is Persona 4 good for RPG beginners?

#1 Edited by AjayRaz (12476 posts) -
edit: i ordered Persona 3 & 4 through Amazon. thank you all for the help! there's no need to respond now. 
 
i'm thinking about getting Persona 4, but as someone who doesn't have much experience with JRPGS (Disgaea & Valkyria Chronicles) i'm kind of worried that it'll be a bit too difficult or that i'll have a hard time keeping up with the game mechanics and all that. i'll add that i haven't finished a Disgaea game or Valkyria Chronicles yet.
 
so what i'm asking is: is persona 4 good for those who aren't too into the RPG genre? i'm hoping to have a good time with it after a while of not find it anywhere. is there some sort of helpful tutorial? what about Persona 3?  
 
thank you! 
#2 Posted by Apathylad (3067 posts) -

Persona 4 has an easy difficulty setting, but I haven't touched that game in years, or ever tried that setting.

#3 Edited by Beforet (2934 posts) -

I'm going to say yes. Its exploration element is very linear, so it's impossible to get lost or forget what you're supposed to be doing. The combat is also easy to learn but does get pretty difficult later. But it's difficult in a way that requires understanding the system, not just grinding for hours. The only thing I can imagine scaring off a newbie is the first boss. After getting past that hump, the game becomes much more manageable.

With my minimal experience with Disgaea, I think Persona 4 is more beginner friendly.

#4 Posted by Doctorchimp (4055 posts) -

Remember to heal when health is low and you'll be okay.

#5 Posted by FluxWaveZ (19388 posts) -

You can play it on the easy difficulty if you're scared of dying. Although I don't understand your concern about being new to the genre as the game, much like many modern games, explains its mechanics well enough for you not to be disoriented or confused.

#6 Posted by Typographenia (58 posts) -

I'm awful when it comes to RPGs. I just finished playing this about a week or two ago, and I absolutely loved it.

Easy was still a bit difficult for me at times, but the setting, characters, music, and more structured experience made it work for me. It's insanely fun, and I'm not a fan of JRPGs, typically. I say give it a shot.

#7 Posted by Landon (4164 posts) -

@Beforet said:

I'm going to say yes. Its exploration element is very linear, so it's impossible to get lost or forget what you're supposed to be doing. The combat is also easy to learn but does get pretty difficult later. The only thing I can imagine scaring off a newbie is the first boss. After getting past that hump, the game becomes much more manageable.

Pretty much this. Even the weird names they give the dozens of spells (zio, agi, garu, bufu) the game always has an info button to remind you what exactly everything is, and a few hours in you will have memorized all of that.

#8 Posted by benjaebe (2784 posts) -

I would say so yeah. Probably the toughest thing about it is getting the hang of the fusing personas. The combat is pretty simple all considering, since a lot of it is just finding what enemies are weak to and using those spells.

#9 Posted by FancySoapsMan (5818 posts) -

I suppose it's not a bad place to start, you just have to be willing to put in a lot of time.

#10 Posted by AjayRaz (12476 posts) -
@Apathylad: easy mode sounds good! i don't mind starting from there.   
@Beforet: gotcha. i thought Disgaea was pretty easy to handle so that's good to hear.  
@Typographenia: glad to hear that! thank you!  
@FluxWaveZ: RPGs kinda intimidate me. so many different systems and parts to keep track of. i'm always afraid that i'll have no idea what's going on.  
@Doctorchimp: *jots down notes*   
 
thanks for answering so quickly, guys! now, i just need to know if Persona 3 is as user-friendly.
#11 Posted by CaptainTightPants (2834 posts) -

@AjayRaz: Persona 4 I would say yes if you have the patience. Now Persona 3..... it can be a bit... punishing. I got 1-Hit killed or just completely and surprisingly wiped out by enemies multiple times. I know it has happened to others so I would advise that you not go a long time without saving and taking a break in the dungeon area in 3. ( The dungeon area is also incredibly boring aesthetically and in the layout, Persona 4 at least goes for a bit of variety) Whichever you play I would just say all you really need is patience, because they contain a hell of a lot of story and they take their time explaining everything.

#12 Posted by Landon (4164 posts) -

@AjayRaz said:

@Apathylad: easy mode sounds good! i don't mind starting from there.
@Beforet: gotcha. i thought Disgaea was pretty easy to handle so that's good to hear.
@Typographenia: glad to hear that! thank you!
@FluxWaveZ: RPGs kinda intimidate me. so many different systems and parts to keep track of. i'm always afraid that i'll have no idea what's going on.
@Doctorchimp: *jots down notes* thanks for answering so quickly, guys! now, i just need to know if Persona 3 is as user-friendly.

Persona 3 is my introduction to Persona, I can tell you with full confidence that it's just as user-friendly.

#13 Posted by FluxWaveZ (19388 posts) -

@Landon said:

Persona 3 is my introduction to Persona, I can tell you with full confidence that it's just as user-friendly.

Not really. In Persona 3 FES, it never told you what the skills did in battle. So if you were wondering what casting "Sukukaja" would do in battle, there would be no way of knowing it. In Persona 4, at least you could press a button to verify a spell's effects.

#14 Posted by Video_Game_King (36272 posts) -

I'd recommend it, but I haven't played it. (I'd recommend it based on the anime, in case you're wondering.)

#15 Posted by natetodamax (19219 posts) -

Persona 4 is a pretty easy game to understand. The concepts and mechanics within aren't so complicated that you would have to spend hours just trying to figure them out.

#16 Posted by Sooty (8082 posts) -

@Resident4t said:

@AjayRaz: Persona 4 I would say yes if you have the patience. Now Persona 3..... it can be a bit... punishing. I got 1-Hit killed or just completely and surprisingly wiped out by enemies multiple times. I know it has happened to others so I would advise that you not go a long time without saving and taking a break in the dungeon area in 3. ( The dungeon area is also incredibly boring aesthetically and in the layout, Persona 4 at least goes for a bit of variety) Whichever you play I would just say all you really need is patience, because they contain a hell of a lot of story and they take their time explaining everything.

Persona 4 has plenty of one hit deaths though, I didn't find it much different to 3 in that regard.

I don't know what Persona 4 is like on easy but on normal it's certainly challenging, especially if you end up going into a boss fight not quite as high a level as you probably should be.

#17 Posted by ArbitraryWater (12115 posts) -

Guess what: If you've played Pokemon you are probably capable of understanding most JRPGs.

#18 Posted by Indiana_Jenkins (396 posts) -

I would go as far as saying it's too good for a starter JRPG. It will give you unreasonable expectations for other JRPG's.

#19 Posted by ImmortalSaiyan (4701 posts) -

I'd say go for it. Persona 4 is a fantastic game that you should certainly play. Higher up on the first dungeon it can be hard but it's not frustrating. After that it's not too bad.

#20 Posted by JackSukeru (5964 posts) -

Persona 4 was pretty easy I thought, and it's linearity made it easy to keep pushing forward. As someone who has a bad habit of getting RPGs that he doesn't end up finishing P4 was a rare case where I kept going, and had fun, all the way to the end.

#21 Posted by ESREVER (2698 posts) -

@AjayRaz: You better finish Valkyria Chronicles, boy. *cracks whip*

#22 Posted by eroticfishcake (7792 posts) -

As a fan of JRPGs I thought P4's mechanics were a little confusing at first. Especially the persona fusing. By this stage there's plenty of guides explaining what and how to do things so you've got the pleasure of knowledge. That plus the day to day mechanics forces you to progress regardless of what you do so it's very playable. I'd say go for it. Don't expect to pick everything up on the first three hours or so but the time investment is worth it. There's a reason why I consider it one the best games I've played as my profile can probably tell you.

@ESREVER said:

@AjayRaz: You better finish Valkyria Chronicles, boy. *cracks whip*

Also, this. I BOUGHT YOU THAT COPY. You're not the first too...

#23 Posted by EightBitShik (1342 posts) -

You are one of the smartest people I know you can do it and if you get stuck just watch the Endurance run :)

#24 Posted by AjayRaz (12476 posts) -
@ESREVER: iknowiknowiknow i've been itching to finish that.. and Disgaea 3.. and 4.. and.. Portal.   
@eroticfishcake: LOOK I'M SORRY OKAY ; ;   
the Persona fusing stuff sounds complicated.. but that's probably because i don't even know what a persona is. i'll give it a shot, though!  
@EightBitShik: that's the only reason why i didn't watch the endurance run! i wanted to play it for myself, then watch it after.  
 
thanks again, guys. i think i'll go with Persona 4. still uneasy with 3, though. maybe i'll hold it off. 
#25 Posted by RE_Player1 (7526 posts) -

It's not hard at all and the concepts are very easy to understand.

#26 Posted by AlmostSwedish (627 posts) -

Persona 4 is pretty user friendly. Persone 3 not so much, unless you go for the PSP version.

Online
#27 Posted by natetodamax (19219 posts) -
@AjayRaz If you had to pick between playing Persona 3 and Persona 4, I would go with Persona 4. The combat is so much better in 4 and it's not as grindy.
#28 Posted by AjayRaz (12476 posts) -
@Voxel: well actually i have the chance to get both, but i don't want to get Persona 3 if it's going to be an issue. that.. kind of seems to be the case? Persona 3 and 4 are very similar, it seems. i'm still on the edge with that one. maybe i'll take the plunge and give that one a shot, too. 
#29 Posted by Joker369 (878 posts) -

Persona 4 is relatively easy even on normal and with it being so linear, it keeps things interesting

#30 Posted by natetodamax (19219 posts) -
@AjayRaz If you can get both then you should! Persona 3 is still a great game even though the combat isn't as great as Persona 4. If you get both, play through 3 first.
#31 Posted by AjayRaz (12476 posts) -
@Voxel: gotcha. thanks Nate! ^^ 
#32 Posted by StarvingGamer (8555 posts) -

@AjayRaz: Remember if you end up getting Persona 3 for PS2 that you will be unable to control your allies in battle. This can turn a lot of the harder combat scenarios into trying to out think your teammates' AI and *fingers crossed* hoping that they do the right thing. On the other hand, while the PSP version gives you direct control over your characters, a lot is lost in reducing the town sequences to what is basically a glorified menu.

But definitely play 3 before 4 if you plan on playing both. Going in the other direction will be excruciating.

#33 Posted by AjayRaz (12476 posts) -
@StarvingGamer: i just ordered 3 and 4 so i'll try my best to get through 3 before 4. cheers! 
#34 Edited by MrAristocrates (194 posts) -

The mechanics are deceptively simple. You'll be fine.

@ESREVER said:

@AjayRaz: You better finish Valkyria Chronicles, boy. *cracks whip*

And this is the truth!

@StarvingGamer: I played 4 before 3, and struggled through much of it due to the many, many ways P4 changed it for the better. (The final boss was particularly difficult because revived allies moved before you and I couldn't change my tactics in time to prevent them from having their attacks repelled like idiots.)

#35 Posted by Guided_By_Tigers (8061 posts) -

Probably a lot easier than Nocturne

#36 Posted by EightBitShik (1342 posts) -

@AjayRaz: Dude, I think I am great at RPG's I mean fuck they aren't hard normally just grind shit out but Persona 3 makes me feel retarded. It's not your typical kind of RPG you can just die while grinding the easy shit reminds me of NES final fantasy. So if you die or feel like you don't know wtf you are doing then it's because it's Persona 3 and not you hoss.

#37 Posted by SlightConfuse (3963 posts) -

3 is tough becasue your party can be idiots at points(think vinny casting bufu but with more frequency)

4 making a lot fo changes and is a better improvement overall.

#38 Posted by AjayRaz (12476 posts) -
@EightBitShik: i always die in RPGs while grinding easy stuff because i get too ahead of myself and die 
@MrAristocrates: are the AI allies that much of a hassle? o-o oh, and i just totally came back from playing VC~ 
#39 Posted by MrAristocrates (194 posts) -

@AjayRaz: They give you enough different Tactics options to not make it a problem, but there are times when it just does not work. Let's just say I didn't miss the lack of control.

#40 Posted by Bigheart711 (1240 posts) -

@AjayRaz: Both games (Especially P4) are a good way to start up the genre, but I recommend sticking to either "Easy" or "Normal", but I have to warn you (If not already) that when you're on normal mode, you can't do any battle resets when you die. You'll have to start from your last save. Good luck on both games, though!

#41 Posted by WatanabeKazuma (989 posts) -

@ESREVER said:

@AjayRaz: You better finish Valkyria Chronicles, boy. *cracks whip*

Well that goes without saying, for EVERYONE!

Valkyria Chronicles 3 we barely knew thee...

@AjayRaz: And I know the answer is pretty much redundant now I'll add my two cents in anyway. The mechanics can seem overwhelming at first, mainly because the game doesn't explain certain nuances with S-links and stuff.

The gameplay itself is fairly easy though, 3 is more severe in that regard. Both games plateau in difficulty early on. I'm guessing you're at least a little familiar that you'll find your bearings quickly either way.

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