Review: Persona 4

27 09 2011

Well, its been a while since I’ve updated. I’ve been pretty busy lately. Classes have started up again and I’ve been working close to full time hours on top of that for the last few weeks. But I HAVE been gaming! This is a review I’ve been wanted to write for a while, but wanted to make sure I was far enough into the game to make a fair judgement. Now that I’ve got abour 30 hours clocked into this game, I think I can form a decent opinion.

Graphics: 8/10

For the PS2, the graphics are great. They do what they need to do and looks bright an vibrant in most cases. Animations are smooth and everything flows together well. I wish we could have had higher definition graphics, but I see that being more of a limitation of the PS2 system. Not perfect, but still really good.

Gameplay: 10/10

The gameplay of the recent Persona games are divided into two sections; dungeon crawling and social links. The dungeon crawling is pretty straight forward: explore a dungeon and make your way to the boss while defeating enemies and finding treasure chests on your way there. Battles are straightforward turn-based battles with a few differences. First, your skills are determined by your persona, a creature that is a physical manifestation of a part of your psyche. Only the main character can have multiple persona and can switch the equipped one during battle, once per turn. Different persona have different skills, strengths and weaknesses and can greatly affect battles. The other major difference is how weaknesses work. When you attack an enemy with the element they are weak to, you will knock down the enemy. Once this happens, you will receive another attack with that character. Because of this, you can finish many battles in just 1 turn, making battles much less of a chore.

The social links, on the other hand, happen during your characters school days and requires him to develop friendships, and in some cases, relationships, with other characters he meets. Each of these characters is tied to once of the major arcana and will power up certain persona fusions when upgraded. Many have their own side story and are interesting in their own rights.

Fusing persona is also an important part of the game. By combining two or more of your persona, you can create stronger persona to help you in your dungeon crawling. Old persona can be bought back as well, so you never have to worry about losing one.

Story: 9/10

The story of Persona 4 is what initially drew me into the game. It starts out as a mystery story and draws elements from many different genres to create a truely unique experience. The alternate world as applied in P4 gives almost a Silent Hill type feeling and really helps to draw you in. Characters are developed though both story events as well as social links, which help the player to really feel invested in what is going on in the world. You WANT to help these characters because the game makes you care. This is rare in modern RPGs and impressed me the most out of anything.

Music: 10/10

This game has one of my all time favorite sound tracks, ranking up there with Persona 3, Final Fantasy 6, and Lunar 2: Eternal Blue. Music from this game is on my everyday playlist, that should tell you something.

Overall: 10/10

Let me stress this now. This is not a rating I give lightly. I can count the number of games that I would give a perfect score to on one hand. But this game really deserves it. It passes every category with flying colors and I would consider it probably the best RPG on the PS2 easily.

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