Little Nightmares Looks Wonderfully Eerie

For those with a love for the creepy and unnatural not unlike myself, there’s a good chance you’ll find the upcoming horror-themed puzzle game Little Nightmares of great interest.

Developed by the Swedish gaming studio Tarsier Studios, who have helped with the Little Big Planet series DLC development as well as the Playstation Vita adaptation. Little Nightmares follows a young girl named Six’s quest through a dark and ominous world within a mysterious ship called The Maw. Armed with a mere candle and her own courage, Six struggles to avoid capture by the hungry, sinister creatures described as “corrupted spirits” that inhabit The Maw.

“The way we like to describe it is the place where childhood fears come to life.” — Tarsier Studios

For a bit of history, Little Nightmares was initially introduced with the name Hunger by Tarsier in May 2014. Bandai Namco took on the publishing role two years later and the name was changed. The idea for the title came about in 2012 from a tech demo with a ‘dollhouse’ as it’s base. Players could tilt, zoom in and out, and pan with the dollhouse camera through a number of interconnected rooms that made up the game. It was a simple idea but it conveyed an interestingly uneasy and whimsical feeling nonetheless. From there the development team began to explore different concept sketches of the characters and settings that ultimately led to Little Nightmares becoming a reality. Developing a prototype and trailer was possible with help from sponsors Nordic Game and Creative Europe. Nordic Game is a video game conference held in Sweden, while Creative Europe is an EU program with an aim of, “strengthening the competitiveness of the European cultural and creative sectors.” This allowed Tarsier the tools needed to provide solid representation to Bandai Namco and get the ball rolling even more on the project.

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From the gameplay featured in trailers and released screenshots, the game seems to live up to its eerie reputation of touching on the things that scared us most when we were children. The dim atmosphere through and through resembles a dark room that harbors scary shadows and threats under the bed. Everything seems big and frightening. From a china doll’s glassy gaze resting on a dresser to the ever present creaks and groans of the house. This game will take you to a place where every sound and movement can set you on the edge. For the most part, you’re sneaking and you won’t (purposefully) have a clear view of creatures since they move around. Fumbling around and causing noise will attract unwanted attention and the sound of shuffling feet and grabby fingers will soon follow. Just like a child about to be gobbled up by the bogeyman, once detected, there’s only so far you can run with such small feet.

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Six is minuscule compared to her surroundings, giving the impression of an Alice lost in a kind of gothic, disturbing wonderland. The difficulty in navigating The Maw is in large part because of Six’s size. She will climb chairs, shelving, among other objects that appear built for a larger being. Not unlike a mouse, she can often be used to hide in nooks and crannies, and even manages to fit in tight spaces in order to avoid captors while solving puzzles in each area. Though Six is the main character and hero of this game, it’s easy to forget that she’s also a child that has playful inhibitions that can lead to her death or capture. She’ll jump from high places or make noise tossing around a ball or playing on a squeaky bed. Being aware of your surroundings and treading carefully is important in smoothly progressing and ultimately completing Little Nightmares. 

The game will be releasing tomorrow, April 28th. It’s single player and has around 13 achievements/trophies to earn. The storyline encourages open exploration, but with a straight playthrough expect to spend 5 hours on it. There’s still time to pre-order and receive in-game bonuses such as the scarecrow sack and the upside teapot masks to help Six blend in with The Maw inhabitants. For PC there’s the additional perk of a digital copy of the game’s original soundtrack as well as the choice between an exclusive PS4 or PC wallpaper.

It would also be a good idea to try out the browser-based interactive video demo here that Tarsier released late last year. It will give you a feel for the game beyond looking at pretty (creepy) screenshots and replaying and pausing trailers endlessly. You’ll also receive a DLC tengu mask in your game if you register below the video.

Comment below on what you think of Little Nightmares and whether you’ll be trying out the demo or straight shot purchasing the game (like me!). If you want to follow updates a good place would be the game’s twitter @LittleNights and Facebook page as well as right here on Techno Gurl Magazine of course. 😉

YouTuber Reggie Alarm’s Favorite Video Game Series of All Time

 On the eve of the release of Kingdom Hearts 1.5 + 2.5 HD remix for PS4, I’m hardly able to sleep.  I’m so excited to revisit and relive some of my favorite memories from the series.  I shared with my significant other today that I have a slight obsession with the Square/Disney mash up.  I remember when I was just barely through my freshman year of high school when a 4-minute Japanese trailer for Kingdom Hearts 2 was released to the public.  It showed off some fast paced and stylish gameplay putting an emphasis on the combat.  It certainly had evolved from the previous game and I was loving it!  I gawked at that trailer for what must have been a whole year.  I dissected every second and frame with my brain trying to imagine how amazing it would be to fight Heartless once more.  After sharing that slightly embarrassing piece of life to my best friend, I had to ask myself, “Why do I love Kingdom Hearts so much?”

Let me start off by informing the reader that I have purchased every Kingdom Hearts game.  I even bought handheld consoles that I wouldn’t have bought otherwise.  If you are looking to try the game out, the best way someone described it to me is it’s like Zelda with deep RPG elements.  If you like Final Fantasy and don’t get put off by Disney cartoons then it’s worth a peek.

 I really enjoy playing through the games regardless of the convoluted mess of a narrative.  A friend from Montana recently asked me to try and clear up some of the story for him and I replied politely with, “Let me first explain the ending of Lost.”  I’m not confident that I understand the finer points of the Kingdom Hearts story and I’m not ashamed to say that.  I was ready every time a new game came out to jump right back in.  I am going to make a valiant effort to understand it a little better by playing the games in order of the timeline this go around.

The Disney worlds that Sora, Donald, and Goofy travel to are visually pleasing with each world adding it’s own unique flavor (exceptions being the Atlantis zones).  The most memorable worlds, for me, are Space Paranoids, Halloween Town, and Pride Rock because the characters look different in those areas.  Having Sora as a lion cub was a nice touch especially when he was breaking his neck swinging the Keyblade from his mouth.

Speaking of Keyblades, I always felt like Sora was progressing each time he got a new and better keychain.  I always tried to go for the Ultima-Weapon before taking on the last boss.  I remember the very first key chain I received after sealing the keyhole in the Tarzan world.  I still believe that it’s the perfect transition from the default Keyblade.  It rewards the player by giving them a taste of how strong and customizable the weapon can become. So satisfying!

I’ve discussed just a few of things that I appreciate about the series on a surface level. Why do I love these games so much?  Kingdom Hearts is more than just a game. Everyone experiences it differently. Maybe it’s a guilty pleasure or it’s like a bowl of chocolate ice cream on bad day. Kingdom Hearts was there to cheer me up when I was feeling lonely or out of place.  We all have our personal darkness that can be overwhelming at times. Sora, Donald, and Goofy remind us that we never have to face a challenge alone.  Though the darkness can be unyielding, a shimmer of light always makes it through.

Do you like Kingdom Hearts? Has it ever helped you through some rough patches? I want to hear your story. Please feel free to comment. I’m anxious to read your posts.

-Reggie Alarm

This has been Reggie Alarm’s second guest post on TGM. You can find more from him on his Twitch and YouTube channels. Look forward to more guest posts from Reggie in the future. Don’t forget to give us your opinion on the comment section below!

How RE5 Brought YouTuber Reggie Alarm Closer to His Autistic Brother

autism.

Growing up, my family had a gaming console in the house from the age of six. My brother Drew and I would come home after school on Fridays, and settle in on the weekends with a Sonic video game or whatever was relevant and fun at the time.  

For people with autistic family members, they understand it can be difficult to connect with them.  It wasn’t easy growing up with my brother but it shaped my sister and I into adults that my parents are proud of.  One of the challenges for me came from finding things in common with him.  We couldn’t always do what other brothers could do for fun. I did my best to involve Drew in my escapades while understanding there would be limitations.  

As I got older, I drifted apart from my brother and sister. We had different interests and different goals worth pursuing. I wanted to work in medicine and my sister wanted to be an educator.  

When I ventured to Basic Training to gain some much needed discipline in my life I was 20 years old. Resident Evil 5 had come out that same year on Xbox360 and PS3.  At the time, my only concern was getting through my medic training and getting home.  Resident Evil 5 was still in the back of my mind because l absolutely loved the Resident Evil series.  

Fast forward to August 2010, I got an opportunity to go to school to be a Paramedic in Spokane Washington. I officially left the nest and was started on my own. School was tough but I managed to earn great grades. Once I got the hang of school work, military duties, and various other tasks, there was plenty of time to game. In the place I was living, I had a small room with a tiny TV and my PS3.  

Drew and I made a habit of playing Resident Evil after I got out of school each day. It’s not that big of a deal now, but back then it was really cool that I could play a game a state away with my brother. After we both got headsets it was like being in the same room or being on a phone call. Resident Evil 5 offers a lot in gameplay and replayability with it’s upgradable weapon system, online versus mode, and mercenaries. We must have put over 150 hours into the game. Sometimes we just needed an excuse to hangout and would play just to talk.  We would discuss school, work, or whatever we felt like talking about. Most importantly, I got to know my brother and he got to know me.

Not everyone is going to be able to connect with the mentally disabled as I did with my brother, but I’m so grateful that I was able to. I have been very blessed to be able to have the opportunities I have had with Drew. If you are reading this and you have someone in your life with a disability, I can only imagine that you love them as much as I love Drew.  When you finally make that connection, it is more than worth it.      

– Reggie Alarm

Look forward to upcoming guest posts by Reggie Alarm on TGM in the future. You can also find him on his Twitch and YouTube channels where he frequently has charity streams to support local children hospitals as well as raising autism awareness.

Resident Evil 7 Has Arrived

Resident Evil, also known in Japan as Biohazard, is a game series that simultaneously conceived the genre of survival horror and popularized the Playstation console in such a way that it quickly became a staple title. It’s an old friend to billions of fans around the world (including myself) who recognize it as the first real zombie game.

Before 28 Days Later or The Walking Dead 0r any countless number of comics, films and other mediums dedicated to the zombie genre — Resident Evil paved the way with it’s iconic characters, detailed backstory and challenging puzzle-style progression in-game.

I remember watching my older brother play earlier titles religiously; solving puzzles, beating tough virus-ridden bosses, fight off various zombified dobermans that smash through windows and crows. It wasn’t until I turned sixteen that I had my own chance at beating the second game and truly falling in love with it to the point that I didn’t mind losing sleep out of fear of being eaten alive after playing for hours at a time. Side effect.

The execution of the overlying theme/idea in earlier Resident Evil games drew me in immediately. The evil pharmaceutical company Umbrella Corp’s deadly experimentation with the T-virus causing destruction and chaos in Raccoon city before spreading to devastate the world. Resident Evil was known in it’s earlier days for it’s spin-tingling atmosphere, the terrifying monsters, the vulnerability players are forced into when counting their sparse inventories, the dread of running out of bullets or plants to use nearly always present. That, is the series I know and love as the best.

I don’t know about everyone else but the last installment that made me feel all those things was Resident Evil 4. Following the 4th installment I felt the rapid decline of the true claustrophobic fear and panic that Resident Evil games were known to induce. Resident Evil 4 leaned more towards a thrilling action tale with the dreamy Leon Kennedy (Did I say dreamy out loud?) on a quest to save the president’s daughter from a religious cult in Spain. It was, dare I say it….fun. But then the fun continued with Resident Evil 5, further distancing the series from it’s roots and eventually Resident Evil 6 became a good idea with its measly campaigns and hyped up co-op feature. I barely made it through Leon’s storyline (the first one) before I called it quits.

It was at that point that I mourned the death of one of my favorite game series. 4 years later Resident Evil 7 was announced at E3 2016 with a trailer that gave me goosebumps all over (might have been the cockroaches and maggots from the trailer…) and and I felt like jumping up and down and screaming, Yes! It’s Back! Of course I was immediately concerned I’d made the mistake of assuming Resident Evil 7 would be a tribute of the good old days. After all, both the trailer and subsequent demo were in first person and one of the best traits of the early games to me was the fact that third person was a norm for the series.

Looking back on it, there was no reason to fret. Resident Evil 7 was not only meant to revitalize it’s fanbase, but to remind them of it’s tendency to break new ground. The game would be released on VR as well as PS4, not unlike how it popularized the original Playstation at it’s inception, Resident Evil 7 showed that a new type of technology could revolutionize how we gamed. Again. (Also, how to break said technology out of fear… poor headsets).

Resident Evil 7 meshed the demands of an advanced gaming environment that exists today, with the dread and giddy disgustion we love and crave, serving as trademarks of it’s earliest releases. The hasty pace of the story and confined setting  gave the feeling of being watched in false seclusion, like every rusty or creak as you walked (or often limped) along was a taunt by an unseen threat just outside your view. Often I found myself physically tensing when turning directions or entering a new hallway or room, half expecting something to jump out at me. Luckily I can retreat to a golden-hued safe room, store my items in a box and save my progress with an antique recorder to proceed at a point when my nerves aren’t shot.

Though I love the latest installment in the Resident Evil series I noticed a few minor improvements or clarifications it wouldn’t hurt ol’ Capcom to look over.

#1: Mia & Ethan Can’t Be Married 

This actually is a bigger fault with the general backstory overall but the legitimacy of Mia and Ethan’s close, marital relationship specifically leaves me doubtful. To the point that I actually pretend that they don’t know each other and Ethan just happened to run into a mutated hillbilly family in rural Louisiana and that’s the end of that. Perhaps it’s the way they treat each other like old college roommates when they reunite in a basement cell after years of separation. No tearful embraces or heartwarming moments between these two lovebirds, no sir. Actually I’m even more confused as to why Ethan would go out alone, in the middle of nowhere with no backup after Mia supposedly emails him after missing for 3 years under mysterious circumstances, which leads me to point 2.

#2: Why is Ethan Himself? 

This is related to the first point of Mia and Ethan being weird but mostly centers around Ethan being the stranger of the two. I know he’s the protagonist but I witness him (mostly, since I peek out from between my fingers) his arm getting sawed off, being shot at, stabbed, burned and harboring various other fatal injuries without so much as a whimper. He witnesses without a doubt the most gruesome, terrifying things; from a thousand centipedes swarming every surface surrounding him to murderous wasps bursting out from under the hillbilly mother’s skirts, specifically her nether region. He’s meant to be perceived as a normal guy who rises to the occasion when trapped on a swampy farm with monsters but I just don’t feel comfortable with his apparent passiveness as a character. (Maybe I wouldn’t complain if I played the VR version and Ethan screamed bloody murder every other minute, likely leading me to black out from filling in one of the few missing game elements that developers purposefully withheld to spare gamers from that very fate).

Let me know your opinion on the latest installment of the Resident Evil series in the comment section below. How do you feel about Mia and Ethan’s relationship? Do you agree or disagree with mine? I’m sure there are different opinions on which title truly caused a shift in the series style, or if there was even a shift at all. I’d love to hear any and all.

–Tech Gurl

FFXV Platinum Demo Review

When running through FFXV’s Platinum Demo you are given a tasteful sample of several traits to expect from the final version of the game, ranging from the magnificently realistic graphics to the broad open landscapes and areas.

You control the main character Noctis, or “Noct” as he’s playfully called, by the featured carbuncle summon who acts as your guide in the demo. The crown prince wakes up in a grassy field, apparently as a child, and is given what looks like a smartphone in which the carbuncle uses to communicate. Though I would have been content with the adorable squeaking noises he produces every other moment.

The demo’s setting itself is considered Noctis’ dreamscape, your guide explains before long, that you are completely conked out and that in order to wake up and join the others waiting for you, you needed to find a way out.

You navigate through the first area quickly while noticing the awing beauty of the natural space, the way the grass sways with the wind, the stunning blue sky. Even Noctis’s fluid movements with the slightest tilt of the left analog stick leave me marveled. His hair and clothes able to shift with him, his arms swaying this way and that as a real child’s would when either running or walking, or something in between. It’s clear Square intended to show off in the graphics department and they certainly succeed at least in this aspect, the visuals in FFXV demonstrate a new age for the the series, the best so far.

It’s easy to catch onto the basic controls thanks to a handy menu on the right side of the screen, aiding you from you moment you move Noctis for the first time. The demo uses scattered gold crystals as a motivation to explore the expansive areas, as well as circular switches on the ground that trigger various things when you stand over them. In some instances, they reveal teasers of astrals such as the image of Titan peeking down at you, or Leviathan swooping above for a few seconds before disintegrating.

When encountering your first enemies, Nightmares, your helpful Carbuncle guide provides you with a toy sword and squeaky hammer appropriate for Noctis’ age. It’s immediately clear, that the battle format is designed to utilize different weapons for different purposes, you’ll often find yourself switching them to accommodate the fight. The sword for instance, catches enemies and with repeated strikes keeps them guarding or trapped The hammer is difficult to use when pursuing retreating enemies, but does a load of damage once you have them close.

It’s extremely simple to attack, holding down the circle button enables you to approach an enemy without the analog stick, there’s no need for endless button mashing to attack in this game. However, it’s difficult to target specific opponents, since the closest is targeted automatically and the camera angle shifts to focus on that one. Leaving you open to assault by nearby enemies you can’t see, forcing you to randomly guard when concerned of being attacked from behind.

As you progress, gathering more crystals, you eventually find yourself inside a dining room that looks like it’s part of Noctis’ home. There are stacked books and toy blocks acting as evidence of a child living there, you appear to minimize while the carbuncle either enlarges or stays the same size in this area. There are different switches in this area that enable you to comically transform into different models of cars. No doubt practice for the final version’s main method of transport, going off the sleek black car that was featured in a past trailer of the game.

The car controls are slightly stiff, turning can be difficult and timely, and it would be irksome if there were enemies around that could actually harm you within it, but going with the realistic qualities, it’s not untrue that turning a real car can have some difficulties as well. It was still enjoyable nonetheless to cruise around the large room, seeking out stray crystals hidden in tight corners, or on the edge of enormous book spines.

Eventually you put the carbuncle out of it’s misery and follow it to the next area, following continuous prompting from the creature to hurry up. I felt rather rushed by the constant texts emphasized by shrill squeaks, particularly expressed when you stand still for too long.

The next to last stage featured a part of what we can assume to be Lucis, the main character’s hometown. You are given a breathtaking view of the buildings below the neighborhood sectioned off for you to explore, with the sky yet again in full view, this time with dark clouds and rain. It’s in this stage where the buttons allow you to change the weather or fast forward time, a clever method on the production team’s part to display the beautiful weather changes, and how the surroundings and characters respond.

The gray stone of the walls and bricks in the street turn dark and slick, Noctis’ hair becomes matted down as well as his clothes, the atmosphere is dark and thunderous. You’re also able to change from night to day, or vice versa, and there’s a distinct difference and feel when experiencing the city at night, rather than during the sunny daylight hours.

Not unlike the humor of turning into automobiles, you have the ability to turn into different creatures, an enormous buffalo like creature and a giraffe antelope hybrid. Like the car, it’s entertaining albeit inconvenient to use around enemies since you only have one move and it takes a considerable amount of time to perform it, giving the enemy enough time to dodge or have you freeze in place, making it awkward to angle or target.

If you have been good about collecting the crystals on your way, you’ll find yourself rewarded by some switches that gift you with upgrades for your weapons, which make it easier to combat the sudden hordes of goblin looking Nightmares that materialize randomly. You can expedite your journey of course just by finding the next prompt to progress, which in this stage happens to be carpeted hallway with a bright light at the end.

Not exactly a tunnel, but still.

The final stage is a familiar coliseum like arena that is identified as the citadel by carbuncle. It gives off a rightful ominous feeling when entering, and within seconds you find yourself up against the iron giant, that at one point acted as the only substantial gameplay demonstration for the title after years in silent production.

The final battle proves to feel and sound just as I’d hoped. With Yōko Shimomura’s glorious Omnis Lacrima in the background, building up the giddy energy you experience charging toward the enormous metal hulk of an enemy, as a determined adult Noctis .Rather than being truly difficult to defeat, the iron giant acts as a prime subject of a new player’s experimentation with the battle mechanics in the game. The airstrip sword is the highlight of the battle, used to teleport high up to different handles on the side of buildings or surrounding blue flagged street stands. It allows you to effectively flit away after each attack, but also beam quickly to the iron giant catching it off guard.

You also possess a broadsword two times the length of Noctis’ adult figure, and he swings it around with the same effect of the squeaky hammer his smaller version did earlier, slowly but powerfully.

You’ll continually switch from each weapon during the battle, in order to avoid being too exposed running around the iron giant on the ground. Which is surprisingly spry and able to keep up to your speed, even while you flit around as a blue mist.

It’s a satisfying end to the demo when you ultimately bring down the iron giant and are greeted by carbuncle’s congratulatory chirping cry, who you now earn as a summon, by completing the demo fully. You revert back to child Noctis, and from there exit in your father’s black sleek car, the place you discover intimately as Noctis’ safe zone, where he spends the most time with his father.

A tender realization, that connects with all the other tidbits you discover about FFXV’s main character throughout the demo, thanks to carbuncle’s occasional remarks about Noctis’ relationship with his father, and his personal tendencies overall. The Platinum Demo succeeded in piquing our interest even further, with the hinting of a deeper level to his background and nature as a character.

A familiar trait, among many we have come to expect from the long enduring beloved series, known among all to be the franchise that introduced, what nearly all common role-playing games today have reproduced.

The anticipation for the final release, only mounts at the conclusion of this demo, despite some inconveniences with navigating vehicles and targeting, the Platinum Demo displays the dedication the Square Enix team has in making FFXV both a tribute to the series’ earlier successful years, and a step toward the future with both new, and old fans.

The production team has one last note before the end of the demo, which translates to something specific for me. We’ll see you later friend, when you come back for the main event, now that you’ve had a taste.

Persona 5 is Finally Releasing April 4th!


The Atlus USA Youtube channel released a trailer last week and the title hyped me up within seconds. The Phantom Thieves Are Ready to Roll on April 4th. After three years of delays and waiting and crazy anticipation this last trailer was somehow assuring me that this time finally, Atlus was ready to give North America and Europe what it’s home country Japan has enjoyed since September of last year.

When Atlus revealed the official PS5 website and it dawned on me that the reality of playing it before the year 2020 was actually conceivable, I was beyond ecstatic. Persona 4 was one of my all-time favorite titles besides classics such as The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time and Final Fantasy VII (among many other installments in the series). I replayed Persona 4 when the Golden edition was released and talked to every gamer I knew about it. There were so many aspects of that game I loved, from the unique battle style to the murder crime solving plot and personable characters.

Now Persona 5 will be releasing next month on April 4th and it’s looking like what I loved in PS4 will be reflected in the newest installment. Atlus kept the fans in mind in terms of what differentiated the Persona series and made it special when placed alongside other JRPG’s. Persona was the standout because of the character connections you made in the game (cough cough! Social links…) the choices you made everyday in-game, the humor and complexity of the characters and how distinguished it all was in the art design and dialogue.

Rather than Zelda’s Breath of the Wild or Horizon Dawn or any of the other amazing open world, pretty games that have made the year before 2017 even started — I’m far more excited about Persona 5 destroying my life for the month or so it will take to complete it.

My excitement can be split into the 5 main points below, from top to bottom. Take a look and see what upcoming Persona 5 highlights earn it best game of the year award in Tech Gurl’s world.

The Storyline 

If you’ve ever played any of the previous Persona games you know too well how deliciously complex and lengthy the stories tend to be. It might just be me, but one of the reasons I pick up an RPG is the expectation that I’ll be playing it for a while. I can only really speak for Persona 4, but it delivered a memorable tale with an outcome heavily influenced by the player’s choices. I’m an avid mystery-crime fan and will consume practically any book, film or video game with a suspect involved, so it’s no wonder Persona 4’s plot involving mysterious small-town murders had me instantly captivated. It was one of the best mysteries I had the fortune of solving, because it gave me everything I could want from the genre: a well-written and organized plot, characters I constantly second guessed and an all-important sense of urgency and suspicion as I progressed further into the story. All these things pulled me into the Persona 4 world and kept me there until the end.

The Persona 5 plot will undoubtedly share the same lure Persona 4 possessed for me. You can tell it has the same feel of the young overcoming some greater evil with double lives. We see in earlier trailers Atlus has released — that the protagonist as a student with a group of friends enter a different world for the good of their own. I wanted Persona 5 to share the basic story similarities as Persona 4, as a fan I almost demanded it. The high school setting, the troupe of teenagers fighting in dungeons, the time progressing aspect, the freedom to advance certain relationships  or skills over others. It’s not dull, it’s exciting to know that Atlus is passing those aspects on to Persona 5. Not that Persona 5 will be a complete copy of it’s predecessor in terms of the content and gaming style. We can expect additions such as the Hold Up mechanic in battle, allowing you to question an enemy after dropping all foes to critical condition as well as a similar but revamped social link system that will be known as communication. I’m looking forward to starting on the new storyline with the three main characters and discovering all the other additions Persona 5 has to share.

The Characters/Wifu’s

The characters in Persona games are the best things about them alongside the story because they make the story. I remember meeting Yusuke the dork/pervert, Chie the kung-fu fanatic and Yukiko the not-just-a-pretty-girl at the beginning of Persona 4 and absolutely loving them for being so personable but complicated at the same time. The cast of characters grew as I progressed through the game and each one was distinct and memorable. I wished they were my real friends! (Without the introduction of them being kidnapped and thrown in another dimension to die…) We have sneak peeks into the new characters in Persona 5 and

Now I love all the Persona 4 characters, but anyone who’s played it understands they have a incredibly important and decisive choice to make when it comes to women in this game. Since the protagonist is male maxing social link’s with certain females allowed you to become “intimate” and have them confess to you. I’ll admit, though you’re never forced to date any of the girls in Persona 4 I ended up choosing (not telling!) one and reaching level 10 on our social link. Any true fan will have a favorite (or several) females in the game that they swear by as best in appeal, personality and overall character. It will be no different in Persona 5 with multiple women to choose from both inside and outside the main phantom thieves group, which I might mention is mostly comprised of women…

Just from the character descriptions on the site megamitensei, Ann Takamaki is beautiful and headstrong but also seems vulgar despite her appearance. Kids at school misunderstand her and she is hard to make friends with but once you gain her trust she’s extremely loyal. I connect with Futaba Sakura on such a deep level! (More than I care to admit…) She communicates mainly through the internet and has a fear of being outside, often wearing masks and hiding behind the protagonist. Being so isolated causes Sakura to feel hopeless and it leads to dark, suicidal thoughts. I just want to give her a big hug and show her how lovable the world can be! Haru Okumura is this adorable, pink-wearing rich kid who has trouble picking out good friend from bad friend on account of her family’s wealth. She finds true friendship and an outlet for self-expression when she joins the Phantom Thieves. Last but not least, my personal favorite, Makoto Nijima is both ideal in personality and appearance, with her serious demeanor that’s offset by the occasional peek into her softer, more childish side. She’s terrified of all things horror but is so mature on the outside you would never have guessed it. She’ll most likely be the female I would choose to date in-game.

The Art Style/Design

It’s clear that Persona 5 has a very distinct art style that was chosen for it to match the phantom thief/drama theme. Not unlike Persona 4 with it’s yellow, green and white color scheme — Persona 5 has red, more red and some white and black. Which contrast fantastically with one another, providing a very dramatic and stylish feel to the overall design and  feel of the game. It comes off as a bit gothic but I love how to brings the game together and may even be the main appeal for new fans to try the Persona series.

The Soundtrack/Background Music

Tata ta ta, ta ta ta taaaaa ta ta ta taaaa ta ta…. oh sorry about that, you were expecting me to talk about why I have a category just for music in Persona 5 right? Well….

I can sing, hum, whistle and tongue clack all the theme songs in Persona 4. I’ve already started on Persona 5’s soundtrack, ever since the first E3 trailer came out and I heard the main theme Get Up, Get Out There. I was hooked. There’s something about Persona soundtracks that make my heart just… happy! And no, it did not matter in the least that the English lyrics were humorously inaccurate. What mattered was the infectious tune and how well it matched the game and set the mood each time I launched it. I can say even before playing Persona 5 personally and experiencing the music firsthand that it’s an exciting set that gears me up for the thrills of the theatrical and opera-like battle settings that will be introduced in the new installment. There’s some jazzy elements as well as a rocky feel that leaves you feeling empowered, especially with the singer Lyn’s high vocals in Life Will Change. If you haven’t listened to the soundtrack yet I strongly recommend you do and share your favorite tracks below.

In the end, falling in love with new tracks is a wonderful feeling, but I’ll forever appreciate the familiar melody that plays in the Velvet Room. When I first heard it on the Persona 5 soundtrack there was an immediate sense of nostalgic — oh there it is… back to haunt me again with such high pitched moans and sighs… I will admit, it fits the image of being at a sort-of softer opera performance well for this game.

Social Links or “Cooperation”

In previous Persona series installments the social link system meshed harmoniously with the “other world, dungeon-y” aspect in the game. If you leveled certain links in the normal world, you had an advantage in battle by strengthening the persona type that corresponded with the social link. In my case that was Yusuke all day in Persona 4, but I’m curious (and excited!) to find out what Persona 5’s similar Cooperation system will exactly entail. From what we’ve heard from Atlus and seen in the Japanese version, the Cooperation system will enable you to gain specific abilities in battle as well as items or discounts by interacting with characters. A familiar advantage I’ve noticed between game systems is the ability for a  teammate to shield you from attacks in battle, which signals to me that I should start building my level with the teammates I start out with, to reap the benefits of triggering in-battle special attacks that are prompted only by a certain level of relationship between characters.

I’m ready for April 4th, are you ready? Let’s roll phantoms!

But before rolling off, don’t forget to share what you’re most excited about in Persona 5 in the comment section below.

Phantom Tech Gurl