Review by Ryock
"Atlus does it once again"
Many people sit here and say it's nearly impossible to create a perfect game. Regardless of anyone 's tastes, someone will have something to complain about any kind of game. Even Final Fantasy VII gets complaints of being too popular and being overrated. Well, the Persona games are on a level equal to if not greater than the Final Fantasy series. Is Persona 4 one of those "perfect" games? Well, in my opinion, there was not one thing about the game I complained about or thought could be better. But again, it is all opinion. If you'd like to know my opinion, read on. It's definitely worth a quick read.
The story begins as a normal guy who has moved away for a year to another town. After getting off the train and meeting your cousin and uncle, you move into their house, and start your life at high school. Though as it goes on, you start to hear rumors of a channel that appears at midnight when it's raining, called the midnight channel. This channel supposedly has some odd shows going on, and lots of rumors go around it.
Eventually, a strange case of serial murders start happening, and no one knows much about it. The police have a hard time figuring it out. One thing leads to another, and one night when viewing the midnight channel, you discover a strange ability you control. The power to enter a TV into another world. You then begin to investigate the murders, and attempt to solve the case yourself.
You discover the power to summon a persona. A demon inside that is an adaptation of your ego, and can be used to defeat your opponents. Killing shadows with these becomes what you use these for. Discovering what happens in the case with your persona and trying to prevent the serial murders from happening time and again makes this game incredibly interesting.
Game play: 10/10
The game play is a lot like Persona 3 for those who have played it. This time, you can direct your partners with your own commands instead of giving them a general idea of how you would like them to fight in all the battles. The pierce, slash, and bludgeoning of persona 3 has been removed for just plain out physical attack power.
The game can seem incredibly difficult for those not used to the genre, the shin megami tensei series, or just Atlus in general. Atlus has a tendency to publish and develop VERY difficult RPGs, so this is also not for the faint of heart. Although I will say, as the game goes on, it actually gets easier, since you get better abilities. It's mostly a lack of healing abilities and sp restoration items that can make the game hard.
it's very fluid, the battles go by quickly. In this game though, when you hit an enemy's weak point, ie fire, water, etc, you get another turn just like in persona 3. However, unlike persona 3, you can actually get a better lead by attacking the same opponent again with its weakness. In the last game, they'd only get knocked down. In this one, they become dizzied, and must skip their turns for a while. It lets a player get an advantage very easily if they know what they're doing.
A lot of people I talk to either really love the music or think it's kind of eh. I liked it quite a lot, as it felt like it had a lot of emotion in it, as well as that ending touch towards the end of the game. The voice actors for all the characters were quite nice and well developed. None of the voices feel off in the slightest, and go well with all the character's emotions.
The game uses a lot of rock music, and is orchestrated in a more uplifting tone as compared to persona 3 where a lot of the music felt devastating and doom-ish. Persona 4 takes more of the opposite turn in music in that department.
Total Score: 10/10
Yes, the game has a 10. A lot of people probably will agree with me, too. This game, like a lot of Atlus' games are well fleshed out, interesting to play, and leave you with a feeling of a job well done after the game is beat. Persona 4 continues Persona 3's popularity, and improves on it. Would I say this one is better? Yes, yes I would. I loved Persona 3, but Persona 4 just felt so much better. If you can beat a Final Fantasy game, you should be able to understand and bear this game as well. I would recommend this game to almost any RPG player. It's a good buy, like most of Atlus' games.
Reviewer's Rating: 5.0 - Flawless
Originally Posted: 07/15/09
Game Release: Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 4 (US, 12/09/08)
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