As it’s been talked about on this site and my Twitter, I’m a huge Persona fan–even though I’m just playing earlier games in the series. Persona 5 was my gateway drug. Now I’ve moved onto other deity-collecting highs. Thanks to Steam and “other methods,” I’ve been able to experience older games that don’t have a catboy simping on a quarter-American whip-user. I mean, say what you will about his actual usefulness, Morgana’s infatuation with Ann is one of the few things I dislike(d) about the P5 sub-sub-franchise. Well, that and the entire blowup between Morgana and Ryuji. But I digress.
I’ve put in some decent hours on Persona 4 Golden via Steam and I’ve come to this conclusion. It’s kind of like the Diamond is Unbreakable of Persona games.
While main character Yu doesn’t fight people over hair jokes, the cast of characters and the overall mood of the game feels like DiU in some ways. Let’s run down a checklist.
Funky intro videos? Check.
Sleepy town that’s shaken up by people who can use supernatural powers? Check.
Said supernatural powers have backstories steeped in either pop culture or mythology? Check.
The sleepy town acts as a backdrop for a murder mystery? Check.
A ragtag group of fleshed-out teen characters try to get to the bottom of the mystery using said supernatural powers with the help of a few adults? Check.
Main character with not much backstory except he’s the leader of the group and kicks much ass? Check.
Dumb bestie who has his moments of absolute brilliance? Checkaroonie.
I could go on for a while, but I think the point has been made. This is important to me because I’ve gone on record saying that DiU is my favorite JoJo arc. Will P4G surpass the adventures of The Phantom Thieves? Perhaps, but it’s still a bit early to say that. I’ve played through Persona 5 and P5R a total of five times between the two games. I’ve spent a total of about 600 hours between the two of them, trying to complete the Persona Compendium, all of the confidant arcs and just screwing around in them killing off Reapers left and right.
With that in mind, I’m still on my first playthrough of Golden.
I love the music, the story, the setting and the cast of characters. I think it has the potential to become my new favorite, but it has an uphill battle to climb because of all the time and energy I invested in the P5 arena. However, I’ve heard that the story is better than P5 on an emotional level. On top of that, Teddie is a better furry creature than Morgana (sorry not sorry) and Yu already has a lot more emotion/lines than Joker ever does–except in P5A. So we’ll see if I reach out to the “truth” (that 4 is better than, at least, vanilla 5).
For now, I’m just having fun while making history.