Persona 4 Golden 2012
Days in Journal
March 15, 2023
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.