Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 4 Intro (PS2)[youtube id=”Zu_EpsK4nME” align=”center”]Atlus, a Japanese developer-publisher, released this game back in 2008… for the PlayStation 2. I didn’t even know games were still being made for it. And yet, the quality of this title was jaw-droppingly surprising. Persona 4 (and the entire series in general) is one of those gems that are overlooked or out-shined in the media spotlight by AAA titles, similar to what happened for example, to Ōkami. And like Ōkami, Persona 4 will also be getting updated to a newer system: in this case it will be the handheld Vita.

Persona 4 is a long and involved JRPG, but it includes an atypical element: social gameplay. Your character, in addition to fighting monsters and leveling up, can make friends, get a part-time job, study for school, join clubs, build models, and do other high school-er type things. It really gives an fun and interesting twist to what would otherwise be a typical dungeon crawler.

For a PS2 game, Persona 4 has acceptable graphics but great style, the J-pop soundtrack is upbeat and lighthearted, gameplay is tight, and most surprisingly, the dubbing is very good. The (sadly) uncredited voice actors are all well-known in their field, and their experience in anime and game work shines through.

With 200 hours under our belt and the game not even finished, we’re already highly anticipating the second and maybe third playthrough – the game is just damn good fun.

PS: If you do plan on trying out Persona 4, do yourself a favor and buy the official guide. It’s almost twice the cost of the game itself, but worth every penny.

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