03 December 2013

'Persona 4', Part I

Whelp, the Persona reveals on November 24th exhausted me. Though I got eight hours of sleep and did not watch the stream, I still ended up cranky and angry at the world. And I liked three out of the four new games! How can something I like make me ecstatic and piss me off so much at the time?! If I become an alcoholic once I'm 21, I'm blaming Atlus!

Anyway, I've delayed this review long enough. Time to get to business.


Before I do, I find it funny that I said I don't COMPLETELY hate Persona 4, yet I'm sure many people came to that conclusion anyway. Just because I found a lot to whine and nitpick about, that doesn't mean the game was garbage. I've torn the Mass Effect games a new asshole a few times and I still play them endlessly. Though I know it's extremely campy and flawed, I still love Shadow the Hedgehog. As much as I sing high praises to my favorite band ever, I still step back and laugh at how hilarious and awkward HIM is at what they do. You can't be honest with yourself if you say you love everything about something.

So no, I don't hate Persona 4. Not entirely, at least. To know how I really feel, let's finally get this review started.

BTW, some Spoilers will begin to appear early this time around.


Before I begin, let me make things easier for everyone. I'm sticking with calling the protagonist something other than "the protagonist." Persona 3 was hard because I learned a bit later after I made the first post that Hiro is now canonically called Makoto Yuki. It's... better than Hiro Uchida at least. Though if I really have to be dorky, I preferred the manga's Minato Arisato if only because it doesn't remind me of the rat from Fruits Basket mixed with one of the few sorely missed opportunities in that one terrible anime adaptation of a video game that did not deserve the disservice. But that still left Rin, who probably won't receive any canonical love ever again. Not even a new version of "The Answer" - as much as it hurts my level-grinding-hating gut so much. Not even in the multi-part movies, and especially not in Persona Q.

This time is much different though. Thanks to the release of Persona 4: The Animation and Persona 4 Arena, the protagonist of Persona 4 is named Yu Narukami. Fans of the manga are mad he's not Souji Seta, but I like Yu Narukami for a name much better. I don't know why, it just sounds... badass. His last name means "Howling God"! How is that NOT the coolest thing ever?! And this guy is a force to be reckoned with. If you so much as harass or threaten his family, especially Nanako-chan...

*wipes tear from eye* Ah, good times, good times...


My experience with Persona 4 was exclusively through the PS Vita port. Most of my points will address Golden, though I have done SOME research on the original game and the differences between the two versions. Not everything I say will necessarily be accurate in regards to the original Playstation 2 release. However, I have approached Golden with the expectation that it is a legitimate upgrade. Many fans have said this is the definitive version of Persona 4, and I will hold it to that claim.

Let's make some progress and reach for the truth with Yu and his pals: What good and what bad did Fangirl find in Persona 4? Well, comparing it to Persona 3 is inevitable. So I'll try to tread lightly before I start to nitpick. And when I get there, both sides will get hurt at some point. Don't worry, I may have my preferences, but I'll try to not let my feelings get in the way so much.

And I'll spoil one thing for you. There won't be a temporary one-part stop for a character that appears in 20% of the game. There won't be another moment of Fangirl shaving years off her lifespan by violently and brutally slaughtering everyone she comes into contact with. And there will be no suicidal tendencies over a stupid pairing that Atlus suggested only to twist the knife further into my heart and making me bleed everywhere. And there will be no gnashing and wailing of a suicidal Fangirl off the western hemisphere.

Persona Q, however, might be a different story.



Depending where you are on the internet, people will praise Persona 4 as being the greatest RPG on the Playstation 2. From a gameplay perspective that statement is fairly palatable. Although I said the portable version of Persona 3 is the best version of that installment, I had to credit Persona 4 because it inspired the changes in presentation and tactics. So in a way, the successor is technically better than its predecessor in this case.

"We get off on your tears"... kind of.

Finally, you truly have the option of completely controlling your entire party. It's not saying much to those who played other RPGs, but fans of Persona 3 and FES are still torn on whether it was a smart move to only make Hiro playable. Sure, it made you feel more like a leader guiding your friends rather than being god, and the squadmate AI was at least intelligent enough of the time that P3 is both playable and enjoyable. Heck, before I bought my Vita, I got pretty far in FES without looking at a guide for help.

In Persona 4 you have the flexibility to command your party however you wish: full assault, healing/support, free action, direct commands, etc. If you take direct commands on your teammates for a while and perform certain abilities in a particular manner, the AI will tend to make note of that when it does its own thing. For example, you can "train" Yosuke to use his healing/support skills frequently rather than use offensive spells. Since Teddie and Chie have Persona that use ice, you could let Teddie use more abilities that eat up SP while Chie can use physical attacks. The world is your oyster.

Then, once you beat the game and try New Game Plus, you can alter the difficulty in away way you wish. How many experience points or how much money you earn per battle (twice as much as or half of the average on normal mode) is one; where you re-spawn after a game over is another. You can change the difficulty in the middle of the game, whenever you want, but only when you beat the game the first time.

This is quite a cakewalk, maybe too easy for a typical video game.

But remember, people. This is Atlus.

The games they make and/or publish will hurt you. You will be tempted to pick up a bottle or a butcher knife or a stack of matches, whichever is closest. Bullshit, cheapness, instant-death, and one-second mass-purges are served daily, regardless of difficulty. From Nocturne to Strange Journey to Soul Hackers to Devil Survivor to Persona to Demon's Souls (2)... This company will inflict pain and torment for the faint of heart. Ask anyone who had to face Matador, Mot, Strength and Fortune, Ouroboros, any demon whose name starts with Bel, and any other boss or mook I failed to mention here. (Like those damningly agile Mushas, and the Dancers, and the Knights, and Naga, and the Hierophant, and Kusumi-no-Okami, and the demi-fiend...)

In Persona 4 we have Shadow Yukiko.

An internet celebrity once said, "You'll be having a really good time... and then all of a sudden this boss will kick your fucking nuts through your nose." Yep. That's a typical coffee break at Atlus headquarters. Wait until someone pours some vodka into the drinks and the developers get a bit tipsy.

That being said, Persona 4 got nerfed horribly in terms of difficulty. Easy mode is embarrassingly mild. And there's a Very Easy mode in Golden, in which you have to be a person who has never picked up a video game in your life in order to get hit so often and die so much. Strategy must be an alien concept to you if Very Easy is difficult at all. Regular Easy is still fair and balanced in some respects, but I never died because a Shadow used my own techniques against me or exploited my poorly conceived plan. No boss ripped out my intestines and wiped the floor with them.

Even Shadow Yukiko fell victim to being severely downplayed. The video shown has her Prince being weak to ice. Because many people believed the battle was too much of an asskicker, Golden made Shadow Yukiko herself vulnerable to ice instead. This astronomically raises the chances of an All-Out Attack option to appear at least two times after the Prince runs off to preserve his dignity.

I hate that line.
Otherwise, there is no main story boss I ran into that was memorable for giving me a ton of trouble. Shadow Teddie was supposed to be hard, but his technique was extremely easy to figure out and the battle became very repetitive (3). Shadow Kanji and Mutsuo are noted as being a pain in the ass, but they were reasonably straightforward fights. Funnily, only the optional enemies were the ones that kicked my lady parts. It took me nearly an hour to beat Kusumi-no-Okami the first time because I stupidly forgot about Elemental Breaks. Kanji buffed up my party, Teddie healed us, I amped up our hit/evasion rate, and only Naoto attacked... by casting nothing but Almighty. I learned my lesson.

Minus that moment of humiliation, the "challenges" in this game arrived very rarely next to Persona 3. Even in Portable, if I had not played the game the second time on NG+, normal mode would have made me cry once I got to the Heirophant. And Strength and Fortune are just assholes no matter what difficulty you're on.

In Persona 4 I only died once. Why? Because of these shiny douchebags.

If there's any credit I can give Persona 4 and difficulty, they buffed these assholes big time. Like in Persona 3, the variants of the Golden Hands absorbe or dodge all attacks that are magic-based. No bufu, zio, agi, or garu for you. And they will exterminate you if you consider hama or mudo. So with no elemental magic and no instant death skills, your only reliable option is using straight-up physical attacks.

In Persona 3, they were pushovers. Most times they would vanish the second they sense you, and they always had the first two moves in battle, meaning they could easily run away if luck abandoned you. If they stuck around, you could easily kill them with one or two of your teammates' melee weapons. The prize at the end tended to be fairly risky (sometimes the Reaper would come to harvest your organs), but you'd also obtain a Nihil item to be used later to create more powerful weapons. The process of obtaining everyone's ultimate weapons starts through hunting these rare buddies. They were annoying speedy little bastards with a well-deserved reward.

Until the game realizes to make a cosmic plaything out of you. Persona 4's Golden Hands will be the end of you.

Let me tell you a story.

Magatsu Inaba was the fiery destroyed town dungeon found only on the Normal or True ending paths. Yu, Kanji, Teddie, and Naoto were on the eighth floor, right below where the real culprit behind the murders waited. While on their way to the stairs to kick some ass, Teddie spots a Golden Hand hanging out near a chest of loot. Kanji raises his budgening shield and declares to cobber the whimpy monster. However Naoto runs down the notes the party took while exploring the TV World. Lately the Golden Hands have been aggressive in their defense. "Sure, we may be at level 70, but we must be careful!"

But Naoto's pleas fell on deaf ears. Teddie and Kanji charged forward, making bets on who would deal the final blow. Yu turns to his skeptical companion and assures that they will be careful.

Once Yu and Naoto catch up, Kanji and Teddie cornered the trembling Golden Hand and started mocking it. The Investigation Team is invincible! How could they possibly lose to one lousy Shadow?!

As soon as Yu draws his sword, a worried whisper sounds in his inner ear. Their background support Rise was flipping out. Hair standing on end, Yu turned behind him to see two Golden Hands come toward them at full speed. Clearly they heard Kanji and Teddie's crazy antics. Shocked and pissed, Kanji charged forward with a belting cry and slammed down his weapon on one of them with brutal force. But the Gold Hand smiled, and the blond punk winced. His arms vibrated and became as sturdy as jelly. Teddie quickly summoned Kamui to rejuvenate the weakened Kanji, Naoto pulled out a gun and started firing. A few bullets poked one oncoming Shadow but it did not slow down.

Realizing the Hands would come upon them soon, Yu had an idea. It was not a smart idea, but he hoped to shred as much health off the Golden Hands as possible for the others to finish them off with melee weapons. If even one Shadow reflects an attack, Teddie will easily patch him back up.

So he took out a tarot card of the Strength arcana and summoned Seigfried. Yu commanded him to unleash Akasha Arts. Up to two heavy physical attacks will strike all Shadows within range of the battle. Fingers crossed, Yu watched as Seigfried held his sword to the air and brought rain of pain unto his enemies.

The next thing Yu knew, Naoto knelt next to him and pinched his arm. Disoriented, the protagonist sat upright and looked around. He and his team stood unharmed at the top landing of the eighth floor. In the back of his mind, the residents of the Velvet Room tsked. They agreed to never speak of that vision ever again.

... In the real world I threw my Vita across the room and banged my head against my laptop.

I was off to gain my 30,000 yen reward for facing three Golden Hands until they decided to be uber dickheads and High Countered my group-wide physical attack. My health went to 0 in an instant. Game Over. I was sent back to the beginning of the eighth floor. Yes, I could have lost far more progress, but it still pissed me off to no end.

But this not an isolated event. Other times I have drained the health of two, only for the third to get lucky and knock me to the ground and run away. Then his buddies take their bearings and pride and storm off too before my team can react. And don't get me started on their agility. When one is all alone? Pick a deity, fall to your knees, and pray once they know High Counter.

A Gateway to Fun Bad Habits

Other than them, almost no other enemy provided any challenge. I'd go far as to say Persona 4 Golden is broken. On the one hand the overall interface is fluid and combat is straightforward enough to get used to. Find and exploit an enemy's weakness, manipulate attack and defense status effects, and maintain a reliable skill set and you are good to go. It's the Shin Megami Tensei formula.

However, this game still felt too streamlined and simplistic. Only one kind of physical attack exists, as opposed to having strike, slash, and pierce-based abilities. The game encourages you to cast group-wide attacks rather than find and defeat the toughest individual on the field. They tried to tip the scales by creating a new status effect, enervation, but the halving of your stats can be negated by simply choosing to guard. Hama and Mudo have little to no usage here, and the emphasis on fusing Personas is nonexistent.

I obtained at least 70% of my Persona without fusions; they all came from the Shuffle Time function at the end of each battle. Shuffle Time appeared constantly in Persona 3 Portable too, but the rewards were often few and the quality was average. P4G turns it into a cheap tool for anyone to manipulate. In a crude comparison, it's like walking into a strip club and having prostitutes line up to your table to give you presents. You're not even trying to get the good stuff by the time you get to the third round.

This game spoils you and holds your hand way too much. It succeeds in making a very accessible, fluid SMT experience, but it strips away all challenge to prepare you for older Persona titles or other SMT spin-offs.

But that does not make this game bad. Despite its hand-holding, sunshiny, pink fluffy unicorns dancing on rainbows nature, Persona 4 still plays very well. It keeps your attention, and the Shadow encounters are varied enough that your not playing on autopilot. You still must plan out which characters you want to bring along and what skills you want them to keep. Strategy and preparation does exist in this game, only in different forms than a typical SMT title. Persona 4 is from a technical standpoint still the definitive Persona experience. I have not run into any bugs or glitches. The game runs like a dream, and the overall pacing from a combat perspective is comfortable.

Even the dungeons are a great improvement over Persona 3. Each location has a unique theme with accompanying background music. They seem far more memorable, as the layouts of each floor tends to be random (except wherever the boss waits) and there are plenty of chests to obtain a variety of items. Some improve your ailments, your health, your SP, or your chances of escaping the dungeon. If anything, I am glad the game still imposes restrictions on how much HP and SP you can use before you level up. Sometimes I was a bit careless and made combat difficult. So Persona 4 still has some basic video game challenges going for it.

Classes, Persona Fusions, Social Links, and Waifus

As I mentioned earlier, I hardly used the fusion function in Persona 4 Golden. To be honest, I probably only spent one hour fusing Persona in this game out of 74 gameplay hours on my first run. On one hand, I would dance up and down for joy because I really dislike the fusion system in Persona 3. Sadly, it's SMT tradition to take old demons/persona/tools you have laying around and mesh them together to pump out a bigger, better demon/persona/tool. This ain't Pokemon, even though Persona 4 made me feel like it was sometimes.

There was hardly any reason to look for better Persona since Shuffle Time gave you exactly what you needed a majority of the time. You get what you need for skills or for a specific arcana type and that's it. Completing the Compendium is only there for the die-hard SMT/Persona fans who like getting the infamous figures out of it. I decided not to take that task again, especially when I couldn't finish two Social Links on my first go. However, I made sure to get Mara (because no one can resist the charisma of the beloved, punny gag penis), Loki (because he trolled me like crazy with P3's fusion accidents), Seth (because he's my Moon Social Link buddy), and Beelzebub (because his boss theme in Nocturne just freaking rocks).

At least on Normal and Easy, you can get by with minimal fusing. Heck, Ame no Uzume was close to being like how Titania was to me in Persona 3 Portable. I kept her for the vast majority of the game and leveled her beyond her initial level 18 (she was in the 40s when I first beat the game). She hung around as I completed the Aeon Social Link, she casted magaru and media, and she gave me extra SP each turn! She may not have been very offensive, but she had her uses. But nothing can beat how I made Titania so broken in P3P.

Speaking of Social Links, I'm perfectly happy with how to-the-point the system of ranking up is.

Whenever you went up a rank in Persona 3, the game literally froze for thirty seconds as you saw the same "I am thou, thou art I" purple prose that just killed the momentum and moment.

Portable took 4's little icon at the bottom of the screen with a "Rank up!" memo lasting ten seconds. Sadly, there are no 3D models.

This is much better. Something small like that just helps to keep the game going at a reasonable pace and break the repetition a bit, you know.

The actual quality of the story arcs in the Social Links, however, are of mixed quality. I'll address some of the problems later, but I can at least give props on the improvement of the mechanics. Trying to please individual people is just as troublesome as it is in real life. And you are free to start a harem of ladies, stick to one chick, or date nobody. This only matters to a very specific crowd, however, so I made this brief. Persona 4 may have dating sim elements, but what matters most is the balance between the dungeon crawling combat in the TV World and the everyday shenanigans in the real world. For the sake of this part of the review, the balance generally works well.

Raidou Kuzu - ? Oh, that player wasn't even trying!
At least I tried to be original with Hiro and Rin!
Attributes are back again, only this time there are more skills to refine. Five characteristics must be filled to progress along some Social Links with greater ease or to make bold statements when figuring out the murder mystery. Progression of the traits happen everywhere from reading books, performing work, answering questions, conversing, or playing a sport. Even with more traits to fill up, it balances out because you have far more opportunities to improve one or more than one at the same time.

The only downside to this is how underutilized the use of the traits can be. It feels like the attributes system is polished rather than expanded upon. An interesting approach would be to imbed it with making choices when trying to track down the killer. This game brags in having multiple endings, but it relies more on last minute pick-and-choose rather than an ongoing scattered placement of big decisions, like Mass Effect (4). Maybe Persona 5 could offer something like this if multiple endings will appear.

...I nitpick too much, don't I?

Last Thoughts on Gameplay

I think I covered all the major things. Other tiny details include how the All-Out Attack option remains, and there are a variety of new additional attacks your teammates can make. If an AOA fails, two guys on your team - like Yukiko and Chie or Naoto and Kanji - will do a co-op attack that causes some extra damage. An instant KO attack might follow up, or someone outside your current party will pop up on a motorbike and deliver a critical hit to an enemy. OR Rise can join in the fun by healing you in the middle of battle or boosting the effectiveness of an all-out attack.

Golden can spoil you like that.

Anyway, around October or November, I found the skills I wanted and exploited the hell out of them. There wasn't any set Persona - save for maybe Ame no Uzume - that I used heavily through a vast majority of the game, like Titania in Persona 3. During the end game, once I got the Lord of the Flies to learn Salvation, I only needed Yatsufusa for Masukukaja (raise hit/evasion rate), Kaguya for Mediarahan, and Seth for Garudyne. My enemies stood no chance.

I did, however, have a very conservative use of my teammates. While in Persona 3 I wouldn't chose my "final boss party" until January, I had my permanent party by the time I recruited Naoto in September. For some reason, I just did not deviate from the Kanji-Teddie-Naoto setup. *sees Yukiko stuck at level 36* Owch.

Overall, despite it being easy, Persona 4 is a damn good game. Especially the Golden version. It's accessible, and it improves on mechanics in previous Persona games to make it a fantastic, definitive experience. Why didn't I pick this up much sooner?





Shin Megami Tensei... is your baby...


This... is the same Shin Megami Tensei franchise...

Your BELOVED franchise...


You frequently reference dozens of cultural and religious mythologies known to man. You characterize the Judeo-Christain god, YHVH, as an unsympathetic, obsessive compulsive, apathetic jerk. You make excessive chaos and freedom just as bad as highly organized law and homogeny. You make your own fanbase mock each other if they prefer one morality route over another.

You kill off characters like they're trash. You make demons as disposable as condoms. You make Japan and the rest of our world self-destruct in too many ways to count.




You magnificent bastards.


You gave me this:


And this:


And this:


And this:


And this:


For Persona 4...

You gave me THIS:




We need to talk.

Have a seat.

And bring some silver with you. Just in case.


Part 2
Part 3
Part 4


(1) - "I'm busy. I don't love you. I hate you. Go away!"

(2) - Technically the US division of Atlus published Demon's Souls. Minus that nitpick, the point remains that anything with Atlus' name on it in some way shape or form will be harder than a typical game. Nintendo, eat your heart out.

(3) - Though not the most challenging bosses in the world, Shadow Teddie was an extremely memorable fight, particularly in his signature attack Nihil Hand and his overall design. It's my favorite battle in this game.

(4) - The more I reference Mass Effect, the more I realize it's one of the best series I've ever played this generation. Or I credit it too much.


On the bright side, Persona 4 gave us this golden nugget.

I love this game.


Voltech said...

Not to go too far off-topic, but every time I see anything Catherine-related I can't help but think back to Vincent's "Now's not the time to be dead!" line. And to a lesser extent, "It's the killer. Do NOT die."

Good Guy Atlus. Makes good games. Makes better memes. Say what you will about the "I am a shadow" bit, but (even if it's just thanks to repetition) it's certainly memorable.

Anyway, Persona 4. You know, it's funny -- earlier today my brother was asking me if getting P4 on PSN was worth it (for $10, according to him), and I almost slapped him for even asking such a silly question. I imagine he'll need it soon as a palate-cleanser, given that he grabbed the unthinkably-awful Resident Evil 6 again.

But as I'm pretty sure I've said before, my view of P4 is probably a little too rosy for my own good, so I could use posts like these as a reminder of what might have been problematic, or even things that I never would have considered. Example: the strike/slash/pierce attributes are things I completely forgot existed in P3, and while I can't say I miss them too dearly, they WERE an important wrinkle of the combat system. Also, you can train the AI? That is super-interesting. I never would have known that was even in the game.

I also find it interesting that you had a party with Kanji, Naoto, and Teddie. I've heard that Kanji's supposed to be inferior to Chie in almost every way, unless he got some buffs for The Golden. Then again, "tiers" don't exactly matter when Yu can compensate for a party member's weaknesses...granted it wouldn't do too much harm to have the best guys on your side, but whatever. Play the characters you love, as the fighting game community would suggest. (I went with Yosuke, Yukiko, and Kanji, for the record.)

But all that aside, I'm SUPREMELY interested in hearing what you have to say about the story and the characters at large. What were its triumphs? Its shortcomings? Who takes top honors as Inaba's Grand Master of Coolness?

I would very much like to know...buuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuut I can wait. And I shall, indeed. Keep 'em coming; in the meantime, I'll just watch some footage of P4U: TUUSH.

Can't believe it's out in arcades in Japan already. Kind of ridiculous, considering that I once believed the game would never get an update...

Melanie~Light said...

Oh, man. I LOVE how deadpan the announcer is too. It's like it's saying, "This is the boss. It is very strong. If you have common sense, do not suck at this game. Do not die." Seriously, it ALMOST eases my stress after watching a demon-baby climb up the tower crying "Daddy, don't leave MEEEEE!!!!!" ... ... Let's say I now understand why some men don't ever want to have children. >.<


Persona 3 simply set my standards too high and Persona 4 just fails to meet them in many ways. However, if I take my extreme bias for darker storytelling and more unpredictable gameplay out of this, I will still agree with anyone who says Persona 4 is worth buying. Especially if one had to sit through a terrible game like RE6. (I hope your brother recovers.)

The "training" part is something from Persona 3 (at least Portable) that I noticed. The original Persona 3 had something similar to this when you switched tactics. But it's not as well done b/c there's no direct command option. Still, it was a cool system that showed how smart the AI really is, minus Mitsuru's Marin Karin derpy moments.

In Portable, I distinctively remember in a scenario with three enemies, one weak to garu and two to zio, I'd make Akihiko cast single-target zio on each zio weak enemy rather than use a group-wide one. Because who knows if the third enemy could absorb it. Then I'd make him punch the third so Yukari can cast garu on her turn. After this continuous discipline, I let Akihiko act freely, and if a scenario like the one I described came up again, he would perform the very trick I taught him without fail.

The same thing can happen in Persona 4 as well, but honestly, the game is set up where it's preferable to just spam group-wide attacks with no consequence. So the work - despite being a cool experiment - was kinda pointless in the end.

I'll get into teammate discussion later, but in my experience Kanji was a slight bit better with physical attacks than Chie, who beats him hands-down with magic. Kanji has more health to deal HP-consuming attacks and his strength is pretty good. Still, I definitely used Chie a lot in the early game because of how useful I found her to be.


Anyway, I can't bring myself to watch any clips of the new P4A. It's bad enough I have to wait until next Christmas. And the new updates on Sho? Now I'm VERY intrigued!

EschaTheMadReaper said...

i never played p4 arena and didn't plan to, but thanks to that damn video, i just might. yu was PRICELESS. i wish there were choices in the game where i can act like a pedobear. being a pedobear is always fun. :) just kidding... or am i?

hmmm... i thought the thing that came out of namatame was hard. but i think it's because i was cursed. i died thrice, or more, because my entire PARTY was controlled. and started attacking me. and one of those party members already had a weapon i won from the reaper. that was NOT FUN.

but yes, the optional bosses are what made me realize that p4g is not a cakewalk compared to p3p. i hate marie's dungeon. there were times i regretted choosing to save her. there were times i thought, "to hell with this, i didn't like her anyway, just let her die!!!" but when i stop to think about, it's the only challenging dungeon so i should put up with it. the golden hands were okay, as long as you're very, very careful. :)

oh, and you love seth too? hooray! he's my favorite of the moon arcana! that picture with yosuke reminds me of the fact that he's always the first one i max. partly because he's so easy to rank up without having to spend much time with him, but mostly because other than seth there were no cool garu-using personas so i have to keep yosuke around. he's also the fastest (until i made my magatsu-izanagi almost unbeatable... all of his stats except for luck are 99!) and the quickest to help. he's the only one in the original party that i keep ALWAYS.

I AGREE with your point about how choices should affect more than a slight dialogue change. maybe a change of a character's behavior around you? no matter how odd the choices i make, nothing changes. they just say i'm weird and that's it. sometimes they don't really comment about it at all. the only obvious change one can feel is when you become a pimp. FUN TIMES. i loved the awkward moments. but other than that, i might as well scream, "i'm the killer, whoo-hoo!" they'll just laugh and move on. that's probably the reason why i dedicated my first playthrough into getting the accomplice ending, as much as i think it lacked in some parts (i wish i actually helped adachi more than burning a letter).




junes concert. don't even get me started.

I HATE THAT. sure, i laughed my head off with how it ended (kanji is epic), but i hate it anyway. it's one thing to have a random event to emphasize ONCE MORE the closeness of the characters (because the social links, camping trip, adventures in the TV world, random conversations, etc. weren't ENOUGH). it's another thing to give a very weird foreshadowing. but that concert sucked. maybe it's just the english version, but the voice actress of rise was a very meh singer. not good, not bad. the song itself was boring. i see chie and yukiko's lips moving but i don't hear their voices. there are screaming and jumping fans even though there's nothing to be screaming and jumping about. instead of "encore!", i'd be yelling, "no more!"

i only had to see that ONCE and i forever skipped that part ever since.

(if you notice why i'm suddenly stalking you, it's because i happened to come across your blog after searching "hate junes persona 4 golden". i couldn't believe i was one of the very rare, if there were any other than you and me, who HATED the junes concert. so i searched that in google and lo and behold, you cropped up. i swear i heard micheal jackson singing in the background, "you are not alone, for i am here with you..." then i saw some similar interests and decided to comment on animes and games i can relate. yeehaw! oddly enough, i commented on them before i commented on this but whatever.)

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