Posted by: coolerbecky | May 27, 2009

Is That a Gun Against Your Head or are You Pleased to See Me?

PS2CoverSheet10_06So, I’ve recently been playing Persona 4, which I picked up from Singapore last Christmas. I swear, it took all of my self-control NOT to buy every single thing off the shelves in Singapore – everything I purchased was a calculated risk.

But, back to the point.

Persona 4. I kind of have a love/hate relationship with this game. On one hand, it’s a great game. I love the concepts and themes in it.

The basic premise of the game is thus…

You’ve moved from the city into this country town, Inaba, to stay with your Uncle and his daughter. A few days after you’ve moved to this little town, a television reporter is found hanging from a TV aerial, dead. Her death is quickly followed by the death of the girl who discovered her body. You start hearing rumours about some TV show that plays at midnight on a rainy night. It turns out that the TV show is connected with the deaths – some insane person is throwing people into TV sets (did I forget to mention that you have the power to travel into TV sets?) to this magical alternative world which brings out the deepest, darkest secrets in each person’s psyche to life – and these secrets are out for blood, or guts or something.

The idea that ones psyche can be explored in an alternative world fascinates me. I’d love to see what my own dungeon would be like in the TV world. Don’t get me wrong, I am completely, utterly sure that if I had a Shadow self, she would totally be out for my blood.

The characters were pretty interesting and I loved the work/adventuring balance. The idea that you can actually get tired from running around killing evil monsters is a refreshing touch too. You can’t do anything in the evenings if you’ve spent the entire afternoon running around in TV land. If you really were a teenager going on an adventure, this would be what your life would be like… kinda… ish.

Seriously, a dating sim with RPG elements and a scheduling system? I love it!

On the other hand, the writing can get quite annoying. Your support character, Teddie, for example. He keeps repeating the same things over and over in an annoying, grating voice. Plus, his personality leaves much to be desired. Why, I just want to grab that little bear around the zipper and squeeze until it shuts up! *Ahem* I mean… I just wish he would be quiet.

persona_4_reviewI must admit that I cheated a fair bit in the dungeon crawling. While I love a good dungeon crawl just as much as the next person. It just seems that all the enemies are pretty much invincible and you can go for hours and hours trying to figure out what makes them tick, or you can just cheat and use gamefaqs. I chose to do so. Yes, I know I’m a terrible person, but the gameplay certainly got all the better for it and it saved me so much time from having to grind my way up because, and get this, everytime the main character dies, it doesn’t matter how many people are still alive, GAME IS OVER.

Which brings me to a point with a number, THE REALLY BAD AI. Everyone else in the game acts like an annoying, brainless monkey. Is the boss creature immune to wind spells? YES! LET US HIT HIM WITH WIND SPELLS UNTIL WE EFFECTIVELY COMMIT SUICIDE! Seriously, while the gameplay is usually smooth, I ended up turning off the AI because everyone was so darn stupid.

I’ve heard rumours that this game is pretty much a clone of its predecessor, Persona 3. Well, I’ve certainly got Persona 3 on my “to play” books, so if I ever get a copy of that game, I shall certainly give it a whirl – Persona 4 was extremely fun and I had minimal need to throw down the controller in frustration (although I do admit I did that a few times playing this game).

Want to know more about Persona 4? Well, Altus made the game, so check it out at http://www.atlus.com/persona4/

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