CHUM. Ok... I don't own a PS2 now neither did i before, i kinda played all these things in someones others ps2 and since i can't emulate PS2 its a pretty short list maybe? Good thing i had a PC that could play all the damn ports!
Genre: JRPG, Dugeon Crawler, Visual Novel
Length: 70 hours/130 hours
A game about this gray haired teenager that moves to a small town with his uncle and this little girl that’s a cousin or something, the uncle’s a cop and the little girl is annoying and feels abandoned, you (gray haired teenager) goes to school and discovers portals to a shadow realm, you end up raising demons with your friends you find in highschool and each person or at least, most that really matter to the plot have a shadow version that wants to kill them. Mysterious murders happen and you have to discover who is doing all of this before the entire city dies in a way. Typical Persona plot it seems. The series has had this style of high school mystery murders with demon training for quite a while but… Never as obnoxious, boring or uninteresting as this one. Persona 4 is a game loved and recommended by almost all of my friends so I actually tried to play it a bit and it ended up being one of the worst RPGs I’ve ever played… Even Final Fantasy 8 being one of the most boring RPGs I’ve played had more content and effort than Persona 4, let’s be honest it isn’t very safe to make a JRPG game these days because since Dragon Quest these games in terms of gameplay only held up by interactive menus and usually a overwolrd where you move your characters to other locations and that’s basically JRPGs, don’t get me started what the new kids on the block think “ROLE PLAYING GAME” means and how most people think Action RPG are RPGs are the same thing (see: Dark Souls fans) and it’s easy to understand while people who are obsessed with usually one genre of a video game hate JRPGs because of the “laziness that is making an actual game” I’m honestly fine with it and most JRPGs have more to show than just menus you interact with usually like many JRPGS back then with their quirky style or thirst for a huge adventure and you go around this huge world filled with things to do filled with variation… Then there’s Persona 4. A game too fussed with only dialog and wacky voice acting rather than the ability to explore more than… Let’s say… 15 screens throughout the entire game.
If you did tolerate perhaps what’s considered the longest introduction to a video game to a point where you can actually explore 6 screens instead of 4. You’ll start to realize these are the moments in which you get “choices” which are just unfunny dialog presentation than let’s say the actual usual menu that lets you simply pass by. Most people simply enjoy this game for solely it’s bad and cheesy dialog, it’s true, the demographic for this video game is mostly people wanting an actual DATING SIMULATOR. It’s insane how it ends up being the entire game, you’ll end up visiting JUNES more than actual gameplay. And even if this was to be compared to Visual Novels, there have been more visual novels with actually entertaining concepts other than a dumb high school with a silly Scooby Doo type of formula. Persona 4 is probably for some a futile escape from reality to trick themselves that high school was actually fun just the same way Hollywood movies tell children it is when it’s basically the worst experience of everyone lives.
In fact it seems as if what where considered the best games back then all have in common the idea of adventuring the world and going through various encounters and in general have a lot of content to give to the player (Basically every JRPG by LAW). Games that make you remind yourself how cool they are for realizing how massive they were and how much amazing content were oozing from them. While apparently what’s considered good for today’s standards is just a linear short single concept without anything else special presented.
The game is just too easy, it’s always passive straight to the point and it’s plot is always predictable and too calm all of the time. I’ve heard people complain about grinding but even I can’t even give the game that because you’ll usually blow through enemies until you realize there was a unaware difficulty spike for the bosses. Why not make the difficulty given by the bosses the default and triple that unexpectedly though out the game really? Go home to study, boss fight! Go eat some food, there’s a boss fight in the food. Unzip your pants to get it on with your badly written typical fictional girlfriend, HAH GUESS WHAT; YOU’RE LOVE IS A BOSS FIGHT! It’s such a let down from the rest of the Shin Megami Tensei Series which is well known to deliver excellent difficulty and enjoyable gameplay in general. The Shin Megami Tensei series should remind itself it’s supposed to be the most satanic JRPG franchise of all times and leave this boring Dating sim, the boring high school plot, the boring everything basically and go for something more entertaining.
And yes I know about the gameplay being more than that it is because YOU COLLECT basically what SMT’s line of Pokémon is, but it’s also ANNOYING. Every other SMT has had this similar system and seems to have made this system of training and collecting demons way much simpler and easier while the fusion systems in this don’t make sense, IRONICALLY it’s the only thing that should be simplified from a game that literally only gives you around minimal screens to navigate throughout the entire game. You can tell they really putted effort in trying to milk the game by adding more and more silly monsters in it.
“Many consider Persona 4 as the basic formula of JRPGs and to all to come later in the future” A phrase familiar with various who praised the game that makes me furious in many ways but mostly of which that it obviously glorifies unoriginality in video games. Thinking everyone by default would love to spend their time with an unnecessary amount of second hand tasks that aren’t even fun in real life to begin with! OH BUT DON’T WORRY. Persona 4 tries it’s hardest to stand out, outside of obnoxious characters with an huge amount of voice acting it attempts on being deep with its characters, as you know one of the main sub-plots of this game is that everyone’s shadows is going against themselves and killing them, these shadows show the true self so it ends up being like “accept your true self” or “Who are we really?” ideologies which are VERY dumb and too simplified for its own good, this is a part of the game that it could shine itself in its own pretentiousness but even that it doesn’t get down well. The moral lessons are broken and I’m not entirely sure if it’s because Japan is so hush hush about everything that it ends up as if the lessons of accepting yourself are worth nothing. Because they literally shrug it off later on, wait what? What happened to reason you’re having this annoying boss fight in the first place?! Ugh. But yes these characters are not well written at all and it’s just like the people behind it screamed in the office “Hey what do we put in this game to make it more controversial and relevant” to that someone responds “I don’t know, add a gay character or something that’s ashamed of being gay or a girl that’s ashamed of being more sexual active than usual that will make some boring dungeon levels”. All of which are badly conceived I might add, for example homosexuality is presented in the most flamboyant way and later on the in game it’s joked about rudely. By all means, Persona 4 is not the game you want to ask for social advice or social studies.
So in the end the only reason you would play Persona 4 is because you don’t know anything about common JRPGs (or video games IN GENERAL) and you want to get into it as easiest as possible or that you really love Japanese school drama in which basically you’re on the same level as the moe anime tools on the animation side of media. And even if you would take this as a thumbed down game for beginners I wouldn’t consider it essentially. Heck you could consider it like cereal, sure it’ll make you grow as a kid but if you keep eating it forever as an adult you’ll end up never learning to actually cook and just eat soggy cereal. I’m just a bit disappointed on how things don’t go big you know, it’s like we prefer to be simple small and easy to not overwhelm in this game the little Persona fans. The music is pretty good though, it reminds me of early 2001 downtempo music from European countries, which I think they should bring back in style as soon as possible, but let’s be honest, this doesn’t go at all with the small Japanese town vibe AND especially boring things such as school and the BATTLE SYSTEM.
Going back to what I said about simple linear concepts in video games nowadays this is showed quite harshly in Persona 4’s pattern. Go through a small dungeon rewarded with cutscenes, rinse and repeat. I don’t get any surprises from this game and by playing this game for a long time I expect nothing and yet I get disappointed because It gets worse than nothing, I get Disney movie vacation montages.
Ape Escape 3
Capcom vs. SNK 2: Mark of the Millenium
Def Jam: Fight for NY
Destroy All Humans!
Final Fantasy X
Final Fantasy XII
God of War 1 and 2
Gran Turismo 4
Guilty Gear XX Accent Core Plus
Grand Theft Auto: Vice City
Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas
Guitar Hero III
Jak and Daxter: The Precursor Legacy
Kingdom Hearts 1 and 2
Marvel vs. Capcom 2
Metal Gear Solid 3: Subsistence
Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time
Prince of Persia: The Two Thrones
Ratchet & Clank
Ratchet & Clank: Up Your Arsenal!
Resident Evil - CODE: Veronica X
Resident Evil 4
Resident Evil: Dead Aim
Shadow of the Colossus
Shin Megami Tensei Persona 4
Silent Hill 2 and 3
Tekken 4 and 5
TimeSplitters : Future Perfect
Tony Hawk's Underground
Viewtiful Joe 2