This review contains spoilers
I love this game, so my review is very biased… there are many, many flaws with this game given its age. For example, the decade-old Naoto trans debate (she’s not… she comes to terms with the fact she can be a strong, self-righteous detective AND a woman, the topic is just handled poorly); I think this game speaks for the improvement in handling similar topics in newer games and that’s really important. Regardless, this is an absolutely amazing game and one of my favorites of all time, and I would definitely recommend it to anyone willing to try it.
Added bonus— the soundtrack is awesome
Added bonus— the soundtrack is awesome
It’s hard to articulate my thoughts on this game. I don’t want to dismiss Persona 4 entirely because of its pretty glaring flaws, nor can I just list everything good about it without taking the problems into consideration. I have spent 2 days rewriting this log, reconsidering different aspects of this game and reading the opinions of far more talented and intelligent people and I’m still unable to leave any insightful comment of my own. I’m not really equipped to talk about some of its “inelegant” aspects, such as the way certain characters are handled, but I can talk about some issues as well as positives to the game and just write down some of my opinions.
Persona 4 itself is very slow and it takes a while for the mystery to really get interesting. The gameplay is also just serviceable. Marie and Teddie are kind of annoying, and the bonus dungeon isn’t anything special. On the other hand, the music, presentation and Inaba (the primary setting for most of the game), are all great. The laid-back and “homely” feel of this game is one that I clicked with immensely, which is aided by the setting and main cast. Persona 4’s main cast, at least in comparison to the cast of Persona 5, feels like a group of friends (for the most part), rather than just a group of people who met because the story needed them too. I know that the game gets some flak for its “filler”, and I’m certainly critical of some scenes involving the main cast (the camping trip and the swimsuit contest come to mind), but I think that for the most part filler in this game is justified as it builds a connection between the player and cast (Admittedly though, some filler sections go on for wayyyyy too long and contradict the idea that inaba is a small town). As a result of the time the player and characters spend just hanging out, I became pretty invested in the world and it’s characters (which I didn’t really get with persona 5, although this is not to detract from P5, which I enjoyed) Persona 4 is less of a game about grand ideas and more so just a game about characters and the world, both of which I’d argue are are pretty good.
In conclusion, I enjoyed Persona 4. There’s a lot I dislike, but a lot I enjoyed, and I’m sorry for not being able to supply something more perceptive or thought-provoking. On a more personal note, I’m at least grateful for Persona 4 and the online discussion surrounding it for forcing me to reconsider how I think about games and reviews. Perhaps at some point in the future I’ll come back to this review and rewrite it more coherently, but for now I’m glad that I’m able to get my thoughts down.
Played on Steam with 72% of achievements earned. Absolutely fantastic game. The characters are wonderful, the story is intriguing, and the gameplay is a blast - whether it's the life sim portions or the dungeon crawling combat.
Yet another worthwhile time commitment for those that can afford it. I will admit that narratively this game is a bit of a tonal rollercoaster as some parts of the game are dark and serious while others are lighthearted and happy. The setting of Inaba is very comfy compared to the other Persona games, and while I wasn't as big of a fan of this games plot and cast as I was for 3 and 5, it's still good times all around. The ending twist is another dumb "atlus does not know how to end games correctly" moment, as always. Scooby doo but awesome
I don't even think this is the best persona but idc, I love it
Some topics and happenings are a bit dated, but they don't stop it from being a masterpiece
Enjoyed it throughly but the more I think about how dirty they did some of characters, the less I want to play it again
my favorite game of all time, first time i stalled playing a game just because i didn't want it to end~ every character is so amazing
(This mini-critique was written back in 2013, in regards to the (late) UK release of the game.)
I don't think I've ever done a complete 180 turnaround on a franchise before, but after years of hating Persona solely based around my miserable time with 3, I decided to give this supposed system-seller a chance with a recent sale. I'm glad I did. Unlike its predecessor, 4 Golden hooked me in immediately with its murder mystery plot and a cast who are relatively grounded and relatable, as opposed to being beleaguered by anime tropes. They're an endearing bunch, which is fortunate because you have to spend upwards of 80 hours with them if you plan on completing the game (which I uhhhh haven't done yet). Dungeon crawling isn't as monotonous and mind-numbingly repetitive as it was when scaling the giant tower of Tartarus, as 4 divides the dungeons up into separate smaller portions, giving a greater sense of progress in the process. So yeah, only halfway through, but I've been glued to my Vita ever since I first started this up.
(2023 update on a game that I completed ten years ago)
Great game. It totally sticks the landing.
lo amé todo el tiempo, estando jugando el 5 ahora es más lento, tosco y con mil millones de cosas menos pero la música es mil veces mejor y tiene una historia increible
Quando eu ganhei esse jogo e comecei a jogar la em 2016 eu nunca tinha ouvido falar e n tinha nenhuma ideia do q esperar. Fui arrebatado pelos personagens e o gameplay da vida diária, completamente engolfado pelas relações do cast todo e até hoje sinto uma nostalgia enorme quando escuto as musicas. JOGAO
I miss inaba so bad but I don’t want to replay it . Something about keeping it as a memory in my heart feels better to me
The only way I typically put the effort into finishing a massive JRPG is if the cast of characters is well developed enough to get me to care. P4G's ensemble is one of the best gaming has ever seen. A diverse group of well written individuals that actually become more impressive as you get to know them. Working together with this band of friends/sleuths to solve the murder mysteries of Inaba was fantastic.
The battle system in this was equally appealing. Having activities you perform in the social links affect your character's stats was a welcome reprieve from straight up combat grinding. The attack chains and combo moves were also exciting and fun to figure out and pull off. Enemies were always creative in their design and attacks. I usually just focus on RPG move-sets that see me favoring all out power moves to end things ASAP, but here, I WANTED to take my time balancing buffs/nerfs, and status attacks to get everything right. It's a system that encourages playing thoroughly.
I wish I could be as positive on the dungeons design. Even given its PS2 roots, the randomly generated bland hallways got so boring after awhile that I would actively avoid combat just to get through the dungeons faster. Which sucks, because then I was avoiding the very fun combat! I've heard 5 improves on this, so I'm excited to experience the Palaces. On a negative narrative note: the "True Ending" reveal is pretty limp. This game has a lot of TWIN PEAKS vibes, but where that show was smart enough to never fully reveal all the details of its supernatural elements, keeping things ambitious to heighten the intrigue and the vibes, P4G shows you its hand and as a result, fucks up what was otherwise a pretty great story. Sometimes things just DON'T need to be fully explained.
Worth playing, but not worth going 100%. I had a long-form discussion with another first time P4G player where we compared our social link choices and which endings we got. Check it out at: https://youtu.be/bda88z0bilk
i'm gay and I feel like the game is trying to tell me something
besides that the game is incredibly boring
I got so into Persona, I played this on the VITA IN 2019. It was very worth it. The mystery is exciting, and the characters are all charming and enjoyable to be with. Not as much of a slam dunk as 5 was for me, but it was still extremely enjoyable.