4 Reviews liked by Aciol

Worse than alone / Exiled.
The second game in the Persona series sets out to build and improve upon everything found in the first game. Admittedly the game was very hyped up as being the best the franchise offers, and I can certainly see why. The game is dripping with symbolism trenched deep into a plot involving some of the craziest scenarios in the series, but one that ultimately has a heart at the center of it all.
For starters, I think the gameplay is an improvement of Persona 1's in every aspect....but that still doesn't mean it's the best either. Dungeons are the worst example; they're largely monotonous and too long for their own good at later points in the game. Combat is certainly unique and challenging, but I can't help but feel like it's not all that engaging. A new mechanic that I actually really like is the Rumor System; it has more depth than I was expecting, and I love how it's an extension of the main narrative itself. While you're going around town, spreading rumors, or buying items, the game's excellent soundtrack is also there to keep you company, and I love the instrumental variety featured in the OST.
Worse than exiled / Dead.
Ultimately, I think the strongest part of Innocent Sin lies in its narrative. The storytelling method is quite different from the first game, and I think it works for the story they're going for here. An ever-longing pain emanates from each of the main cast from your first encounter with them, and their struggles were very explored very well. I do think there are some hiccups though, as I can't help but feel the last party member that joins is never given enough interaction with the rest of the cast for me to get a proper handle on what kind of person he is. His struggles were laid out well, but I think the game could've benefited from having a few more scenes with him.
Besides that, I think almost everyone is well-written, and I love the moments where we get to know each character. Whether it be Maya's messy room, Eikichi's dreams of becoming a rock star, or Lisa's habit of blurting out Cantonese phrases, I loved getting to know these characters and exploring the town of Sumaru City. This game reminded me why I fell in love with Persona and Megami Tensei years ago.
Worse than dead / Forgotten.

This game is the 3rd worst game in the franchise and that says a lot considering it's still an 8/10 but my god this game is overhyped to the point where it feels like people are blatantly ignoring this game's flaws
The final antagonists for both protagonists are genuinely so boring that it takes away all the emotions from the final fight, especially for Majima. This is made worse when you consider that Majima is leagues better than Kiryu in this game, I'm guessing for a younger version of Kiryu they wanted to make him more "nuanced", that's why he beats up an innocent man in the beginning
But that nuance takes him nowhere and is quickly forgotten, he's so completely and utterly boring in the story whenever he's not with Nishiki. I love the dynamic those two have, but whenever Kiryu's not playing off of Nishiki, he just becomes so boring.
The game has glaring flaws, it's a really solid story but a few thing hamper it from reaching greatness
Yakuza 3 is better.

A great game that's unfairly treated by players who don't know that the tactic of spamming attacks does not work in this game, and instead of learning the moves (Komaki Parry and Tiger Drop) which will help them play better and not spam attacks, they instead criticise the game
I do agree Yakuza 3 has a boss AI problem, not combat. The bosses in Yakuza 3 do genuinely block a lot, even with the moves I listed, and they're so weirdly perfect at dodging your attacks that it gets annoying. But the combat itself is very solid
As for the story, this game is legitimately peak Kiryu Kazuma. The first few chapters are criticised because Kiryu's being a dad which people find odd for some reason. Also a few people don't like they made Kiryu a paragon in this game, which is completely untrue, he becomes a paragon over the course of Yakuza 1. And it's super odd that Kiryu being a "paragon" is seen as a legitimate criticism, when the other time Kiryu wasn't being a paragon was Yakuza 0, and he's mediocre as hell in that game
Peak fiction, learn Komaki Parry and Tiger Drop, Y3 better than 0 ez

While it's barely a "JRPG", it's still a great Yakuza game. Definitely my 2nd favourite in the franchise, the combat's very simplistic and lacking the depth of something like SMT's Press-Turn system, but the story is great and has one of the best villains in the franchise.
The game's not without flaws though, the game forgets to give 3 of it's party members completed character arcs, instead you have to go out of your to do side content (their Drink Links) to give them actual characterization, and this is the worst with the last party member you get. I don't know why Persona is (rightfully) criticized for it but Y7 isn't

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