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 and Steam in 2020, 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
- 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.
- Mostly Very likable characters, especially Yosuke Hanamura and Rise Kujikawa.
- 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 characters can team up to unleash a special attack.
- Music so awesome, the game came with a soundtrack CD (PlayStation 2). In Persona 4 Golden you can switch between the old and new soundtrack depending on how well you do in combat.
- 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 on an actual Japanese myth.
- Great English (except for the Original Persona 4 Chie Satonaka voice actress) and Japanese voice acting; Kanji’s voice especially matches his multi-layered tone and overall character, being much more fitting than his Japanese voice.
- Persona 4 Golden has the following new features.
- Updated background art;
- A new battle theme;
- Evolved Personas for your party members (each of which with a new exclusive skill);
- Team attacks and bike scenes (which allow your party members to unlock new skills that they couldn't learn otherwise);
- Everybody’s Voice” feature, allowing you to listen to the music in the game;
- A new opening movie;
- The “Midnight Quiz” minigame with Teddie;
- Rise’s new support abilities (allowing her to restore your HP/SP, cast Mind/Power Charge on the whole party, increasing a stat, or blocking two mortal blows)
- A bug-catching mini-game;
- Two new areas to visit;
- A hub where you can rewatch the anime scenes, watch a series of lessons on the themes of the series, as well as trailers and commercials for older games in the series.
- Persona 4 Golden has a skip function unlike the original so you don't need to keep skipping text with the Triangle button every time.
- Rise in Persona 4 Golden is even more helpful.
- Madhouse created the opening animation in Persona 4 Golden.
- Persona 4: Golden has a few social features added to the game like Everybody’s Voice where you can see how other players are spending their time in Inaba. These voices, shown as cartoon speech bubbles and thoughts, can also heal your party before a fight begins if you make a Relief Request.
- The beginning has a ton of text with very little gameplay, to begin with. (But at least, it still does a good job by introducing us to the Characters)
- Despite being loved by fans, Chie was unlikeable at times because she tends to take her abuse on Yosuke. Kicking Yosuke in the pants because of her Trial of the Dragon DVD, using Yosuke's money to buy Teddie new clothes without asking, etc. She is also very loud and it's like her voice actor doesn't know when to calm down.
- 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.
- The music in Rise's dungeon sounds really creepy. Rise's Shadow also has very creepy yellow eyes to look at.
- Though not as much as Persona 3/FES, grinding is somewhat repetitive.
- In the PlayStation 2 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.
- Naoto Shirogane, while still an awesome character, is underutilized, not getting enough screen-time until the firth story arc of the game.
- 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.
- There can also be at times where the characters are a bit too cliched, even if the game puts it to good use. But to be fair, This is a problem with most Persona games in general.
- Like with Persona 5, most of the character development only occurs in the Social Links. The most painful example was Dojima, who has a huge knee-jerk reaction to a threatening letter, which comes off as out of character if you finished his Social Link or any Social Link you romanced.
- Ayane is a very uninteresting character just like Ohya in Persona 5.
- The Quests don't do anything to the Story and there very pointless to do.
- Some of the Quests are also often a chore to complete. Most of them require you to go back to the TV world to a certain dungeon to defeat a certain shadow to earn a certain item they want. But due to all the Shadows looking the exact same in the dungeons you have to keep encountering them until you find the right Shadow. Making most of the quests monotonous to do.
- Mitsuo is a terrible villain. He creeps on Yukiko by saying if she would like to go out with him and getting pissed off (in a rather disrespectful way) by Yukiko rejecting Mitsuo, it's revealed that he has been killing many innocent people, including Mr. Morooka (or as everybody else calls him, "King Moron") just for fame and so that people would know him, and it's also revealed that he only killed King Moron to be able to claim the other two victims as well, making him even more of a prick then he already was.
- On top of Mitsuo being a terrible villain, His Shadow, Shadow Mitsuo is an annoying, tedious, and Frustrating boss.
- The game's final boss was poorly foreshadowed in the PlayStation 2 version. This was another improvement in Golden.
- 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.
- Kubo's motivations are also absolute garbage, as his motivations are laughably bad, to the point where one simply can't take this character seriously.
- 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, whereas Persona 3 allowed both in one day.
- Persona 4: Golden was a PlayStation Vita exclusive for eight years since 2012. But in 2020, this was finally fixed as the game was ported to Steam. However, it also uses Denuvo, which is notorious for lowering the performance of games that make use of it.
- Chie's original voice actress in the original PS2 version of the game, while great, felt incredibly unfitting for her.
- Persona 4 Golden's inclusion of Marie seems like an excuse to lengthen the game.
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, which spawned a sequel called Persona Q2: New Cinema Labyrinth, a crossover with Persona 3 and Persona 5), 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.
- The school from K-On! is used in it.