Sunday, January 11, 2009

Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 4 (PS2)


Welcome back. So today we're going to learn about why TVs are so dangerous. That and demons and bottling up your emotions. Remember these life lessons kids.

Story: You begin the game as a young high school student who moves to a small town to live with his uncle. Shortly after arriving and starting school, a murder occurs. There is no evidence and no clues who the killer is, and soon after another follows. Determined to find out who is killing people, you and fellow classmates discover a secret world inside televisions. There you discover a truth, those who died had been sent and killed inside the tv world, leaving no evidence of their death in the real world. Not only that, but they are defeated by their inner selves, the secret personalities that they do not want to reveal to the outside world. The story is brilliantly written, and the characters are deep and realistic. It is by far one of the better game stories I have encountered. 5/5

The voice acting is well done, with well-known voice actors giving off excellent performances. The music is good as well; it's not deep and memorable but it fits the mood and doesn't grate. The hauntingly beautiful velvet room theme for Persona 3 returns as well. 4/5

The graphics aren't terribly impressive. They aren't hideous, and the anime images of the character dialogues are certainly attractive. The dungeon designs aren't amazing either, but they serve their purpose and look distinguished from one another. Overall, visuals aren't perfect, but they don't detract. 4/5

There are 2 aspects to Persona 4: dungeon crawling and social interaction. When you're in the dungeons, it's fairly simple, you have up to 4 party members, which you can now set tactics or control completely. The main character is not bound to one persona, and can merge personas he finds to make even stronger personas. Outside of the dungeons is the real world, whic you need to level up stats such as knowledge, understanding, or expression in order to interact better with social connections you make. By increasing these social connections, you can make stronger different personas you make.The game is all about time management, and it isn't easy balancing all of these things. The gameplay isn't too difficult to understand, but it's a challenge to master. Still its a wonderful balance of dungeon crawler and social sim which keeps the player from being too bored with either. 4/5

While the overall doesn't change, you can do things differently, plus in a second play through some of your stats carry over. Also some new options appear that were not previously available. 3/5

The story is amazing, the music is good, the voices are great, the visuals are acceptable, and the gameplay is better than functional. I recommend this game to any RPG fan. Not only because it fits those basic criteria, but because on a number of occasions, I found myself laughing out loud because such entertaining dialogue. 5/5


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