Persona 4

Discussion in 'GBAtemp Reviews & Guides' started by ojsinnerz., Jun 20, 2009.

Jun 20, 2009

Persona 4 by ojsinnerz. at 9:49 PM (2,753 Views / 0 Likes) 7 replies

  1. ojsinnerz.
    OP

    Member ojsinnerz. Damned

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2007
    Messages:
    3,152
    Location:
    Canada
    Country:
    Canada
    <img src="http://www.ps3evolved.net/wp-content/uploads/2009/01/persona-cover.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" />

    The Persona series. It has gained a huge number of fans among the RPG crowd in the past few years

    Not very long ago, Atlus had released Persona 3:FES, which added a lot of extras, and with a new story called, "The Answer" to the already excellent Persona 3. The original Persona 3 was considered to be excellent for its gameplay, values, and it remained unique with the fact that you summoned mythical beings named "personas" by shooting yourself in the head.

    Only about a year after it's release, Persona 4 had arrived. Now that Persona 4 has appeared on the shelves, can it leave the same impact the P3 did? We'll find out on this review. Note that even though I do own Persona 3:FES, I have never played it. You should also note that this review is somewhat long, as I decided to review every part of this game.

    Title: Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 4
    Publisher: Atlus
    Release date: 2008
    Rated M (Though I think a T rating would've been more suitable)

    <img src="http://image.examiner.com/images/blog/wysiwyg/image/persona4(1).jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" />

    <!--sizeo:4--><span style="font-size:14pt;line-height:100%"><!--/sizeo--><b>Storyline/Plot: </b><!--sizec--></span><!--/sizec-->

    This is quite long, so there's a much shorter version of the plot at the bottom.

    The story follows a boy, whom you name, that had moved to live in a small fictional Japanese town called "Inaba". A few days after the protagonist's arrival, they find a dead body of a local announcer hanging from an antenna. There were no witnesses, nor anyone that knew what had happened. The police are unable to find the cause of death, yet, they desparately continued to investigate for any sorts of clues. The doctors couldn't able to tell the cause of death and no one knew how the body got stuck in an antenna in the first place.

    The protagonist becomes a student of a local high school, named Yasogami high, and was put into a homeroom with an asshole of a teacher, named Morooka. His students secretly called him "king moron", due to his attitude toward everything else. Rather quickly, he becomes friends with Chie Satonaka, Yukiko Amagi and Yosuke Hanamura. Chie, dares everyone else to watch a show named "the midnight channel", where if you looked into a turned off TV on a raining day at midnight, their soulmate would appear. No one really wanted to try, but Chie continued to try to convince them to try it.

    The protagonist decides to watch "the midnight channel", only to see a blurry image of a girl being chased. He couldn't make out what he was able to see. That was also when he hears the words, “Thou are I and I are thou”. All of a sudden, he feels dizzy, and try to relieve himself of the sudden pain. The protagonist puts his hand on the TV, where his hand actually gets sucked into the TV. Surprised, he gets out of that state, and decides to talk it over with the others when he got to school. When he tells the others about his story of getting into the TV, everyone laughs at it, and sees it as nothing more than a joke.

    After school, Yosuke offers to buy the protagonist some steak for helping him out (Yosuke fell onto a trash can while biking, and MC pulled him out). But Chie decides to butt in, and reminds Yosuke to pay for a broken DVD that was once used to be Chie's. Having no choice, Yosuke brings everyone to a multi-mega store, named Junes. They look through all sorts of stuff, until Chie wanted to look at cheap TVs to watch her kung fu movies on bigger screens. It was then, the protagonist actually proves that he had the power to enter tvs. Freaking out, the other characters were in shock. Right after, a customer was coming in. Not knowing what to do, they all run around the area in circles, until they accidently hit the TV. Once they all had entered, and they found a fog filled studio. They didn't know where it was, or what was going on. Since there wasn't a lot of choices, they decide to look around for an exit and find a weird room with pictures of the murdered announcer. Being freaked out, they decide to go back. Once they go back, they find a shadowy figure, looking around.

    It was a “thing” wearing a bear like costume. It suspected the 3 characters do be the murder of the announcer, and the “thing”, was called Teddie. Teddie mentioned that people were getting thrown into the TV world, then they were murdered inside. After a brief discussion regarding the murder case, Teddie lets them out of the TV world.

    A few days later, one of the senior/senpai Yosuke deeply respected died. Being outraged, Yosuke decided that her death may be related to the TV world. Right after, they entered the TV world yet again. They start investigate instantly, without Chie around this time. Teddie shows them the way of a place looked just like the local shopping district. According to Teddie, it was where the last person was thrown into the TV went to. It was then, they encounter shadows, which are pretty much monsters. The main character awakens his Persona, Izanagi, and fights them. That's where the story really begins.

    <!--fonto:Times New Roman--><span style="font-family:Times New Roman"><!--/fonto--><b>Tl;dr/Very watered down summery:</b><!--fontc--></span><!--/fontc-->A chatacter moves into a small town, makes friends, and is dared to watch a show called midnight channel, which is thought to be made to find your soulmate. He watches it and gain the ability to go through televisions. Everyone else who watched it isn't affected, and laughs at him. He proves them wrong by actually entering the TV. Inside the TV with his new friends, it looked like a random television studio. They find out that they have no way to exit the place, they wander around, only to find a weird room. There were posters and a rope which they thought to be freaky. They come out of the room, meets a bear like thing and it suspects the main character to be a murder of 2 individuals. After you try to reason with the bear to gain more information, the bear lets them out. However, the group comes back a few days later to investigate about the murders.

    <div align="center"><!--sizeo:4--><span style="font-size:14pt;line-height:100%"><!--/sizeo--><b>Gameplay:</b><!--sizec--></span><!--/sizec--></div>

    There's two parts to the gameplay itself. There's the part of the day, where you can roam around the town, and where you get into the battles. The battle gameplay is simple. You roaming around a castle, sauna, a military base, and whatever. Battles are not generated through a random encounter (Thank god for that...) and you actually hit the shadows or get hit by them to get into a fight. The battle system is a turn-based one, with bit of twists to it. You have the ability to control multiple personas, and use them in battle. Every Persona have has weaknesses, strengths, stats, and their own move sets. Their attacks are of Physical, Fire, Ice, Wind, Lightning, Light, Dark, and Almighty. In a sense, it's very similar to Pokemon, but unlike pokemon, you do cannot “catch” shadows. The only way to obtain them, is by obtaining arcana cards after you have defeat an enemy.

    <img src="http://i373.photobucket.com/albums/oo175/DJChuy06/persona4ps2review_3.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" />

    When you get to that, you'll play a very small mini game to obtain the cards. There are Penalty cards, empty cards, and Arcana cards, so you have to look at the screen carefully to pick which card it is. You also have a chance of getting what's called, an “arcana chance”, where a random Social link card appears, and decides between a positive addition to the party, or a negative addition to the party. The additions range from “Losing half of your party's SP” to “Health is fully recharged.”

    Each dungeon has their own personas that can be collected, and they can be fused within the velvet room to become even greater personas.

    In most RPG games, it requires SP points to use skills. However, in Persona, many skills actually take away your health for using them. If you use any physical Persona attacks, you will lose around say.... 5% of your real health. Of course, it actually depends on how powerful your physical attack is, but don't worry. It shows how much HP you'll be using before you actually use it. If you use magic attacks, it'll only take away SP points, but there's a huge variety of what can be used.

    The battles are extremely fast paced, and simply addictive.

    <object width="425" height="355"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/<object width="425" height="344"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/kPTn-h3YWP0&hl=ko&fs=1"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/kPTn-h3YWP0&hl=ko&fs=1" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="425" height="344"></embed></object>&rel=1"></param><param name="wmode" value="transparent"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/<object width="425" height="344"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/kPTn-h3YWP0&hl=ko&fs=1"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/kPTn-h3YWP0&hl=ko&fs=1" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="425" height="344"></embed></object>&rel=1" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" wmode="transparent" width="425" height="355"></embed></object>
    Not a very good example, as it's probably the most unlucky random battle ever, but I think it gets my point across.

    <!--sizeo:4--><span style="font-size:14pt;line-height:100%"><!--/sizeo--><b><div align="center">Social interactions/2nd part of the gameplay:</div></b><!--sizec--></span><!--/sizec-->

    The 2nd part of the game is social interaction, where you get to talk to other characters, join clubs, find part time jobs, etc. As you talk to more people, the higher your social links will get. For example, talking to Yosuke and hanging out with him, will increase his Social link. You get a better understanding of his personality, what he values, and how he is constantly feeling guilty about his senpai's death.

    Everything you do, could influence the main character's attributes. You have 5 Attributes that you should really max, as soon as possible. You have five attributes in Persona 4- Courage, Diligence, Understanding, Expression and Knowledge. Each of these is an essential to initiate or advance in certain social links. However, you should only level them up when you don't have any social link on the schedule, or need them to fulfil social links.

    You get the option to roam around multiple small maps, and run around the entire city, if you basically want. You can visit shops, eat something with your friends, increase your attributes, create and purchase weapons,

    <img src="http://bulk.destructoid.com/ul/113726-destructoid-review-persona-4/persona4_screenshot_040-468x.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" />

    Deeper you dig your claws onto the game, the more option this game will throw at you. Since you can choose what your character should say, it will also determine what happens next. In fact, if you choose a bad option, it will end the game. Game has a bad end, which is made when you make bad decisions. Each of your decisions will have their ups and downs, and you will later have to choose from huge selections. During nights, you can talk to Nanako, talk to Dojima, eat some wasabi to increase your courage, take up a part time job for late nights, make lunch for the next day, go fishing, study all night, sleep, or even read a book.

    <img src="http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/buuminwonderland/Persona%203%20y%204/Persona_4___Twilight_by_UltimaWeapo.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" />

    Almost everyday, you have the option to increase your relationships with Chie, Rise, Yosuke, Kanji, or most of the other characters you have interacted with. However, you can only choose one of them. If you're not careful, you may not increase some social links, and leave some completely untouched. In my case, I never even met Kanji outside the story. His social link remained at Zero, while everyone else was around 8 – 10.

    <!--sizeo:4--><span style="font-size:14pt;line-height:100%"><!--/sizeo--><div align="center"><b>Social links:</b></div> <!--sizec--></span><!--/sizec-->

    Social links are a vital part of the game. The more Social links you gain and maximize, more personas you'll gain access to. If you increase the social links of the main characters, they'll gain new abilities that personas will never ever learn. There are 13 social links in total.

    <b><!--sizeo:4--><span style="font-size:14pt;line-height:100%"><!--/sizeo--><div align="center">Fusing:</div><!--sizec--></span><!--/sizec--></b>

    When you have multiple personas and want more space to collect personas, (There's a limit on how many you can obtain, duh) or just want to have stronger personas, you can simply fuse them. Unlike finding them after battles, fusing personas will have benefits. For example, if you have the Chariot Social link, they will gain extra experience from having just a social link at all. Later on, there are multiple extras that would be added to your persona.

    <!--sizeo:4--><span style="font-size:14pt;line-height:100%"><!--/sizeo--><b><div align="center">Music & Sounds:</div></b><!--sizec--></span><!--/sizec-->

    The music is done by Shoji Meguro, who is one of my favorite composers of all time.If you purchase Persona 4, it'll automatically come as a free music disc. To tell you the truth, the entire CD is full of Jpop songs and somewhat “modern” Asian songs ( I can't really describe it well). All the songs that have lyrics are in English, except a few songs. To tell you the truth, I find most of the songs rather catchy. Some people will definitely be turned off by the Jpop dominance, but the boss music are definitely top notch. No, the boss music aren't anything popish. In fact, here's 2 of the songs right here.

    <object width="425" height="355"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/<object width="425" height="344"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/_58-XYXuJMs&hl=ko&fs=1"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/_58-XYXuJMs&hl=ko&fs=1" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="425" height="344"></embed></object>&rel=1"></param><param name="wmode" value="transparent"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/<object width="425" height="344"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/_58-XYXuJMs&hl=ko&fs=1"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/_58-XYXuJMs&hl=ko&fs=1" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="425" height="344"></embed></object>&rel=1" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" wmode="transparent" width="425" height="355"></embed></object>

    <object width="425" height="355"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/<object width="425" height="344"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/f3gEKpGD4D4&hl=ko&fs=1"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/f3gEKpGD4D4&hl=ko&fs=1" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="425" height="344"></embed></object>&rel=1"></param><param name="wmode" value="transparent"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/<object width="425" height="344"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/f3gEKpGD4D4&hl=ko&fs=1"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/f3gEKpGD4D4&hl=ko&fs=1" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="425" height="344"></embed></object>&rel=1" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" wmode="transparent" width="425" height="355"></embed></object>

    <!--sizeo:4--><span style="font-size:14pt;line-height:100%"><!--/sizeo--><div align="center"><b>Voice acting:</b></div><!--sizec--></span><!--/sizec-->

    Voice acting is definitely superb. At first, however, I thought that the original Japanese voices were far superior. The fact that they added “san”, “kun” really annoyed me at first, but I got used to it rather quickly. After playing the game for awhile, I actually came to the conclusion that the dub was actually a lot better once you heard a lot from both sides. It may take some time to grow on people though.


    <img src="http://i221.photobucket.com/albums/dd214/sonicblue20003/Persona/persona4wall.png" border="0" class="linked-image" />

    <!--sizeo:4--><span style="font-size:14pt;line-height:100%"><!--/sizeo--><div align="center"><b>Characters:</b></div><!--sizec--></span><!--/sizec-->

    I think you would know by know that there is a huge amount of characters in Persona 4. In battles, there are 7 usable characters, all of them with their own unique skills. For example, Chie may be able to use ice attacks, while Yosuke is able to use wind attacks. There's a good amount of strategy involved.

    One thing interesting about Persona 4, is that all the characters try to avoid typical cliches. The farther you get into their Social Links, more you get to know about them. Their stories are interesting, and you could get attached to the characters, or even make connections with them. (Though most people really wouldn't give a damn) I would like to get into it more, but unfortunately, it would spoil the story.

    <!--sizeo:4--><span style="font-size:14pt;line-height:100%"><!--/sizeo--><b><div align="center">Graphics:</div></b><!--sizec--></span><!--/sizec-->

    The graphics are, simply put, average. It should be noted though, everything is very detailed, but it looks exactly the same as Persona 3. I mean, the bosses look great, and some animations look pleasing, but it certainly doesn't push the PS2's limits. The artwork and the character portraits are fabulous, but I do wish that they'd make the graphics a bit more up to date.

    <!--sizeo:4--><span style="font-size:14pt;line-height:100%"><!--/sizeo--><b><div align="center">Conclusion:</div></b><!--sizec--></span><!--/sizec-->

    Persona 4 really has it all. Superb presentation, great music, excellent characters, polished game play, and a fast paced battle system with a good depth. Persona 4 really is a must play for the PS2. Unfortunately, the game plagues of Atlus syndrome, and will without a doubt, turn off many people with it's linear maps, hours and hours of grinding, and somewhat repetitive game play. If you can overlook that, however, you'll get a fantastic little gem, that's really a great way to spend the final moments of the PS2.

    <!--coloro:#00FF00--><span style="color:#00FF00"><!--/coloro-->Pros
    Excellent game play
    Gorgeous looking anime portraits
    Superb charactesr
    Fantastic battle system
    Huge amounts of content
    Well composed music.
    Polished and well thought out story
    Free music CD included.
    Very long.<!--colorc--></span><!--/colorc-->

    <!--coloro:#FF0000--><span style="color:#FF0000"><!--/coloro-->Cons
    It may be overwhelmingly long for many gamers.
    Social links and the turn based battles can get repetitive after awhile.
    Priced higher than what normal PS2 games are priced at.
    The music focus is mainly on Jpop
    The game may be difficult, even on normal mode.<!--colorc--></span><!--/colorc-->

    <b><!--sizeo:5--><span style="font-size:18pt;line-height:100%"><!--/sizeo-->
    95/100<!--sizec--></span><!--/sizec--></b>
     
  2. Goli

    Member Goli RPG

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2008
    Messages:
    2,571
    Country:
    Chile
    If I had known P4 would be released... I wouldn't have sold my PS2.
    I found out about it like 2 days after I sold it and was PCless at that time so it was a huge bummer since I
     
  3. Trolly

    Member Trolly GBAtemp Advanced Maniac

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2007
    Messages:
    1,720
    Location:
    Behind you! I know you looked!
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    I so want to play this, but it sounds like it's incredibly time-consuming, and I don't think I have the dedication needed to get through a game like this. I still to hope to play it some time though, as I have it ready to play on my PC.
     
  4. clownz

    Member clownz GBAtemp Regular

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2008
    Messages:
    118
    Country:
    United States
    I get so addicted to these interaction games, that I have played a game on my cell phone for ages and its aimed at younger people than my age. Im such a geek.
     
  5. ojsinnerz.
    OP

    Member ojsinnerz. Damned

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2007
    Messages:
    3,152
    Location:
    Canada
    Country:
    Canada
    To tell you the truth, it really is incredibly time consuming. In fact, I beat the game at 55 hours. It would take between 50-90 hours for a person, depending on how they'll play. Besides the main quest, there's over 50 side quests to do, so it can really occupy your life for awhile.

    My advice? Play it when you have a week off.
     
  6. Finishoff

    Member Finishoff GBAtemp Fan

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2009
    Messages:
    351
    Country:
    United States
    Love this game, this is a great game/series. Only played 4 hours into this game. Nice review! [​IMG]

    Still playing Persona 3: FES, 80 hours of game time and continuing 100% Journey and starting the Answer.
     
  7. Jaems

    Member Jaems GBAtemp Advanced Fan

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2007
    Messages:
    687
    Country:
    United States
    I never fucking beat Persona 3:FES, and I know I should.
    I got it as a Christmas gift, spent 60-70 hours playing the game, enjoyed the hell out of it, got to the part where that long-haired guy with the glasses turned out to be a baddie.

    Then my PS2 got the dreaded disc-read error and I've yet to replace it.
    FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU-

    I should pick up Persona 4 along with a new PS2 sooner or later.
     
  8. Uzumakijl

    Member Uzumakijl GBAtemp Fan

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2008
    Messages:
    390
    Country:
    Mexico
    Awesome review, This game is making me buy a ps2 and really i think its worth, I've never been familiar with Shin Megami Tensei Series but when i browsed Atlus website a lot i found them to be an awesome franchise that i had never heard of it, So we can say i was living in a fake (lol) Really, You did an awesome review, I love when reviews has screens and videos, That makes more pleasant to read, Good Job [​IMG]
     

Share This Page