Persona 4 Golden Review
After saving the world from the impending apocalypse in Persona 3 Portable, you decide to head over and take a nice break in the quiet town of Inaba… only to find that a series of murders have shaken the settlement to its core.
That’s the premise for Persona 4. Yes, the same game that’s been acclaimed to be such a timeless classic is making its way back to modern-day consoles as Persona 4 Golden (P4G), the definitive edition of the game, no less.
Welcome to the Midnight Channel
In contrast to Persona 3’s city setting, the rural countryside is where Persona 4 Golden takes place. You’re a transfer student from the city who moved to Inaba and will be attending Yasogami High School. As luck would have it, a series of bizarre murders have just occurred right around the time of your arrival, prompting the formation of the Investigation Team with your new friends to find the culprit of these crimes.
Of course, as a Persona game, finding the culprit involves diving into the occult. In this case, at the center of everything is the Midnight Channel and your team’s ability to enter the world of the TV and battle Shadows using the power of Personas.
Persona 4 Golden may have an overall brighter look compared to the darker Persona 3, but its themes are just as thought-provoking and relevant. Part of what made Persona 4 Golden so memorable was the theme of facing your other self and accepting it, blemishes and all. It’s by accepting each other that the Investigation Team becomes such a tight-knit bunch of friends, each equally memorable, on a crusade to defeat the Shadows.
The characters you meet all represent this theme of facing oneself so well because of their varying circumstances. It’s been years since I played this game on the Vita, but going back to this remaster felt like visiting some old friends. Simply put, Persona 4 Golden’s cast of characters are a cut above the rest
More than the great story and cast, Persona 4 Golden has a few things up its sleeve that makes it such a must-play.
The Golden Touch
Ported over from the PlayStation Vita, this version of the game contains everything you could ask for. From extra scenarios, costumes, and a new character Marie, this is indeed the definitive version without a doubt.
Like Persona 3 Portable, Persona 4 Golden is a faithful rerelease from the Vita with a few additions. Coming to modern-day consoles, this remaster brings with it enhanced visuals, emphasizing smooth performance and gameplay despite the outdated character models.
It also retains the same memorable soundtrack, addictive dungeon crawling, and strategic turn-based combat that makes use of mechanics like “1 More” and the “All Out Attack”. Similar to Persona 3 Portable, the quick save feature is also present here should you need to suspend your game when save points aren’t around, and all difficulty settings are also unlocked from the start.
Social Links back as well, and you’ll see yourself forming bonds with various people in Inaba and strengthening your bonds with them to help you create more powerful Personas. The album, which allows you to replay past social links and see the choices you didn’t make during your playthrough, makes the eventual guessing game a little easier.
Despite these quality-of-life features, replayability is a strong suit of Persona games, and it’s no different here in Persona 4 Golden. Players are encouraged to run through scenarios again to see what they missed out on in the first run. As if that wasn’t convenient enough, the TV Listings in Golden are back, where you can view various cutscenes and even play a humorous quiz show featuring the Investigation Team.
What we liked:
- Faithful port of a timeless classic
- New features make it the definitive version of the game
- High replayability factor
What we didn’t like:
- Probably not worth it if you already have a previous release
Verdict: Buy it!
It’s really hard to find any fault with Persona 4 Golden. It’s so fun to play that the only reason you won’t be buying this title is if you still have your PS Vita or have already bought the PC port of it. In other words, replaying the game wherever you choose will still provide the same fantastic experience as before.
Persona 4 Golden is still the timeless classic that it has been since it was first released. We’ve gotten to the bottom of it, and the bottom line is that Persona 4 Golden is solid gold goodness you must own.
*Persona 4 Golden was reviewed on a PlayStation 4 with a review code provided by the publisher.