Persona 4: The Golden
|Release Date: November 20, 2012|
|Review by: Luddite11|
I remember back in 2008, being pretty giddy, awaiting the sequel to Persona 3, the next gem in Atlus' crown, and after pumping hundreds of hours and at least a dozen playthroughs, I was fully prepared to do the exact same thing all over again.
So when I heard through the grapevine, that Atlus was bringing P4 to my brand new Playstation Vita with a reboot with a ton of new added features, I knew I was going to be losing weeks of my life to one of my favorite franchises, by my favorite developer.
Now, seeing how this is a full reboot, it comes as the full original game with a good variety of added features, but the core experience remains the same. You are a handsome, but nameless and mute, teenager transferring to the school of Yasogami High in the small country town of Inaba to live with your uncle for one year. However, shortly after arriving, the quaint country life gets turned on it's head by the rumors of the Midnight Channel sweeps through the school, but instead of the original rumor of showing your true love, whoever is shown becomes murdered and posed in a gruesome way in the town the following morning.
After school picnic time
Persona 4: The Golden still the same turn based combat system, and nothing really changed. You still face combat in a party of four, all dungeons are still randomly generated, and are comprised of multiple floors. During the fights, you use the namesake Personas to flesh out the enemies weaknesses, and make the battles an easier affair, and the main character possesses a skill that treats it like Pokémon, where you are allowed to possess multiple Persona with different skills, where everyone else in your party only has a single Persona with set skills.
The social link system from Persona 3 is also largely unchanged, however they added a couple new Social Links to the already impressive list. The best part of the S. Link system is that even though they hint at the importance of getting as many as possible, and if you want, skip them entirely, you'll want to seek out all you can because they never feel forced, and no matter who you seek out, the interactions with the main character build up storylines, and open up the options of budding romances, and deep solid friendships with your teammates. You'll be maxing them out every playthrough just to not skip out on the amazing story and the depth of the writing.
Starting on the new features, they are quite plentiful, and beautifully interwoven into the core game, and one of the most noticeable ones are, the additions of a brand new character: Marie. Being a new S. Link, she is a brash, attractive, and mysteriously amnesiac woman who gets sprinkled into the Main Character's life, and even befriends Chie, Yukiko, and the rest of your teammates, and most interactions with Marie will take you to new added areas.
About the new areas, even though you still have full access to all of the old areas, but now you are able to travel to the city of Okina, and all the new shops therein. Players of P3, might like the reference to Chagall Café, and there is a shop that provides everyone with costumes that even though they provide no stats, will allow you to run through dungeons dressed as Santa and his reindeer, or as a Power Ranger-esque team.
Stop follow me , or I'll call help
You are able to reach Okina through another new feature: Scooters. Both the scooter and the license came naturally, but being able to get to Okina has to be earned in a way by using the scooter during breaks after school, or during rainy days.
Without spoiling too much of the story about how and when most of the new added things come to you throughout the story, all of it will appeal to the people, like me, who played the original to death, they have added: New school events, field trips, locales, holidays, and even new dungeons. One of my favorite additions are the new, and numerous fully voiced animated cutscenes. Everything that has been added makes this seem like a brand new game, rather than just a simple port for a new system.
I want to eat a bowl of hot udon noodle myself when I see this lol
The outstanding soundtrack has been beefed up with even more songs from the same composer played during the events listed above, and some menus. The artwork has also been expanded, and gives even more reasons to show off a reason why people have flocked to this franchise over the years.
My personal favorite addition is something thatchas nothing to do with the game itself, but shows up during the main menu, and adds so much content that if you decide to take a break from the game itself, that you won't even need to turn the system off, and that is the T.V. Listing option.
It starts off with the "YBC" channel, which has videos of the live performances of the Japanese Persona concert series from 2008, and 2009 respectively, featuring six of the best, or at least, the most notable from both P3 and P4. The next channel actually goes into great detail around how Personas and Shadows are intertwined into Jungian Psychology over the course of 10 lengthy yet very informative lectures. Other channels include a story-based trivia game, a channel devoted to the cutscene, one that lists all the concept art drawn by Shigenori Soejima, and the channel that lists all the music in a jukebox setting.
It doesn't matter what your experience is with this game or the franchise as a whole, if you have already played Persona 4, well... you might of already bought this, or considering getting a vita. Then if you haven't played, but got very curious about this franchise, then Persona 4: The Golden is the absolute perfect starting point.
Overall score: 10 /10
Apr 8th 2014
The games you might like if you enjoy Persona 4: The Golden:
- Shin Megami Tensei Series