The definitive version Persona 4
Have been marathoning this game one week straight and recently got the True ending. Back then, i have played Persona 4 in PS2 before but stopped halfway and now i decide to conclude everything with Persona 4 Golden. I can see why people consider this game is the current best game on Vita with already great JRPG title with tons of stuff thrown into it. In this post i will summarise what are the new additions to the game along with personal thoughts of the game. Just beware this post will be abit spoilerific for those who haven't played the game.
Like the former Persona 4, you play a High School student who just transferred to a town where you find yourself involved mystery murder cases which is tied with mysterious TV channel that shows up during midnight. As always P4G still focus on balancing Social links interactions and rescue people trapped in the midnight channel All of the plots in Persona 4 is totally intact in Golden and those hilarious character interaction are still awesome. While the screenshots may not be relevant, most scenes that involves Teddie is really funny most of the time.
In terms of Gameplay, Golden adds tons of stuff over the existing Persona 4. While i didn't finish the vanilla version, i played long enough to know what are the stuffs that are added to the gameplay mechanics. By the way i now understand why Yoshitsune is really overpowered Persona, that Hassou Tobi is really broken.
-Golden added 2 new Slinks, Aeon and Jester arcana which you need to max the former one to access the extra dungeon. The later Slink can be only maxed to level 6 and the story will handle the rest Slinks level. Couple of new Personas also thrown in along with the new SLinks.
-You can now plant stuffs in Dojima's yard which gives you some helpful item for dungeon crawling as well as helping the SLinks to advance faster.
-2 new places to explore outside Inaba town which are Okina City which is formerly shown only in Slink events and Shichiri Beach which another new fishing spot. Both locations need to be triggered by riding scooters
-Shiroku store becomes shiroku pub during nighttime which you can get trade gems for items which are mostly Joke weapons.
-Your parties outside your team has a chance to do followup attack now
-Your team members can do extra attack after all out attack if they have the pairing member
-Shuffle time is totally revamped in a way you can directly pick what you want to get and if you are able to take more cards in the next Shuffle time if you took all the cards.
-Your team member's persona will learn new skill as your Slink rank with them progresses through. You can make them learn new skill or relearn the old one by going to Hot spring.
-You can give your persona new skills through gift cards which is obtained from Sword cards in the shuffle time as well as obtain it from Chagall Cafe at Okina City.
In my first playthrough i managed to Max most of the Slinks save for Hanged Man and Moon while at the second one, I finally maxed all with roughly 3 weeks to spare. My advice for the Slink is that try to be efficient during daytime as much as possible since you have lots of things to do. If possible try to rank up the daytime Slink in one go if you can't try to make Boxed lunches or pray at the shrine so you can do it at one time. Also only spend time with Sun and Hermit during rainy day only.
Golden also adds tons of costumes which you can equip your party with in the Dungeon like the Drag costumes from the beauty pageant or Gekkoukan uniforms. You get the costumes either from sidequests or buying them at the shop in Okina City. Some of the good ones only available near the end of the game but they are carried over in NG+. Your party members will comment on what they wear as well as your own, depending on the relationship some comments will be different. Also some costumes have special battle quote and victory poses.
Along with some addition in gameplays, Golden also have couple of new events throughout the story and extends the gameplay time to Midwinter where the former game supposedly end the free exploration by the time you finish December dungeon. The new events roughly amount to 20% of the whole story content which are spread throughout the months which include Persona 4 version of Operation Babe Hunt, Summer beach trip, Ski trip and so forth. The new Slink Character Marie is another possible Girlfriend candidates with tsundere personality. If you managed to max her Slink before the time limit, you will have a chance to access the Extra dungeon which will give extra bits of story during ending.
Romance Slink is probably one of the main selling point of Persona 3&4 and Golden doesn't even forget about this part either. While there is only one addition Girlfriend candidate, there couple of new romance events added particularly near the end of the game. Though the developers add one twist during Valentine day, you will face the consequences for going Harem route but by all means it is still the best choice. All of the Girlfriend candidates are equally great as each of them are tailored to suit different tastes. I wished the romance in Golden would have greater impact during extra ending but unfortunately not in this game and i wish this game would reward you more for being faithful.
As for closing this post i will be sharing my personal thoughts about the game. In summary Golden is basically Persona 4 Coated with tons of Fanservice stuff in it while the dungeon exploration remain pretty much intact. While the early game is still challenging, by the time you reach near endgame around mid 80s you will find yourself breezing through the enemy as they are pushover even on hard mode unless you put some handicap. At least Persona 3 had something called Monad Depths which is still really hard when you reach level 90. Compared to my transition experience from 3FES to P3P and P4 to P4G, i somehow find my experience during P3P is more satisfying compared to Golden in the context. Nevertheless P4G is still really great experience if it is your first time playing persona.
Main theme of Persona 4 is always about friendship which Atlus did really well on this game though i personally find the story is abit weak compared to Persona 3 though not by great margin. Definitely Golden is must play if you got Vita but ultimately i don't think it doesn't worth it to buy Vita to play this game only. I wonder which direction the next persona title will go and i hope it doesn't go the same way with Golden?