REVIEW | A look back at ‘Persona 4’

With “Persona 5” finally making its way stateside, I admit that since it has taken so long for the release, I wasn’t as excited for it. When I started to look back at the series this game hails from, I had no doubt in my mind that it will be an experience that I will enjoy from start to end. This has to do with my previous experience of the last title in the series, “Persona 4.”

“Persona 4” was a role-playing game released back in 2008 on the PS2. It was a game that I initially never took interest in because, during the time, I wasn’t a fan of role-playing generic ones that were turn-based, and didn’t own a PS2 at the time. I got a PS2 when I was in high school, and finally got around to play it. What I experienced was one of my favorite games of all time.

I think I played the game at the right time because I was mature, and had a lot of free time in high school. The game started off slowly, meaning that my attention span if I was younger probably would have put the game down after 30 minutes of just talking. I am happy that I was willing to put up with it because everything after the game opens up is why I enjoyed it so much. The gameplay of Persona and how it mixed in with its characters is what captivated me so much. “Persona 4’s” gameplay revolves

“Persona 4’s” gameplay revolves around living the life of a high school student while traveling to a different dimension to fight monsters while investigating a murder case. During your time in the real world, you go around town making bonds with people you meet and your own friends, or party members. This was something that was unique to Persona as part of the RPG genre. It encourages you to learn more about its wonderful characters personally rather than just doing so in a flashback or vague lines from a non-playable character. And these characters are actually fun to get to know.

The TV world is the meat of the game where the game becomes an RPG. From the bonds you formed in the real world, you are able to fuse Personas. Personas from a gameplay standpoint is kind of like Pokémon that form from your bonds with others. There are many different combinations you can fuse, so this system can get addicting to get stronger Personas. From there, you get to explore dungeons that always reflect a certain theme in the story. You will go from

From there, you get to explore dungeons that always reflect a certain theme in the story. You will go from a castle, to a secret base, a bathhouse, etc. It has a lot of variety in its locations. From there, you climb your way up the dungeon and occasionally fight enemies, or “shadows” as the game calls them.

There are no random encounters. Every encounter is able to be skipped if you know how to maneuver around them.

The battle system works by finding and exploiting enemy weaknesses to do the most damage. It’s straightforward and easy to understand, but requires strategic thinking. And once you accomplish your plan, seeing that end result screen is satisfying.

I’m only touching the tip of the iceberg when it comes to this game. There are a lot of things I intentionally left out for players who may be looking to try this game. Either way, It’s a solid recommendation for me, and while I’ll be playing “Persona 5” while you read this article, you might be able to see what I saw first before indulging in the newest title.

I’d recommend getting the upgraded PS Vita version known as “Persona 4 Golden” as that adds more content to the original game and balances fixes. There are also a ton of spinoffs based on the game like a fighting game by the creators of “Guilty Gear” and “Blazblue” called “Arena,” and a rhythm game called “Dancing All Night” which are fun games in their own right that you can check out afterwards. Anyways, “Persona 4” is one of my favorite games of all time, and I hope if you give it a shot just like I did those years ago, you will enjoy it as much as I did.