Thursday, June 23, 2011

The Agony of Choice

Hi everyone! Rant imminent!

Last night, I was playing Persona 4 and got to a point in the game where you had to make a choice of how to respond to a certain serious situation (Trying to avoid spoilers here). The choices were markedly different, and put your morals to the test. I made my choice, hoping that it wasn't all that important... when the game ended. Yep, that was it. I got the "Bad Ending", or something to that effect. And I was pissed off!

Now, I would like to make it very clear that I freaking love Persona 4. I think it's a wonderfully great game that anyone with a PS2 should try at least once. That said, the way the choice that came up last night was handled was very poor. Until this point in the game, all dialogue options and choices of action had not had such a great effect on the storyline, but now all of a sudden you have to choose something that will determine if you get to keep playing or not. They give you absolutely no heads-up about this, which I find quite annoying. And to top it all off, you had to sit through quite a long scene before the choice came up, meaning I have to do all that over again to make a different choice (No way am I accepting that ending). Sure, it was a very dramatic and emotional scene, but that doesn't make things much better. In fact, why couldn't the game just have let me save before making the choice?

There was a choice like this in Persona 3 as well (Which by the way is another game anyone with a PS2 simply has to play), but that one was handled much better. The scene beforehand clearly explained that something big was coming, and you were mentally prepared to make a tough decision. Granted, the were only two options to choose from in Persona 3, as opposed to three options in Persona 4, but you still got a chance to save right before the choice had to be made. If only you had gotten the same chance in Persona 4, I would have been satisfied, even if they didn't warn you that the choice was coming.

I guess the reason I felt so upset about this is because I feel like I failed. But unlike a regular failure, which would have resulted in a "Game Over" and having to try again, this failure can't be erased (Well, it's not supposed to be anyway). It was irreversible within the game's continuity, and that... really got under my skin. In real life, there's no way for us to undo the choices we've made, no turning back time to take another path. I guess the game succeeded in conveying that feeling exceptionally well, but I'm still kinda grumpy about it. It feels like I'm being punished for making a wrong choice, when the choice didn't really have a right or wrong to begin with.

Well, this kinda stewed in my mind for some time yesterday, and I don't know if I managed to make enough sense with this post, but whatever. I'm going to try again today, and see if I can make the "right" choice so I can continue the game. After all, I can reload my last save.

So much for being irreversible now, stupid choice!

Until next time, have a good day!

29 comments:

  1. Remember you always got freedom of choice. Good article.

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  2. I played both Persona 3 and 4 and loved them and yea I understand your gripe about those choices.

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  3. I never heard of persona. Is it a rpg?

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  4. That sounds like a really well made game mechanic.

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  5. Nice post :) might have to check it out :P

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  6. I remember Persona, you're making me nostalgia now haha.

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  7. Just like real life choices. You think you make the right one and it turns out to be wrong.

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  8. Some choices are better than others, its up to you to decide which consequences you prefer :)

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  9. Damn, I wanna play this game!

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  10. I hate vital plot points, sometimes I read up on them before making a decison I'm that concerned, haha.

    I haven't played Persona 4, but I've played the predecessors and loved them. Don't have a PS2 to play it and can't find a copy of the game sadly.

    Awesome blog, followed. Maybe I'll invest in a copy of the game too =3


    Take a look at my blogs sometime if you get the oppurtunity:
    http://serenityindex.blogspot.com/

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  11. i have to see the games before i can make a descision! anyways thanks for sharing.
    +followed

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  12. again nice post!
    keep it up.
    +follow

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  13. Choices like this in a game can be a very nice addition, but if done wrong are horribly frustrating

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  14. You could have chosen to not play the game!

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  15. Was the effect as much as in mass effect where you would lose a squad member, or was this more like bioshock? Just trying to get an idea of how large of an effect it caused.

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  16. Sounds interesting, I am going to have to check out persona 4 for myself.

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  17. Hmm never heard of Persona, will look that up later.

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  18. this post makes me think about in real life,how come it feels like most people always look back at choices they made whether they are good or bad. a lot of people go back and think "what if i made this choice instead?" i have to stop doing it i think its better to move on.


    Persona sounds like an interesting game, i like that you can make choices that change they outcome of the game.

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  19. Never had a chance to play Persona before, really want to though.

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  20. I always wanted to play Persona 4, but I heard there's a lot of dialogue and I always like starting from the first game. Maybe when I have more time I'll check it out :D

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  21. Multiple endings are my biggest downfall in games - if they exist, I must see them! So I usually have tons of saves on games, constantly restart to see if this decision will make a difference, etc etc... I drive myself insane on games like this. The only game series that drives me up the wall more is Fire Emblem - I CANNOT keep playing if a member dies, I just restart the match right away.

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