Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 4 is a video game released for the PlayStation 2 in 2008. It was developed by Atlus and published by Atlus except for Europe and Australia which were published by Square-Enix and Ubisoft respectively.
An enhanced remake known as Persona 4: Golden was released for the PlayStation Vita in 2011, which was published by NIS America in Europe.
Staying in Inaba for a year while his parents are abroad, a high school student must work with his new friends to solve mysterious murders and the mysterious TV world.
Why It Rocks
- Two main worlds, the real world and the TV World.
- The game has a much more modern setting than most RPGs which are often set in medieval or sci-fi settings.
- Very well written story.
- Very likable characters.
- Shadows are vulnerable to different types of attacks. When hit, it knocks the Shadows down and grants the person who knocked it down an extra attack.
- If all Shadows are knocked down, the party can team up for an all-out attack on them for more damage.
- In Persona 4: Golden, if an all-out attack fails to kill the Shadows, a pair of character can team up to unleash a special attack.
- Music so awesome, the game came with a soundtrack CD (PlayStation 2).
- Developing social links (bonding with characters) adds special abilities such as EXP bonuses when fusing together certain types of Personas, special attacks, adds more story and may even help the main character find love.
- Two different sets of stats are used for both worlds.
- The Golden version of the game has extra Persona, additional storylines, an extra character named Marie and two new social links.
- The real world has some very comedic moments, such as a cross-dressing event and Kanji losing his swimsuit and Human Teddie is almost always guaranteed to provide comic relief in the real world.
- The final and true antagonist in the game, Izanami, is based off an actual Japanese myth.
- The beginning has a ton of text with very little gameplay to begin with.
- The comedy can get a little forced at best and overly long at worst. The most prominent examples include the camping trip, the school festival, and the Amagi Inn scenes.
- There are quite a few fakeout endings.
- In the PS2 version, it's pretty easy to figure out who the killer is because he's the only major character without a Social Link. This is thankfully not the case in Golden.
- There are times when the plot only moves forward because the characters make stupid decisions. The most prominent examples are Nanako's kidnapping and how the killer was able to evade the police.
- Like with Persona 5, most of the character development only occurs in the Social Links, and it doesn't stick within the main story. The most painful example was Dojima, who has a huge kneejerk reaction to a threatening letter, which comes off as out of character if you finished his Social Link.
- For some people, the Killer has a generic motive and a rushed defeat.
- The game's final boss was poorly foreshadowed in the PS2 version. This was another improvement in Golden.
- Like Persona 3, it's an automatic game over if the Protagonist is knocked out. However, unlike Persona 3, there isn't an in-universe explanation and this game doesn't have the excuse of being only able to control the party leader.
- Kubo's dungeon served to only pad out the game. The only purpose it served was to kill off a certain NPC, but he was already such a minor character that it felt superfluous.
- Unlike Persona 3, dungeon crawling occurs during the day. This means the player has to choose between leveling up their Social Links (since most of them are available during the day) and dungeon crawling, where as Persona 3 allowed both in one day.
Persona 4 was so good it became its own franchise, developing two fighting game sequels (Persona 4 Arena and Ultimax), a rhythm game (Persona 4: Dancing All Night), a dungeon crawler crossover with Persona 3 (Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth), two anime series, the first based off based of the original game and the second based off of Golden (where the main hero is named Yu Narukami, which is considered his canon name), a manga (where the main hero is named Souji Seta), and even a Pachinko machine and 2 stage plays.
The Golden version of the game jumped the sales in the PlayStation Vita.