Finally! (finished Persona 4)

#1 Posted by MrPilkington (1003 posts) -

I have to hand it to the GB crew and the community of this site for championing Persona 4. I remember the endurance run from years back, but I never watched them due to the prospect of possibly playing through the game one day. I never thought I actually would, since this style of RPG hasn't been my cup of tea, since I was in middle school; but I picked up Persona 4: Golden over the holidays and two weeks ago, I sat down with no intention of playing through the game, but to try it out and see what it's like... to find myself here, two weeks later and 64 hours of gameplay time before I finished the true ending and this game. I haven't had a game hook me this hard in well over a decade and I was constantly on edge, spending my days trying hard to get my daily duties finished so I can spend the nightly hours not sleeping and seeing what's up in Inaba. I'm literally not kidding, as I think that this game has already become a personal favorite of mine.

Now, I think I need to take a break from games for at least a little bit. lol

Also, what would you recommend for other games in this franchise?

#2 Posted by TheManWithNoPlan (6390 posts) -

All right man. Good for you. Maybe play Persona 3. Also, Persona 4 arena, as it continues the story to Persona 4.

#3 Posted by TooWalrus (13348 posts) -

I'm firmly in the camp that believes Persona 3 FES is just as good, if not better than Persona 4, so if you're they type of person who can deal with slightly annoying combat and fusing mechanics, I'd say go for that.

#4 Posted by weegieanawrench (1955 posts) -

If you play P3, get the PSP version. It has the battle system from P4, but I don't believe it has any of the FES stuff in it, except you will have that character available to your party. But P3 is a great game no matter what platform you choose to play it on. Great story, freaking baller beats, and characters you become invested in.

One of my favourite songs from the game:

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#5 Posted by Neurotic (635 posts) -

Man, 64 hours is a pretty good time too. Took me 76 on my first Golden playthrough and probably longer on my first OG P4 playthrough.

The obvious answer to your recommendation request is 'play Persona 3' but I fear that playing the PS2 version will be a bit much since it's much slower and clunkier especially after Golden. I found it difficult enough returning to FES after OG P4 but after Golden? Geez. Playing P3P might not be too bad but don't be expecting it to be 'Persona 3: Golden'.

SMT: Nocturne is pretty damn good but if you had issues with sitting down to play P4 then I doubt you'll manage Nocturne.

#6 Posted by Hitchenson (4708 posts) -

At a glance I ready "Finally!" in the thread title as "Firefly!". I am now disappointed.

#7 Posted by ImmortalSaiyan (4748 posts) -

Persona 4 is fantastic, ain't it? I nearly beat Persona 3: Fes (got stuck on last boss) and that game is great too. I would say that I prefer Persona 4 is every way, especially the combat. Still well worth playing,

#8 Posted by Marino (5633 posts) -

@MrPilkington: I just finished it recently as well. No idea how you got through it all in 64 hours though! I was planning on jumping into Arena next, but now I'm a few hours into Persona 3 Portable now. I guess I'm hooked.

#9 Posted by mwng (1034 posts) -
@TooWalrus said:

I'm firmly in the camp that believes Persona 3 is just as good, if not better than Persona 4.

Get the portable version and play it along side THIS THREAD for the best experience.
#10 Posted by TooWalrus (13348 posts) -

@mwng said:

@TooWalrus said:

I'm firmly in the camp that believes Persona 3 is just as good, if not better than Persona 4.


Get the portable version and play it along side THIS THREAD for the best experience.

I'd fucking argue that FES is the superior version to the death, but I feel like I've already done that one these forums like a dozen times.

#11 Posted by mwng (1034 posts) -
@TooWalrus: I shall fight you to the death then! But I get to control my party members while I do so!
It all depends on if you think the sacrifice of party control is worth the immersion of physically navigating your environments. Plus, if you do get the portable version, suggest picking up FES anyway for the extra chapter.
#12 Posted by vikingdeath1 (1147 posts) -

I was playing through P3 FES on my PS3 up until I got P4 Golden a couple months ago and I've just been playing that since.

I played the PSP version before I played FES (still haven't beaten either) and loved it, but then found out that FES had, like, polygonal models for walking around town and whatnot (the PSP version uses an overhead view that you scroll around in instead of walking through) and I really wanted to try the Ps2 version, when I did I found the visuals and the social link stuff much more appealing and realistic, but the combat system was inferior to me because your teammates are AI controlled, no direct command option available.

either version of Persona 3 is pretty great, just personal preference in the end.

only other Shin Megami Tensei games i've played are Digital Devil Saga 1 & 2, and those were pretty fun.

#13 Posted by TooWalrus (13348 posts) -
@mwng I actually got the urge to play persona 3 again, so I'm actually playing through persona 3 portable for the first time right now, as the female in character. there are still times when the text says 'her' but the voice actor reads 'he.' How is that not as annoying as hell?
#14 Posted by wchigo (630 posts) -

@TooWalrus: @mwng:

When you tally everything up and really force a decision, I think I would back up my aquatic friend on this one.

I made my arguments in @Marino's thread already but it ultimately comes down to the lack of emoting during emotional scenes. I won't go into further details because of spoilers, but there are a number of scenes where I feel the emotional strength of what's going on is significantly lessened due to static backgrounds and character portraits used in place of actual polygonal models moving and expressing emotions.

Eventually, I got used to the battle system (I played and finished vanilla P4 first, then played the first like 4-5 hours of P3P a couple times before finally decided to do my playthrough on FES instead) and never really gave it a second thought. Certainly, there were times where I cursed the AI for wasting MP like casting Tentarafoo or an offensive magic spell when there's only one enemy left and he would've died if you so much as sneezed at them(!), but some parts of the old battle system also made it quite easy to literally "game" the game when it came to some things like killing the Reaper.


I agree with the others in that I have no idea how you got through the game in just 64 hours. My first playthrough of vanilla P4 took me over 100 hours, if memory serves.

If you enjoyed P4 and are looking for games similar to it, as far as I understand the only game would be P3 and all of its incarnations (P3 FES and P3P). That is to say, the school life and social interactions (re: Social Links) mixed with dungeon crawling; I haven't played the older games but I believe they had a different structure to them. And while it's not an RPG, if you're as invested in the story as I think you are, you should definitely play P4 Arena. As Jeff said, and I'm para-phrasing since I don't remember the exact quote, "If you know what you need, then this game has what you need."

#15 Posted by Jeust (11676 posts) -

@TooWalrus said:

@mwng said:

@TooWalrus said:

I'm firmly in the camp that believes Persona 3 is just as good, if not better than Persona 4.


Get the portable version and play it along side THIS THREAD for the best experience.

I'd fucking argue that FES is the superior version to the death, but I feel like I've already done that one these forums like a dozen times.

I agree with you both Personal 3 is the greatest! Although I never played P3P so I can't say one way or the other.

Just play it!

#16 Posted by Flappy (2410 posts) -

Glad to see that you finished the game despite some of the setbacks that you detailed on these forums. Good stuff! As far as P3FES v P3P goes, I'd take FES any day. P3P is cool and everything, but the lack of cutscenes and polygonal characters during cutscenes just detracts a bunch of charm from the overall package. As a person that played the livin' poopoo outta FES, I was only able to put in about 12 hours with P3P before I shelved it for good.

#17 Posted by GnomeonFire (930 posts) -

Beat P4G myself a couple days ago. I immediately decided to buy P3:FES on PSN for the PS3, so far it seems alright. I'm not that invested in the characters yet as I'm only a good 3-4 hours in.

#18 Posted by Red (6146 posts) -

Persona 3 is a very good game, but after playing Persona 4, it's kinda hard to go back to. My problem is less to do with the combat--I actually think I prefer the dungeon structure of P3 over P4--but more that the social links just aren't as endearing. Characters go through less of an arc, and you can't establish social links with most members of your party unless you play as a girl in P3P. It's a much less charming game than Persona 4, although its more dark atmosphere does definitely have some advantages and poignancy. It's not as good as Persona 4, but if you're looking for something to spend a hundred hours in, I can't think of much else that's better.

#19 Posted by MrPilkington (1003 posts) -

@wchigo: Just saying.

#20 Posted by MrPilkington (1003 posts) -

@Flappy: I hear so many people say they prefer 3 to 4. I'm kind of in shock with that, but I haven't experienced it, so maybe I'll give it a go and download the PSP version to my Vita.

#21 Posted by Flappy (2410 posts) -

@MrPilkington: To each their own, but I'd pick P4 over P3. Both games are good in their own right, but P4 has a special something that keeps me coming back to it. I mean, I've played through P4 4 times on my PS2 and am currently going through my second one in P4G. FES, on the other hand? Just one completed run.

I think there might be somethin' in the beefbowls.

#22 Posted by Jay_Ray (1281 posts) -

@Flappy: I agree, P4 has something special that keeps me interested in that game. I never could beat P3, I've tried a few times but P3 always loses my interest. I think I just never get attached to the P3 characters like I do with all the P4 ones.

#23 Edited by Karmosin (244 posts) -

I really didn't like 3 that much, but if you ache for more dating sim x rpg you'll probably get your fix. From what I've played in the persona-series I think P4>P2IS (haven't played through EP)>P3.

The DDS and SMT3: nocturne games are also great, but in some different ways from the persona-series. Devil summoner 2: raidou kuzunoha vs king abbaddon is also a (in my opinion) fantastic game.

the Devil survivor games for DS I've heard are pretty good too, but are more tactical rpg.

#24 Posted by wchigo (630 posts) -

Yeah, there seems to be quite a few people out there that prefer 3 to 4, and I think it comes down to the underlying tones. I read this somewhere else and I refuse to say it's my own idea, but this one guy said that that P3 is perhaps similar to Buffy the Vampire Slayer in that it's a small group of friends who are going out on a quest to save the world, whereas P4 is more comparable to Scooby Doo and its less dark murder mystery upbeat vibe.

I think some people identify more with the themes in P3, which mostly centres around the concept of death, and some may identify more with P4 and its ideas of friendship and overcoming one's own weaknesses/acknowledging one's self-worth. Of course, some of it comes down to which game you experienced first. For me, I was only a few hours into P3 by the time P4 was released and I played through that, so it spoke more to me. I also enjoyed that you had Social Links with all of your party members instead of just a few. That's why for me, personally, I like P4 more.

@MrPilkington: Oh, sorry. I didn't mean that it was literally impossible, just that I was surprised you were able to do so in such a short time. Considering that in the Endurance Run the guys took, I believe, 99 hours and 59 minutes and I took somewhere in that neighbourhood, it always surprises me whenever anyone finishes the game in considerably less time than that. Perhaps we just spent too much time grinding, which leads to inflated game time. Cheers to you.

#25 Posted by WarlordPayne (714 posts) -

While I agree that Persona 4 is mechanically better in a lot of ways I still prefer Persona 3. The ending to P4 really let me down, while P3's ending is one of my all time favorite video game endings. Plus, I just preferred the tone and story of P3.

I also agree with everyone that says FES is better than P3P. In a first playthrough you should absolutely play FES. P3P may have a leg up on mechanics but the story and immersion take such a huge hit due to the lack of polygonal environments that it's just not worth the trade-off until you've at least experienced the story once.

#26 Posted by mwng (1034 posts) -
@TooWalrus said:
@mwng I actually got the urge to play persona 3 again, so I'm actually playing through persona 3 portable for the first time right now, as the female in character. there are still times when the text says 'her' but the voice actor reads 'he.' How is that not as annoying as hell?
Yeesh, I only played through as the male, didn't realize they'd been so lazy with the female side. I also had 1 or 2 screens of Japanese text come up while playing (just to sell my argument some more).
#27 Posted by MrPilkington (1003 posts) -

@wchigo: No man, I knew you weren't calling me a liar or anything. I took that photo for other purposes and had it on my laptop. When you said that, I was like "well, show him proof." LOL Yeah, I tend to be the kind of game player that, doesn't necessarily rush through games, but let's just say I don't stop to smell the roses.

#28 Posted by wchigo (630 posts) -

@MrPilkington: Ah, okay. I thought maybe my "tone", as much as one could have a tone on the internet through purely text, was a bit combative or something.

If a game doesn't really grab me, such as AC3 most recently, I will tend to just mainline my way through the game and I'll finish it quite quickly. However, if a game really sinks its hooks in me ala P4 or Sleeping Dogs, I tend to want to do everything and really stretch out my time with the game.

#29 Posted by Jedted (2693 posts) -

Is it really worth buying P3P on my Vita? I like that has the same combat as P4 but after reading about all the technical compromises they made for the PSP i'm not sure if i would enjoy it that much.

I'm currently in my 2nd playthrough of P4G so i probably won't jump into P3P just yet.

#30 Posted by wchigo (630 posts) -

@Jedted: If the choice is between P3 FES and P3P, I would say FES. If it's between P3P and not playing the game at all, the game and story is (imo) worth experiencing even with the compromises made.

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