Persona 5 was a game that I was expecting for a long time, given that I'm a fan of the series and Persona 4 was pretty good. Too bad it quickly earned the title of "biggest disappointment of the year" for me. The way people were praising it didn't help either because I was expecting a masterpiece and found something so-so at best. The epitome of style over substance, I played half the game to see that everything I liked in that game some older game in the franchise already did it, and did it better. But enough of those unrelated complaints, as this blog is about gay things. So here comes another one of my many nitpicks: I don't play Persona to self-insert myself in the MC, so I couldn't care less about not having a female MC (although that would be super cool, and at the same time disappointing, as ATLUS let it very clear that the last time they gave us the option her storyline was NOT canon), but please at least give me the option to pick any love interest I want! This is optional, you know, that thing that's you're not forced to pick to go on, so it shouldn't offend anyone, right?
Wrong. Have your blank protagonist that have no info about him except that he's heterosexual. Have fun.
I wouldn't really write a salty blog post about this if at least the girls were as interesting and cool as they were in Persona 4 (even if best bro Yosuke was still the best pairing, just saying). If. The girls from your party are all (okay, maybe not Haru, because I didn't met her) a stereotyped bore, their lines are either predictable or inconsequential things that could have being said by anyone. Okay, that's not only the girls, even your best bro is just a generic bro. And the one girl that aren't in my party that could be a good love interest stole 100000 yen from me when I was barely being able to buy all guns from the shop so of course I wouldn't give that witch a piece of my love. There was only two characters that managed to make me care about them: Yusuke, the eccentric ikemen, and Mishima, our loyal fanboy. But the game only let us be best friends forever, now I'll die for you, but kiss nah that's too much. Game, stop cockblocking my character!!!
But I don't wanna be just friends...
But it's not that there's no gay character in this game! We go to Shinjuku, and the Shinjuku Ni-chōme area is a thing after all. But eeerrr... the only gay characters I met in Shinjuku was a very stereotyped pair that appear just for a stereotyped joke scene. Twice even. It wasn't particularly funny in the first time, ATLUS, repeating it definetly won't make it funnier. It actually just rub salt in my wounds because you won't let me date Yusuke!
But what happened with ATLUS these past years? They let me date my childhood friend Jun (that's pretty much Yusuke but more shy and more gay) back in Persona 2. Even when the game didn't have friend simulator mechanics. That game also had Hitler as one of the final bosses in a way that makes sense in the plot, so I guess they could never make a game as amazing as that. Best Persona. But anyway, I guess the problem is exactly the friend simulator thing, that also doubles as girlfriend simulator. You see, no matter what choice you pick, all girls always fall for you, no fail. So yeah, including male love interests means that they would have to make them by the end of the social links all blushy and shy and wanting to hold your hand and... ARGH, BUT THAT WOULD BE ADORABLE, DAMN ATLUS! But like I was saying, the social link as they are now are very poorly implemented. Hell, in Persona 3, you were actually forced to date all girls and four-timing made the game even harder because you could make one of them pissed if you were spending your weekend with another girl. Well, duh. But yeeeeeah, what can I do? The girls keep coming even if I only agree with whatever they are saying just so I can max the social link with her and finally unlock this beast to use in battle:
Wait a minute, that Persona over there was from a guy's social link! But I can't remember any useful Persona that unlocks with a girl's social link............... Why did I even try again? Not that I tried too much in Persona 3...
Hey, but it could be a lot lot worse! Remember No One But You? Okay, me neither, I spent a good time looking for the name of this VN. We have a best friend route there, but it's mostly a joke and pity and pornless route because the poor guy didn't get any girl. Oooooh who would even think of going for him from the start! Althought, looking at the CGs in VNDB, the porn seems to suck anyway. Well, the text always sucks, but in this case the CGs sucks too. And we also have Mass Effect Andromeda! We have option for both gender and orientation, but I hope you didn't want to see the boys/aliens going for more than kiss because the male MC and male love interest is the only combination where the super tame porn included in the game doesn't exists, it just fades to black. Then again, the facial expressions of the characters sucks more than No One But You sex scenes, so guess we didn't lose much here either. And for the final example, a date sim/nukige made by Illusion, of all things, that lets you choose your gender and orientation and clearly lets you make an all-boys harem. Oh right, I just forgot to mention that male on male scenes don't exist in the game, fade to black again, het and yuri are fine though. Yeeeeeep, you can play a nukige without any porn. Why even give me the gay option then?????? Fortunately, the game is for PC so kind people quickly modded the damn thing and now it's a 11/10 ge.
And now I'll complain that those devs are slowly making their games more gay but it's still not enough gay because I need to title drop somewhere in this post. Let's get out of our confort zone, AAA devs! And yet, some sensitive people complain on how the gay pandering is ruining the industry with our incredible 0.5% of non-indie games that actually gives people a decent and totally optional choice, sure. And it's not like I'm trying to make every game gay,
I'm not against that, but I can see it doesn't work well in every single place. Some canon het pairings in single heroine games wouldn't be as perfect if we included more options. It DOES works wonderfully with blank slates MCs like Persona ones, but we need some good guys too. In multiple-times-mentioned Persona 3 I would totally go for a girl anyway, because the girls from my party were mostly good while my best bro Junpei is so bro that he would probably stab me to take my place if I ever let my guard down around him. It would totally be a trap, but not that trap. And I can't risk dying outside the dungeons.
I'll finish Persona 5 regardless, eventually. It's a solid 7/10 game for now (DISCLAIMER: in my ratings, 7 is usually okay, it was entertaining but either had hard-to-ignore flaws or it's a bit forgetable). But I have to confirm that the last two dungeons won't save it of being my least favorite Persona game. Shin Megami Tensei 5 when btw?