Shin Megami Tensei 4 was kind of a disappointment. Great story, great combat system, but it had some issues. Started off horribly slow for starters, but the broken stat system was a major problem with the game. The game didn't sell well, and while I bought the game, most of us can guess why. Certainly not because it's not Persona, and more of a certainn group of people don't buy third party games, but let's not bother about that. You just hear that, "the reason it didn't sell is because Persona is better," although maybe more popular is a better term.
So whether it's fans of Persona making statements, or countless websites with their top 10 PS2 RPG opinion pieces, etc, Persona 3 and 4 usually make the list but then some random garbage fills the other spots. So I'm thinking. VGChartz may be wrong, but their sales are showing 70,000 copies of Nocturne were sold in the US. In comparison Persona 3 and 4 has sold 1.1 million across multiple versions, and we'll say that a little over half of those are unique players, so 700,000.
No idea if these 700,000 unique players is correct, but I'll give Persona the benefit of the doube and say that 100% of the people who played SMT Nocturne has played Persona 4. That's one out of every 10 people who have played Persona 4 has also played SMT Nocturne. I'm only pointing out that it's a massive coincidence that if someone online says that SMT Nocturne is better, you have a group of people who say Persona is better and every single one of them has played Nocturne. Instead, what I'm thinking is that most people online haven't played Nocturne and when the subject is brought up they're just talking out of their ass, but that's just me.
That's just a rant. Not what I'm really getting at. I'm just making a statement about my opinion on it, andit may be on track, might be far off. It's speculation with nothing to back it up. Maybe everyone who goes online and has played Nocturne has also played Persona.
All I'm curious about is what everyone's opinion is on the games themselves. If you've played Persona 3 or 4 only, then fine. What's your opinion still? If you've only played Nocturne, same thing, what's your opinion? What about those of you who have played a combination of them, Persona 3 and/or 4, as well as Nocturne and/or Digital Devil Saga?
Here's my opinion on them though. While I own Persona 3, Persona 3 FES, and the P3P, I haven't played them. I own and have played through all the others but haven't played Persona 4 The Golden. Here's in detail why I think both Nocturne and both Digital Devil Saga games are better than Persona 4.
Now there's nothing wrong with the gameplay or storyline for any of them. While Persona 4 might play a bit differently, the gameplay is just as good as the others. Instead of the press turn system, your characters get additional actions each time they knock an enemy down and get a extra damaging attack if all enemies are knocked down. Combat in Persona 4 is actually slightly better end game because your allies can't be customized the way the hero can and with the game lacking the press turn system, one enemy using an attack that is absorbed or reflected won't end the entire enemy turn. While I will counter that is very end game, and getting demons customized like that will take some time on SMT3, less on DDS but it will take some grinding. By the time you're overpowered against normal end level enemies on either Nocturne or DDS, you've probably got all the secrets in both games or you were grinding against those same enemies for a bit.
The difference between the games are how they play out. Nocturne plays like your traditional RPG. Storyline, world map, uniquely designed dungeons, etc. It's a fairly long game and the world is pretty large. Digital Devil Saga doesn't have your traditional world map, much like most SMT titles now days, the map is there to choose the town or dungeon you want to go to, while there are some areas that interconnect between town to town or dungeon to dungeon. Digital Devil Saga 2 is more like Final Fantasy 10 where the entire world is interconnected with the rest.
Persona 4 is different though, you've got your town outside of dungeons, with maybe 10-15 unique screens not counting shops. Dungeons on the other hand are all the same except for certain floors. Each one is a small randomized set of hallways with a random set of doors each having random treasures depending on your area. There's no real sense of discovery.
What's your traditional sense of gameplay in an RPG is no longer the gameplay. 30% of the time you'll probably be in a dungeon, randomly generated btw, and combat. The rest of the time you'll either be reading storyline or running around town increase your social link stats or social links. So 70% of the game, you'll be in the exact same 10-15 screens, doing the exact same stuff every day. The storyline and character development are good and I'm glad there's a game that gives you more to increase outside of combat, but it's a lot of time managment repetitition when there's no storyline. While you can play the game without worrying about the time managment. Screw leveling up your knowledge, courage, etc, and just keep working jobs to make money and do nothing but the dungeon sections. It'd be worse because of the lack of discovery as I mentioned above.
With as many people as I've talked to who didn't like how Star Ocean the Second Story forced you to go through two hours of dialogue before you could explore or do anything, I find it hard to believethat the majority of people who played both games would enjoy a game where the story and character development is the main focus rather than one that is an all excellent game.
I enjoy Persona 4. Very good game, but this is my opinion. That there are a lot of people that just haven't experienced SMT Nocturne so just assume that it couldn't be as good as Persona 4 because it's as good as it is.