Caught up on JRPGs FFVIIR and P5

Wrapped up playing Final Fantasy VII Remake last month and Persona 5 over the last week. I think what I'm left with is the imprint of the character designers at the pinnacle of their work.

25 years on, Cloud and crew are iconic as ever. Kept in the zeitgeist by Square Enix's dedicated investment into spin-offs and media. I'd actually mostly familiarized myself this cast without playing the original FF7 (only made it a few hours in). I read the lore, script, and watched the animated OVA and movies. The characters somehow hit the sweet spot of being a fresh archetype for gamers in that generation. In the remake, they aren't as wordy as they would be in a text-based classic RPG, but I think it works to the advantage of letting the characters express themselves through motion and just showing themselves as visual marvels on screen. They 100% brought these characters to life again. Though Yuffie wasn't in the main campaign, she's naturally my favourite character here.

Persona 5's another story altogether. I started playing this one about 4 or 5 years ago, and was immediately enthralled except for the challenge of its length. After nearly finishing the second Palace, I put it on the shelf until 2021 when I picked it up again on the PS5, easily accessible in the Plus Collection. This is another game oozing with cool, filled with unique, recognizable characters that slowly opens up the more time you spend with them. It wasn't until continuing the game that there was a wave of introduction of confidants and I found the motivation to build relationships with them. And it was rewarding, too, to follow each of the character's struggles as they tried to better the world, and as they tried to overcome their own self-doubt and weaknesses. The game was a heartfelt reminder that change is achievable with support and resolve. My favourite addition to the party was Makoto.

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