(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.