Review by Cymery
"Return of the Shadows"
After playing Persona 3 FES and the vanilla Persona 3 I came to enjoy the series quite a bit. When I started looking for the other Persona games my wallet and heart broke because 1) I couldn't find the games anywhere locally and 2) it would cost well over $80 per game on Ebay. So when I heard that Persona 4 was coming out I started saving my money and bought it a few months after my birthday. The game was worth the wait.
It's similar to Persona 3's with the exception of it being easier to locate your persona, items, and oh yeah the best part: you can control your party members now. Unlike Persona 3 you can control all members of your party in battle so no more stupid AI mistakes of using bufu when you desperately needed healing. Outside of battle you can run, walk, fish, and have a few part time jobs. Social links are still around and just as challenging as the last time to complete. Perhaps even more difficult as there is so much more to do in this game. My only complaint with this is that the social links aren't as deep as Persona 3's. You only use one persona this time but that's totally fine as your other party members will have a persona to help along the way. Also there are side quests to do like you did in Persona 3 but this time your helping out a temple fox. No not a girl a real fox complete with tail and everything.
Persona 4's soundtrack is much more upbeat then Persona 3's. You get relaxing tune's, you get the sound of rain, and when your fighting you get a bouncy tune to listen too that I happen to like a lot. The voice acting is really good as well. There are a few voice actors I don't recognize and I'm glad to hear some new voice talents. That said veteran players and anime watchers will recognize a few of the voice actors which is an added security blanket so if you don't like the new voice actors you can at least live with the old tried and true voice actors.
On the whole there isn't much difference between Persona 3's and 4's design. The only real difference is that Persona 4's normal graphics are sort of fuzzed over and not as sharp as Persona 3's. However I find the anime cutscenes to be a lot better, clearer and more detailed, in this game then Persona 3's which looked half done at some points and short enough to ask yourself why the developers had even bothered to put an anime cutscene in the game at all.
The is in its own way as good as Persona 3's was. However the story isn't all that serious as the previous game but it does hold its own for this game. First of all your living with your uncle and young cousin, your in high school and murders start happening all of a sudden. You make friends with 2 other main characters and it goes on from there. Basically your trying to live a normal rural high school life when bad things start happening around the town. Honestly when I write about the story it doesn't sound like a lot or even good but I don't believe in spoiling anything for you so I'll leave it at that. Just be assured the story is great but lighter then Persona 3's.
Yes Persona 4 has its issues with the graphics being a little fuzzy looking at times but graphics aren't everything. The fighting is still fun, you can actually buy lots of items to bring along with you and you can control all the characters. The story works really well and is quite meaningful to the game. The persona's are a lot of fun to use and there is some strategy needed to be used when fighting bosses. Each dungeon is completely unique and can be returned to whenever you want for levels or items needed. I'd recommend the game to anyone who likes the previous Persona games or likes rpgs in general.
Reviewer's Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Originally Posted: 08/13/10
Game Release: Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 4 (US, 12/08/08)
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