The Persona series moves to the rural town of Inaba full of Japanese Shin Megami Tensei characters and creatures in a fantastic PlayStation 2 single-player experience. As in Persona 3, the quality narratives and appealing characters make this role playing/action game a high level, relationship-based experience. Your main character, who you name, first learns about a local urban…well, rural legend of staring at the TV on a rainy night to see your soulmate – a nice foreshadowing element for impending drama and action.
Veteran players will enjoy the similarities and core elements that still exist in this installment. Enhancements include the ability to control other characters in your battle party and social link ranking that increase their combat skills. Overall, new elements of expression and understanding also give the characters strength to battle antagonists who trap other characters into a mysterious television phenomena called the Midnight Channel.
The timeline in Persona 4 begins on April 11, 2011, about one year after the end of Persona 3 FES. Your parents' busy work life has put you in a situation where you will now live with your uncle Dojima and his daughter Nanabo in Inaba. The end goal is finding the responsible party behind some grim events. It’s a long, worthwhile journey involving tens of hours of gameplay, so the day-by-day timeline works perfectly.
This installment is all about tarot card activations instead of guns to the head (like in Persona 3) when enacting your powers. As you make your way through the Midnight Channel world, you still experience several other psychological elements that relate to your own issues and morals. Like in Persona 3, load times can be a bit long in Persona 4, but work well given the immense content and seemingly infinite combinations and possibilities. Even your food choices and actions during certain weather conditions can increase or decrease your overall effectiveness.
This installment concentrates on a quartet of classmates with whom you experience these mysterious happenings. Yosuke is a bit clumsy and forgetful, but he’s loyal. Yukiko helps her family manage the local inn while the playful Chie loves martial arts movies. You might anticipate some cool martial arts sequence or special ability from her, but that never really materializes. Dojima's partner, Tōru Adachi, an odd blue teddy bear creature named Teddie, Igor and his assistant also factor into the mix.