4 Years in Persona 4: fast times at Gekkoukan High (2007-2010)

Title 4 Years in Persona 4: fast times at Gekkoukan High (2007-2010)
Author Aaron Vaughn
Posted in Game diaries
When April 10, 2014

I'm going off memory for most of this, so things aren't 100% accurate. Fortunately, it being my own memory means nobody will know how right or wrong I am, leaving me to falsify information as I please. Vote for me in the primaries..

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Persona 3 & 4 were in frustrating positions with me.

Persona 3 had an original tone and setting, and some of the characters (Yukari, Junpei, Elizabeth) were brilliantly written with great lines (Elizabeth needs her own game; she's like Death from Discworld). But the gameplay had a lot of rough edges so that the whole package was more a proof of concept than a working polished game.

Persona 4 fixed and improved the gameplay in every possible way. Unfortunately, I found everything else to be much worse. The catchy hip hop jazz soundtrack was replaced with annoying j-pop (appropriate to the game's trashy TV theme, but not fun to listen to), the color scheme from cool blue to garish yellow (again appropriate for the theme, but not fun to look at). Not a single well written or enjoyable character in sight (whose brilliant idea was it to replace Elizabeth with that nobody Margaret?). The story of a murder mystery where the characters are the dumbest detectives to ever live and the red herrings reach levels of self parody.

It's a shame, because Persona 4's story starts out SO STRONG. The beginning of the murder mystery and dungeon world almost reaches Silent Hill levels of creepy. Then the whole thing devolves to anime cliches, gay jokes, annoying animal mascots, and mental case love interests.

If Persona 5 could merge Persona 3's writing and aesthetic with Persona 4's gameplay, oh man.

looks like we both had the same feelings moving from 3 to 4, although i didn't find as much to hate about the new characters. i really missed the downtempo music in P3, as noted in the post, and that was probably the hardest thing to cope with

thanks for reading, and keep posted on the upcoming entries. i also completely agree that if Persona 5 can marry the best of both worlds then we'll have something pretty magical to look forward to

very nicely written

I felt the opposite really. The characters in persona 4 were far more engaging. P3's characters felt like colleagues, people you hung with to complete the mission, but who I'd probably avoid like the plague otherwise. Whereas you get a much stronger sense in P4 that these people were actually friends. There's this whole feeling of warmth in P4 that was missing.

Also P4 had Chie with no counterpart in P3, and Chie is the best character so...

I feel the same way. I LOVED Persona 3's music, atmosphere and story line. But the gameplay completely ruined it by giving you a pitiful amount of control over your allies and not allowing you to change orders when it was necessary, which was almost all the time.

I still listen to the music from Persona 3 :)