Which difficulty level should I choose?

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#1 Posted by wintermute (430 posts) -

Okay, after watching dozens of Endurance Run episodes I've just started playing P4 myself. I'm enjoying things so far but I'm not to the point where it's become an actual game yet; it's still just a series of interactive cutscenes. I'm a bit nervous because I chose the "Normal" difficulty level, and there's no way to change it so I can't reduce the difficulty if the game gets too hard later. On the other hand, I don't want the game to be so easy that it's not fun. I do want there to be a strategic element to fighting the shadows, etc.  I'm asking now because at this point I can still restart at easy without losing too much time.
So, my questions are:
1. What difficulty level did Vinny and Jeff play at?
2. If I die in the game, can I reload an earlier save and try again? Or do I have to restart from the beginning? If I die at hour 60, I don't mind reloading a save from hour 59. But I'm not going to restart from the beginning.
3. Is the relative difficulty of the first dungeon indicative of the rest of the game? Obviously the power of the monsters will roughly scale up with the power of the main character. But I'm wondering if the difficulty relative to character level is consistent or if it spikes somewhere.
I find it  hard to gauge what level to play at since I've played many other genres of games but never an RPG (and certainly never a JRPG) .

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#2 Posted by FluxWaveZ (19836 posts) -

1. Vinny and Jeff played at "Normal" for the whole ER. 
2. There are multiple save 'states' (around 20, I believe).  Once you die, you'll load from any of the previous save you made. 
3. The first dungeon is generally harder than the others because of the lack of abilities, Personae, equipment and such.  Once you progress, you'll get more battle options and get stronger so the dungeons after Yukiko's are not as difficult.

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#3 Posted by matrix_hiei (157 posts) -

1. Normal
2. Yes, you can reload an earlier save. Just make sure to save often and especially before boss fights.
3. The game does get easier, but it's certainly no cake walk. You will die many times, especially if this is your first RPG, and the game does not hold your own. However, I felt like "normal" had the perfect balance between being challenging without being frustrating.

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#4 Posted by trophyhunter (6038 posts) -

Please sit back and enjoy the game.

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#5 Posted by endaround (2267 posts) -

The basic thing beginner gives you are 10 continues.  Now why have them?  In case you run into a bad dice roll and lose 2 hours of dungeon crawling.  Remember that episode where Vinny and Jeff spend 40 minutes to reach the top floor only to be done in by a mahama spell?  A continue there means no backtracking.  They aren't as helpful during boss battles since you save right before anyway though they can make end boss fights really easy.

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#6 Posted by wintermute (430 posts) -

Thanks for your responses. It sounds like I'll be all right at Normal after all, however I bought a strategy guide anyway, just in case. I've just finished defeating Yosuke's shadow. So far, this game has been fun and I like the characters and the voice acting. Although they tend to reiterate the story over and over again a bit too frequently.

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#7 Posted by Talon64 (317 posts) -

Normal's perfect for your first time playing through the game. But on subsequent first playthrough's you should try Hard, you'd have the hang of the game by then so it'd be a manageable increase in difficulty. Although the first dungeon's a bitch on Hard no matter how experienced you are with the game.

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#8 Posted by IBurningStar (2273 posts) -

In my opinion, Normal difficulty is perfect. The game is challenging and requires you to pay attention and plan out what you are going to do. Its not frustratingly hard like Nocturne and isn't easy like DDS. It is a real good middle ground. In my opinion, anyway. And yes, the game does get a bit easier as you gain new party members and abilities. Shadow Yukiko is a bitch....

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#9 Posted by Fortenium (111 posts) -

 Play on Hard like I did. Spend extra time trying to beat the bosses.

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