Dream I Didn’t Realize Was A Lucid Dream

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I was with 2 or 3 others, either me and another male and 2 females or me another male and 1 female. We were at some location we were not familiar with. I want to say we woke up there but I’m not sure. There was a old kind of creepy looking house behind us. I don’t want to call it creepy but it wasn’t pleasant either. It was right there in the middle. I can’t remember if we woke up in it and came out or if we just woke up in front. Regardless we didn’t go inside it and we woke up facing away from it to a very wide path with tall dark trees that reached high into the sky. I and the others seemed to know each other but I really can’t recall who they were or if they are people I ever knew.

We questioned where we were and what was going on and we realized we had powers. It was one of the girls that noticed it first and was surprised/ scared. Her hand suddenly produced lightning sparks and she was able to shoot them out. The other guy was also able to do something too but I don’t remember what it was. I had some kind of smoke/fire power. Similar to the power the main character of Infamous: Second Son. That whole smokey flame thing. As we stood and tested out our new found powers I noticed that I was really able to push mine more than the others. Blasting my flame smoke far into the sky. I then started to notice that I can change my power altogether.

I started to use a power similar to the lightning girl but at a much more powerful level. To the point I was calling down lightning and thunder from the sky instead of my body. They asked how I can do this and I said I don’t know and continued to test the extent of my powers on the open path in front of us and the sky above. Even now wide awake writing this I can still feel it. The essence of the powers from the dream. I feel like if I stood up and imitated my self I can do the same….no, nvm. Tested it, didn’t work. As I tested the extent of my abilities in the dream it kept getting stronger. I would sway my arms behind me and then throw them in front and gale force winds would blow through the sky and down the path. The tops of the trees would shake and the clouds in the sky flew away with the wind, revealing the large bright moon.

I decided I will bring the clouds back just then. I swirled my hands around me with strong footing on the ground. As I spun and pulled huge black clouds appeared hard, loud and fast swallowing up the view of the moon. It then started to thunder. I can still feel the shocks and force behind those bursts of thunder throughout my body. I called down lightning and rain and wind. The thunder and lightning crashed repeatedly faster and faster in front of me. I kept calling it down harder and faster.

Then I herd the people I was with yelling at me to stop and I did. The rain and storming continued but the lightning and thunder stopped like I flicked a switch. They were scared and worried about what I was doing. I told them I’m in full control of it and to prove it I said see and cleared the skies with a push of my hands. Right about then is when I woke. I still feel it. The rush, the power. I didn’t realize it was a dream at any point. I had full control of the universe but never noticed. I wish I could have tried some more things. Like maybe pick up the house with my mind or fly, stuff like that. All I can say is it was epic, would dream again.

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