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Do Believe The Hype - a refreshing twist on a traditional concept
First of all, Persona 4 does not do anything new. Even discounting the fact it is still running the Persona 3 engine, the game is structured around a very traditional JRPG combat system and plot.

Sometimes, that's not such a bad thing. Because when a game can do "traditional" so well that it feels new all over again, you've got a real winner. And Persona 4 is just such a game.

The combat system has had some tweaks from Persona 3 - namely, no more leaving your party members to AI unless you want to. But why would you want to? Your party members are now significantly more useful contributors to your combat.

The place where Persona 4 really shines over its predecessor is the storyline, however. While the epic plots of Personas past are not present (the game centers around a murder mystery instead of the traditional "end of the world" bearing down on you at every turn), the trade-off is that the plot focuses extensively on the core cast of characters. By the end of Persona 4, I knew these people so much better than the bunch in Persona 3. This is honestly one of the most character driven games I have ever played. Even the social links you form have significantly more depth - when I'm sitting back and fretting over the fate of a single parent's relationship with her son, I know the game has done its job well. And having social links with my entire team brought me that much closer to their lives. And Persona 4 rarely chooses easy answers, a complexity usually lacking from stories centered around teens.

Most unusual about this game, especially for Mega Ten, is that the themes are overall hopeful and positive. In some games, this would feel cheap. Yet in this series, one that often focuses on futility and surviving in spite of it, Persona 4's themes of actually trying to overcome that ring a lot truer. After all, it's Mega Ten. You've got no guarantees that you, your party, or anyone else will survive.

While this game works well in conjunction with the rest of the series, it's also a good game on its own. I've played this with a friend that despised long storylines and JRP Gs as a whole and he could not stop watching me play. It's *that* compelling.

Wrap it all together with another excellent localization from Atlus and Persona 4 is easily one of the best and most rewarding games in the PS 2's library.
Mega Ten seems to me to be like a Perky Goth who just got sick of being depressed all the damn time. It still likes all the trappings of the dark storytellings, but isn't afraid to be optimistic a bit anymore.

Atlus is by far the master of the modern-setting JRPG, having deep and involving storylines and extreme attention to character detail. While I started off P4 thinking that my teammates really couldn't scratch the awesomeness of my P3 team, it came to me that, while that might be true, what made the P4 team special was that they were far more realistic and believable, even the more unbelievable ones had realistic takes on their own uniqueness, and this time there isn't a Canon Sue among them (I'm looking at you, Mitsuru).

Even outside the team, the characters fit better with the plot of the game... the Silent Protagonist's uncle and cousin got as much character development as members of the team, and, while I figured out who the murderer was long before The Reveal, all of the "potential" villains were interesting enough that I still harbored a few doubts, and regardless wanted to see why the villian did it.
comment #130 Dracomicron 1st May 09

comment #132 165.155.192.100 1st May 09
Mitsuru? A Canon Sue? God, people really do throw that term around at anyone now.
comment #133 Rebochan 1st May 09
I'm sorry if I'm misunderstanding the term, but I was under the impression that Mitsuru was the Student Council President of an Absurdly Powerful Student Council, possibly the highest damage dealer in the game aside from the Silent Protagonist in addition to being able to provide combat support when necessary, rides a magical motorcycle that even works during the Dark Hour, is from a filthy rich family that owns the school, an island, AND supertech research labs, gets straight A's every term, is a Persona user, and is ridiculously goodlooking on top of all that.

I say all this actually liking the character. Mitsuru is cool and they give her pretty good character depth and storylines. She's just overly ridiculous... and that's saying something in a game that has a Robot Girl and a sentient dog.
comment #135 Dracomicron 1st May 09
Mitsuru is an overachiever with no social skills that fails at the one task she set out to do and is easily manipulated into working for the villain. That's the big one. Damage dealing in combat is not a Mary Sue trait at all. Her mission control abilities are also explicitly stated to be weak, mainly because her Persona is not a support Persona. Theoretically, any one of the characters could have done it. Oh, and the motorcycle only worked during the Dark Hour because Ikutsuki used his own power on it - and the fact it drained the crap out of him implies that this is not easy nor regular.

The problem with Canon Sue is that it's not a list of traits where having a certain amount of them makes the character a Sue, but a lot of people have started treating it like it is. If she has actual character depth and flaws, as opposed to a stream of perfection and a plot that serves to explain this, she's not a Sue.
comment #137 Rebochan 1st May 09
I'd wager that Aigis is closer to a Canon Sue. Robot (theoretically immortal) yet has a human soul, *everything that occurred and is mentioned in The Answer*, nobody really hates her and if they did conflict with her they are no longer existing. And she has a heart as pure is the driven snow...?
comment #187 69.235.146.164 7th May 09
Battle use as critiea for a mary sue is ****ing retarded.

Yukari is a mary sue because her heal spells make her vital for battle!

Yuzu is a mary sue because her magic stat owns!

Naoya is a mary sue because has better stats than the lead!

comment #3649 92.3.248.162 1st Aug 10
Persona 3 discussion in a Persona 4 review

Internet, I am dissapoint. Let's judge P4 on it's own merits thanks
comment #5486 Katana 19th Dec 10
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