Mufasa Stiggs reviews: Persona 4 Probable Spoilers.

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Mufasa Stiggs reviews: Persona 4 Probable Spoilers.

Post by RESSURECTED LYLE DAYEK on Mon Nov 16, 2009 11:04 pm

Well, this is a difficult review to pull off, cause some of you might be thinking that I'm saying such positive things about the game cause if I didn't I'd be castrated by a certain admin. You do the math.

However, before I played this game, I started to worry that I just hated JRPGs nowadays. The past few games I've played: Protoype, Fallout, Mass Effect, etc, they were all basically WRPGs and such. Taking place in the country of the Red White and Blushit and stuff. And the recent JRPGs I've been trying to play: Lost Oddessy and Star Ocean 4 I played 5 minutes of before I couldn't take anymore. The characters were hard to relate to, and even harder to put up with. The graphics, though pretty, were too ridiculous. I swear, in Star Ocean 4, the scene where Edge talks to that purple haired girl on the monitor before liftoff, made me want to puke. I couldn't take it anymore.

So I feared I was doomed to trek the world of the WRPGs and western style games for the rest of my days.

I was happy to find out that there is at least one group still doing JRPGs right. Persona 4 reminded me that JRPGs are not dead to me yet. Granted the game is a little old, but not enough to be put out of date.

Graphics: Looking at Persona 3, to Persona 4, the graphics didn't change much at all. So graphically, the game is no different. Some might think this is a bad thing, but I sorely disagree. At the very least, it works in this case. It keeps the players able to go back and forth between games without having to cringe every time they see the old graphics. And it's not like the graphics are bad. They're not amazing, but they manage to pull off showing character's expression using anime faces and punctuation over their avatar's heads. It worked in Symphonia, and it works here too. The fact that the graphics are sub-par actually are a good sign to me. It means that the developers have got their priorities straight. They're meant to entertain the player and make them think about what they're doing. Not watch shiny objects flop around. I would like to see more games focus less on graphics, and more on gameplay and story. I wouldn't even mind Pac-man level graphics.

Combat: I've always been an unofficial fan of turn base battles. It gives me time to think, and allows me to plan. Rather than just random button mashing and praying that the auto-target gets the target I want, and not the hook on the wall that will open the door for 100 more enemy troops. The combat is really simple, but there's actually a lot of thought put into it. You can customize your characters and your team to suit your personal tastes. Here's mine for reference:

Myself: Wild Card (Whatever fits the situation.)
Yukiko: Healing/Magic
Teddie: Healing/Magic
Youske/Naoto: Brawling and maybe a little magic.

I've always been big on brawling characters in turn base games, but Persona 4 is not a game you can get away with that. You have to be constantly planning and be aware of the things you have to do. One screw up can be the difference between living to see the next turn, and having the bad ending.

But the combat is actually where I find the biggest flaws in the game. Mind you, the flaws are little bits of dust on what otherwise is a beautiful diamond, however, I'm only harsh on the game cause it's so good.

A lot of the challenge is not the battles, it's being able to conserve SP. The real final boss, I found to be quite easy, the problem was that I nearly ran out of SP. If you have enough Somas, you can beat the game no problem. The SP thing makes the challenges less of a challenge, and more of a hindrance.

And here's my biggest complaint about the game. The dungeons. Granted, they're all various, and all different themes, but if you played one, you've basically seen the format for all of them. It gets to the point where you can predict what kind of hallways are where, and etc etc. Thankfully, only one dungeon decided to pull the: "You actually HAVE to go back to one of the earlier floors to get something to proceed." All the rest of them are either straight forward, or you can pick up the items on the way with no issues. It's not the worst thing in the world, but I did find myself having to take a break from the game for a few days a couple of times, cause I was sick of the repetition of the dungeons.

Story: It's kinda hard to sum up everything I like about the story. But one thing I loved was that there was always something else going on behind the scenes. Just when you think you've figured something out, something else happens to explain something else. Sadly I guessed the real killer before the end, however, I didn't guess that there was something AFTER that, until I got to that point.
Spoiler:
Needless to say, I will never shake the hand of a gas attendant ever again. ....On the other hand, maybe I will.
The story is great, and the environment goes from saddening and dramatic, to tense and anxious, to hilarious and light-hearted constantly, and it never feels inconsistent as you would think it would be.

And where would a story be without characters? Here's where the game really shines. They even put an integral gameplay mechanic around getting to know the characters. And every single one of them is well rounded, very in depth, and very loveable. The characters really make the game and there's not a bad apple in the whole game. Even among the bad guys.
Spoiler:
I even loved Mooroka and was distraught when he died. ((I was also a little angry at Youske who continued to call him King Moron even after the poor guy was killed.
That was a little lame on his part.)) The game had many memorable moments that felt as touching as if I experienced them with my friends IRL.

There were points where I was kinda tired of the whole: "Actually, you were wrong, there was something else going on all along!" I half expected after the
Spoiler:
Izanami fight
that Nanako would pop out of her corpse and start talking about how she was pulling the strings all along. But that's a minor detail again.

I would still say that Symphonia is the best game ever, but Persona 4 is certainly a must have at the very least. It renewed my hope that JRPGs still are worth getting, and the game has me looking out for a Persona 5.

NINTENDO. TAKE SOME NOTES FROM THIS GAME WHEN MAKING GOLDEN SUN DS.

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RESSURECTED LYLE DAYEK
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