You know, I tried hard to finish Persona 4 from the middle of December to before new year starts. But failed. But now I proudly announce that I HAVE FINISHED THE GAME! ❤
And now for some reviews.. :3
Firstly, a brief summary about the game…
A city boy (whom I named “Rui Akita” after one of my Original characters. In the official manga, he is called Seta Souji…so allow me to call him that from now on) was sent by his parents to a rural town called Inaba to live with his uncle. Not because he was punished for being a delinquent or anything…his parents had to work overseas or something like that. Kekurangan kasih sayang..I know, but at least almost everyone he acquainted with in Inaba loves him.
Coincidently, as soon as he started living in this small town, a murder happened. Then along came another… somehow it has a connection with the TV. The urban legend says that you’ll see your ‘soulmate’ when you watch the TV screen with the power off at midnight as it rains. However, what you thought was fun turns out to be something much worse than nasty.
This game is not a mere RPG… it’s a role play + mystery + dating sim game! you don’t see that everyday… well, maybe except for Persona 3 – minus the mystery part. What I can say is P4 is like a drastic improvisation of P3, and it’s not such a bad thing. Cos you may not actually see how the improvisation part works because P4 seems so fresh…!
Now the gameplay..let’s start with the battle system. Again, like in P3, the battle system was introduce rather late unlike most RPGs. That was kinda disappointing because I’d rather go through some tutorials first than enduring through a series of teen flick moments. But then, the system awesum-ness erased that first impression. The ONE MORE thing made some sense at least, All-Out attack is as fun as ever (In P3, it gets boring as the game progresses)…and the best part is… YOUR PARTY MEMBERS ARE VERY HELPFUL! ❤ In P3, your party members can be really stupid cos they had to depend on Artificial Intelligence. P4 characters not only depend on AI, but we can also give direct commands to them (No more uneccessary Mind Charges for you…). Honestly, this ‘helping out each other’ really makes the battle more interesting…and makes everyone look more realistic.
The ‘Dating Sims’ part… Social Link, also a culture taken from P3. You can interact with a bunch of characters with associated Arcana (tarot cards) to make your Personae stronger. I failed to max out everyone’s social link though, but I feel kinda guilty for not interacting with everyone because all the characters are freakin’ interesting compared to those of P3. (yes, i compare with P3 a lot for some reason) They are not too cliche, complex and needed to be handle with care (silap cakap sikit then it’s REVERSE for you). At least this time you can actually choose your girlfriend than automatically become a couple with girls who love you although you don’t really like them (in p3)
Just like previous Shin Megami Tensei games, P4 is back with the Lunar system… or the Calender. This is when you can train yourself to organize your schedule lol. Because… certain big bosses needed to be defeated before a particular date…but this time it is determined by the wheather. P4 is more realistic in terms of wheather, cos it may be sunny, cloudy, rainy and foggy. You have to frequently check the forecast so that you’re not too late to…er…save people XD. or else…GAME OVER!
As a mystery game, there’ll be a point where you have to choose the correct answer/option in order to move on. Depending on your choices, you may get bad ending, normal ending and true ending (i actually saw all 3 and restart till i get the good one XD).
This time you can do more stuff around town than just eating at a diner…you can also play with some rusty dials during the rain! NOW THAT IS FUN!! =___= ….no the fun part is you get to take on some part time jobs! Social link + Money + status increase! it’s a 3 in 1 process >3. Other than that… you can also go fishing! Wow…so much activity to do…so little time. He’s lucky he can do more stuff than becoming a lazy-ass like Arisato Minato (P3 Protagonist) =P
It’s nothing like your Final Fantasy RPG where you go through an epic plot and epic battles etc. It’s like..you going to school following a consistent daily routine. But somewhere in between normal teenagers activities, you get to have a dungeon adventure INSIDE the TV. But in order to hang out inside the TV world, you have to become a nerd.. I mean, you gotta wear some anti-fog pair of spectacles. It should clear you vision… heck, I am Meganekko myself. (and the best part is that I played this game using a flat-screen TV like theirs XD). Like I said earlier, the story revolves around the urban legend about the TV.
Then here comes some mystery… we seriously have NO IDEA what is going on, who was behind it, why is it happening, where is it gonna lead to and how does things work (but if you play P3, you may get the idea). In P3, there are already recorded explanations about the ‘other world’, the shadows and the Personae. But here, the characters are discovering things on their own without a need of professional help. Intriguing. And what makes P4 more loveable is that we have no idea who the bad guys are. Is it this guy? Or that guy? So many twists makes P4 an interactive detective novel with a speck of supernatural stuff.
Relationships with playable and non-playable characters are a hell lot better than the previous game. No more cheezyness and nuisance. My personal fave character to social link with is the main character’s cousin, Nanako. I usually dislike little girl petty problems, but Nanako seems like she’s in between childish and mature stage that makes it acceptable for me. Most of the cutscenes involving Nanako have a huge impact. Huge enough to make me wanna wail like a hungry baby. In conclusion, I love Nanako.
When it comes towards the end, I honestly feel like I don’t have the will to finish this game. It’s not because of fear of the final boss, but it’s just that I love this game so much I don’t want it to end! I feel like I still need lotsa things to do as the protagonist before the game ends (like maxing out all social links and doing more part-time jobs). When the game ends, meh…it was unsatisfactory. I wanted to see more…maybe something like what each of the individuals do. But the ending went by just like THAT.
i’m gonna play this game again. Period.
on to some character analysis…
The Protagonist. The strong and silent type ;3, just like the previous main characters. Like those before him, he is the ‘wild card’ who can use more than one Personae. His initial Persona is Izanagi (in the pic behind him), taken from the Japanese mythology… and the game actually took a lil bit of reference from the original myth. Including…Izanami.
Yosuke Hanamura – your comic relief character, equivalent to Junpei (P3)… no, actually, he is MUCH better than Junpei! Junpei is just funny and useless except in battles, but Yosuke is not only amusing but also very productive in this mystery solving business. Aaaand he’s your BEST best friend to ever have~ As a son of some big shopping mall manager (JUNES!), he’s often the victim of a couple of lazy-ass employees and a subject of anti-Junes’ gossip. Enough of that…the part that annoys me the most about him is the fact that he is somewhat ‘necrophilic’ lol! In battle, he’s pretty much as useful as Junpei but I depended more on his magic.
His Persona is Jiraiya… no, it has nothing to do with that dead Sannin in Naruto. Really. In fact, both Jiraiya from Naruto and P4 were adapted from Jiraiya Goketsu Monogatari, a Japanese folktale. Jiraiya is a ninja who can shapeshift into a giant toad. I guess that explains the frog-like design of the Persona. After the social link with him is maxed, Jiraiya evolved into Susano-o, the Shinto god of the sea and storms (is it me, or did the design just remind you sooo much of Viral from Gurren Lagann??)
Chie Satonaka – A cheerful tomboy who sincerely wants to protect her best friend, Yukiko…and the guy she likes. >///> Well, my first impression of her was… “what an annoying bitch”. But the more I learn about her, the more I like her. Mainly…because she sorta reminds me of myself…in a way. So for that reason alone, I made the protagonist choose her as a girlfriend… also because…I hate all those wimpy female stereotypes (actually, most of the girls in p4 are okay). I think a strong and independent girl like Chie deserves to be loved too! In battle, I don’t favour her much because of her weak magic. Depending on physical attacks doesn’t help much either as it sacrifices your HP a lot.
Her initial persona is Tomoe, what I can find about ‘tomoe’ is that it’s a Japanese abstract design that look like a swirl..or more like 3 commas forming a circle. Example; SHARINGAN. Because of Chie’s love for Kung Fu, not only does she uses Kung Fu moves (i wonder where she take martial art classes..), even Tomoe’s outfit reminds you of Bruce Lee’s. When her Social Link is maxed, Tomoe evolves into Suzuka Gongen. Too bad I can’t find info on that right now D:
Yukiko Amagi – She is popular at school, but she unconciously rejected boys who pursue her. But I don’t see anything interesting in her other than just being a plain pretty face. Getting to know her better, she’s not your stereotype ‘lady’. When she gets into a laughing fit then she’s unstoppable! But all the way through the game, I still think she can be rather boring. Yet I’m glad that there are cutscenes that shows her immature side where she sulked because of Teddie’s mischievousness XD. I usually use her as the healer in battle.
Her initial Persona is Konohana-sakuya…and I ABSOLUTELY LOVE THE DESIGN in spite of being pink and flowery. I love the way she calls “Konohana-Sakuya!” whenever she summons her persona. Anyways, Konohana-Sakuya, in Japanese myth is the blossom princess and also an avatar of delicate earthly life. Although ‘Yukiko’ means ‘Snow Child’, her elemental attribute is fire. Her persona evolves into Amaterasu, the Shinto goddess of the sun. Amaterasu’s main colour is yellow…but I guess the game stressed out her Sun-goddessness so much it kinda blinded my eye whenever she is summoned (belum cerita Horus lagi!).
Kanji Tatsumi – He is my wallpaper in my laptop and handphone…because… I LOVE HIM <3. He is a misunderstood rebel, who has a soft heart. I mean, don’t be fooled by the skull print on his shirt, but he’s an artistic fella. A male tsundere…? Almost gay i tell ya… and he’s like a cute lil brother to the main character. To see him blush is just PRICELESS. That’s it! He made it to my top fave male character list! But as a character, he’s kind of an airhead and prefers to do things with his fist… not as thoughtful as Yosuke. And I’m glad to know he’s the type of guy who likes girls with a bit masculinity in her. In battle, I prefer using Kanji over Chie when it comes to physical assault. I notice Kanji stores Higher HP for the sake of his Physical attacks.
His initial persona is Take-Mikazuchi; Also from Japanese myth – One of the sons of Okuninushi. When Amatsukamis decided to increase their influence on the earth, they sent Takemikazuchi to conquer Takeminakata. Take-Mikazuchi’s design looks like some punk mecha with skeleton design. After that, it will evolve to Rokuten Maoh… no information found yet. But one thing is for sure… it reminds me sooo much of Gurren Lagann 😄
Teddie – P4 mascot! It’s a myseterious being that look like some mascot suit that you’ll find inside the TV world. He doesn’t look like a bear to me…but he refers himself as a bear named Teddie (“Figures”, said Yosuke XD). Teddie is cuter than Koromaru (P3) and at least has a big role than just being a side-character pet. And wait till you see his..human form O__o (Tamaki from Ouran anyone?). Some special cutscenes with Teddie are so touching that it almost made me cry. KUDOS Atlus, you made the game a genius! Back to Teddie, he supports the characters in battle by memorizing the shadow’s weaknesses, but he’s even more useful in the battlefield. Well, cos you guys get some major healing magic for the first time.
Initial Persona – Kintoki Douji was taken from a Japanese folklore’s folk hero called Kintaro. Kintaro is said to weild a tomahawk axe, and that explains why the persona design is holding a tomahawk missle. His persona will then evolve to Kamui. Kamui is the Ainu (a tribe somewhere in northen Japan) word for spiritual divine being in their mythology.
Rise Kujikawa – A former teen idol, now working at her grandmother’s tofu shop. She doesn’t seem ditzy during the first meet, nor is she ever ditzy as we get to know her. But as expected by judging from her looks, she’s a cheeky one. Somehow I think she’s a lot better character than Yukari (P3). And as a support party member, replacing Teddie, she’s wayyy much better than Fuuka (P3), in terms of speech, voice and personality.
Her persona is Himiko, a shaman queen of Yamataikoku in ancient Japan during the 248 AD. Since she is in charge of scanning the TV world and shadow’s weakness, the design consisted of… a satelite. LOL. Okay that kinda makes sense if you ask me XD. Then let’s add up TWO more satelites when the persona evolve in to Kanzeon, the Goddess of Mercy in Taoist mythology (i believe she made appearences in Journey to the West).
Naoto Shirogane – How am I supposed to avoid spoiler to describe this person?? Geez…this is the so called ‘detective prince’ that only talks in literature language despite of being young..younger than the main character even. Coming from a family of detective, Naoto-kun’s whole life is dedicated to making deductions (lol am I making any sense here?). This is another exotic character that I admire cos Naoto is very much UNlike any other typical characters – only the speech style and intonation are turn-offs. In battle, at least the persona does not have any weakness, but too bad it lacks magic. However the non-elemental magic can cause a lot of damage to a particular shadow. Otherwise, more or less not too helpful as a party member.
This person’s persona is called Sukuna-Hikona, the Japanese deity of Medicine. After maxing out the social link, the persona evolves to Yamato Takeru (the Brave of Yamato). This is a title given to a prince of Osu who defeated his enemies in his father’s name. When he died he turned into a white bird, hence the appearence of the Persona. Both Sukuna-Hikona and Yamato Takeru are designed to be small, just like the person who weilds it.
Okay, this is my favourite part~
Overall, I love the soundtracks! Comparing with P3 (again!), I’m more satisfied with P4’s background music. P3 has too much funk and techno, they bleed my ears all the way. Can’t believe I managed to endure it. I have several faves in P3 soundtrack especially Subeto no hito no Tamashii no Tatakai, played during the final battle. It’s so epic! That is where P4 final battle failed to compete with…lol weird… orchestra song =__=.
Just like P3’s Kimi no Kioku, I’m also in love with P4’s Never More.
So anyways, at least P4’s music is nice to listen to. Each dungeon has their own type of music too, and different kind of melody.
….i think that’s all. I spent a lot of time writing this crap lol. Goodnight… I’m off to watch some anime!