Multi-Genre Multimedia …

So, while browsing around for games to play, I came across Persona 4: Arena. Since Persona 4 is one of my favourite games ever, this immediately drew my attention. And this is a game that continues the stories of Persona 3 and Persona 4, which are my two favourite games ever. But it does it in an interesting way. This is not an RPG-like game, and so not an expansion like “The Answer” was. Instead, this game is … a 2-D fighting game, made with the help of the guys from BlazBlue.

Now, this is a really interesting idea. The story and the franchise is bridging itself across multiple genres, meaning that you can have different types of games all telling parts of the same story. It’s not a completely new one, however. Mortal Kombat spread out into at least one more platform-oriented game; The Blair Witch Project created a couple of tie-in games in different genres, and in a similar vein the .hack series split itself across different media — games, anime and manga — to produce its entire story. So spreading the story out among diverse elements is not new. But this is certainly different since here the elements are really diverse; you have a solid turn-based RPG moving to a action-packed 2-D fighter.

I both like and dislike this. It’s really nice if a franchise can spread out among different sorts of games, but in most cases those moves were mostly of the “let’s milk the franchise&amp” variety as they shoved a popular franchise into a standard game of another genre to draw in the fans. In this case, according to them — and given their past history I have no reason to doubt or question them — they’re doing more than that, and are continuing the story. This isn’t just a tack on that might explain some backstory or something, if that, but an actual advancement of the story in a different genre. So the thought of having a whole story told out in multiple genres sounds really interesting to me.

downside is that the whole story would be spread across a whole bunch of different genres … some of which some players may not like. In this case, I like 2-D fighters and like RPGs more, so if I have an easy enough easy difficulty I’m going to be able to get through the game and experience all of the story. But if I didn’t like 2-D fighters, I’d be out of luck, and would be missing out on something that was part of a franchise that I loved, and that thing would be something that I really want to have. That’s not good, and under certain circumstances might be considered a slap in the face to the RPG fans that made the franchise popular in the first place.

So while having a diverse set of genre or media options can be really good, it can also go horribly wrong. I applaud the innovation, and in this case it will work for me. But if it became the norm, then I might not be so happy

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