Persona 4 holds up to high standards

January 31, 2023

The Persona games are among some of the most popular JRPG titles being accessible for newcomers to the genre and have plenty for genre veterans. Persona 4 Golden is the second version of Persona 4 adding more content like enhanced graphics, new endings, combat changes, new music tracks, and tons of new content that makes the game feel fuller with plenty of things to do. Persona 4 takes place in the rural town of Inaba where you live out your life like normal until a mystery pulls you into it.

The story is definitely the highlight of the game and it’s the reason most people remember the game. The story follows you as the protagonist transferring to a high school in the countryside. During your year-long stay, a string of murders happens and it’s up to you to solve it by dungeon crawling and saving people from the killer. The game’s story is really good and is definitely one of the best from the Ps2 era and the game has stayed relevant after all this time for its undeniable quality and I think all of its praises are deserved.

The Persona series has always been known for its great music but Persona 4 doesn’t have as many memorable tracks as Persona 3 and 5 do. It’s not that Persona 4 has any bad songs but there just aren’t many to go back to once you’ve passed their moments in the game. The soundtrack has Blues, Electronic, and Hard Rock all with some Pop elements mixed into them.      

The difference between Persona and most other JRPGs is that for each in-game day, you only get a certain amount of time for each dungeon and if you don’t complete them in time your game ends and you have to reload a save. It’s hard to decide whether you want to explore the dungeon or go around town and raise social links, a staple in the persona franchise. Social links are gained through interacting with the cast of characters throughout Inaba where you talk to them to raise your links allowing you to become more powerful. Balancing social links and exploring dungeons brings in a time management element to the game where you can’t do everything you want to do. This makes what you do feel more special; it also encourages multiple playthroughs so you can experience everything the game has to offer.

Persona 4 is a 15 year old game so it hasn’t aged perfectly. Some of the content is a product of its time. The menus and UI aren’t very good, the enhanced graphics are still pretty ugly compared to modern games, and some mechanics like fusing personas and using skill cards could have been changed visually to make them more digestible. None of these problems take away from my enjoyment of the game and at most are just a little bit tedious.   

Persona 4 Golden has several new ports on all major consoles and PC. The PC port allows for modding which lots of people use for improving things like the game’s UI, character models, graphics, and voices, and making the game harder. The console ports also will be the introduction for Xbox players to the series because it is the first time that a game in the franchise will be playable on any Xbox console.

Persona 4 Golden is an excellent game that will finally be experienced by a new generation of gamers. Its greatness is apparent and it is a must play for veterans of Role-Playing games and new players alike.

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