Review by felixrush
"Standard RPG gameplay, Standard RPG music, and... the "plot" needed more work."
First of all, I'd like to state that the Shin Megami Tensei series is my favorite RPG series and that I really enjoyed playing most of them.
Persona 4 is a game I had heard remarkable things about. It had great trailers and I really did enjoy the beginning of the game's presentation since it was mostly well-done. The plot and characters, however, soon went downhill due to unexplained plot occurrences and lack of any real depth in characters.
So, to start this off:
The music was okay. It wasn't anything superb or attention grabbing like most Shin Megami Tensei's which usually have one or two tracks that really latch on to fans because of how ingeniously they are composed.
They're by no means bad at all. They're all just forgettable.
It's about time that Persona stepped-up its gameplay and allowed more than one character to be controlled at a time. The gameplay itself though doesn't have much to offer. Press-turns are back and you can do some comical Japanese slapstick comedy attack as a bonus sometimes but otherwise its basic turn-based gameplay. There's a few weaker bonus attacks that individual party members can do but that's it really.
The character growth system in this game is a real disappointment compared to other games in the series. To be frank, there is no thinking involved. An example: Of course one would pick a stronger lightning spell to replace a weaker version of the same spell. There is just no strategy or thought put into this game. It may as well have been done for the player.
Loved the beginning and then because of poor presentation and terrible characters it ruined itself.
You're suppose to be trying to find some killer who is supposedly kidnapping people and throwing them into a harsh world inside televisions but the game makes it completely obvious who the culprit is from the very beginning and continues to be obvious about the killer. They honestly didn't even try in this game. I was very disappointed.
I'd go on and on about why it was so obvious but that would be spoilers AND I'd rather not ruin it for people if they haven't already seen the obvious plot.
I'll give you a hint though if you think I'm lying: "Confidential."
Worst of all, the reasoning was, for all intents and purposes, non-existent. It was little more than "I'm bored" to "I'm crazy because the plot needs me to be some random crazy person now."
ALL social links, the character development that the characters express in the game, all end the same.
They talk about a particular problem, they exaggerate how bad this problem is, some sob story is given in a one-sided depiction of the specified problem, and then by the end of the social link the character will go on having the problem and say their complaints before were exaggerated and that there is no problem.
Nothing really changes for the characters. They don't try to deal with problems but just stop complaining about them.
An example? Yukiko Amagi, she shows great strides in trying to get a job and live on her own to support herself and grow-up from being a spoiled brat and then the social link changes to some lunacy about some camera crew for some random tabloid wanting to make a mockery of her parents historical inn (which she didn't want to inherit and instead grow-up and make a life of her own) and then some random workers in the family speak about how they adored Yukiko as a kid, and by the end of it Yukiko defends her crying mother against these people from this random tabloid company with you, the main character's, help as support.
Overall, I found the entire experience to be a laughable melodramatic sob story and was completely embarrassed to be playing it. Now, one shouldn't judge an entire system in a game on just one bad egg, right?
The problem was, I kept finding this same chain of events in every social link so I just got tired of it.
To conclude: If you like Japanese RPGs full of high school drama or liked previous Persona games then this is definitely for you. If you like good rpgs then this game isn't for you.
Reviewer's Score: 4/10 | Originally Posted: 08/04/10
Game Release: Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 4 (US, 12/08/08)
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