Oldies But Goodies: Persona 4

Persona 4 is an amazingly deep JRPG that needs to be played by every fan of the genre.

The game, which came out in 2008, just shines polish and exudes depth. I haven’t played too many JRPG games, but Persona 4 shoots to the top of my list easily. The entire game takes about 60 hours to get through, and then more if you go back for new game plus.

Atlus also did a phenomenal job at westernizing the dialogue and syntax so it fits better with gamers outside of Japan.

Do I spend time after school increasing my social link with my shadow fighting schoolmates (Yukiko in particular, whom I secretly have the biggest crush on) or go home early and get some studying done or read a book to boost my always-needing-to-increase stats? How long can I stretch the time before someone dies and I have to plunge into the TV to save them?

Just one more day! That’s the looming tension of Persona and the seemingly limitless freedom you as the player are given. Persona 4 is half high school sim and half classic turn-based RPG.

If I don’t rescue the trapped before several days of rain, in which fog sets in, it’s game over and the game is literally over. You need to load another save, which I love, as it adds an incredible amount of looming tension and responsibility that I need to deal with.


So are mine, Kanji

Persona 4: The Golden came out for the PSVita last year. And I can totally see how this game would transition onto a handheld smoothly. To me, it’s actually one of those games I could see myself becoming invested in while waiting for the bus or something out and about like that.

The amount of depth in Persona 4 is immense. You’re getting so much – almost an mammoth commitment – for this game. There’s the new game plus mode, which I totally understand given how many things you can miss and how many interesting optional characters you can just completely ignore. And then there’s also all the Personas that you will undoubtedly miss fusing together because there are just so many of them.

A succinct comparison I drew is that Personas are very much like the teenaged and more mature versions of Pokemon.



The amazing crew

I love all these guys right above this line of text.

God, I love them all like real true friends. They’re all so unique and brilliantly written. Even characters you think are kind of one dimensional superbly come out of their shells and almost transform as you learn more about them.

And I know when I finish Persona 4 – which I’m actually dreading – (as your character is only in the small Japanese town of Inaba for a year) I think I might have an emotional breakdown. Perhaps I can stay with these guys via phone calls but it will never be the same.

Yosuke will be so lonely without the murder cases and the TV world to keep him distracted.

Chie won’t have anyone to practice Kung-fu moves with.

Yukiko won’t have anyone to test her terrible food on.

But something tells me they’ll get by, If only one day at a time.