The critics agree – mock high school suicide is the next big gameplay innovation, and Persona 3 is spearheading the movement. Aside from its glowing reviews, Persona 3 is one of notably few games to include mind-blowing gameplay as a requirement – literally, you’ll actually be shooting yourself in the head. Here’s how it works: in order to summon your character’s inner demon-slaying awesomeness, or “Persona” as it’s referred to in-game, your character holds a gun up to his/her head and pulls the trigger, thereby granting you the power to go all Heaven’s Gate on some pansy demon ass.

Oddly enough, this isn’t the first time mock-suicide has been used as a gameplay mechanic - Capcom’s Killer 7 also allowed you to bleed down walls by slitting your wrists in the name of unearthing hidden passages. Both games since have gained reputations as art house romps with mature content, although the former looks to be a little more well received across the critical landscape.

The downside, of course, is that these “artistic” examples are socially controversial and often the first to be made examples of in the case of little Jimmy Psychopath vs. Big Rich Game Publisher and Purveyor of Senseless Violence. A game involving high-school students shooting themselves in the head seems as though it will be hard pressed to avoid the courtroom. How long till it winds up as evidence in some lawyer’s briefcase? How long till Altus gets their first angry phone call from parents? How long till we get to see what all the fuss is about?

Fortunately, it appears the answer to all three of these questions is August 14th, when Persona 3 ships out.

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