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8. Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 4 (14)

This was a surprising and wonderful title for a series I had never heard of considering how late in the console's life cycle it was released, this RPG mixed with a visual novel provided plenty of different gameplay.  The addition of RPG elements such as leveling, magic, and dungeon crawling turn the choose your own adventure characteristics of visual novels into more complete gameplay.  The game's periodic switching between the two genres leads to an interesting back and forth that staves off the boredom of the quickly repetitive rpg stages.  Mixing personas in the velvet room can consume as much or little time as you desire, doing so will make battles easier but isn't necessary.  Trying to figure out the right way to progress social links in the real world provides an extra challenge rarely seen in RPGs.  While trying to solve the mystery world, there is plenty of amusing, intriguing, and confusing story which actually means failure to find the murder is possible.  The battle systems weakness mechanics are good but the lack of variety in enemies means you pretty much end up using the same strategy for the majority of the game's battles. I really enjoyed being given the feeling that there was a concrete way to determine the good ending of the game, rather than some sequence of arbitrary flags you may or may not have encountered.

Primarily an RPG player but have interest in any game that will make me think.