Editor's Choice - Persona 4: Golden (Preview)

Editor's Choice

Persona 4 Golden for PlayStation Vita at GAME

There's been criticism of Japanese roleplaying games in recent times with some saying that they're all grind, cheesy songs and cliched visuals, and that the likes of Skyrim are a more appealing proposition to the modern-day RPG lover.

We say, "RUBBISH!". While based on a four-year-old PS2 game, Persona 4: Golden for the PlayStation Vita shows that the genre still remains as relevant as ever. Perhaps most importantly, it's also found a perfect home on SONY's powerhouse handheld.

At its heart, Persona 4 is a game about growing up as you play a student who's moved from the big smoke to a town out in the styx. Cue the nerves of attending a new school, trying to make friends, fumbling to woo the high school heartbreakers - oh, and investigating a series of bizarre murders by entering a twisted alternate reality via a ghoulish TV channel. Erm, typical adolescence then...

You see, the sleepy town of Inanba has a problem, namely that whenever a mysterious fog descends upon it, people turn up dead. It's up to you to unearth what's behind the phenomena by entering your television with your school chums and fighting monsters in turn-based combat to save citizens' lives using your 'personas' - each character's alter ego. It all sounds potty, right?

Persona 4 Golden for PlayStation Vita at GAME

Now couple this core gameplay with normal school life that sees you attending classes, doing part-time jobs and even maintaining your own garden. And that's the beauty of Persona 4, its original take on the JRPG mixed with the real world struggles of being an angst-ridden teen; all framed round a fascinating journey into the psyche of small-town suburban life.

What's more, the PS Vita version offers several enhancements and additions over the PS2 original - remastered graphics, a new character, fresh story events, the ability to call for help from online players if your persona is being pulverised, and more. No, the game doesn't use the PS Vita's plethora of unique hardware features - but when the gaming on offer is this good, who actually cares?

After all, you've got a mammoth title with 50+ hours of gameplay stuffed into your pocket. And for those of you considering buying a PlayStation Vita, this and the likes of the sublime Gravity Rush show just why SONY's superb handheld remains an enviable proposition. Essential.

Published: 21/02/2013

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