As you may know, I'm a fan of Persona 4. Yes, there Persona 3 FES that also good but somehow the P4 is about it. This is for people how don't know what Persona is all about.
Unlike most JRPG, you will not go on a quest to save the word from some evil.
Your a high school student that be send to a small rural town of Inaba with your uncle Dojima and his daughter Nanako. You be attending Yasogami High School for the next years. This were you meet Yosuke Hanamura
, the son of the manager at Junes; Chie Satonaka
, a kung-fu loving girl and Yokiko Amagi
, the daughter of the family own Amiga Inn. Chie tell you about a rumor about the Midnight Channel, went ever it raining, watch your turn off TV at midnight and you see your soul mate. You decide to true it and there a very blurry image that show up. Then you tried to touch the image and you hand get stuck inside the TV. The next day you go talk to what as happen to Yosuke and Chie, normal they think that your crazy but they did all see a image at midnight. Sadly Yukiko got work to do at the Inn. Then Chie make another joke about the size of the TV, if it was had a big TV then you get go inside the TV. So you end up at the electric department at Junes, were Yosuke show off the new TV that has arrive in store. So you tried to stick your hand in to the TV and it work. the other are all in shock to what they are seeing and then after some bad luck all three of you end up inside the TV. The place is very big and also very foggy. the group walk around to find a way out. Then they all meet Teddie
, a bear that live inside the TV. His show the group the way out.
Will you and your friend get in to some misadventure, a bizarre murder has just happen shortly after you get in town. The body are find upside-down for a television antenna after a foggy day. Later, you find you the that the murder a committed inside the TV world and the victim show up in the midnight channel before there find death. It up to you to find the victim inside the TV before the next fog come around, since it that time that the fog lift in the TV word and the victim die. Later on your investigation your join by Kanji Tatsumi
, delinquent that go again a local biker gang; Rise Kujikawa
, a idol in a break and Naoto Shirogane
, nickname Detective Prince.
a big TV at Junes
The game is split in to two part, the TV dungeon crawling and the social interaction at school. The dungeon part is like most JRPG but what make it so difference is the themes of each dungeon. Since the dungeon represent the person problem psyche you get some very unique setting. Some of the dungeon that you travel to include a steamy bathhouse, a strip club and a 8-bits castles completed with a 3d 8-bits styles boss at the end. Like the unique visual you also get a very different soundtrack. The best way to descried it is jazzy J-pop and it work, you get the vibe that everything is set in our modern time.
The other half of the game is the social interaction or Social Link as the game call it. It base on a dating sim but unlike them it not restrictive to only female character. You can just hang out with the guy at your school sport club or just chill with your friend. Each S.Link got there own unique story that you can find out or not. It field like a side story that you can choice to watch or not. Obviously, the impact of the S.Link will also affect the way you play the other part of the game. Each of your friend that help you inside the TV also has there own S.Link, each time you level up there S.Link there efficiency on battle improve, all the way to get a new Persona, more on that later.
This also the were you get a girlfriend. For me it was Yukiko, which end up being one of the most powerful character. I was damn, here attack was almost double of everyone else. I don't know if she naturally like that or the game give her a boost for being the girlfriend. Also unlike the last game Persona3, were you collection girlfriend like crazy, this game is somewhat strict about the girlfriend. Went I tried to get other one, in my case it was Rise, the games was still says that Yukiko was my girlfriend. One more advantage about the girlfriend happen at Christmas eve, you spend so time with her and you get a unique item as a present.
some dungeon action
The really fun part about the game is how much freedom it give you. The game is break down by day. So each day, after school you are free to do as you please. If you what to do some dungeon crawling the get everyone at Junes and go or talk to the person you what to spend your time with. You also have job that you can take, side mission you can do and also Persona Fusion.
Persona is the way the game define all your stats went you in battle. What skill you can used and what are you weak point. You can change Persona as you like but your crew has only one Persona. Speaking of stats, the game also split the stats in two part, the Persona stats which dictated your strength in battle and your personal stats. You have 5 stats, courage, diligence, understanding, expression and knowledge, that you need to also level up in order to progress in social part of the game. So you need to study to get your knowledge up and get good grade once the exam are coming. Some social link are block until you get your stats high.
I like to says the reason I was used "you" for most of the time, the main character is just that, the main character. He doesn't have a name you get to pick a name at the start of the game. Also went the protagonist need to says something, the game pop up a menu and you get to choose what to says.
You can guess what going on.
At the end, the games is fun. The character you meet are very interesting and over the massive 60+ hour of game play you get to care about then. They field more normal, they got weakness, they help each other or screw each other. Like to running joke how all the girl in the game don't know how to cook and all the guy learn to fear the girl cooking more then anything less. It start small in the school campout, were you got a part of the team and go all the way to the absolute madness that is the culture festival. And then there Teddie, right about 1/3 the in to the games, his start says the most crazy thing, every time his speak, it absolute gold. The crew in Persona4 make the character from Persona3 field cold and soulless.
Oh yea also forgot about one thing, the games is set in Japan. If you be watch anime for a long time then you basically see everything here. The first semester start a spring, there cherry blossom everywhere. All the holiday are here, Golden week is just 3 days??? All the school event like the school trip, the culture festival, the switch from summer and winter uniform and yes exams. Also I most give mad props to the localization team to keep the game grounded in Japan. The only thing that really missing is the choice to have jap. voice over.
Here a promo video, the music is the one that they used in battle.