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Persona 4

Developer / Publisher: Atlus
10 July 2008
Persona 4 - cover art
Glitchwave rating
4.17 / 5.0
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1,532 Ratings / 6 Reviews
#48 All-time
#1 for 2008
A student moving from Tokyo to Yasogami High School at the rural town of Inaba stumbles upon an alternative universe inside a television called the Midnight Channel, where shadows of an individual's negative personalities lurk behind the thick fog. This discovery coincides with a string of bizarre murders where the victims briefly appear in mysterious television transmissions, and an investigation team consisting of the student and his classmates is formed to discover the truth behind these murders.
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2008 Atlus  
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2009 Atlus Square Enix  
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2009 Atlus Square Enix  
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2009 Atlus Square Enix  
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2009 Atlus Square Enix  
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2012 Atlus  
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2012 Atlus  
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2013 Atlus NIS America  
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Persona 4: The Golden PlayStation Vita the Best
2015 Atlus  
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Testing, Bearsona, Testing.
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Tezcatlipoca 2016-04-04T11:37:25Z
2016-04-04T11:37:25Z
5.0
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While traditional Turn Based JRPGs fell out of flavor shortly after the turn of the 2000s, Altus is really an RPG company that stuck with them and continued to make critically acclaimed games in this genre. Persona is actually not that far from something like Dragon Quest when it comes to battles, you have HP and MP (well called SP here) with each character having his own spells with strength and weaknesses. I'm a big fan of this type of game, it feels a little bit of comfort food since this is mostly what I've played in the 90s. The only thing with Atlus games is that they are locked into old platforms, and they have finally started to port their classics to old systems.

Persona is a big franchise now, but upon release Persona 4 didn't sell that well. Released in late 2008 in North America for the PlayStation 2, people had upgraded to the next gen of consoles at that point and it really made a bigger splash when it was released in its definitive Golden edition for the Vita, and instantly became a best-seller for that system. Of course this brings us to the massive success of Persona 5, the most successful game of all-time for Atlus. A lot of people wanted to try out the older titles, but unfortunately weren't easily available until we finally got a Steam port and its incredible sales for a 12 year old game really shows the interested that people have for games like this. I have not played the PS2 or PSVita but for me this was a great port and I never ran into no issues. The controls took a minute to get used to, but once you get those locked it becomes quite easy to play and sink in so many hours.

I ended up with 91 hours on my playthrough. If you want to jump into Persona 4, you should prepare for a large time investment but it's really worth it. The biggest strength of the game is the story, you get to spend a full year with the cast of characters and you'll get to love them all as quirky as they are. Each day you'll have to decide who you want to spend time with, and over 20 of these social links have their unique storylines that you get to choose where to advance. I felt like Persona 4 was a little bit like watching a TV series of multiple seasons, when you get to the end you feel a little empty and will miss spending time with these people. The English voice acting is excellent, each one brings a lot of personality and they aren't any generic characters in the cast. Doing the social is a lot of fun, although around the end of the game it becomes a little redundant, it's still a pretty great system that is quite well executed here.

Perhaps the little lackluster point is the dungeons themselves, once you've done the first one they sort of all follow the same concept with the same designs of enemy locations, floors, and chest placements. The dungeons feel more like a test of endurance, how long can your party last by climbing with the tough enemies to defeat after one or the other. When you leave the dungeon to heal, you will make a day pass and you need to complete them after a certain time limit. The battle system is pretty good. It feels very classic and traditional, but there's nice touches like knocking enemies down and your party making a special group attack if everyone is knocked down. Even the bosses are another test of endurance, you have to grind them out slowly and uses your abilities correctly to survive. Unfortunately there were a few instances where I had to grind out a few levels because the bosses got too strong, but that's probably my fault for me going a little too fast in the dungeons.

Overall Persona 4 is a really complete and unique game. It definitely stands as one of the best RPGs of its era, especially at a time where the genre was moving a lot towards open world and action battles. It's got great art and a great story, challenging gameplay and it did not feel dated at all for something that originally came out in 2008. I would highly recommend it to RPG fans, it's great value for the price and the amount of hours that you will poor into it. Now is just hoping that Atlus will bring more of their great games to Steam.
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diction 2020-06-13T18:10:38Z
2020-06-13T18:10:38Z
4.5
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Quite good
Thoroughly enjoyable cast as well as an updated battle system that gives you more control. The bonus disc that also comes with the PS2 release is also a nice treat to play in the car or something ( just not with people or especially women around). Play it if you want a pretty comfy RPG with light challenge and a stellar cast and story.
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Joeman2 2022-06-03T15:00:47Z
2022-06-03T15:00:47Z
4.0
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Persona 4: Life Goes On With Or Without You
Ah, the year is 2008. Flip phones are rampant, people are checking Myspace, viral videos are becoming a thing, and dead people are appearing suspended from the power lines. Oh, don't remember that last part?

I first finished Persona 5 in the summer of 2021, absolutely blown away by the dynamic writing, the lively and passionate soundtrack, the incredible style, and the immersive and ever-evolving gameplay. Quickly after finishing this game, Persona 4 came on my radar after I heard from some that it was even better than 5. With this knowledge, I wanted to give myself the best experience meant on one of the home consoles for it.... so, I brought myself a Vita and a physical copy of Persona 4 Golden. Was it overkill to buy a Vita just for this game? I admit, kind of. Was the payoff worth it?

I'll start with the ever-interesting premise: you play the role of a high school student who just transferred from a big, bustling city to the small rural town of Inaba. Here, you find yourself acquainted with friends quick. You live here with your detective uncle and his daughter. Almost immediately, things turn for the worst as dead bodies start appearing during heavy fog strung up around this town. You find soon that you can solve this mystery with a certain power that only you can hold. With the tools you acquire and the bonds you form, it's your job to return rest to this quiet town.

When it comes to critiquing this game, I'd like to rate it based off of several categories in a spoiler-free fashion: Story, characters + voice acting, gameplay, soundtrack, visuals, and atmosphere.

STORY: With an already interesting premise, this game keeps you engaged with a surprising story to keep pace with it. I urge you to go into this game blind, as any shock or revelations that will provide enjoyment would dissipate and leave you dissatisfied. The story here revolves around the progression of the characters as well as the solving of the mysteries. In this game, you choose your story route. While there is an overarching story with set events, there are several endings to find on your journey and your story is also formed by which characters you choose to hang out with in your free time. Overall, the conclusion of the story and achieving the true ending left me incredibly satisfied and even sad that I was leaving the city I had become so acquainted of. The story works off an in-game calendar system to convey when certain events happen, so the game always feels like it is moving. Only complaint here is that the "secret" gas station ending is completely unnecessary.

CHARACTERS + VOICE ACTING: This is one of the strongest suits of the game, even stronger than Persona 5's characters. The cast here all works well with each other and each character in your party has distinguishable personalities that really bring them to life. While some of the out-of-party social links are definitely lacking, the main party with which you confide in is a roster of introspective and real feeling characters. Choosing who you want to spend your limited time with is, in turn, satisfying because you get to learn more about the characters you find the most interest in. I must warn you, there are some dated moments and events in here. Some character decisions and messages in game may come off as homophobic and even transphobic, and some social events and scenes are just uncomfortably weird and sexual (it was 2008, after all.). I feel like if this game dropped scenes like the hot springs and the atrocious little "King's Game" bit, then I'd feel less like a moron playing this game sometimes. All of these moments are just subtle setbacks and are made up for with the truly engaging dynamic between characters. As for voice acting, it's solid here. While some side characters can be a bit bland, all of the party members and main social links have great voice acting done to bring the character and their personalities to life.

GAMEPLAY: This is where the meat and potatoes of a game comes from. For starters, I'll discuss the combat side of the game. Dungeons are the worst part of this, as they are monotonous and boring trudges through multiple floors of the same level design. Persona 5 feels miles ahead of this games' dungeons, and the backtracking here doesn't help either. On the bright side, combat and The Velvet Room are always huge positives in Persona games. What we have here is a fantastic team building and turn based combat system in which you decide what you want your party to look like, the moves they use, the synergies taking place, and even be able to use and fuse a plethora of Personas. The Velvet Room is easily a huge highlight, giving you an insurmountable amount of freedom when it comes to making the move set and Persona that you'd like to use in battle. The solid battle soundtrack and smooth flow of combat all together makes for a greatly enjoyable combat section of gameplay. As for the social aspect of this game, you are given free time on days that you aren't busy. In this free time, you have a wide range of options and activities to choose. You can fish, farm vegetables, go to many shops, raise your personality stats, read books, watch movies, and many more. The main draw to free time is the ability to hang out with people who have social links. Progressing someone's social link actively engages you in their character arc and story, and even levels up their usefulness to you in gameplay. For your party members, this means that they become more potent and even more powerful in combat. This brilliant combination of story progression and aid in combat sections all put neatly into this entertaining activity always makes for a huge plus in Persona games.

SOUNDTRACK: It is impossible to mention a Persona game's quality without mentioning the soundtrack for it. The soundtrack for Persona 5 was nothing short of composing and stylistic genius, and the soundtracks to these games are almost always heavily praised and lauded over at RateYourMusic. Really, this soundtrack is a great but flawed one for me personally. The fight themes and variations of them feature large instrumentations and they never fail to keep you actively engaged in a fight (especially with boss battles.) Even better though are the ambient and even poppy tracks that play during different seasons or at different times of day. These songs are groovy and heartfelt, as well as unimaginably catchy. Some of the best tracks here come in the form of Pursuing My True Self, Heartbeat Heartbreak, Time to Make History, Snowflakes, and Heaven. The only true drawbacks here are the dungeon tracks and the very obviously midi sounding instruments. The dungeon music here consists of subpar 8-second midi loops. This makes the monotonous dungeons even more monotonous (of course with the exception of Heaven's song.)

VISUALS: The visuals here aren't incredibly stylistic, but they're great for their time. The stylish Personas as well as the tidy anime cutscenes make for a generally favorable time visually. These aforementioned anime cutscenes really bring to life important moments and social events, so I'm all here for it. The in-game graphics are a bit dated, but that should be obviously expected from a PS2 game. Honestly, PS2 era graphics always hold a certain level of charm anyways. Visually, there is honestly not much to say about this game.

ATMOSPHERE: Oh man, is the atmosphere in this game incredible. The atmosphere helps to bring this town to life, and makes the dreary moments force your stomach to turn. The atmosphere here comes from a great level of despair that is introduced when a shocking moment happens coming with a stomach-churning track. Everything here from the mystery of the TV world, the dreariness of the fog, and the everybody-knows-everybody attitude of Inaba makes this setting the absolutely perfect space in which to tell a mysterious crime and killer-solving story. I can't begin to explain the aura of hopelessness and desperation every time the thick fog leaks into the real world and overtakes Inaba for the night.

OVERALL: Persona 4 (more specifically its Golden counterpart) portrays masterclass work when it comes to atmosphere, characters, soundtrack, and storytelling. It definitely feels dated in some gameplay respects, some social scenarios, and some of the messages it portrays in game, but this game is a must play for anyone who is a fan of the JRPG genre or the Persona series. It's a heavy commitment of a game (80+ hours for a single playthrough, 3 of those hours being exposition), but it was well worth it in the end. As a whole, the Persona series teaches us the importance of time and relationships through the nuanced method of having a great story to tell. It's time to let go of the remote.

FINAL SCORE: 4.5/5, A-, 92/100.
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grayymann 2021-09-24T14:07:51Z
2021-09-24T14:07:51Z
4.5
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Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 4 abandoned the original spirit of Persona (and SMT by extension) and instead opted for a comfortable, jovial atmosphere, more akin to a children's cartoon than the usual cruel, dark nature of the previous entries.

Despite this, the differences are merely surface level. Persona 4 actually excels in bridging the psychological discord of Persona 2: Innocent Sin with the modern format inaugurated by Persona 3. In several key moments, Persona 4 tackles much deeper personal issues that previous games (both series and the medium) dared not speak up on. Gameplay-wise, Persona 4 continues the format of 3 in what can be unfortunately described as an overall downgrade. Combat is lauded as 'fixed' for finally letting players take control of other party members, but the tedious change in dungeon design sours much of the gameplay. While Persona 3 also relied on repetitive, randomly generated dungeons, their design was more compact, whereas Persona 4's dungeons focused on the elongated, boring structure of hallways dotted with single rooms. This design remained the same throughout all dungeons, regardless of their aesthetic differences.

The game delivers a sense of harmless fun in a drastic thematic change reminiscent of Final Fantasy VIII. It focused less on the oppressive, disturbing atmospheres of past games, instead relying on a plot-wide murder mystery that is less chilling and more humorous. Only occasionally do the disturbing pieces of previous games ever rear their heads, yet are sequenced effectively nonetheless. The characters mirror the game's cheery yet subversive tone, but are often too annoying or simply not memorable enough for their powerful subplots to truly take effect.
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Blah_Blee 2021-06-28T13:51:38Z
2021-06-28T13:51:38Z
6.5 /10
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Disclaimer: This review will be based on the original 2008 Persona 4 for the PS2. Anything added or omitted in P4 Golden will not be mentioned in this review because that is not the version that I sank 70 hours into.

Among those in the Persona fanbase, there isn't a clear favorite of the franchise. My personal favorite is Persona 5 because it introduced me to the franchise and has so much material and polish that I can even argue that it's the best Persona game on an objective scale. Nevertheless, most people that love the series as much as I do will disagree with me on my favorite just as much as I will disagree with theirs. Usually, it's always between Personas 3, 4, and 5 because they are the games in the franchise that created the mold and foundation for the contrast between overwrought, otherworldly world-saving and Japanese teenager life while the first two Personas are pretty rudimentary in comparison. I always seemed to get the impression that Persona 4 most people's favorite Persona game even after Persona 5, in my opinion, has perfected the formula that Persona 3 and 4 founded. Persona 4 was also the last Persona out of 3,4, and 5 that I played, so I feel like I have plenty of room to compare the 3 games and judge Persona 4 on its own merits as well. I almost expected that I would enjoy this game just as much if not even more than Persona 5 because of its high reputation among the Persona fans, but that didn't quite happen. I enjoyed my time with Persona 4 like the other games, but it has its flaws that can't be ignored.

Persona 4, or "country-ass Persona" (the unofficial name that I have coined myself), has the reverse set-up from the other Persona games. Instead of the protagonist moving from their quaint town to the big city, you move from the big city to the quiet town of Inaba. It's as if the protagonist of Persona 4 moved to the Japanese equivalent of my hometown and went to my rural public high school (even though they still wear uniforms). Instead of going to malls, clubs, and crowded city cafes, you hang out on riverbeds, peruse little shops, and frequent grocery stores with outdoor seating. Yep, this sounds a lot like my hometown alright. The protagonist stays with his police chief uncle Dojima and his seven-year-old daughter Nanako. During the stay, Dojima is investigating a string of mysterious murders that have been occurring in town. The first murder was a female commentator who was recently in the news for cheating on her politician husband. In your first week in Inaba, another murder occurs but this time it's a high school girl that discovered the body of the commentator. The husband is perceived as the murderer until some inconclusive evidence emerges that leads the police to believe that he isn't the culprit. Meanwhile, you discover something called "the Midnight Channel" which depicts people from Inaba silhouetted in a shadow exposing personal desires and details about themselves. You start to notice that the people appearing on this channel are the people that have been showing up dead, so you start to make connections that this channel may have something to do with the murders. Once you and your friends discover that you can go through the TV dimension, you try to save those who are appearing on the Midnight Channel starting with a girl from school named Yukiko. Throughout the game, several people appear on the Midnight Channel and it is up to you and your friends to save these people, discover the secrets of this mysterious channel, and find the culprit behind the murders.

This game is more often than not compared to Scooby-Doo. This is mostly a joke, but I can see some validity in comparing the two. Unlike the gloomy, melancholic atmosphere permeating Persona 3, Persona 4 is the exact opposite. This game is very bright, cheerful, and happy. The soundtrack also follows the same course as it is incredibly poppy and cheerful as well. There is a reason why the color scheme is bright yellow. Yellow is a color that is bright and sunny which is indicative of the joyous atmosphere that the game revels in. Persona 4 isn't all fun and games with friends however, there is still a murder case to be solved. Just like how Persona 3 juxtaposed the lighter moments with the darker foreground, Persona 4 juxtaposes the darker moments with the lighter foreground. This amounts to Persona 4 having quite a few issues with its overall tone. The tone is often a little too light-hearted for its plot. How can I giggle with the character's banter after seeing a lifeless teenage girl wrapped around a telephone pole? It's probably the ghastliest image in the entire series, and the characters don't seem impacted by this in the same way as I was as the player (except for Yosuke, but that's well after the fact). They just lace up their proverbial bootstraps and say, "let's solve the mystery, guys!" like the characters in Scooby-Doo. It feels odd because there feels like there should be some edge and impact to what is going on around these characters considering the nature of the circumstances. Because Scooby-Doo doesn't have this impact because it's a kid's cartoon, the tone feels unbalanced. The jovial nature the game tries to convey contrasted with the grim, serious nature of murder leaves the game feeling a little weird and creepy. Sometimes it works making the creepiness of the game a point of interest for me and other times the Scooby-Doo comparisons are pretty apt. This brighter tone works much better during the breaks between the plot like the camping trip and the beauty contest because these are light-hearted romps that warrant a more comedic tone. It's at this point when the overall tone of the game becomes infectious and I had a lot of fun with the game's presentation.

In regards to the gameplay, Persona 4 plays almost exactly like Persona 3. Both games were on the same system, so I suppose it's pretty natural that both games would play pretty similarly. Regardless of the system, a sequel should build off of the foundation laid out by the previous titles and expand upon it and Persona 4 does that only slightly. However, those slight changes make a world of difference. In my Persona 3 review, I mentioned that being unable to control your partners during combat made my blood boil. During the first TV dungeon when Yosuke automatically did Garu on an enemy, a pang of dread rushed throughout my body. My anxious feeling was relieved when I discovered that you can fix this by choosing to control each partner in the tactics menu once they join your team. Although, why anyone would choose to let AI control your partners is beyond me. You have the option to guard against attacks now, which is a godsend, and there are now special moves your partners can learn through social links that knock the enemies down. The overall control in this game is also a lot less stilted than Persona 3 making navigating through menus and such a lot breezier. Thank God for all of these changes. No longer would a partner's Marin Karin cost me the battle making me lose my progress and my sanity as well. I'm assuming that the graphics of this game are so much better in the P4 Golden version on the Vita, but they are pretty much the same as they are in Persona 3.

As per usual, Persona 4 is a gameplay balance of otherworldly dungeon crawler and Japanese high school life. In the real world, you work on increasing stats and establishing bonds with the characters surrounding you including your partners. In terms of this aspect, Persona 4 executes this much less favorably than Persona 3. For one, instead of going dungeon crawling at night like in Persona 3, you go to the TV world during the day which is when most of the social links are available. There are two more total stats to increase than in Persona 3 and some of the stats have selective opportunities to be increased making it much more difficult to max them out by the end of the game. It also doesn't help that the protagonist can't (technically) go outside at night throughout the entire game. This is because of a plot-mechanic that involves your ignorant, but concerned uncle not allowing you to roam around outside because there is a murderer loose in town and he works late so you are obligated to watch over his daughter after dark. However, you can accept night jobs working in a hospital, accept a tutoring job, and go fishing. You just have to select which of those you're going to do at the front door of the Dojima residence rather than going to the locations yourself. Is the protagonist doing this behind Dojima's back or does Dojima not care that his nephew is in potential danger roaming around outside as long as he is being responsible and making money? Either way, I vastly prefer being able to manually visit certain areas at night on my own. At home, you can increase some of your stats and rank up the Nanako and Dojima social links. You can also increase the chance of ranking up a social link randomly sometimes by dreaming about a certain person. In my own experience, dreaming about someone makes your relationship more perturbing than enriching, but at least Persona 4 makes an effort to increase your stats while trying to juggle their plot-enforced curfew.

On the other side of the Persona coin, the action, dungeon crawling gameplay is in the TV world, a yellow, staticky place that looks like a TV studio with a thick fog covering it. Once someone appears on the Midnight Channel, their levels open, representing their internal feelings and desires. These levels are themed and range from castles, hot springs, strip clubs, etc. Overall, the TV world is the most underwhelming dimension out of Personas 3, 4, and 5. I don't know whether or not I've been spoiled from playing Persona 5 first, but the themed dungeons aren't very intricate because their progression is randomly generated like Tartarus in Persona 3. Only some of the levels like the retro, 8-bit level, and maybe the secret laboratory are the only levels that warrant a labyrinthine design while the others don't. What strip club is hard to navigate through? I think that this works better in Persona 3 because Tartarus was a steady climb upwards and it had a dark, surreal nature to it that warranted an unpredictability in its design. Persona 4's dungeons feel like they should be complex and multi-faceted like the palaces in Persona 5 but play exactly like Tartarus which is why this didn't work for me.

Unlike Persona 3, the individual level and its boss must be completed by a certain date or else the human host of the level will die. Unlike Persona's 3 and 5, there is no countdown in the top right corner signifying how many days you have left to complete the boss. Rather, the game implements a weather mechanic that states that the dungeon host dies after continuous days of rain. This is rather confusing because the game doesn't tell you that "continuous rain" means two days of rain and that the last day for the boss is on the second rainy day, not the day after. This is something that you'll get the hang of as the game progresses, but I much prefer the countdown like in the other games because it's much easier to measure how much time you have left. The pacing of the dungeons is a little easier than in Persona 3 but adds plenty of confusing aspects. If you were determined enough to get to the highest level of Tartarus in one day, you absolutely could. You could just grind and go back to the entrance whenever needed as long as you got to a floor with a teleport gem. In Persona 4, it's a little more complicated. You are able to leave the dungeon whenever you want, but to leave, you have to have an item called a "goho-m" unless you want to persevere and get to the last floor before the boss. The game doesn't tell you that you have to buy these items at the store in town which is something I wish I knew beforehand before starting the first dungeon. Once you go back to the entrance, your HP and SP are not restored like in the previous game. There is however a fox that joins you after the first dungeon that replenishes your SP but it is very expensive. The only way to knock down the price is to do requests that coincide with fox's social link. Needless to say, I found all of these extra steps to be cryptic and unnecessary. Speaking of cryptic, unlocking the dungeons in the TV world is probably my least favorite aspect of the game because they are always so painstakingly cryptic and circuitous. You look around town asking people about the missing person and looking for clues, but most of the time, you already know plenty about the person in question and the game isn't very straightforward about who to ask for information. Instead of wasting your time asking absolutely everyone in Inaba, look up a guide that tells you who to talk to because you can waste precious time doing this that should be used traversing the dungeon if you don't know what you're doing. The time to traverse the dungeons is sparse in this game, so you'll need all the time you can get.

The gameplay in Persona 4 may not excel above the other entries, but one aspect that I think Persona 4 is the grand champion in is in regards to its characters. For a podunk town like Inaba, it sure has a lot of colorful people in it. This is well apparent in your Scooby-gang "Investigation Team" which might be my overall favorite ensemble in the Persona series.

Yosuke is your first party member and fills in the trope of the "dumb best friend" character like Junpei and Ryuji. However, unlike those two, Yosuke isn't a loudmouth clod, rather his clueless behavior stems from being anxious and having a low sense of self-confidence. He's the son of the manager of Junes, the popular mega-store in the game that also serves as a hideout and is a means to enter the TV world. He is not respected by his co-workers as they try to take advantage of him and once his co-worker/obvious love interest Saki Konishi dies, he feels as if she resented him because of his lack of confidence in himself. His emotional social link revolves around his feelings and completing it made Yosuke seem much more well-rounded and well-meaning than the other "idiot best friend" characters.

Chie is in the game for the same duration as Yosuke but gains her persona a little later. She's a girl with short hair that loves kung-fu movies, steak, and kicking ass. A lot of the humor in the game also stems from her banter with Yosuke making their dynamic the main source of comic relief in the game. She is also the only (human) party member to not have her dungeon. Rather, her shadow is a mini-boss in the middle of Yukiko's dungeon. One could argue that this is a means of having two party members face the first boss, but there's another aspect to it. Chie's life revolves around her friendship with Yukiko, the host of the dungeon, to the point where Chie is overshadowed by Yukiko in terms of her popularity and her looks making Chie feel insecure. Chie is funny, spunky, sweet, and reminds me of the girl I had a crush on in high school. Her "galactic punt" move never gets old and she is my favorite character in the game. Don't worry so much Chie, you've certainly won me over.

Yukiko is the first party member you "unlock" by completing their dungeon. Yukiko is a pretty girl at school whose family runs a prestigious inn in town and is also Chie's best friend. On the Midnight Channel, she is depicted as a princess and her dungeon is in the form of a castle which signifies the scale of the inn her family runs. Her shadow conveys Yukiko's feelings about feeling repressed by her obligation to care for her family's prestigious inn instead of doing normal teenage girls things like dating. Once you unlock her, it's revealed that this pretty girl with a prestigious status is a goofy klutz. Yukiko is alright but pales in comparison to the others. I kept her on my team during battle because she's the main healer.

Kanji is an absolute doll and I love him. He's seen as a delinquent because of his attitude and also because of his hot temper. On the Midnight Channel, his shadow is a flamboyant, loin-cloth wearing sexual deviant signifying not only Kanji's true sensitivity but his ersatz homosexuality. Once you save him, he says the root of his problem was his fear of girls, but I'm reading between the lines here. I guess it would be too bold to put a gay character in a video game circa 2008, so the game half-steps, but I know better. Kanji's social link is also an absolute delight.

Rise, or Risette, is a teenage celebrity (or idol) that moves back to her hometown after being disillusioned by fame. Her shadow on the Midnight Channel is an exhibitionist stripper that says that she's going to strip down when the fog happens signifying everyone's collective lust for her. When you save her, you find that she's pretty down-to-earth, but she's still bubbly and flirty like her shadow. If Chie wasn't in this game, I'd say Rise was my favorite female character.

Naoto joins your party pretty late into the game, but you get to know her throughout the game regardless. She is a stern, no-nonsense student detective determined to succeed in the male-dominated occupation of detective work, so much so that she poses as a man until her dungeon shadow reveals her true identity. It was bold enough to have a gay character in a video game, but to include a TRANS character in a video game would've blown everyone's balls off. Don't tell me that operating table with the large machinery at the end of her dungeon doesn't signify a want for a sex change. As far as her character goes, she's certainly interesting and furthers the plot immensely near the end of the game. She is also well-endowed according to her medical records. Good for her.

Teddie is the non-human character of the game that watches over the TV world and is the only party member in the game that I am a bit iffy on. He's like Spongebob if Spongebob got horny (ew) and his constant horniness and bear puns got old quickly. After fighting his shadow in the strip club, Teddie appears in the real world and Pinocchios himself, so you get plenty of time with him in both forms. Teddie's social link levels up automatically throughout the game as his character arc involves Teddie finding out the truth about what he is. At a pinnacle moment in the story, Teddie realizes that he's a shadow that morphed into something pleasant like a plushie bear to assimilate into the society that he wishes to fit into. Despite the bear puns and the uncanniness of his human form, I grew to like Teddie, although I can't exactly explain why. He is a good vehicle for wacky antics, I'll give him that. As a whole, the partners are cheerful and silly almost to a fault. I don't buy all of these teenagers having the time of their lives with a seven-year-old girl, but they seem to be pleased with everything not involving the investigation. Either way, the cast is eclectic, fleshed out, and works well with each other, and their interactions with each other are always endearing.

There are plenty of other social links throughout the game with characters that are as endearing as your partners (or at least almost) and they are a total improvement on the social links in Persona 3. Each social link holds a substantial weight to it that gives this silly game the emotional depth it needed. These social links range from other classmates at your school to a lot of older women. Unlike Persona 5, you can't date any of them, but they are still interesting characters nonetheless. The social links that hold the most weight are the Dojima and Nanako social links. Both social links revolve around the tragic death of Dojima's wife/Nanako's mother after she was hit by a car. Dojima is still grieving over his wife's death and frustrated with himself over the fact that he can't seem to find who did it. Nanako can't quite comprehend what happened to her mother because she is so young, but her mother's absence added on to her father's constantly having to work late hours makes her very lonely. She also doesn't fully understand the implications of life and death and her social link revolves around you helping her cope with the darker facets of life. These social links almost make up for the fact that you can't go outside at night because their emotional impact resonates strongly. Other interesting social links are Ai, Shu, and Naoki. The Devil social link was the only one that rubbed me the wrong way probably because the nurse rubs you the wrong way if you know what I mean.

As the story progressed, the scope of the TV world and the mystery kept befuddling me, and not in the way that a good mystery should. It's not that the TV world isn't too far-fetched, but there was something about it that I just couldn't put my finger on. I thought that it would be explained neatly as I played through the game, but it was never that air-tight. When I was finishing the game and wrapping up everything that had been presented, I realized that I'd have to do some outside-the-box thinking about the substance of Persona 4 and its TV world premise. I realized that the themes are very Fahrenheit 451-esque. The very prevalent theme of "finding the truth" is juxtaposed with the fog that surrounds the TV world in the sense that television and mass media creates the fog that keeps people from finding the truth. It creates a veil of superficiality which the game contests is dangerous because the TV world kills those that fall into it. The shadows seen on the Midnight Channel are versions of that person that the public cynically surmises about, or at least that's what the game reveals near the end of the game. I however have some discrepancies with this because it isn't that consistent. I can understand this being the case for Rise because she has a lot of pervy fans who want to see her naked, but the same doesn't work for the others. Kanji is perceived as a ruffian by the public and no one knows about his sensitive side that is reflected by his shadow on the Midnight Channel, so how does that reflect how people perceive him in the real world? It makes more sense that their shadow reveals their true feelings like an uncomfortable nakedness of one's self rather than how the public perceives them After the killer is revealed, there is a secret boss at the very end of the game if you manage to get the good ending. It turns out that the gas station employee that you talked to once you arrived in Inaba is a God that created the Midnight Channel as a way of giving humanity an easier, more superficial life because of the truth about themselves and the people around them are too ugly and scary to confront. This brings clarity to my assessment of the game, but I think it can be further supported.

My thesis about the TV world can be effectively supported by two characters: Nanako and Adachi. In Nanako's case, I sensed a bit of a "think of the children" message with her. She's a lonely, innocent little girl who spends most of her time in front of the TV. Nanako is captured and brought into the TV world. Even though the Investigation Team rescues her, she remains in critical condition in the real world and dies on the hospital bed. The other characters that were murdered by the TV world were supposedly murdered by the shadows, but Nanako succumbed to the effects of the TV world itself. If you're on the path to the good ending, Nanako miraculously recovers once you search for the truth and don't cave into your preconceived notions about who the killer is even though it might seem obvious at that point. It expresses that young children are the most vulnerable to the effects of a superficial world because they don't know any better and they are the ones who should be living an organic substantial life with close relationships more than anyone. Or else, they might end up like Adachi.

Finding out that Adachi was the killer wasn't exactly a surprise. For one, I knew better than to trust the first red-herring the game gives you because Persona games never end in August. Secondly, it would've been disappointing if Namatame was the killer because he was the person that everyone suspected at first and his vague salvation initiative wasn't substantial enough to warrant being the killer for the game's sake (for being a red-herring, his boss fight sure is a bitch). The game apparently wants you to suspect Adachi as the killer as well because if you don't choose him as a suspect, you won't get the good ending. I always had my suspicions about Adachi. He's a bumbling fool, no doubt, but his mannerisms screamed more to me like he had something to hide rather than he had no idea what was going on. He was always around the corner at every pivotal point in the plot, so there had to be some significance to that. Once you confront Adachi, he slips up and reveals that he is the killer. You follow him into the TV where Adachi reveals his psychotic motives for throwing people into the TV. What motive does the killer have? Nothing. Adachi discovered his ability to traverse the TV world when he accidentally pushed the first murder victim into the TV while assaulting her at the Amagi Inn. He pushed in Saki Konishi for the hell of it too. He then convinced Namatame that putting the people that show up on the Midnight Channel inside the TV that they would be safe inside knowing that the TV world would kill them and having someone else inadvertently commit the murders would cover his tracks and he could just watch the chaos ensue with a golden view. At first, it kind of seems disappointing that the main antagonist of the game has no clear motive for murdering people, but it does make you consider his character deeper. Adachi reveals that he resents Inaba and the people in it because he prided himself on being a top-class detective whose potential is being sullied by being put in a podunk town where nothing happens. To stir up a commotion, he made his work more interesting and there was finally a subject of interest in town. To coincide with my TV world thesis, Adachi represents the factor that TV can make you a callous individual. Adachi is not a respected person in his line of work. He seems to be like a wart on Dojima's ass. He has no friends, he garners zero respect from everyone, and he has none of the integral factors that an honest, organic life that everyone else in the game with strong relationships has. He represents the dissociative factors that television can create and his line of murders creates a sense of sensationalism that is often a factor of television as well stemming into more corrupt territory that deviates from the truth.


Persona 4 is a great game, but it's flawed, which is exactly what I said about Persona 3. I am eternally grateful that Persona 4 took the foundation of the previous game and improved on its gameplay, social links, and characters, but I'm not sure everything else is substantial enough to make it better than Persona 3 overall. With all of the improvements P4 Golden added, maybe that will change, but for now, I can still see why this is a lot of people's overall favorite in the franchise. It's a charming, jovial game that still has everything I love about the Persona series.
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cotybear Persona 4 2022-08-15T18:07:17Z
2022-08-15T18:07:17Z
5.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
cloudydonut Persona 4 2022-08-15T14:29:49Z
2022-08-15T14:29:49Z
4.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
naranja97 Persona 4 2022-08-14T21:29:59Z
2022-08-14T21:29:59Z
4.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
yungacunit Persona 4 Golden 2022-08-14T20:54:11Z
PS Vita • XNA
2022-08-14T20:54:11Z
4.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
lmaobox Persona 4 2022-08-13T02:30:12Z
2022-08-13T02:30:12Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
inonthekilltaker Persona 4 Golden 2022-08-13T01:56:30Z
Windows
2022-08-13T01:56:30Z
3.5
1
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
man19572160 Persona 4 2022-08-13T01:15:47Z
2022-08-13T01:15:47Z
5.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
revivalcamp Persona 4 2022-08-13T01:12:16Z
2022-08-13T01:12:16Z
5.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
ROughLEE109 Persona 4 Golden 2022-08-12T22:55:58Z
Windows
2022-08-12T22:55:58Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
truffleworm Persona 4 2022-08-12T15:52:47Z
2022-08-12T15:52:47Z
4.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
MadScientist8 Persona 4 2022-08-12T09:08:12Z
2022-08-12T09:08:12Z
4.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
bleakage Persona 4 2022-08-11T22:04:32Z
2022-08-11T22:04:32Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Content rating
CERO: B
Player modes
Single-player
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1x DVD
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Also known as
  • Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 4
  • Persona 4 Golden
  • ペルソナ4
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  • Previous comments (69) Loading...
  • JGar40 2022-05-01 08:19:31.411867+00
    great vegetables
    reply
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  • Henricch 2022-05-27 12:41:56.40852+00
    this is the best game ever, but I didn't played enough to give my rating.
    reply
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  • Melancholie 2022-05-27 20:09:18.588471+00
    Best game of all time.
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  • phoen1x_music 2022-06-17 07:18:05.640876+00
    hide Removed by mod
    This post was removed by a site moderator.
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  • Senchi3 2022-07-24 22:34:28.7656+00
    great vegetables
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  • kaibo 2022-07-27 15:32:34.680135+00
    oh naoto. they wrote you so fucking bad
    reply
    • kaibo 2022-07-27 15:34:00.86901+00
      rest of the game is literally 10/10 though. naoto is the single thing driving it down for me
    • Melancholie 2022-08-02 16:14:14.40723+00
      Why? She claims to be a boy to avoid being discriminated in a male-dominated job. She is not trans or anything. People like to project and give it a Western spin, but her situation is a common Japanese cultural issue.
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  • A_Premonition 2022-08-15 04:58:58.881721+00
    great vegetables
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