Wow, i don't even know where to begin with this review to be honest. This game is huge. I'm talking 60+ hours huge. yes your first playthrough will take roughly 60 hours, but the question is, is that 60 hours fun or not?
Well let me go ahead and give you a bit of a background on myself before I start this review as i do find it important to the review its self. I'm a western gamer, and I typicly like western games. You know, FPS, TPS, racers, WRPG, etc. Those are the games I find interesting. In fact I've never been a fan of JRPG games. I find the voice acting bad, the dialogue corny, the gameplay repetitive and unoriginal, and the art direction boring. The last JRPG I played that wasn't pokemon (Which I love) was Finanl Fantasy XIII. How I don't like this game at all. Anyways, this is a review based on a western gamer. So if you are like me and you don't know if Persona 4 is good or not because it is a JRPG and you typicly don't like them, well listen up.
Persona 4 Golden is a remake of the original Persona 4 that was released on the PS2 late in it's life. Many people say Persona 4 was PS2's swan song and it has been praised since that time. I can't comment on what the difference are between the two versions as I've never played the original, so what I will do is talk about what I do know. Persona 4 is about a teenage boy who moves from a big city to a small town by the name of Inaba. As soon as he moves there though people start to get murdered by getting thrown into a TV into a different world. Why is kids trying to solve the case? Because these kids are the only ones who know about this world and if they tell the cops then they will think they're crazy. As you learn in the Velvet Room which is an important place in the game, it is your journey or mission to solve the mystery. If you don't then you will die. I know it doesn't sound all that interesting but honestly it is one of the most engaging stories I've ever played through. The people you meet in the game you get attatched to, the voice acting is superb, and the mystery is brilliant. At times in the game I will admit that I found the characters to be a little dumb as I knew way ahead of time what was going on, but that is ok, very forgiving seeing as how good the story is. Also I want to mention that the most annoying thing I find about the voice acting is that much of the dialogue doesn't have voice acting at all. I'm trying not to say anything about the story because I don't want to give spoilers away but all I can say is the 60+ hours I put into this game was well worth it just because of the characters and the story. It actually came to a point where I could care less about the gameplay, I just wanted to see more of the story....Which I'll get into now.
The gameplay is based around multiple things. Relationships with characters, balancing social life, school life, home life, and work life, and lastly turn based fighting. The relationships in the game is pretty cool as you can get to know each of the characters individually outside of the story. You have a choice to hangout with these characters after school or days you aren't in school. The catch is that when you do this it will go straight to the evening where you can't do most outside activities. So you have to choose what you do afterschool carefully. Anyways I liked the relationship feature but at the same time they could have went farther with it. One complaint is even though you can get a girlfriend in the game, this seems to not tie in with the story. It does in one moment of the game which I can't talk about but other than that it doesn't seem to. Also I had 3 girlfriends in the game simultaneosly. None of them cared so you know, whatever right. I'll just cover up my tracks haha Just kidding, but seriously I don't think they should allow you to have more than one. Other than that it was good. Remember though, you can only do one thing afterschool, event wise. You also need to keep up with your school life and take exams in school. The turn base fighting system was actually done well too. You are able to carry so many Personas with you, think pokemon when I say this. Various monsters. Anyways you can catch personas by either fighting well against your apponents and then picking one after the fight or by fusing the personas you own to make a stronger one. If you attack something that is weak to a certain element you will be able to go twice, and your party which consists of 4 people will all have at least one turn to make a move. This has also been done well, and honestly you do not have to be in these type of battles too much in the game. The game is actually centered more around the story rather than fighting. Honestly I can say even though the fighting is done well and it is fun, I'm glad it had more story because in my opinion I was much more absorbed in the story. The last thing I will mention is that you only go into the persona world (Shadow World) is when somebody is in danger and you only have so many days to rescue them or they will die. If you do not rescue them on time then the game will end.
I guess I could touch up on graphics a bit. It's a remake of a PS2 game so I will cut it some slack. If you are looking for a power house, this isn't the game. It looks just good enough to be on a portable console though. Nothing impressive but not ugly either.
Lastly I'll go over the music for a moment. This game has a repetitive soundtrack over several areas that are very foreign sounding to say the least. It's not like other games where it just has an instrumental, but some music actually has singing. This is during gameplay so it is a bit different. The thing is though, all of the music seems to be addicting and well made. I see myself sometimes just listening to the opening song when I first turn the game on. Honestly, even though this game has different music than what you are use to it seems to fit the game as it is very original just like this game. Still i can't lie, I can see it annoying some people, so just a heads up.
Over-all this is an amazing game from gameplay to storyline. Even though this is a remake I would recommend this to absolutely anybody. If you don't have a Vita and you are waiting for that specific game to get, yeah I would say this may be the one. If you still need more reasons to buy a Vita then that is up to you, but if you are only looking for that one reason, here it is. Personally this is one of the best games I've played in recent years. Glad atlus decided to bring this game to the Vita.
Story - 10
Voice Acting - 9.0
Gameplay - 9.0
Graphics - 8.0
JRPG Genre - 9.5
Overall - 9.1
Tyler Durden and Jack Returning in Fight Club 2