Persona 4 Golden Review: A Gold Standard JRPG Now on Modern Consoles

Persona 4 Golden Review Intro

Persona 4 was a particular achievement by Atlus when it was first revealed in 2008, giving PlayStation 2 gamers one other mighty title to digest late within the console’s life. It was beloved by critics and, when it was later ported as Persona 4 Golden with extra content material to PlayStation Vita in 2012 and Microsoft Home windows in 2020, it was extra alternative for gamers to see what it’s all about. However now, Persona 4 Golden has been made extra accessible than ever, for PlayStation 4, Nintendo Swap, Xbox One, and Collection X|S for the primary time.

What Type of Sport is Persona 4 Golden?

Picture: Atlus

Persona 4 Golden is primarily a Japanese Roleplaying Sport (JRPG) with slice-of-life parts and a outstanding social system. Your each day life should be rigorously managed, with normally 2 fundamental actions obtainable both after faculty or within the daytime, and the night. You’ll be able to develop your social expertise as a tangible set of 5 stats, develop Social Hyperlinks with your folks and acquaintances within the sport, and journey by intense dungeons as you unravel a disturbing thriller.

The each day duties embrace a number of strategies to develop your social expertise together with getting solutions appropriate in school to develop Data or Expression, and dealing jobs to develop Diligence, Understanding, or Braveness. These stats, when leveled up, unlock deeper social interactions with key characters, which provide you with larger rewards. On high of all of this, there’s a fancy turn-based battle system the place you fuse and gather Personas, manifestations of personalities within the sport that act as allies in fight. The upper your Social Hyperlinks are with the sport’s forged, the higher Personas you’ll be able to create, creating direct rewards to your social funding.

Persona 4 Golden is a deeply structured narrative on high of being a slice-of-life RPG. There’s a sequence of deadlines as you unravel a plot involving mysterious murders, so you will need to handle every day along with your deadlines in thoughts. There are a number of endings of the sport, a few of that are abrupt and unhealthy, reflecting how properly you deal with your choices. However when you’re cautious, you’ll obtain probably the most satisfying conclusions, and see the sport by to its finish with even extra tales to expertise.

Rule 1! Be Myself. Rule 2! Get Individuals to Perceive Me

Picture: Atlus

Persona 4 Golden’s plot revolves across the college students amidst a terrifying sequence of murders plaguing the city of Inaba, based mostly on the Japanese metropolis Fuefuki. It’s a small city the place everyone seemingly is aware of one another, whether or not from working at native retailers or collectively on the Junes division retailer. Whereas the thriller makes life sophisticated for the police, such because the protagonist’s uncle, the sport’s story additionally revolves round the way you bond with others who’re seemingly virtually victims of those crimes.

A few of your folks will want rescuing in numerous dungeons created by their minds, which you navigate by the mysterious TV World. Others want rescuing from themselves or their insecurities or self-destructive tendencies, and you may obtain this by strengthening your bond with them. Whereas the sport is about fixing crimes and saving your city, pals, and family members, it’s additionally about being there for the individuals in your life.

My Pals Are My Energy!

Picture: Atlus

One of many central parts not solely to the story however to the gameplay is the various array of supporting characters with whom you’ll be able to bond in Persona 4 Golden. There are tangible advantages to many of those interactions, making battles simpler and extra satisfying when sure relevant pals are in your social gathering, however they’re additionally a few of the most genuinely fascinating interactions within the sport. The ability of acceptance of self and others is poignant and a persistent widespread ingredient when talking to those characters.

A few of the most potent cases of this should not even associated to social gathering members, however to key characters like Nanako and Ryotaro Dojima. This father and daughter are a resilient pair, enduring hardship and loss, and make it identified to you because the participant that’s of their life actively improves it. I felt myself tear up when characters just like the Dojimas totally embraced me, equivalent to studying their story, and even one thing easy as a gifted mug. In any other case, throwaway scenes are so impactful I’m shocked in methods I didn’t see in Persona 5 Royal’s Confidants.

However extra on the supporting forged, it looks like a few of the most dynamic and enjoyable characters, whereas additionally being rounded and totally acutely aware of the story’s weight. Characters like Yukiko Amagi turn into extra snug with you as a member of your good friend circle and burst into uncontrollable laughter at moments that really feel genuinely humorous. Characters bond with one another, not simply the protagonist, equivalent to Yosuke and Teddie, or Naoto and Kanji.

It feels natural such as you’re seeing a neighborhood construct itself up, to allow them to tackle this nefarious risk collectively, and when the story takes a extreme flip, these characters’ most fascinating qualities are on full show, with their emotional thresholds actually being examined. After they uncover despicable enemies together with egotistical predators and uncanny, godly forces, they nonetheless discover a strategy to an upbeat tone as they get better, a friendship stuffed with happiness, laughter, love, and acceptance.

The Visuals

Picture: Atlus

Persona has gathered a incredible repute for being visually hanging with its most up-to-date entries, and in Persona 4 Golden, that is no completely different. Like how blue is used for Persona 3 and purple is used for Persona 5, yellow is on show on this case, a radiant and glad coloration that helps break down even the bleakest segments. This reminds the participant that even after probably the most sorrowful moments, with some actually horrific tragedy and trauma for the principle forged, they nonetheless try to seek out pleasure.

Together with the selection of coloration, the sport has a number of neat design decisions. Whereas the sprites and textures usually look dated, largely as a result of sport’s PS2 origins, the dungeon design, notably with Void Quest onward, feels distinctive and intelligent. One other manner the sport fights towards growing old poorly from a visible standpoint is its use of anime visuals in every thing together with the UI and sure cutscenes, permitting a 15-year-old sport to remain wanting contemporary with the standard of life enhancements introduced by Golden. The seen scanlines really feel such as you’re exploring the world inside a TV, and the framerate on the Xbox Collection X model I used to be given is a crisp 60fps.

The Audio

Picture: Atlus

Lending to the upbeat high quality of the sport, the music in Persona 4 Golden is memorable as ever. You’ll really feel it whereas talking with pals at Junes, and even the optimistic power as you go about your each day life after faculty. At first, the dungeon music felt a little bit of a letdown, however dungeon music within the late phases of the sport has some absolute bangers.

On high of the music, the sport has a powerful quantity of recorded voiceover work in its dialogue. The sport desires you to acknowledge it, too, as you’ll uncover 250 distinctive navigation strains from the sport’s resident pop idol, Rise Kujikawa. Having these voice strains helps promote gamers on the emotional weight of sure moments, bringing these characters to life, and promoting Teddie as a lovable goofball versus any individual much more odd or creepy.

The Points

Picture: Atlus

This can be a powerful subject simply because there are only a few points I had with the sport. Nonetheless, the sport has moments the place sure characters exhibit informal homophobia, equivalent to Yosuke towards Kanji’s obvious closeted gay/bisexual emotions, which could not land for some. Whereas this looks like two characters simply rising to just accept one another and themselves over time, it may be tough to understand, and understandably so.

One other challenge is the sport’s remedy of sexuality generally in its narrative, with an uncomfortable quantity of give attention to sexualizing youngsters, notably Rise. The character is a candy, if overly flirtatious supporting character, however she is uncomfortably oversexualized at instances, with a possible clarification being the genuinely creepy and predatory world of Japanese pop idols and their administration.

Moreover, a supporting character and key good friend Naoto Shirogane has an fascinating journey by the sport. However with an more and more inclusive local weather, particularly in western audiences however more and more extra in Japan, Naoto’s identification is a contentious but fascinating subject. Whereas the sport explains their story and motivations for a way they outwardly current, this could additionally simply slot in at this time’s local weather because the story of an iconic nonbinary character. Total extra of a subject of debate and dialogue moderately than an outright challenge, chatting with how a lot I really like the sport regardless of this.

Lastly, gamers returning to the sequence after being launched to the extra mainstream Persona 5 would possibly discover the sport tougher. The curve is forgiving, nonetheless, and gamers will quickly discover themselves hovering, with the late sport being particularly simple. The primary dungeons can be considerably boring in comparison with Persona 5’s palaces, however their battles conversely really feel usually much more rewarding due to mechanics like Shuffle Time.

The Verdict

Picture: Atlus

Persona 4 Golden is a vital expertise not just for JRPG followers however individuals who respect a powerful narrative with an endearing supporting forged of characters, together with a decent battle system that feels as trendy as its iconic sequel. The poignancy of your interactions with the characters will resonate on a deep stage with you, and can greater than seemingly heat or break your coronary heart on a couple of event. It’s thrilling that trendy gamers get to get pleasure from this, and when you’re a Sport Cross subscriber, this can be a must-play. 

However you’ll even have the chance to uncover deep rewards, see compelling tales, and when you’ve made sufficient pals, you’ll style a few of the most disgusting chocolate made with all of the love on the planet. It would lack the simple fashion of Persona 5, however it packs each little bit of the substance and replay worth gamers crave in a Persona sport.

Persona 4 Golden releases worldwide for PlayStation 4, Nintendo Swap, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X|S on January 19, 2023, in addition to already being launched on PlayStation Vita and PC.

This sport was reviewed utilizing a duplicate of the sport offered by the sport’s writer,public relations firm, developer or different for the specific goal of a assessment.

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