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Looking back: Persona 4 Golden

This past month I've been getting hooked into Persona 4 Golden for PlayStation Vita. Having recently beaten Persona 3 FES, I wanted to finally experience the next title and see what all the fuss was about. Since I loved Persona 5, I wanted to try the older games as well. I heard so many good things about these ones, especially 4, that I figured it was time to finally try it.

Persona 4 is a JRPG where you try to stop a serial killer from murdering people in the new town you've moved into. When you enter a mysterious TV world, you gain the power to use Personas, which are demons you can summon to help you in battle. It's a traditional turn-based JRPG that uses a calendar system so you can do your social links.

I'm already drawn to the character design. I grew an instant liking to Chie and her lively attitude. Yosuke's also trying so hard to be cool. He definitely fits the archetype that Junpei Iori and Ryuji Sakamoto fit, for real. Plus they did a great job with Yu's design as the protagonist. Maybe I'm just partial to his outfit, though.

Much like Persona 3, the UI is largely the same and navigation is similar. However, Persona 4 allows you to quick travel inside the school now, making it a little easier to get to your social links. Much of the format feels similar in how you can spend time boosting stats. But P4 introduced books which enhanced those stats. In other words, if you read a book to boost your Knowledge, then studying will give you extra points to that stat. This will make it easier to boost links.

Another thing I'm really loving so far is that the game is bit more forgiving. Die at a boss? Start at the beginning of the floor. You have the option to retreat if you must. It's not going to slam you into the concrete and drag your corpse across the ground like P3 FES did where if you died to a boss you had to repeat entire story segments over again. Speaking of battle, you can also control your party members now!

I love P3 FES, don't get me wrong. It's one of the best JRPGs I've ever played. But I also feel blessed with the quality of life improvements I'm getting from this game. Plus I really love the writing so far. It's got that serial killer mystery vibe that keeps you guessing. While you're solving the case, you'll get to listen to some of the catchiest music in any game you've ever heard.

But despite being a 2012 port of a 2008 PS2 title, I'm loving Persona 4 Golden. I'm gonna try and boost my ranks with Adachi and Marie first since they weren't social links in the original P4. It's honestly a little overwhelming with all the things I can do in a day and only having the chance to get two done.

Believe it or not, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate influenced my decision to play P3 and P4. Along with Joker's release, you got the stage Mementos. But while it's from P5, the aesthetics change to P3's blue and P4's yellow based on the song playing. These enticed me to try the games they came from. Even more alluring was "Time to Make History" appeared exclusively in Persona 4 Golden. I gave in and decided to try Golden over the original. This comes after I had bought Persona 4 on PS3 some years back and never touched it.

Anyway, I'm in June right now. I finished the camping trip and it looks like I'm about to meet Rise. I already know she serves as the Fuuka/Futaba oracle member, which will hopefully be a breath of fresh air from Teddie telling me "Chie-chan's really pissed off" every turn. No offense Teddie, but you're no Morgana.

Speaking of Teddie, or voices in general, I loved getting to point out the voice actors in the game. Yosuke's voiced by Yuri Lowenthal, who voiced protagonist, and Death, in P3. Main character Yu Narukami is voiced by Johnny Yong Bosch, who you may know as Vash from Trigun, Zero in Marvel vs. Capcom 3, and Ichigo from Bleach. Teddie's voiced by Sam Riegel, who I know best as Allegretto from Eternal Sonata. Granted, I'm fond of Riegel's work in anime like Blue Exorcist as well. Kanji is also voiced by Troy Baker. Despite being known for many voices throughout gaming, I know him best as Yuri Lowell from Tales of Vesperia.

With that being said, I'll head back to the game and hopefully finish it before the end of the month. Persona games are known for being quite long, but equally enjoyable throughout the time you play. I'll get to a full review of the game once I'm done with the game. In the meantime, stay tuned and follow our social media channels for more gaming news!

Have you played P4 Golden? Which game in the series is your favorite? Let us know in the replies!