Persona 5 – Review

Persona 5 – Review

Imagine, being able to traverse another world. One where the desires and cognition of every living thing was accessible. Can you imagine being able to change those desires, make the worst of humanity change their hearts and confess their sins? Well, in Persona 5 you have the opportunity to do just that. From the creators of Catherine, Etrian Odyssey, Odin Spear and many other titles Atlus brings us the 5th installment in the Persona series. This JRPG (japanese role-playing game) puts you in the heart of Tokyo and gives you a glimpse at what regular life as a citizen in that magnificent city is like.

You take control of a 16 year old, second year high school boy. While you can name your character whatever you choose, his canon name in the manga (japanese comic) is Akira Kurusu. During my first playthrough I named the character after Motoko Kusanagi, the main protagonist from Ghost in the Shell and currently in my second playthrough I chose the given name for the protagonist to get as close to the real story as possible. While you don’t start the game in Tokyo, you actually start at what you would say is the middle of the game. While I won’t give anything away, you are carrying out your duties as a Phantom Thief, those who steal and change the hearts of Tokyo’s worst criminals. But in series of unfortunate events, you are caught and brought down by the police.

The real game starts here. Before moving to the city you encounter a man, one who is trying to sexually assault a women. So you are given the choice to go help her. But in doing so the drunk man gets injured and sues you. Given his influence you are branded a criminal, kicked out of school and are forced to transfer to Shujin Academy in Tokyo. It is here where throughout the game you meet the four others members that will be become your best friends and members of the Phantom Thieves. Your leader and navigator is none other than a talking cat named Morgana. Which for me was my favorite part of the game. With the help of Ryuji, Ann, Yusuke, Matoko, Futaba and Haru you try to reform the corrupt society in Japan and make a name for yourselves as Phantom Thieves. While I want to refrain from giving away too many story details, I can tell you this, there are many twists and turns in this story that keep your eyes glued to the TV screen. It is one of the best narratives I have ever witnessed and played through.

As far as gameplay goes, Persona 5 out did themselves. Like most JRPG’s P5 is a turn-based game. Involving a good amount of thinking and strategy in order to come out victorious. As the main character, his code name being ‘Joker’, you can take the powers of enemies you fight as ‘Persona’s’. Persona’s and basically companions that you can take on your journey to aid you in battle. Each member of the group has their own specific persona but Joker is the only one who can use multiple companions. Such is why he’s the leader of the group. Level up your Persona and take on the evil desires and your targets in their palaces as well as in the depths of mementos (the world underneath shibuya). The art style of P5 is also unique. It makes you feel like you’re watching/playing an anime episode. To top it off they actually added animated scenes in the game as well.

Persona 5 also gives you other things to do while you’re not running around being a Phantom Thief. You go to school, study, read, get part-time jobs, play video games and interact with the people around you. During mundane things in this game gives you points to level up your Knowledge, Charm, Kindness, Proficiency and Guts. Each of those categories gives you access to different people who you call ‘Confidants’. Every confidant has different abilities that can be granted to you so it’s crucial that you use your time wisely and spend as much time with people as you can. This will give you a huge advantage in battle, Especially during the harder segments at the tail end of the game. Your time is limited and precious in this game, so use it wisely.

After spending 90+ hours in this world during my first playthrough, I can confidently say that Persona 5 is the best RPG I have played in the past year. Quite possibly the best i’ve played in my career as a gamer. I bonded and connected with the world, characters and story more than I thought was possible. It felt like I was living through an actual anime. When I finally completed the game yesterday, I felt empty. I felt like I wanted more, that this couldn’t be the end. I was living through the Protagonist as though I were him. Luckily for all the gamers who felt like me at the end, Persona 5 offers a New Game + mode, which allows you to replay the game and carry over your money, persona compendium percentage, social skills levels and equipment from your completed save file. Allowing you to relive the beauty that is Persona 5 once again, giving 100+ hours of your life, again. Also, with the amount of DLC on the online store, I can pick and choose what costume I want my characters to wear this time and also play the game with its original japanese voices. Which i’m very excited about.

I am very excited to start my second playthrough of this game today. I have my eyes set on the Platinum Trophy and I will not stop until I obtain it. For those who have yet to play this Playstation 4 exclusive, I highly recommend that you do so, today. It will steal your heart and change your view on video games forever. As a avid lover and advocate for the japanese culture, this game has truly made my love for Japan and its games ascend its original heights.

Score: 10/10
Platform: Playstation 4
Price: $59.99

Boruto: Naruto Next Generations Ep – 15 Review

Boruto: Naruto Next Generations Ep – 15 Review

After the conclusion of the Sumire arc last episode, this week was a bit of a cool down. Sort of a time to prepare us for what’s coming next and what’s coming is something i’ve been wanting for almost two years now. So let’s jump right into it.

The village is now safe in recovery mode after the summoning of Nue. The kids are back in school and the adults are back to running the village alongside Naruto. But boruto and his classmates all keep wondering what is going to happen to Sumire, their classmate and friend. Shino attempts to keep their minds off of it by presenting them with another training exercise, much like the one that destroyed the school in the first few episodes. Only this time the kids are to pick new 3 man teams themselves. This scene got me excited for the upcoming episodes. Mainly because I know whom is going to be paired with each other.

Quickly the first team is assembled and it’s Ino-Shika-Cho of course. Inojin, Shikadai and Chou-Chou group together to continue their family tradition. Mitsuki and Boruto stay as a group and I was hoping that Sarada would join them right off the bat but it didn’t happen unfortunately. So I figure that after the events of the upcoming episodes she’ll be paired with the boys. So another capture the flag game has started and the teams battle it out in order to come out on top. During the exercise Shino receives word from a Leaf Jonin about Sumire and races away, leaving Sarada in charge.

Later on Boruto questions Naruto at home about his friend Sumire but Naruto just gives a rehearsed answer “she got hurt and is in recovery” but Boruto knows better because he was there. So he knows something is up. Injoin spills the details the next day that Sumire might be transferring to another village. During the conversation Shino comes back to the class, following him short after is Sumire. She is immediately welcomed by her classmates, who are all happy that she decided to come back to the academy. She glances at Boruto who is away from the crowd as he quickly gives her the signature naruto smile and thumbs up.

That marked the end of the episode but things get better in the last few scenes. We see a giant tree and Naruto racing up to the top of it. Suddenly we hear a familiar voice. It’s Sasuke! We finally get to see Sasuke after 14 episodes. The two speak about how the seal from Sumire’s back could help Sasuke travel to kaguya’s dimension, which is the place we saw him in during the first scene in Boruto: Naruto the Movie. So we are quickly approaching that content, which is very exciting for me. The final scene shows Toneri on the moon as he speaking about the gods descending upon the land soon, who could he be talking about? It’s none other the Kinshiki and Momoshiki, the two main villains from the Boruto movie. We get a scene with the two of talking as they prepare to travel to Kaguya’s dimension.

During the credits we get TONS of scenes from the upcoming arc, which is by far my favorite in all of Naruto. ‘The Seventh Hokage & The Scarlet Spring’ manga arc. The story of how Sarada met her father, fought the mysterious Uchiha members, unlocked her sharingan and found out where she came from. A story about my favorite next generation character and the Uchiha family. This arc includes so many Sasusaku moments and I am here for it completely. I love this family so much and I can’t wait to see more scenes with Sasuke and Sakura together.

The Sarada arc starts with the episode titled ‘Sarada Uchiha’ which is the name of the first chapter in the manga as well. We have a few episodes before it starts but i’m very excited for the episodes to come. This anime is shaping up to be better than its predecessor. Let me know if you all are excited for the Uchiha arc as well and until next time, I’ll see you guys later.

Score: 7/10

 

カラスの外伝: Raven Gaiden – A ‘Huntress’ Story

カラスの外伝: Raven Gaiden – A ‘Huntress’ Story

シーン二

The monster snarled as mud and blood flung from it claws. Raven sat there on the ground, wiping the blood from her lip. Sweat running down to her chin like raindrops on a small leaf. Her garments covered in dirt and cement residue. Slowly, she picked herself back up and dusted herself off. The road outside of the building raven was thrown through was empty. The surrounding town slowly fading from existence, thanks to the monster snarling in front of her. She softly exhaled, clouds of her breath could be seen as if it we winter again.

“It’s probably a bad idea to use this…” the air around began to pick up, her silver hair releasing from its bindings. “But I’d rather finish this quickly, before I get myself killed for being so lazy”

Her stance changed. Her legs bent, palms facing the beast. Suddenly she took off, a trail of ice and snow following behind. She made contact with the beast, casting off a flurry of punches and kicks. Each hit leaving a shadow of frost on its body. The monster let out a loud roar as it swung its claws towards raven. Effortlessly she avoided the assault, every move she made had a purpose. Finally, she appeared in front of the beast, a quiet smirk wiped across her face.

It was a sight to behold. The once raging beast was now nothing but a block of ice. In a blinding flurry, she had meticulously attacked it. Each and every hit arrived at their mark precisely.

“Nice and quiet now” she spoke.

With the snap of her fingers the block of ice shattered into thousands of pieces. Light snow and glitter began falling from the sky in their wake. Without touching the blade on her back, she easily succeeded where an entire village failed. She slowly exhaled again as she threw the hood back over her head.

“Time to collect” she whispered as she made her way back to the bar.

©Jawan Herron

Boruto: Naruto Next Generations EP 9 – Review

Boruto: Naruto Next Generations EP 9 – Review

So in my opinion, this episode was a little dull in terms of pacing and lore BUT it was still enjoyable. We start by Hanabi testing Boruto’s eye power, replacing her father in the fight. I really, really enjoyed seeing one of favorite characters be able to fight again or even get more screen time for the first time in almost 3 YEARS. We also got to see how Boruto handles combat when he’s fighting at his full strength (excluding his unknown eye power and hidden potential). The way he thinks things out in battle is similar to Sasuke & Sarada, but the way he uses his shadow clones almost surpasses Naruto at his age. Even though he can’t materialise the same amount that his father can, he uses them so efficiantly for speed boosts and movement.

But in the end Hanabi cannot verify if it’s the Byakugan or not after she defeats her nephew. But she does sense some kind of power stiring in his eye and she urges Boruto to keep training and if anything should change to come back and see them again. Also, I also love the fact that Boruto calls Hanabi “Big Sis” and she treats him and Hima like younger siblings. As a fan of the series it really warms my heart to see connections like that being forged. Everyone has come such a long way. Even Naruto and Hiashi seem to be closer than ever before. The hyuga have seemed to change because of Naruto’s great influence over the village after the war.

There was a really nice sequence with Sarada and Boruto as they worked to take down yet another malice chakra victim. Sarada calling Boruto an idiot just like her mom used to do with Naruto was so funny. Also there was a nod to the old school Naruto episodes with Sarada throwing a fuma shuriken and Boruto appearing from the thrown shiruken behind the enemy. Just like the first Zabuza fight from way back when. But even Sarada Uchiha acknowledged that something was different with Boruto so i’m excited to see the growth between these two characters. Sarada being my favorite next generation character of course.

Overall, we weren’t really given any new information regarding Boruto’s eye power. Even though the young shinobi was dead set on proving his father wrong and revealing his Byakugan, he realized that he just needed to train more and be patient like Hanabi said. Even Naruto felt a change in Boruto and sensed that something truly was happening with his eye power, saying “I know he’s not lying this time” as he smiled.

Although the main story progression seems to be slowing down a bit now I still enjoyed this episode for the little jewels it carried. Really looking forward to next weeks episode, so until then i’ll catch you guys at the next review!

Score: 7/10
Animation: 7/10

Update 5/2/17

Hello everyone. This post is basically going to be quick wrap about where i’m going to going with this blog. This is place I generally use to share my poetry, short stories and other various projects that i’m working. One project in particle being ‘The Huntress’. My last visit on that story was almost a month or so ago, i’ve really been slacking. But I have a lot of ideas on where I want that story to go so stayed tuned!

I also want to start posting more poetry and reviews as well. I’m a recent graduate from Kansas State University and I want future employers to have a good place to go for all of my written work. I’m also very passionate about art, anime, video games and japanese culture so i would like to write more about those things. Whether it be reviewing recent anime, video games etc. or posting informative things about japan and their culture as well as other places in the world.

I weant this to be a place where I can explore my creativity freely. So I will do my best to keep all of this updated daily, if not weekly. I really want to get back into my normal groove of writing after working in the real world for the past year. Hope you all stick with me as I continue to grow as i writer! Thank you!

-J.H

Ginger Fox

That invincible feeling
The one that makes you believe in things you thought were impossible
You would spot them first in a crowded room
Giving you a feeling that cannot explain
Even if that feeling is new and scary
They inspire you, they are art to you
Pushing you past your self constructed limits and walls
The sun always shines bright
The moon always glows
They are your first thought as you wake
Your last at night
When the days are long and the nights longer
They pull you through
Completely unaware of the effect that they have on you
Sure, you would be okay without them, you can live without them
But you just… do not want to
They are special
The best thing, your favorite thing
Everything
it is almost like magic
An unseen force pulling you to them
Now, do you have that person in mind?
Good
Hold onto that light, hold it close to your chest and even closer to your heart
And never let it burn out

©Jawan Herron

Sanity

Sacrificing sanity for things that I hate
For nights of no productivity and less creativity
For people I feel nothing for
At a job that rots me from the inside out
For the daily anxiety of trying to keep up with life
The anxiety of keeping my love close
Wishing it would all slow down
Give me a brief relief from the pace I wonder if I am gaining closer to my dreams
Maybe I will regain what I have lost if I keep going
If I reach the end, no
When I reach the end
For my sanity
I will go

©Jawan Herron