I recently took a trip to Seattle, which required a long flight. Fortunately, I brought both my Nintendo 2DS and PS Vita. One game I had started awhile ago but never got into was Persona 4 Golden. I made it a point to try and get through the beginning of the game and get hooked onto what many have called the best game on Vita. After putting in some time with the game, I have to agree.
When I first heard about Persona 4 (and having no previous exposure to the Persona series), I checked out some YouTube clips of the gameplay. I was skeptical that I could get into a game that involved a social simulator by day, and a dungeon crawler by night. Despite the peculiarity of the mash-up, the formula works addictingly well.
The premise of the game involves the player as a nephew leaving his home in the city to live with his uncle and cousin in a rural small town. Uncle Dojima is a detective that is devoted to the slavish hours of his job, which has been made even more difficult by the mysterious and gruesome murders of two Inaba citizens. Naturally, the player also attempts to solve the murders when his new-found friends become involved in the intrigue.
Thus, during each day (keeping track of days/weeks being an important mechanic) the player must build social links with other students and citizens of Inaba, all while trying to balance the rigors of school, clubs, and sports. Building these social links increases the power of Personas, which have a Pokemon feel via leveling for new abilities along with fusing Personas together to create new, more powerful Personas. The Personas are then used in the dungeons to battle, thereby linking the social aspect to the dungeon crawling combat portions.
The colorful and snappy presentation of the dialogue and menus really helps to keep the pace. There is no slow scrolling of text or long loading times between areas or events. The enemies, characters, and Personas each have a creative uniqueness that makes the combat more engaging.
The real pull is the story. By giving the player the choice of when and how to spend their time, and with whom to do so, the game feels like a unique playthrough (not to mention it has a New Game+ mode). Without spoiling further, the story is also paced to get you saying “just one more day.”
I don’t want to add too much more until I get further into the game. What are your thoughts on Persona 4? Any tips I should I know going into the middle/end game? What is Teddie? Please comment below!