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Persona 4 Golden review
by Austin


+ Extremely likable characters
+ Cohesion between social gameplay and dungeon gameplay
+ Stylish music and visuals

- Doesn't respect my time (way too long)
- Dungeons can be a chore
- Ultimate mystery reveal disappointing

Other reviews7

Still the GOLDEN standard for JRPGs (between this and Yakuza 7 for me) - have played this on Vita several times and finally replayed it on Steam Deck. Very excited for more people to be able to play this when it finally hits other platforms next year. 
«Blew my mind»
I was worried that I wouldn't like this game when I first booted it up; the idea of turn based combat seemed very silly to me and I was expecting to drop it after around 5-6 hours, but instead I got addicted to this game and pumped in 250+ hours into it. 

Plot: It's nothing groundbreaking but I found it to be very interesting and I was invested from beginning to end. As the Persona game closest to a typical slice-of-life anime, it was very entertaining to see that kind of genre mixed in with a murder mystery and supernatural elements. It does get exposition heavy, especially during December, but nowhere near Persona 5's exposition dump. 

Characters: I might be biased since this was my first Persona game, but to me, the P4 cast is by far the best cast in the entire series, even better than P3 and P5's cast. The characters are absolutely hilarious and they genuinely feel like friends you'd have in real life, and each character has a realistic struggle that everyone can empathize with, whether it's Yosuke's loneliness and desire to be a somebody, Yukiko's fears of the future and the constant pressure she has to deal with, Kanji's insecurity and being discriminated against by everyone including figures of authority, Naoto's struggle against gender bias, etc. Nanako and Ryotaro are also amazing characters and the main (not true) villain is the best in the series as well. The Social Links are mostly great except for the Fox's, which is not only a chore but the storyline is boring as well. 

Gameplay: For a game as old as this, I think the gameplay is pretty good. It might not be as stylish or fun as Persona 5's combat but at least it's not as archaic and boring as Persona 3's. Dungeons are all creative and it's a definite improvement over Tartarus from P3. This game however, is pretty unforgiving with time, and it's extremely difficult to max out every Social Link in the game unless you are following a guide that details what exactly you need to do every day but where's the fun in that? Too many Social Links are during the day, and I think it would've been better if a lot of them took place at night instead, and rainy days are also a huge bummer on NG+ because you can't do anything unless The Sun or The Hermit's Social Link is active. The rewards for max Social Links outside of the main cast are pretty underwhelming; many of the Ultimate Personas of an Arcana are totally useless; for example Daisoujou is better than Kohryu for the Hierophant Arcana, Alice is better than Mahakala for the Death Arcana, and Yoshitsune is better Shiva for the Tower Arcana. Overall, the combat is probably the weakest part of the game but it's in no way bad. 

Soundtrack: P4 has one of the best OSTs in any video game. There is not a single track that I dislike, and the dungeon themes, especially Naoto, the Culprit's, and Marie's are all amazing. If it wasn't for Doom Eternal's OST I would've voted this game for best soundtrack in the Steam Awards without question. 

In short, one of the greatest JRPGs ever made and one of the greatest games ever made. I would wholeheartedly recommend this to anyone. 
«Blew my mind»
«Beaten more than once»
One of the video games I consider cult. A good blend between a JRPG, a dungeon crawler, a visual novel with elements of slice of life and dating sims, as well as collectible "monsters", the Personae, ala Pokémon. A story that is still as compelling as ever, even if the game is more than 5 years old. Some endearing characters and, a rare thing for an RPG, there are none that I hate. Usually I always have a character that I like less for x reasons in an RPG, but not here. A game with an excellent durability, with the different difficulty levels, all the Social Links to do, the quests, etc. In my case, taking the Very Easy level, because I wanted to cut the grinding and focus on the story and the Social Links, it took me a good 31 hours to complete the game with the Golden ending and I also did the new bad ending, the Accomplice End. So, if you play at a higher level of difficulty, and you take your time, a complete playthrough can last a good 50 hours. Anyway, Persona 4 Golden is one of my favorite video games that I recommend to everyone. Only one question remains unanswered: when will the other Persona games arrive on PC?

 ♫ Gotta Fuse ‘Em All
 Gotta Found ‘Em All
 Persona! ♫
«Blew my mind»
«Beaten more than once»
12/10 - A MASTERPIECE!!!
«Just one more turn»
«Can’t stop playing»

This Game was perfect for me
«Blew my mind»
«Sit back and relax»
Highly recommended for all RPG fans - the presentation on Vita is remarkable - one of Must-Have titles on Vita all time.