Reviews Comments: A solid RPG, with flaws

A solid RPG, with flaws
If you don't know what Persona 4 is, I suggest switching back to the main page for this.

The game is interesting, but sometimes slow-paced. The Breather Episodes do as much to detract from the pacing of the game as to add to it. The game takes forever to actually start, instead of being an extended tutorial. (Four hours from "Begin game" to actual, live combat?)

The combat system is, however, vastly improved from P3. It hits that sweet spot between "Too easy" and "too difficult" on Normal, without causing controller-throwing frustration. The TV world is not Tartarus, only existing as the Level Grind half of the game, but instead is an objective in and of itself - exploration and rescue is the entire point of the whole thing. The time limits on the exploration are generally long enough to provide impetus for progress, without standing on your head and demanding constant progress and trips into the TV. The blatant boss cheating and Stupid Boss Tricks from the original have been reduced, thankfully, while still keeping them a threat. Mooks remain lethal, but still fair and interesting.

Social Links also return in this, and are also arguably just as much the point of the game as the story and combat. Social statistics have been expanded a little, adding a couple new categories. There are a few less options in P4 from FES - no arcade, no mall (Mall was replaced by part-time jobs that increase your social stats and give you money), all shops close at night, the TV world is an all-day trip. However, the social links still manage to be interesting, and to make you want to bond with them.

Atlus also did a good job with localization and voicing. There are no obvious translation errors, and the voices of the characters feel right. They go well with the types they invoke.

Two major sticking points mar the interesting-once-you-get-into-it story, though: A nasty case of "We -were- using normal logic, now use game logic!" in one instance, just after a "surprise! bad ending if you choose wrong! and there are wrong answers that look right too!" sequence, and the game itself trying to actively push you toward the regular end when it comes time for the denouement.

It's a solid game, but it does have its flaws. If those flaws are parts of the genre you're accustomed to, I can recommend this.


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