Persona 4 Golden is pure funk game, delicious, classy Japanese funk game that will jazz up all your expectations.
The story of Persona 4 Golden begins with a mysterious murder that rocks the small town of Inaba. As a new student at a high school, it is up to you and your new friends to uncover the mystery while also discovering, accepting the problems that lie within yourselves. Mystery drives the storyline, but the characters and setting make the world come to life in a way few others games are able.
Persona games are not praised for their graphics, but they are praised for their mature, emotional storylines. P4G nails character interaction, even if the voice acting can be annoying at times. Kids act like kids, teenagers act like teenagers, and adults… and so on. You will grow to love certain characters, and hate others. You will feel their highs and lows as P4G carries you through its story while dealing with serious topics like pride, regret, bullying, suicide, and much more.
One of the best aspects of the Persona series is the Social Link mechanic. The game system uses a calendar, which means that how you spend your time is huge and should require planning. Studying can raise knowledge, which can lead to stat (even big friendship) enhancements, while working a part-time job can build funds which can be used to purchase better weapons and armor. Above all, you can choose to spend time with certain characters. As you develop these relationships, you grow the potential of the Personas you are able to create and summon in battle.
Think of personas like summon guardians, each of which have unique skills and attributes which will aid or hinder you in battle. The battle system is based on elemental strengths and weaknesses. Hit an opponent’s weakness and their defense will open up, thus allowing you to perform an all-out attack. The system is simple, but failing to discover an enemy’s weakness can lead to your party’s demise. Battles are fair and can be challenging, especially late in the game or on higher difficulties. Sometimes you'll be overpowered, but other times you could legitimately be stuck in a perpetual loop of death and revival. This happened to me when there was physical reflection involved. It was hilarious and wonderful for the first five minutes... So please save your game when possible.
A very welcome addition to gameplay is the multiplayer link. During non-dungeon hours, a simple screen tap will show you how other players spent their time. This can help you determine the most widely chosen causes of action, especially when it comes to social links. In dungeons, a tap on the screen can signal an SOS, which allows other players to heal your party and cheer you on in written text. It is a simple feature, but it can provide the boost you need to make it to the next floor of the dungeon. The multiplayer feature is a throwaway in some cases, but it makes the world of P4G feel more populated and connected. Lovely.
Aesthetically speaking, P4G looks much more crisp and fluid.It's not going to make you forget Final Fantasy CGI, but if this game has one thing, it is style. This is about as sharp and vibrant as it gets, and the anime cutscenes are great. The colors are bright, the textures as smooth, and the whole game just feels complete. That is quite a compliment in an age of games that require constant updates and DLC to finish the experience.
P4G can be praised all day for what it does right. It is an absolute classic, but it is not without a few minor faults. First, many of the enemy and persona designs are carbon copies of Persona 3, if that sort of thing bothers you -- it doesn't bother me. Some of the personas are literally exactly the same. The enemy designs are extremely unique, so I guess there is no shame in reusing them. I assume it could bring a humbling connection from past games at times. The other issue is the game’s pacing. With a sixty-eighty hour game, this will almost always be a problem. Maybe I have gotten used to twenty-thirty hour games, but certain parts can drag. Nevertheless, those parts are important for the character and world building that the game provides a masterclass in.
Persona 4 was considered one of the best RPGs ever when released in 2008, so it is no surprise that an improved, updated version it is still the cream of the crop. If you have never tried a Persona game before, I still say start with 3 but P4G will end up as the better game. The storyline is charming yet heavy, the characters are complex, the battle system is simple yet challenging, and the overall style is completely unique. If you didn’t like Persona 3, P4G doesn't have a high chance of changing your mind about the series. For everyone else, make this gem your next Vita purchase -- you will not regret it. I Platinumed the game, which meant hearing all of Rise's navigation lines. That's how good this is.
And also buy Persona 4 Arena Ultimax.