I’m sure that when most gamers think about Persona 5, their minds focus on fond memories with clear moments as to why the game may have been one of the best they’ve played. While I have an endless amount of great things to say about the game and the series as a whole, there is something else I associate the game with. How many of you remember the game where you put in hundreds of hours, only to have your saved game get corrupted or missing? This is actually what I most remember about Persona 5 to this point.
Let me give a bit of background. I bought the original Persona 5 not too long after it came out. Because I was a fan of Persona 4, I followed the information regarding Persona 5 the moment that it was announced. The look of the game was unbelievable. Combining that with a strong story, fantastic cast, immersive game mechanics, and a deep battle system made Persona 5 easily one of the best five role-playing games that I have ever played. I had never put more than 100 hours into a game without having completed it. The game was able to keep my attention in a way that few games ever have. Even with all the time I had put into the game, I still wasn’t close to being finished.
While Persona 3 or Persona 4 may have been the first Persona game for many players, I actually first discovered the series on the original Playstation. I happened to be at GameStop and I was intrigued by the box art of the first Persona. So I bought it and it went home to play it. The characters were interesting enough and the battle system of being able to talk to and recruit enemies was unique. Unfortunately, while the game had really great potential, it lacked the polish that I was used to seeing in games like Final Fantasy VII and Suikoden. How the developers implemented traversing the city and the inside of buildings was cumbersome at best. They’ve improved in this area with the last three Personas, but to this day, I have never passed the original game.
Persona 3 was a game that was widely praised by critics but I found the game to be okay at best. I think the darker setting and the choice of characters just did not appeal to me. The music just wasn’t my cup of tea. I understood why many players enjoyed it and it was a huge step forward for the series, but it couldn’t hold my interest. Now Persona 4 was an entirely different story. The setting, characters, and music were all on point. This was the game that made me into a Persona fan. When Persona 4: Golden was released on Steam over the summer, I grabbed it right away. But I digress.
The whole save game situation was my fault. When I bought a new Playstation 4 (PS4), I didn’t make sure to back up my Persona 5 save from my old PS4 that I had sold. So I had a new PS4 but all 100-plus hours of Persona 5 were completely gone. I was devastated to the point where I thought about just watching a gameplay video from where I left off to the end of the game. After spending all that time playing before, I just didn’t want to start all over again. Then Persona 5: The Animation came out and I started watching the series. But because I hadn’t passed the game or seen the ending, I didn’t want the anime to spoil it for me so I stopped watching that after eight episodes.
Persona 5 Royal is actually what made me give the game another try. The added content helped tremendously in that regard because it helped me convince myself that even though it was still Persona 5, it was also a different game. There are differences that I recognized from the very beginning when I booted it up. To date, I have nearly 30 hours in Royal and as the tagline of the game suggests, I am taking my time going through. I am nowhere near where I was before in the original Persona 5 but I will get there. The game is just too good for me not to.
I’m still haunted by the fact that my original Persona 5 save is forever lost and I can not get all of that time back. Sometimes I wish that Persona 5 Royal was my very first experience with Persona 5 so I don’t constantly have that other saved game in the back of my mind. As a precaution for my current save, I am saving it to my flash drive and will also keep a backup on my PC. I need to make sure that I see the game all the way through this time.
What are some of your game save horror stories?