Persona 4 Golden is a PS Vita enhanced port of a PS2 game that originally came out in 2008. The game centers on Yu Narukami who has just moved in with his uncle and cousin in the small town of Inaba. Between adjusting to a new environment, school, and friends, he’s also flung into a murder mystery involving monsters, strange powers, and an alternate dimension inside TVs. Despite the dire sound of the plot, P4 has a much lighter tone to it than Persona 3. It’s also lighthearted, filled with an amazing unforgettable cast of characters players will learn to love. The overall narrative may be intriguing, but it’s the in-between misadventures that will keep players coming back for more.
Essentially Persona 4 is a lot like the previous entries: a turn based dungeon crawler RPG. Players will investigate a murder, look around the town for clues, and end the investigation in personified dungeons of that chapter’s focus, which can range from a spa to a strip joint. When not slaying monsters and collecting Persona, like Pokémon, players will try and build relationships with their friends, family, teachers, and others random acquaintances. Growing bonds between characters will deepen their power in a certain arcana, which will help in fusing Persona fusion. Again, to those who’ve experienced a Persona game before, there’s not much new to the overall structure of the game. It’s just a better, more polished version of what was already a deep combat and dating system.
The original game was jam packed with content, but this port is filled to the brim with tweaks and new additions. The story alone can take about 50 hours, but easily 100 with extra quests and the new game plus mode. It’s a daunting task no doubt, which makes it an easy sell for the PS Vita. The music is a mix of catchy rock and J-pop with an equally amazing voice cast that may still be the best in a RPG. The HD upgrade helps smooth out the graphics, though it still looks like a PS2 game at heart. Thankfully the art direction is dripping with style fusing mythological horror with the pop art of Japanese culture.
Persona 4 Golden is hands down the best RPG on the PS Vita. Maybe even the best RPG in years, despite it originally launching in 2008. The amazing story accompanied by an excellent voice cast, awesome soundtrack, and addictive gameplay is proof of that. It’s a game like no other. The only downside to it is the slow start, followed by a few meandering chapters, but overall this is a suburb experience for old fans and new ones. Do not miss it.