Ben's 2010s - RPGs Part 2

I didn't plan on this being a two part post, but that's just how things ended up. RPGs really were a big part of this decade for me, so I didn't feel right trying to cram everything into a single part. So putting Final Fantasy and Tales of aside.....

Persona. I first heard about this series maybe around 2009 or 2010, but I didn't think I'd ever play it. So much about it turned me off, and it wasn't something I could easily go out and buy. For one I didn't have a lot of money at the time, and two, I didn't have my own car or way to buy things on my own yet. Whatever I bought my family would see, and Persona wasn't exactly the type of thing I wanted them to see when I was only 18-19. That's because the internet had tricked me into thinking it was something it's not.

Now don't get me wrong, Persona isn't all "sunshine and rainbows" (as Final Fantasy XIII put it), but it's also not as bad as I was lead to believe. The original Persona 3 featured kids "shooting" themselves in the heads to summon their inner power, and the game had multiple sex scenes and sex based monsters. While this is all technically true, I promise you it isn't as it seems. The guns do summon character's persona, which they use to fight monsters during the dark hour, but they aren't killing themselves. This was actually pretty controversial back when the game first came out, but now days you rarely hear it brought up. As for the sexual content? Nothing is ever shown, and it's only implied that something may have happened. The worst you see in game are persona like Mara, which I'm pretty sure I'm not allowed to post a picture of... (Maybe?) That being said the fact that this "evil" dark hour existed also bothered me, so I put off trying it out. Then Golden came out.

The summer of 2013 was actually pretty great. The day I bought the domain for NGR was also the day Persona 4 Golden arrived in the mail, and it was also the day of a family funeral. I wasn't close to the person, but that didn't stop it from being less sad. Even so the memories of this blog and Persona sorta helped keep my mind off of that week, and turned the start of what would be bad times, into at least some happy memories. This is how I would spend my summer. Persona 4 had me completely hooked, and I never wanted it to end. So what did I do when it did? I bought Persona 3 of course! Yep the very same game I refused to play years before. Let's just say despite having some issues, I still loved that game. I liked the characters, the story, and above all the gameplay. I think it's this game that fully got me to accept turn based RPGs without real time elements (like Final Fantasy had), and got me to start thinking a lot more tactically. Eventually I would beat this game as well and switch over to the fighting spin off series, but that didn't mean I didn't want more RPGs. It's just there weren't any others out there quite like Persona 3 and 4. Persona 2 was a completely different style, and I wasn't sure if the newly released Shin Megami Tensei IV would be for me. I debated getting it for so long, but ultimately decided against it -- that is until a week ago. Yep here at the end of the decade I'm finally getting into the series Persona spun off from. Between back then and now Persona 5 also released, and once again I found myself addicted to the series. Of course the other side games were fun as well (like Persona Q and Tokyo Mirage Sessions), but it's still the main Persona games that I'd consider to be my favorites. They are why I even gave other entries a chance.

Besides Persona, another big series I got into was Xenoblade. Before this game released I did play through other "similar" games like White Knight Chronicles (which was something else I debated getting for years before I finally did) and Final Fantasy XII, but it didn't draw me in as much as Xenoblade 1 did. That game was not only impressive for a Wii game, but it had a story that completely caught me off guard. I thought I knew what I'd expect from that game, but shortly after the game's intro I was proven wrong. Those events eventually set me out on an adventure that I'll never forget. I loved how the game had you traveling through the world, and made everything feel like a real journey. It was a linear path to the end, but it was up to me how to get there, and there were plenty of side quests to keep me coming back to older areas. While these did start to drag on at some point, the main story itself made me forget all of that. Needless to say Xenoblade X on the Wii U was my most wanted game on that console, but it wasn't until the Switch and Xenoblade 2 that I got the follow up I had been wishing for. Once again that game blew me away, and I was caught up in another adventure I didn't want to end. This game actually helped me get through some harder times as well, as I received it as a Christmas gift shortly after I was let go from my job, and right before my Grandpa got sick. I managed to finish it right before I spent the next few months in the hospital with him. So again, at least I have some happy memories from that time.

Putting aside these series, there were many other RPGs I got into during this decade as well. Games like Radiant Historia, the Atelier series, Bravely Default, Rune Factory, Resonance of Fate, Ys, Mass Effect, Fallout, Deux Ex, The World Ends With You, etc. Then you have stuff like Drakengard/Nier which I really don't think I should get started on...

(I've got this hanging on my wall! And it's not the only one!)
Anyway these last 10 years have lead me to play so many great RPGs, and many of them I will continue playing from this day onward. The Trails series is another I really, REALLY, like, and it's also one that wont be going away anytime soon. It will be something I'll play throughout 2020, and possibly into the 30s. You never know! Honestly if I were to go into each of these games we'd be here for weeks, so let's just save those for another time. Just because the 10s are ending, it doesn't mean you've seen the last of them from me. So tomorrow let's move onto something else. Something like...

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