I’m back today to review a game that’s very close to me, and a game that I personally consider to be the best RPG ever released. The game is Persona 4 Golden on the Sony Playstation Vita.
Before I start the review, I just want to say that Persona 4 Golden was my first Persona game, before purchasing Persona 4 Golden, I had no knowledge of the series. I always heard people talking about the game highly though, and sadly I never tried it, thinking it was just hyped up, I was wrong.
in mid 2014 I walked into my local Gamestop store, and I picked up a Playstation Vita, at the time I had no physical Vita games, so I looked around the store, and I spotted Persona 4 Golden, for 20 dollars! I purchased the game, went home and popped it into my Vita, and I was absolutely blown away by how amazing the game is, I lost track of time while playing it, and before I knew it, I had logged over 10 hours of Gameplay on my first day with the game. I can honestly say that Persona 4 Golden was the best 20 dollars that I have ever spent on a video game in my life, and before I start reviewing the game, let me just say this, if you love RPGS and JRPGS in general and have never played a Persona game before, go out and buy yourself a Vita and get a copy of the game, trust me, you will not regret it.
Anyway, lets get into the story of the game, which in my honest opinion is the best part of the whole package, you play the games protagonist, which is Yu Narukami, though the game does let you choose your own name for the character. The game takes place in a small peaceful town called Inaba, the protagonist is sent to live with his uncle and cousin at the start of the game, your uncle in the game is a detective for the Inaba police station, which is important because what happens next will be the grounds on which the story is built on.
Soon after starting the game things start going wrong almost immediately, a woman is soon murdered, I won’t giveaway who she is, but you will find out within the first few minutes in the game. What’s disturbing is the way she turns up after being murdered, and on top of that, the police department has little to no clues to go on. You would think that the murders stop there, but they don’t, they keep happening and people start to disappear.
Early in the game, you will meet three characters which you will become close friends with, soon you and your friends hear rumors about the Midnight Channel, which is rumored to reveal ones soulmate. Instead, the midnight channel serves to reveal information on the crimes and murders taking place within Inaba. In the early hours of the game you and your group of friends discover that they have the power to summon a “Persona” and with the power to control Personas, they are able to fight the enemies of the game which are called “Shadows”
Now lets get into the Gameplay of Persona 4 Golden! like previous Persona games before it, combat is turned based, and unlike the Persona games before it, you have direct control over every party member you bring with you into battle, though you still have the option to let the CPU control your teammates, and for the most part, I found that the CPU does a good overall job at giving orders to your party, though I did find myself having to take control from the CPU at times, mainly in boss battles since I found that the AI didn’t always do a good job at deciding exactly what to do in certain situations.
Something that will seem new and fresh to people that have played Persona 3 is the new dungeons within Persona 4 Golden. In Persona 3 you had one giant dungeon called “tartarus” it was a huge tower that you climbed floor by floor, but it got stale fast since every time you went up a few floors, the design of the dungeon would rarely ever change, though as you get to floor 100 and above, the designs did start to look different, but overall it just felt boring. In Persona 4 Golden, the dungeons are different, each of the different dungeons in the game have a special theme, which usually has to do with certain problems that the characters are struggling with, you and your friends will have to overcome these struggles in order to save each person. I also want to mention that dungeons in Persona 4 Golden are smaller compared to Persona 3, for some this can be a good thing and for others it could be bad, I personally had no problems with this, and I actually liked it because I felt like I wasn’t running around in random directions.
Persona 4 Golden also features the Social Link system, which was also in Persona 3, but Persona 4 Golden adds one social link that wasn’t in the original version of the game, it adds the social link for the new character Marie. Social Links are important in this game, for one, if you increase someones social link, they will gain access to more abilities in battle, on top of that, you will gain more insight to every character you start a social link with, you will learn more about who they are, and that’s one of the main reasons I loved social links so much in this game, its a game feature that lets you truly get to know someone, and I honestly felt a strong bond with almost every social link I built. Another nice thing about increasing the social links between your party members is that, in combat they will help you out, lets say for example, if you get knocked down, if you ignored the social links between everyone in your party then no one will help you up, but if you take the time and build bonds with them, then they will help you out by helping you get back up, and if you are about to receive a mortal blow, they will actually take that blow for you.
So social links are a very important part of the game, and you will have to balance who to spend time with carefully since the game is timed, and you only have one year to complete everything.
In closing, I just want to say that Persona 4 Golden is a fantastic game. Its a game that includes an amazing story and superb turned based combat and it also includes one of the best music soundtracks I have ever heard in a video game. I was amazed when I first saw and heard the opening to the game, all of this combined makes a game that I would consider to be a Master Piece and its a game that every RPG/JRPG fan out there should play.
I give Persona 4 Golden a 10/10-Perfect