Atlus Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 4
Persona 4 may very well prove to be the shot in the arm that the RPG genre is in such dire need of.
- Amazing story, beautiful animation, really pushes the PS2 to its limits
- Takes a while for the story to get going, so engaging that your social life may suffer
An expansive and engaging experience, Persona 4 is quirky, original, and innovative enough to set it apart from an army of mediocre RPGs. With an amazing cast of characters and fantastical game world, P4 is an experience any role-playing aficionado shouldn't miss!
An enormous fan of the past instalments in the Persona franchise, I'll be the first to admit that I was a tad sceptical when I heard that Persona 4 was dropping as soon as the end of 2008. Wrapping up my fourth run-through of Persona 3: FES, I was starting to feel like there wasn't anything else the series could throw at me that I hadn't seen before — and certainly not in such a short time span With the announcement that P4 would also be releasing on the PlayStation 2, I couldn't help but worry; would this just be Persona 3 with a fresh coat of paint and a new cast of cookie-cutter characters? I'm happy to report that while Persona 4 does hold quite a few similarities to its predecessor, it proves itself as a brand new experience from the ground up with unprecedented levels of innovation, character, and outright charisma. Persona 4 may very well prove to be the shot in the arm that the RPG genre is in such dire need of.
A Day in the Life
Similar to Persona 3, you begin the game by filling the shoes of a mysterious transfer student — this time relocated from the big city to the peaceful countryside town of Inaba. Before you can get acquainted with this passive change of pace, a series of grisly murders begins to threaten the quaint rural locale when bodies fresh out of a political scandal start showing up throughout town. The deeper you pry into this bizarre series of homicides, the more complicated and surreal your once normal life becomes, leading you into a strange world of facades, parallel universes, and a mystical roller-coaster of a plot.
The narrative aspects of P4 are told expertly through astonishing voice acting and simply beautiful anime cutscenes that truly draw you into the game's enchanting story. Met with a fantastically catchy soundtrack and a series of top-notch character designs, it's obvious that Atlus spared no expense when building the memorable world of P4. An engaging and incredibly well-translated script weaves the game's intricate plot together, creating a cast of truly memorable characters that really compliments the intriguing world that Persona 4 has created.
Thou Art I...
One of the most noticeable changes of Persona 4 is in the game's battle system, where you're now granted complete control over every member in your party. While the party AI is incredibly bright, the option to offer specific orders to your teammates is definitely appealing and rather helpful during harder battles. The game's Social Links now affect Persona's battles as well, with unique bonds formed in your social life allowing certain party members special attacks, or even the ability to push you out of harm's way at the last moment and take a mortal blow for you. The endless labyrinth of Tartarus has been replaced by a mystical TV dimension, where you're able to explore an amalgam of unique worlds or "programs" created from various characters' repressed emotions, truly playing on the "persona" aspect from the franchise's earlier titles.
Also new to the series are part-time jobs, a vast collection of new extracurricular activities and Social Links, and an amazing assortment of shops and hot-spots around town to visit, all truly bringing Inaba to life. Persona 3's moon-cycle system has been replaced by a rather intriguing weather scheme, with characters and events acting realistically to the daily change in climate. However, my absolute favourite addition to P4, hands down, has to be the new use of the Square button which allows you to fast-travel all over Inaba at any time. As much as I adored the bay-side city I called home in Persona 3, there's no doubting that running from point A to give person B object C in order to unlock quest D over in classroom E was a bit of a chore, and while it may not seem like much to newcomers to the franchise, the fast-travel option works wonders whether you're simply trying to finish up a quest given to you by a timid classmate, or run into town in order to beef up your weaponry before venturing back into the game's alternate dimension.
Catchy Themesongs Aside
I'll admit: I went in to Persona 4 with some strong reservations, and I came out of it ready to boot up my save file and start the entire adventure over again from step one. While Persona 4 isn't revolutionary or utterly groundbreaking, it does so many things right on such a small scale — not to mention so many things that have never been seen before in the role-playing genre — it'd just be a shame to pass on this gem. I can't recommend this innovative experience highly enough, and from first time visitors to the Velvet Room to jaded MegaTen fanatics, Persona 4 is an absolute must buy.
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Garmin Fenix 5 fitness tracker smartwatch review
- 2 LG 2017 OLED TV range full review: W7 Signature Wallpaper, G7, E7 and C7 UHD TVs
- 3 Tag Heuer Connected Smartwatch and Android Wear 2 review
- 4 Subaru XV 2017 review
- 5 Samsung 2017 QLED Q7 TV: Full, in-depth review
Latest News Articles
- Watch us play Vanquish on PC
- Tannenberg expands Verdun's World War I horrors to the Eastern front
- MSI Wins Computex Best Choice Award 2017 for a Record-Breaking 5 Products
- Destiny 2: The 5 key things PC gamers need to know
- The Windows 10 Game Bar: What PC gamers need to know
PCW Evaluation Team
A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.
I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.
As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
- Asus launches laptops to start Computex 2017
- Garmin Fenix 5 fitness tracker smartwatch review
- LG 2017 OLED TV range full review: W7 Signature Wallpaper, G7, E7 and C7 UHD TVs
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- FTSocial Media Executive / Specialist (Facebook) - online gamblingNSW
- CCSAP Deployment ConsultantNSW
- FTBusiness AnalystACT
- TPBI ConsultantNSW
- FTTest AnalystVIC
- FTCyber Security Technical WriterNSW
- CCMDM DesignerVIC
- FTSenior Business Analyst, Wealth ManagementNSW
- FTSolution Architect - NetworksACT
- FTSales Client Services Manager (Mid-market)QLD
- FTSenior Business Analyst - GROUP LIFE INSURANCENSW
- FTProject Manager Large ICT Enabled Business Change ProjectQLD
- TPSOE EngineerACT
- CCSenior DeveloperNSW
- CCImplementation Manager/PlannerQLD
- FTSolution ArchitectWA
- TPSenior Web Developer/Consultant - ServiceNowNSW
- FTSenior IT Project ManagerSA
- CCIDAM ArchitectVIC
- TPICT Customer Support Officer - ForsterNSW
- TPFront End .NET DeveloperQLD
- FTP3O SpecialistACT
- TPArcGIS DeveloperVIC
- FTSenior SQL Database SpecialistACT
- FTBI and Report DeveloperQLD