NOTE: THIS REVIEW IS MY OPINION ONLY. IT IS NOT A PAID REVIEW. ALL PICTURES ARE TAKEN WITH MY PS VITA OR PLAYSTATION TV.
Persona 4: Golden is a Japanese Role-Playing Game (JRPG) developed and published by Atlus. It is the 4th game in the Persona Series (not including remakes) and falls under the Shin Megami Tensei banner of games that includes the Shin Megami Tensei and Devil Summoner series. Persona 4: Golden for PS Vita is a remake of the Persona 4 for the PS2. Person 4: Golden is a PlayStation TV compatible game.
Set in a quiet town called Inaba in Japan, the game follows the main character, simply called Hero in the opening credits, but you can name him whatever you want (I called him James, so shall his name be for this review.) as he moved to down to live with his Uncle, police detective Dojima and his daughter, Nanako. Strange murders are happening in town, where the victims disappear them their bodies are found in impossible locations. As James begins to make friends with other students at his new school, hears about a mysterious Midnight Channel, a strange broadcast that some say are related to the murders. You also find that you have the ability to enter the TV, only if it was big enough.
Along with his new friend Yosuke, James enters the world beyond the TV at a department store called June’s. There they meet Teddie, a friendly creature that seems to be an empty cartoon bear costume, but he walks and talks on his own. With his help, they learn to sue their Personas, a magical aspect of themselves that gives them powers to defeat the Shadow monsters within the TV world. Though his dreams and later in the waking world, James learns how to use and combine Persona from Igor and Margaret, two residents of the mysterious Velvet Room. When a girl from their class, Yukiko, appears on the Midnight Channel, Yosuke and James help her friend, Chie, go into the TV world and rescue her. Both girls end up confronting their Shadow self and, upon its defeat, control their own Personas. Together, along with three others they meet later in the game, they try to find out who is putting people in the shadow realm and how to stop them.
The game play is a typical RPG, with the combat being turn-based. You control the main character, with the option to control your team mates action or let them act on their own (with usually works out fine.) Monsters appear in the dungeons as you explore them and you can try to avoid combat if you wish, but combat mean XP and you can level up both your characters and their Personas. When you are not the Shadow/TV realm, you go to school. You go to classes (sometimes answering questions to get bonuses for you stats,) hang with friends to increase your bond (for bonuses for your Personas), even join after school clubs or get a part-time job. Each evening, you go home where sometimes you get a new quest from the midnight channel or get messages in your dreams.
The graphics are good and hold up pretty well on the PlayStation TV. There are fully animated cut scenes which are high quality and adds to the overall story. The character designs are good a done in a not too cartoony anime style (which the exception being Teddie. The monsters are strange and varied as well. There are fully acted voices in English which are done well. While the main character remains silent except in battle, (much like in Conception 2), you do make choices which can affect the other characters opinion of you. The other characters have their own unique voice and really add to the story.
Overall, Person 4 is a great game. To be honest, I had a bit of trouble getting into it, as for the first hour of game play, I went to high school. Been there, done that.. Once the story got going, though, I wanted to play more to discover the mystery in the game. This is the first game in the Shin Megami Tensei, though from what I read, I was interested in playing the series. While there are other spin-off games from this iteration (Person 4 Arena and Person 4 Arena Ultimax are fighting games and Persona 4 Dancing All Night is a rhythm game), Persona 4 Golden is the ultimate version of the main game. I highly recommend it.
Persona 4 is available in physical and digital formats. Check retailers for availability.