Persona 4 Golden - Playthrough One Thoughts (Obvious Spoilers)

Posted by MyNiceIceLife (622 posts) -

I've stated before that the original Persona 4 was my favorite game of all time, well that continues with the Vita release of Persona 4 Golden. I was concerned going in that it wouldn't live up to my expectations that had built up with all the stuff I had read about it, but having beaten it last night I can say for the first time that it has not only met my expectation but actually surpassed them.

How did it surpass them? Simple, it made a game that was already had a fantastic story, incredible characters, and fun combat and improved on them in so many ways. Gameplay wise, P4G was a lot easier than the original. When I first played P4 I played it on easy and still died a few times, but with no real consequence. When I played P4G I played on Normal since I knew what to expect, but found myself easily getting through dungeons with only one death the entire game on a hit from a self sacrificing pair of dice. I would not only knock out one dungeon in a day, but I'd also go through the optional boss of the previous dungeon in the same day. Some people would complain about no challenge, but this lead to me being able to play the other part of the game a lot more than in the original.

Being able to focus more on the social aspects and story of the game allowed me to enjoy P4G to the fullest. It's the same story in basic, you still rescue people that are thrown into the TV, find the real killer, and then go after the real reason that everything happens (assuming you get the true end). But there is so much more added. You can now have a social link with Adachi, which I didn't complete (that'll be in playthrough 2), and that's kind of crazy especially with the fact that you can get a bad ending if you go through the whole thing. There are new events such as a ski trip, you form a band to play at Junes, and that damn Valentine's Day event. That event made it an easy choice that on my next playthrough I will be focused on Naoto only, especially since she was one of the two lover relationships that I didn't get. The Valentine's Day event made me guilty for just getting as many lover relationships and the events with the girls themselves were nice themselves, Chie's was the best but I stock with Rise.

But all that doesn't compare to the addition of Marie. She could have just been a throw off addition, a new social link and some new personas, but she wasn't. She was a key part to the actual story that you didn't get to see in the original. It was a fantastic arc with her, to find out the things you do about her, and to see where it ends up had me with a big smile on my face. The only thing that would have made it better is if you could have her in your party, but it makes sense why you don't, although the end credits have me a little curious about what role she may have in anything from now on since it does show her with a persona and also the events from Arena.

So am I happy with what they did to my favorite game? Hell yea I am. Everything they added, everything they changed (I didn't even go into how much I like the new Shuffle Time and being able to pick skills to inherit), and just the overall polish of the game I couldn't ask for more. Heck, I even like the new voice actors for Chie and Teddie, although I do miss the old voices they do a great job making up for them. I could keep going, but I think I'm more looking forward to getting started on my second playthrough so I'll just end with some screenshots.

My party:

Star Wars meets Star Trek?

The All-star of my personas:

Level 99, He Ho!

Some random screens:

Rise, A lot more than a pretty face.
A great group of friends...OH GOD! What did you do to your hair Kanji?!?
#1 Posted by MyNiceIceLife (622 posts) -

I've stated before that the original Persona 4 was my favorite game of all time, well that continues with the Vita release of Persona 4 Golden. I was concerned going in that it wouldn't live up to my expectations that had built up with all the stuff I had read about it, but having beaten it last night I can say for the first time that it has not only met my expectation but actually surpassed them.

How did it surpass them? Simple, it made a game that was already had a fantastic story, incredible characters, and fun combat and improved on them in so many ways. Gameplay wise, P4G was a lot easier than the original. When I first played P4 I played it on easy and still died a few times, but with no real consequence. When I played P4G I played on Normal since I knew what to expect, but found myself easily getting through dungeons with only one death the entire game on a hit from a self sacrificing pair of dice. I would not only knock out one dungeon in a day, but I'd also go through the optional boss of the previous dungeon in the same day. Some people would complain about no challenge, but this lead to me being able to play the other part of the game a lot more than in the original.

Being able to focus more on the social aspects and story of the game allowed me to enjoy P4G to the fullest. It's the same story in basic, you still rescue people that are thrown into the TV, find the real killer, and then go after the real reason that everything happens (assuming you get the true end). But there is so much more added. You can now have a social link with Adachi, which I didn't complete (that'll be in playthrough 2), and that's kind of crazy especially with the fact that you can get a bad ending if you go through the whole thing. There are new events such as a ski trip, you form a band to play at Junes, and that damn Valentine's Day event. That event made it an easy choice that on my next playthrough I will be focused on Naoto only, especially since she was one of the two lover relationships that I didn't get. The Valentine's Day event made me guilty for just getting as many lover relationships and the events with the girls themselves were nice themselves, Chie's was the best but I stock with Rise.

But all that doesn't compare to the addition of Marie. She could have just been a throw off addition, a new social link and some new personas, but she wasn't. She was a key part to the actual story that you didn't get to see in the original. It was a fantastic arc with her, to find out the things you do about her, and to see where it ends up had me with a big smile on my face. The only thing that would have made it better is if you could have her in your party, but it makes sense why you don't, although the end credits have me a little curious about what role she may have in anything from now on since it does show her with a persona and also the events from Arena.

So am I happy with what they did to my favorite game? Hell yea I am. Everything they added, everything they changed (I didn't even go into how much I like the new Shuffle Time and being able to pick skills to inherit), and just the overall polish of the game I couldn't ask for more. Heck, I even like the new voice actors for Chie and Teddie, although I do miss the old voices they do a great job making up for them. I could keep going, but I think I'm more looking forward to getting started on my second playthrough so I'll just end with some screenshots.

My party:

Star Wars meets Star Trek?

The All-star of my personas:

Level 99, He Ho!

Some random screens:

Rise, A lot more than a pretty face.
A great group of friends...OH GOD! What did you do to your hair Kanji?!?
#2 Edited by selfconfessedcynic (2562 posts) -

I agree. It's crazy throwing around phrases like "my favourite game of all time", but I be confident that I'm being true to myself in saying that about Persona 4: Golden as well.

Undisputed number 1, replacing Persona 4 which itself unseated Metal Gear Solid.

That said I hope a game comes out one day that unseats this one. Until then though, I'm over here enjoying my 4th playthrough.

#3 Posted by The_Great_Time_Muffin (30 posts) -

I was honestly quite surprised with how much they added to Golden. They took an already great game and perfected it.

Online
#4 Posted by TohruAdachi (261 posts) -

At first I didn't think the farming,new social links,etc was that much,but I was so wrong. Total agreements with you and that's a godly freaking motherfracking hee-ho Black Frost.

On the other hand,this is probably me favorite JRPG of all time,but that might change when the FF10 remake is made,only really thing I liked about FF13 was the cutscenes so yeah..,but I put my favorites game of all time in different sections, I have to say my favorite third person shooter is Metal Gear Solid with some SOLID storyline,it's so great,I actually feel like playing 1 and 3 since I've only played 2 and 4 so far. I'm hoping so in the future I can play them,I would also say Dead Space,but looking at DS3 trailer,I'm kind of disappointed it takes the scary out of the game with playing with other people,that's why I strong disliked online for DS2.

I have no favorite FPS or Fighter games though.

#5 Posted by kekon (10 posts) -

Its not really what Kanji did to his hair and what he stopped doing to it.

#6 Posted by jebara (64 posts) -

So I guess I'm the minority when I say that the original PS2 version is far superior to the Vita version

Always thought the new content was hit or miss but the biggest reasons are the difficulty and how the game itself does not suit a handheld.

First, the difficulty has been toned down to the point of ridiculous, it almost removes all challenge from the game, at times I feel the enemies are trying to avoid killing you,this does not allow you to appreciate the gameplay because your just blazing through it without a second notice, in the original game I remember planning to die at boss fights just to learn from every try and formulate a plan to beat them, that was one of my favorite parts of the game if not my favorite, but in the new one they give you so much ways to level up and power you while giving enemies more weaknesses.

(Yeah, I know its not SMT level difficult, but it was challenging in its own way, so if you put that with the other great aspects of the game and how it presents it is what makes it such a great combo and one of my favorite games, and yes I was playing on hard, and it was far easier than PS2 normal, while very hard just limits your SP in such a way it is annoying)

Another thing is the game is so long and has such a routine, so the way you play the game feels much more comfortable on a couch and if you put that with a game that long then your better off being comfortable instead of being in awkward annoying positions for a long period of time.

Also, the Vita's battery life is ridiculously short so if you want to play this game over a long period of time your going to be stuck in a stationary position anyway.

I feel like I'm alone in this, haven't seen anyone else who feels this way.

#7 Posted by MyNiceIceLife (622 posts) -

@jebara: I will agree on the difficulty, as the first time I played it on the PS2 I played on Easy only to go to Normal on Golden to find it easier then before. I wonder what it's like though for those that have never played it though. Both of us have, so knowing what to expect is half the battle that those that have never played it wouldn't know about out. I had very little challenge in trying to figure out weaknesses to shadows as I already knew what they were even without having played or watched it in more than 6 months or having to look at a guide. Couple that with the familiarity with the battle system and things are going to be easier.

Now is it all because of having played it before? No. The team attacks that they added made it easier, but also at the expense of All Out Attacks not being as strong as they were in the PS2 version (although you can increase the strength of them). Leveling up has become ridiculously easy for Personas with the way the Shuffle system was changed to get lvl up cards or stat increase cards with little effort, and the exp gain cards show up rather frequently as well. Rise is also a lot more helpful then she was in the first game, so much so that with her hp and sp restores and the amount gained from my Black Frost I never had to use Fox or items for the last 2 or 3 dungeons (except for Marie's).

That easier difficulty I think is to kind of help the "portableness" of it as it's easier to get through it quicker. You can blow through floors a lot quicker if you don't go after everything (I went for everything) and at that point it may be more difficult if you don't get all the levels you get from doing everything. I finished with about 10-15 hours less on the play time then I did the first time though mainly because of the combination above. And yea the battery life on the Vita isn't the greatest, but I played till it died (all at home before going to bed) and stopped when it was close to or plugged it in for a bit to finish what I was doing.

In the end expecting them to keep everything the same is a little foolish as with them making it easier and more accessible for those that never played it before it broadens the appeal and make it sell more and become more popular. It's not like they did a complete switch and they at least have harder difficulties for those that have played it before, although it would have been nice if they would have just said play on Hard if you've played Persona 4 before.

#8 Posted by KiroMatic (8 posts) -

I'm going through my very first playthrough of PS2 Persona 4 on Expert and honestly it's not that hard so complaining about the difficulty kinda just makes me laugh since it was honestly not very hard to begin with.

Also complaining about positioning with a hand held and battery life is also laughable. Of course it's not gonna be the same as playing on PS2 but just because it's different doesn't mean it's bad. Anyways, i'm looking forward to buying a PSVita soon and picking P4G.

I have watched SOME videos of it and I just cannot get over how much improvements were made, like almost everything that gave me a frowny face has been fixed/adjusted to perfection (in my eyes).

#9 Edited by jebara (64 posts) -

@MyNiceIceLife: To be honest, after a year and half since I played the game,so I went into Golden rusty as hell, thought I was just getting better but slowly realized that a lot of enemies are avoiding the finishing blow (now that I think of it the only thing that killed me are those self destructing cubes)

Kinda pissed the bossfights aside from maybe...shadow mitsou are a cake walk now though, I loved prepping up for them, I wish new comers would have had experience that

.@KiroMatic: Odd, because from personal experience, and dozens of complaints online, the game has a reputation for frustrating boss fights which are won through trial and error, You possibly are using a walkthrough or over leveling.

Either way, very hard, or not that hard to you... I don't know about that, but for some people it put up a degree of challenge.

Demon Souls and Nocturne it is not but on the Vita, the player is overpowered like crazy.

And yeah, its a long game so battery life and comfortable positioning plays a big role, because the PS Vita cant handle long sessions of this without sitting next to a charger and looking down on a small screen over some time can be very uncomfortable, why is that laughable?

#10 Posted by KiroMatic (8 posts) -

@jebara: The main point I am trying to make is that A LOT of things are better and I honestly just can't stand that you are ignoring those changes because of a few small possibly even insignificant changes.

Also there is one a guy who has been making youtube videos of Persona 4 Golden on Very Hard Mode, first playthrough, and his impression is that with the minor changes to the battle it's pretty much the same difficulty as Expert.

His Channel is Omegaevolution

He is done the entire game so he does have a pretty good understanding of the game and so I trust his opinion.

Overall I say the PS Vita is the biggest issue not the game. It's seems easier to you because you know how the game works and you know how to play it properly.

#11 Posted by jebara (64 posts) -

@KiroMatic: these changes can't be a hit for everyone, I for one dislike one half and enjoy the others, Marie and her social link are two I can't stand, I feel a couple of the new events are kinda weak (with exception of a few moments), the two extra attacks(the scooter and the Co-op attack) seem like over kill when you already have done an all out attack and a follow up attack.(I kinda want to add Marie's story arc but I'm barely getting into that part so I'm not sure if should include that)

But there are things like such as the extra commentary pumping you up in battles, and those few moments I mentioned earlier, which come in the form of speech options can be hilarious and finally the new ending...I think I can add controlling new abilities but I'm not sure if I should rank that as something that overpowers the player, or takes away something that used to be an inconvenience, I guess its kinda both.

The good stuff and the bad stuff kinda out do each other, that's why I said it was hit and miss.

And being comfortable plays a big role in getting me into the mood for a Persona, while looking down on a handheld over a while gives me neck pains, the games addictive nature does and length does not go with that well and that is why I say it is not suited for a handheld.

As I said before, I used to think that I was just getting better but if you pay attention you see enemies, specifically bossfights, having more weaknesses, less power in their attacks and have weaker resistance Ex:Shadow Yukiko can get all out attacked, Kanji guys are null instead of drain(meaning your no longer punished for spamming Ma... skills.)

Kinda remember those since those are some of the things that frustrated me at the time, but in a good way.

If you have a trusted source that's cool, its just different people see things differently.

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