RPGs have always created an impact on the gaming community. Due to a huge number of players worldwide, game developers try their best to bring something that took the community by storm. Persona 4 is one of such titles. It was a Japanese RPG that gained popularity on its release. The game released in 2008 when the PlayStation 2 was on its brink of life. In 2012, the game released again with the title of Persona 4 Golden on PlayStation Vita but due to Sony’s console issues and the release of Persona 5, a sequel to Persona 4 Golden, it wasn’t able to achieve that much awareness. But now, the tables have turned. The game’s release on PC with a steam version has given it a chance to prove itself again. You can play this game now if you hadn’t had the chance to do so as now on PC, it has the advantages of high graphical quality gameplay along with boosted frames per second.
The game, “Persona 4 Golden PC” is a joint developing venture of Sega and Atlus. The game released on the 13th of June 2020. It features the immersive story written by Carl Jung. The game is a combination of exciting combat along with entertaining action.
As for the story, it also is an interesting one. The game originates from an unreal Japanese town named Inaba. The players would play the role of a student of high school whose parents have moved to another country for work. He comes to this town to live with his relatives. Some enigmatic stuff was going on in the town as some murders were taking place in misty nights. You come to know that the one behind this takes the victims to another deadly dimension by the name of “The Midnight Channel”. The high schooler then combines a group of classmates who also take an interest in the matter and decide to bring this murder madness to a halt. The action comes when they team up to eradicate evil along with continuing their day-to-day lives as high school students.
The same idea is represented by the game title mentioning “Persona”. They represent another image to the outside world whereas having a different personality deep within. Persona 4 Golden lays on the same theory. In the game, Personas refer to your different class fellows as they gather in combat. They cast spells, use magic, and attack opponents.
“Persona 4 Golden” gives JRPG a new touch as it is an intimate character-driven story. One thing you would certainly feel is the lack of some ‘real deal’ level threats that make your heart pump faster. The story of students fighting monsters provides a nice base for it, but the game fails to deliver these. The game developers also continued with that old soundtrack from the 2008 version whereas a lot has changed in the music industry nowadays as there has been a change of taste but still it has got its crisp.
You would be battling with the evil monster using simple attacks with different qualities personas. Each fellow from your squad is in the hold of a weapon either bought from the local weapon shop or found from the cells in the town. I liked one thing and that was that you could also fight with a school desk and folding fan! Brings a smile to me every time! Other weapons are swords, knives, and firearms, etc.
Another favorite thing of mine implemented beautifully by the Atlus was that you can exploit the competitors according to their lack of certain powers. Strategy gets involved here as you now know the enemy’s weakness and can turn the tables on them using your mind and strategized moves. For example, some enemies are defenseless against electricity, wind, ice, or fire. Pushing these on these disadvantageous qualities of theirs could inflict them with heavy blows and assure you a smooth win. It is fun and amusing to play with enemies lacks. What could be better if you inflict such a heavy attack on the monster that it never gets the chance to fight back? Nothing!
Attacks from both sides are extremely well portrayed here, thanks to impeccable fight cinematics with a display of proper hits and combos and on-spot sound effects. It feels as if you are fighting against the opponent yourself! Camera rotation movements with quick zoom and pans along the fight show the intensity of the fight. Whereas the game is based on turn-based mechanics, it still doesn’t disappoint you from graphics at any point.
“Persona” series of Atlus started including a randomly appearing game mode named Shuffle Time from their game “Persona 3”. It is a fun one with a high advantage to the player if made the right choice. What happens is that the player must take a card from a bunch of 5 cards. Each card has a special power or unlocks some special items for the player. You can get your health refilled by using HP points or improve the player’s skill by the skill points. You can get keys, treasures, or a chance to take the turn again inside those cards. Some may give you more members for your squad too. Collecting all 5 of them would give you a Sweep Bonus at the end of your next quest. Well, it’s not all fun as it seems. To create a scenario of climax, they have put some cards in between others which bring your health, experience points, and money to half of what you have. Out of these impacting ones, there is another one which removes all the loot you took from your previous battle. That indeed sounds saddening, but it’s a game! Everything can’t be in your favor guys! So, choose the cards wisely!
Cards do disturb your calmness of mind, but Personas need to be managed too! In “Persona 4 Golden”, you have at least 150 different personas to choose from, and the thing that defines them is their unique abilities. Choosing different ones may bring you different battle results and you can try them all to choose which ones suit you well.
This game isn’t all about some cards or fighting evil monsters. Our character would also lead a normal life in the real world, hanging around with friends, studying for exams, practicing for basketball, fishing, and other teenage things you would find them doing. You won’t find them as a major part of your gameplay in other RPGs, but don’t be fooled about this one. You also build your social circle in this one which gains you some identity among people and your allies. Personas from the Midnight Channel also strengthen your identity in the real world, giving you dominance in the real and imaginary void world. Social interaction is really something in this game, and the developers did emphasize it a lot. There is also a ‘caste-type’ system going on with this game, and they call this class as Arcana. You need to build your relationships with this class if your persona belongs to it. They are easier to build your social link to, and your Social Link level would in turn increase. Socializing with someone out of Arcana would demand more effort and your social link level wouldn’t increment as much as making good relationships with one from your same class would. Spending time with them increases your association, making you in turn stronger. The more the number of personas you have, the more the classes and that’s your key to becoming dominant.
When conversing with the people, you would be provided with a set of answers to choose from and each change in the answer would change the response from the person you are talking to. Correct and light-in-tone answers would strengthen your bond. Giving more time to socializing, like meeting your squad members and spending time with people you know around the tone is really amusing and provides a sense of closeness and knowing more about the people of Inaba.
There are some more perks to the game. Combatant’s actions also provide him/her with Diligence, Understanding, Courage, Expression, and Knowledge traits. Small tasks like folding envelopes at work would provide you with Diligence and studying for exams give you Knowledge trait. You can’t take part in those activities, which demand a trait if you are very low at one. For example, if you are extremely low at Courage, you cannot stand up to bullies, or enter a shrine at night. This variety in levels according to different human traits is what makes this game different than others.
You would have a limited number of days to rescue the victims from the other dimension. During your time, you would have to work harder to explore dungeons and improve your social links. All your struggle would turn to dust if you fail to rescue them. So, along with focusing on other things, you need to be serious about time management. The game does relieve a lot on the time aspect, but of course its time, and needs to be cared for! This also brings a real-life taste to the game, as we allocate time to each of our tasks carefully for its occurrence. The same is the case here.
Despite good gameplay, “Persona 4 Golden” does contain a good storyline and personas which make your gaming experience the finest. Game’s tale may feel stereotypical at some points as it still contains those old stories, but the voice acting didn’t let that reach you. As the game progresses, everyone’s story would unravel their character too. Along with some unpleasant incidents, all of this explains the character better too for a better social link.
As we know up till now that this game is an improved version of the one from the PS Vita, it looks amazingly good. Their art direction is very good to give life to the game for vibrance. Cartooning things with such detail and taking care of textures look remarkable on a PC screen. Things weren’t that good looking on consoles for sure!
Atlus did care for you in terms of specs. You won’t be asked to buy an NVIDIA 2080ti or a $1000 graphic card or an expensive processor for this one. As it is an old one, it isn’t resources hungry. You would need an Intel Core 2 Duo CPU with an NVIDIA GeForce 450 graphic card, 2 GBs of RAM, and at least Windows 8 OS. Very common specs you would find in almost any PC! You can play easily above 60 fps on a 1080p resolution. You won’t find any options to set graphics here as the game has already basic ones, not some “Red Dead Redemption 2” demanding! You do can make some changes with the settings of anti-aliasing, shadow quality, render scale, and contrast. You can change the resolution according to your own preference as it is set to your monitor’s one at default. Screen display modes like full screen, windowed, and borderless also exist. The game also has support for V-sync which is indeed a resource-hungry feature but makes the graphics look lit. Input methods can also be adjusted for mouse, console, or keyboard.
This game is remarkable against its own PlayStation version in all terms. One feature’s absence that kept me itching was of quick save. It isn’t the fact that it was in previous versions and has been excluded for this one. No! It wasn’t available then and now. This way, you can now lose progress. For games with different save points and your access to different places using a click, there are chances of a lot going on, and loss of all because of the unavailability of a feature sucks. Except for this, I really liked the game and you would also enjoy it as you aren’t going to bore while playing it!