Thursday, December 20, 2012

Persona 4 Golden Review "Let Me into the Shadow World to Reach Out to the Truth"

Disclaimer:I only got Bad Ending #1 and #2 I have other games I would like to beat, but will
gladly come back to this game soon enough.  Also the person behind the murders wasn't that much of a shock, kinda figured that out 5 hours in.

Persona 4 Golden(P4G) is a port of Persona 4(P4) on the PS2, a long line of games based on the game spin off Shin Megami Tensi if...  It's a game who's theme is facing your true self, with that said can I face my true feelings for this game?  Lets find out.

God dammit I have to add this to the short list of media I cried to, that makes three things now.  That is a un-clever way of me saying the story got to me and I started to cry at the end (well near the end for what I played).  It's a interesting take on facing one's true self and owning up to it, showing that people hide behind their persona unable to face themselves or the world.  I enjoyed all the characters in the game with the different personalities they present, each having their own hidden truth they have to face.  From the boy of unknown feelings, to the girl who wants to shed it all or cross the lines of gender itself they all feel like they have something interesting to hide.  Another grabbing point of P4G is Social Links, which are moments of getting to know NPCs around town to boost your persona's levels upon fusion.  It's good on a game play level and story level, for it fleshes out the back story of all the people in the town giving it more of a interesting world.  The problem does crop up with the school portion of the game, I like anime and watching anime about school life gets pretty boring (unless it has a twist to it like the Haruhi series), and honestly nothing happens during the day.  It's just anime school stuff nothing more nothing less honestly, well except for the start of the game but it's a short burst.  Another problem people may have is that the game takes a few hours to get in the action, this can be a turn off for some I have to agree.

Game Play:
The game play is classic to the Shin Megami Tensei(SMT) series, only difference is how you get more demon's on your team.  In normal SMT games you talk to and recruit a demon to join you, but in this one you have to do a card drawing game.  The card drawing game is easy enough to force to appear so it's not a issue to get a demon for fusion fodder.  Another unique aspect of Persona 4 (and to a greater point all SMT games) is demon fusion, where you fuse two (or three/four/five) demons which allows you to carry over skills from the demons used for the fusing to the new demon.  It's a more fun breeding aspect compared to other monster raising games, and this is where Social Links play in.  The more Social Links and the higher their levels are the stronger your new demons you got from fusion will become.  Now this game is a dungeon crawler when you break it down and on that aspect it's not bad, with the random encounter aspect removed it's much easier to handle.  And battles are very exciting (for me at least), everything is rock paper scissors style game play, but instead of doing more damage you also knock down a enemy(same applies if you do critical damage).  If you do this to all enemies you go ALL OUT and everyone attacks the group of shadows.  With that in mind the enemy can do the same to you, or even not have any weaknesses at all to exploit but spells that do normal damage to it.  Even though I love the game play for P4G it isn't anything "new" to blow my mind away, when you break it down it is a updated system from Persona 3.  Which when I first played blew me away, doesn't mean this is bad it's always good to make a good thing better.
Game Play:1

This game looks good on the PSVita's screen, instead of stretching the screen it's shrunk down.  Making it easier to make stuff more high-def.  The anime scenes are very nice to watch and crisp as well, showing the PSVita's qHD screen is good for animated shows.  I do love the skipping feature, it's nice to skip scenes I've already scene and would like to skip.  I'm also very pleased with the "TV" shows added to the game, allowing us to re-watch said cut-scenes from Persona 4 and trailers from past SMT games.  Even allowing us to watch recorded concerts and listen to the soundtrack on our Vita.  It's touch's like that I love when porting a game, giving more BANG for your buck.  I haven't tried everything yet, but I am just impressed with all the content we get for this port.  This shows Atlus loves this game and wants to make it worth out time.

I shall see the truth.

Can't.  Get.  The.  Music.  Out....OF MY HEAD!!!!!!!  I love video game music and when it's really good I can't stop singing or humming it.  And the opening to the P4G is really addictive (I think I listened to it twenty times in one sitting), so is the song "Reach Out to the Truth" I just can't stop playing that song and singing with it.  The other songs goes well to push the impact of the story, and the use of that one song around December (People who played knows which one I'm talking about) was used REALLY WELL.  If that song wasn't playing I wouldn't have started tearing up.  The fact I'm still holding on to my Persona 4 sample soundtrack shows how much I love the music to this game (I toss music I don't like and I still have this disc)

New game plus(NG+) lets you carry over Persona you've obtained and your Social Links, and social status plus your money.  This gives me reason to want to replay it, and if you want another you have to replay it for 100% anyway.  And with NG+ you can adjust different aspects of how hard the game is to help speed things along if need be.  Not a lot of RPG's give a decent NG+ plus like this so I'm very welcoming of it.  But since the game is so long (60 hours to beat for me) you might wanna play something else till you come back to this which can hurt the replayability factor.

If you are a NOT a JRPG/anime fan stay AWAY from this game.  If you are a fan of such things then you have to try this.  P4G is a game that doesn't follow ALL tropes of a JRPG (most though, but that isn't a bad thing), and feels different to the ones set in a fantasy game.  The closet I can compare this to is Earthbound, with demon pokemon hunting.  I can't wait to go back to the Shadow World to face myself again.

>Arehexes faced his true feelings for this game
>Arehexes Shadow turned into Persona Arehexes
Final Score:8/10

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