March 6th: PS Vita arrives
March 9th: Persona 4 Golden arrives
March 11th: APB for Casual Gamer sent to Alaska State Troopers
March 31st: Search for Casual Gamer abandoned. Assumed dead.
April 6th: Casual Gamer stumbles into an AA meeting. PS Vita has permanently fused with Casual Gamer’s hand…
“Hi, my name is Seven Florins.”
“I was a casual gamer for as long as I can remember, but last month…wheeew…boy this is hard…ummmmmm…..last month I purchased my first handheld and handheld game and man…I had heard you know, all the rumors and stuff about how ‘once you try persona, weeks just go by and it sucks you in. It gets its hooks into ya, you know?’ I just…I just didn’t listen…I thought…I thought I could handle it…”
Okay, seriously, just watch this trailer to prepare you for this journey to the JRPG genre.
A game where people can go inside a TV, where a teddie bear is one of your good friends, and you (a high school student) must stop a serial killer who is on the lose in the rural town of Inaba…only in a JRPG. But somehow, it works. I can’t get enough of the world. Each character is unique and interesting. You have to learn about each of them to improve your powers and, of course, find your mate. The game really delves into the minds of each character and lets you gradually discover what drives them, their motives, and their quirks. The story is unique enough to keep me interested in how everything will ultimately unfold, but it’s the characters and their development that really keeps me coming back and has my wife peering over my shoulder as I play.
The best description of this game and the environment it creates is that it’s like curling up with a book for an evening. You get to delve deeper and deeper into this world, and yet your progression is still slow and paced like a book instead of ending quickly like most video game’s single player stories.
The graphics are, of course, ancient. Granted, it has aged remarkably well considering the year it came out. I don’t really notice just how old the game looks, but if you pay attention, the graphics are painful sometimes.
I was afraid of JRPGs before this game. They intimidate me. The depth of the battle systems, amount of crazy story that, even if you understood it, might not make sense, and cultural nuances that get lost in translation typically scare me away from trying JRPGs. My wife had to explain to me why the characters were so grossed out when one got a nose bleed, for instance.
I am not as afraid any more. Now my fear is that they have all been ruined because I have played one of the best. I have had no issues with the game. No glitches or strange moments (aside from strange anime moments), which is rare for me to not accidentally find one or two. The game runs smoothly and is very entertaining. The battles are fun, although I get much more thrills out of Western-style combat than JRPG-style.
Much of the time you spend battling your way through different “dungeons” to rescue people and solve the case, while the rest of your time is spent going to school, field trips, hanging out with friends, working, and other random events that happen from time to time. As I said before, building friendships and learning about the characters was the main hook for me. The dungeons and battles are less of a draw, but not tedious enough for me to avoid the game. In fact, I have enjoyed most of the dungeon missions, only growing impatient and bored the few times I had to go back for items I missed.
If you enjoy JRPGs then the gameplay of Persona 4 is perfect.
I must make a confession. I have not completed the game. But give me a break, there is easily 80+ hours of gameplay. Even without replay value, that’s a lot of bang for your buck compared to most games.
It was time, however, for me to crawl out of my Persona 4 hole and write a review, but I have not completed any other games since getting Persona 4 Golden. I am already planning how I will play in my second playthrough. I can’t wait to start it. Since your character will carry over, dialogue options unavailable in this playthrough will be available next time. Also, I know that in order to get the true ending, you must play a “perfect” game. I am sure I am far from a perfect game this go around. Also, I have to decide who my next mate will be….
It’s Chie this time because…beef.
Do you have a PlayStation Vita? Do you have Persona 4? If you have answered yes to the first question and no to the second, please check your pulse to verify you are alive. If you are not, decapitate yourself and burn your body to prevent the zombie apocalypse. If you are alive, please treat yo self and go buy this game. It is only $19.99 on Amazon. Your Vita will thank you.
Also, you will be able to break yourself in to the JRPG and Persona world in time for Persona 5 to be released for the PS3 and PS4. Until last month I had no real clue about these games. Now, Persona 5 is one of my most anticipated games.
Let me also leave a warning here at the end of this review. If you cannot handle grinding and spending some time going back to an area you’ve been to collect items or level your character before continuing the story or the relationships, you may not want to get this game.
Also, if catchy Japanese pop music cannot be tolerated in your home, never buy this game. What you hear can never be unheard. You will have Persona 4 songs stuck in your head for life.
And for you people who love numbers in your reviews, here you go.