Short post this week, but one that I personally find pretty interesting. Jordan Devore of Destructoid.com mentioned in a post about a week ago that he was not playing Destiny, and was instead playing Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones, a game he had gotten for free from Nintendo as part of their ambassadors program. He had played the game in the past, but because he hadn’t touched in so long, it felt like he was going through the game for the first time.
That seems about right to me. For example, I played Twilight Princess, and have the completed save game to prove it. But ask me what happened in that game, and I couldn’t tell you. No idea why, but for some reason, that game didn’t stick with me. If I was to play it tomorrow, it would feel a lot of ways like playing it for the first time to me.
That’s a great experience, but I wonder if it speaks to the quality of the game. For example, I’ve only played Persona 4 once, but many of its story beats (which I will not post here for fear of spoiling for someone else), have stuck with me. I remember more about P4 than I do about P3, which I played after the fact on my PSP (because I didn’t want to deal with AI party members on the PS2). Does that mean that Persona 4 had the superior story and gameplay?
To answer my own question, I’m going to say that I don’t think so. Without getting into a war in the comments over whether P3 or P4 is the superior game, I think it has to do a lot with how the game “hits” you at the time. Persona 4 came in at a very turbulent time in my life—back to college, struggling with courses, attempting to find my way, etc. It was the game I needed at that point in my life, and because of that, had really stuck with me.
I think P3 didn’t come at that point in time.
If I were to replay Persona 4, either on the PS2 or the PS Vita enhanced remake, it would feel a lot like visiting an old friend, as opposed to playing it for the time. If I were to play Twilight Princess, I would be impressed if I recalled anything other than Link’s name. That would be playing it for the first time.
I think both experiences have merit in their own ways. I don’t think anyone is going to say that Persona 3 nor Twilight Princess are bad games, but I think it just speaks to where I was in my life at the time of playing them. Because of that, replaying them would result in very different experiences than replaying Persona 4.
What about you guys? Have you had either experience (or both) happen to you?