Sunday, January 4, 2009

Persona 4 Review

This game is so great that I want to make a review of it. I embarked toward the true ending last night if you guys have been watching me play on Justin.TV. I have spent around an average of 77 hours in this game. There's a second play through option that will transfer some of your data in there. As much as I love this game, I won't have the time to play it again sadly. Although, I can say that I would like to revisit this game again in the near future. So I present you my first video game review on my SLGaming blog.

The story begins with your main Character transferring from the city to a small town school due to his parents working overseas for a full year. He'll be staying with his uncle and his daughter for one year. The main Character is getting familiar with the town until one morning a shroud of fog covered the whole town. Then all of a sudden, someone is killed in that morning. It looks like this was a bad time for the main Character to move into town with a killer on the loose, or maybe fate brings him here to remedy this problem? Soon, your school friends discovered a rumor about the midnight channel that an image of one's face appears on screen. The main Character curiously looked into this rumor and it was true. It was faint, but it was definitely a human being appearing on TV. Surprisingly, it looks like you can enter inside the TV like if you were going in a different world. Then later you discover that you are able to summon a Persona in that different world. Afterwards, you and your friends thinks that the fog, the TV world, and the killings are all somewhat connected. The police doesn't look like they'll solve this case, so it's up to the... school students to save this town. So what fate lies with the main Character with a killer on the loose, a special power going inside TVs, and attending school simultaneously? Looks like you'll have to play the game and find out.

Even though your main Character doesn't speak at all in the game, (well except a few grunts and calling out a Persona's name) most Characters here are very memorable. Each one have their own unique personality that feels like a real person. Of course Teddie is one of those Characters that brings out joy and humor. It's nice how they take a Character like him, and it turns out to be a great mascot to represent this game. Then there's young Nanako-chan that everyone will go all "cuuute" for. There are lots of NPC that you will have to get familiar with to establish a social link that plays a very important part of this game. If you visit them regularly, your relationship with them will grow stronger, and the higher the social link, the stronger your Personas will level up when you create them. A unique feature they added is where your party combatants will enhance their skills depending on their social rank. They can take a vital hit for you, knock down an enemy for you, or even survive a major blow from the enemy to prevent dieing. Cut scenes plays a good role to learn more about these Characters, and you be surprised how close you can get attached to them.

It's pretty straight forward and it's nothing complicated. You will run around in the dungeon and you will see shadows on the loose. If you strike them first fast enough and hit them correctly, you will get a full free turn. If you get hit before your weapon hits, then your enemies will take advantage of you for a full turn. Monsters and even your party will have weakness or strengths against certain elements. It's all the matter of finding out their weakness, and take them down fast. Once you hit their weak points or deal a critical attack, you will get one free turn. Once all enemies on the field are down, you can initiate an All-Out attack that everyone will rush toward the enemy and beat the stuffing out of them for massive damage. Notice the smoke cloud if you will, it's quite comical. Although your party members have their own Persona, you can own and switch to many Personas at your disposal.

This is a PS2 game, you can't expect polish visuals like our current next-gen consoles. Actually I disagree, the graphics are very polished. I can't say the Character models are great. The main Character's face looks dull, and Yukiko's face looks like a fish. Putting that aside, the environment is truly remarkable though. It also looks like they implemented something to where every movement will have a motion blur to it. It's hard to explain unless you play the game yourself, but it does make it very interesting nevertheless.

The music is so awesome, that they even include a soundtrack with the game. Even though there's one battle theme music in this whole game, I'm never tired of it. What makes this music unique to this game are the lyrics playing out in the songs. It's very catchy and before you know it, you may ending up humming or singing out the lyrics yourself. I know I have. Each dungeon you visit will play their music that really matches the theme. Persona 3 did well on their music performance, but I believe Persona 4 took a step further and made it even better.

Here are a list of my favorite music in Persona 4:

Heaven "Heaven Paradise - 6th dungeon"

Long Way "Magatsu Town - 7th dungeon"

Nevermore "Ending theme"

The Almighty "Boss battle - 7th dungeon"

Reach out to the truth "Instrumental Ver."

Your Affection "Exploring in town"

Overall presentation
If you want to play a "unique" RPG game, then you absolutely cannot pass this game up. It's only $40 too! Having school life + Sim + RPG elements is win. I hope everyone still has their PS2 locked away collecting dust, so make your PS2 happy and play it on that console one more time. I already sold my PS2, but it played it fine on my PS3. I'm hoping for a remake like they did with Persona 3. If they do, then I'll definitely buy it for sure just for the extra game play content that they'll add. Maybe the remake will have someone to do with Teddie for sure, but I guess we won't know until they do a remake or not. The PS2 is almost fading away from our current gaming world now. Persona 4 may be the last and best game to come out on the PS2, and it'll be remembered to be the best RPG to close the curtains for the PS2 system.

Before I wrap this review up, there's a message for a certain someone here. She hopes the message will get to him, and I'm sure he'll see it jussst fine.