Fancy something with a story? If there's ever been a game to provide narrative by the giant library-load, it's the new remastering of PlayStation 2 classic Persona 4.
Persona 4 Golden, as it's now called, provides a few hours of background and story before treating players to a taste of gameplay - it’s like watching a movie before delving into the game. The quality of narrative is scintillating, an intriguing tale of murder, mystery, and the paranormal.
Bodies have been showing up in the Japanese town of Inaba under incredibly mysterious circumstances. The town is spooked and the police are baffled. A group of school children discover a pattern and embark upon a journey which takes them into the strange TV World - a world rife with danger.
For the large part Persona 4 is a lifestyle game, requiring time management to organize what can be done, and with whom. For instance; if you decide to spend the evening playing football, certain skills will get a bonus, and the relationship with the person played with will also grow. The amount of activities and past-times is vast, and choosing which skill to upgrade, or how to spend your valuable time is a challenge in itself.
With absolutely no time for indolence, you need to spend time in the TV World or more bodies will wash up on the streets on Inaba. The only way to save people is by braving the dungeons and fighting the hiddeous creatures which reside.
During the turn-based fights, the characters take on other personas which in turn, gives them different attacks and abilities. The nameless main character can change in mid battle to any persona equipped, but finding the right balance between equipped personas and knowing when to use each is where the challenge lies. It's hugely rewarding when perfected.
A complete playthrough notches up a staggering 100-hours, and there's never a shortage of things to do in that time. The narrative remains tight and the cutscenes rampant. There's so much more dialogue and story than the PS2 version packed, yet proceedings manage to feel consistently tight.
If you're looking for an epic RPG with a solid storyline, and concrete gameplay - look no further. If you're looking for a game which holds its own in terms of graphics and mechanics on a portable powerhouse such as the Vita - look no further. If you're looking for something special - look no further.
Persona 4 Golden is an amazing game - a must have without deliberation.
SCORE: 9 / 10
PROS: A massive game with plentiful story.
CONS: It may be too massive and contain too much story for some.
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