Friday, December 14, 2012

S&S Review: Persona 4 Golden

Title: Persona 4 Golden
Format: PS Vita
Release Date: November 20, 2012
Publisher: Atlus
Developer: Atlus
Price: $39.99
ESRB Rating: M

With each new release, I continue to gain enthusiasm for the Persona series.  It's one franchise that continues to impress me, and Persona 4 Golden keeps up with that tradition.
 
Story and Presentation:
Persona 4 Golden is a direct remake from Persona 4 on the PS2, so if you've played the original game, the story won't bring any new surprises. For me, the intriguing narrative was a pleasant surprise. The story follows a Japanese high schooler as he tries to maintain his studies, manage a number of relationships, and to solve a bevy of supernatural murders. It starts off fairly slow, the first few hours features a low level of interactivity, but as the story unfolds, you feel more connected to the characters. The mysterious town of Inaba features televisions that allows its inhabitants to enter it, where monsters roam around the players biggest fears. The game's tale is really out there, you can definitely notice the Japanese inspirations throughout the lengthy campaign. If you were to try and explain the game's quirky story, your buddy would probably think you were crazy. The single-player story can definitely get up there in hours, it can even get up to the triple digits. Thanks to the Vita's HD screen, the new HD art looks really good. I've always admired the art style in the Persona games, Persona 4 arena had some pretty impressive visuals as well. The overall visual design is superb, the environments and player models are all highly stylized and detailed to the brim. The heavy J-pop soundtrack really works well with the game's overall tone and style. If you're a fan Japanese music, the eclectic tunes will have bobbing your head and tapping your feet to the bouncy beats. The overall HD remake of the classic PS2 game's benefits the game's presentation immensely.
Core Gameplay:
This game is built like a Japanese anime, social relationship building is one of the bigger mechanics the game focuses on.  Besides the combat, you will spend most of your time conversing with a number of different characters populating the town.  Socializing isn't just for making friends, you earn new stats and personas to help you fight opposing monsters.  Gaining personas is pretty simple, you have to confront a particular character's alter ego, and beat them in battle.  The traditional turn based battles will make old school players feel right at home.  There are a ton activities to do, other than fighting monsters and getting to know fellow high schoolers.  There are part time jobs, book clubs, and you can even spend time studying.  The game encourages you to continuously play through it, it doesn't want you to just screw around.  Like I previously said, the game is definitely long, you'll spend countless hours dungeon crawling and managing your characters stats.  The dungeons can start to feel tedious with random generated battles, but the solid turn based battles saves it from being mind-numbing.  All of this content was in the original PS2 game, but the Vita version brings in a lot more content to explore.  There are new characters to interact with, as well as new areas and events to partake in.  There are more difficulty levels as well, providing much more flexibility than before.  Another big new feature is the Voice command, which tells what other players are doing around you.  The new SOS function allows you to receive aid when you're dungeon crawling, and when your party members are at critical condition.  This mode could've been explained a bit more, even to this day, I'm not sure about its full features.  If you love Persona, P4 Golden still gives you the same addictive gameplay you've grown to love.  
Final Thoughts:
Persona 4 Golden is a must buy  for any Vita owner.  If you're looking for a game that will last you quite some time, P4 Golden won't disappoint in that area.  The new content mixed in with the upgraded visuals makes this a great package.  
S&S Rating:  8.5/10
@whatsPlay

2 comments:

  1. Matt Stone12/14/2012

    This game is beautiful

    ReplyDelete
  2. Staff_Writer_SamK12/14/2012

    Definitely!

    ReplyDelete

Comment