Review: Persona 4: Golden (PS Vita)

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I give it a perfect 10.

Pefect. Ten.

I just finished my first playthrough of the game. My total time was 60 Hours and 23 minutes and yes I got the Golden Ending. No help from the internet whatsoever. NONE. At the time I didn’t have internet service at my house almost a month after moving so…yeah. To Atlus I must commend them for a job well done. To those still holding out on getting a Vita but want one, this should be your first game if not one of the first. Engrossing story, short learning curb for the battle system, social links and multiple endings will keep you playing this game for quite a while. Like Shin Megami Tensei IV this game has the M rating. It’s for profanity, alcohol use, partial nudity and suggestive themes but it’s not tasteless (regarding the sexual references and suggestive themes). I’d be comfortable letting a mature twelve year old play this game.

While yeah, I usually give an overview of a game before I rate it but with all the Vita Bashing I’ve been seeing all over the internet since its release (some of it rightfully warranted, mind you) I felt pressured to make my first review of a Vita game count. Boy, did I hit the jackpot! I’m sure that everyone has that one game that they never forget no matter how much time passes since they last played it. For the VIta and in my opinion, Persona 4 Golden is that game.

Before I talk about the game a bit I do want to once again shamelessly plug Shin Megami Tensei IV for the Nintendo 3DS (which I also own), also by Atlus. If I didn’t bother to take that game seriously I never would have bothered giving Persona 4 Golden a chance. I think I mentioned this in my review of SMT IV but I played Persona 1 on the PSP a few years back. I didn’t like the game and skipped P2 and P3. Then Nintendo unveiled a promo this summer: Buy Fire Emblem Awakening and Shin Megami Tensei IV by August 31 and you will be given a $30 credit for your eShop Account. I bought SMT IV for the $30 credit but after playing it, I decided to give the Persona series another chance.

The game I chose: Persona 4 Golden for the Vita. Zero regrets.

Now let me talk about the game itself: You are Yu Narukami, a Second Year high school student who moves from the big city to the town of Inaba to spend a year with your Uncle and Cousin. Shortly after your arrival a serious of strange events hits the town. With the mysterious power called Persona, you and the friends you make work to solve the mysteries of the town and uncover the truth.

Of course, sometimes truth can be a matter of perception. In order for the truth to be learned, all possabilities must be examined. By the time it’s all said and done there can be no room for doubt. Persona 4 Golden (Henceforth P4G) adds an additonal character and as a result, a new ending once you’ve capped your bond with her. I’m talking about the mysterious girl called Marie, who resides in The Velvet Room shortly after you arrive in Inaba.

Now, those unfamiliar with the Persona games might not be aware but this is the third time this game has been released and second HD release. The game was originally released on the PS2 and then the PS3. I haven’t played the other two releases but I have talked to people who have. They say even after spending hours in the other releases, the Vita version was like playing the game for the first time all over again.

The Persona 4 Golden Cast during the Epilogue. Unsurprisingly, Teddie and Narakami are the only ones who haven’t changed a bit.

It’s funny: Folks like to knock Ocarina of TIme because it’s been ported to every console released after the Nintendo 64 and fans of the game buy every single port of it because they like the game THAT much. For me that game is Final Fantasy VI personally. I know this is going to sound cliched especially if you’ve heard people say it on Gamefaqs already but this game is worth buying a Vita for.

This and Dragon’s Crown.

Speaking Atlus’ OTHER must-own RPG on the Vita I bought it recently and will write a first-look review for that in a few days. Getting back to this game though, it’s like Tales of Symphonia and Clannad in the sense when the game is THAT popular, an OVA or Anime series isn’t too far behind.

Persona 4 is no exception. I give you the trailer:

…Let the nerdgasm commence but before you do, know this: I bought the Anime in full from iTunes last month the day after my first playthrough. My review of the Anime will be coming to my Anime blog soon. Even so, I insist you play the game too!

Almost forgot: The same team that worked on the Anime also did the cuscenes for Persona 4 Golden. The game is also fully voiced. Johnny Bosch Young is the voice of Yu Narakami (called HERO by default in the game) and while he doesn’t say much in the games outside battles, he’s alot more talkative in the Anime!

Keep your eyes peeled for my review of both the Anime and Dragon’s Crown.

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