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Hands on with Persona 4 Golden on PS Vita

Jeff Rubenstein's Avatar + Posted by Jeff Rubenstein on Aug 09, 2012 // Sr. Social Media Manager

There’s never been a better time to be a fan of the Shin Megami Tensei: Persona series. Persona 4 Arena has just arrived on our shores this week, taking the venerable RPG franchise into 2D fighting game territory (and successfully so). This fall, one of the PS2′s most highly regarded games is coming to PS Vita with Persona 4 Golden. Even if you’re new to the series, as I am, there’s never been a better time to get into it.

Persona 4 Golden

As a recent inductee into the Persona universe (via Persona 3 Portable on PS Vita), I eagerly took up Atlus on the opportunity to sample a work-in-progress edition of Persona 4 Golden last week.

The first thing you’re likely to notice about P4G is how good this game looks. It’s not surprising that a PS Vita game would look better than a PS2 or PSP game, but the sharpness and contrast of the visuals on “dat screen” are dramatically better than anything the series has seen. While a lot of the static character art isn’t new (especially that of the Personae, which are largely the same as in P3), the crispness of the screen had me thinking I was seeing it for the first time. Even the menus are beautiful, taking on golden hues and easing the game’s extensive navigation. The full anime cutscenes look amazing, as they’re running at a higher resolution than ever.

PS Vita: Persona 4 GoldenPS Vita: Persona 4 Golden

While Persona 3 Portable added a new playable main character and other features (such as the ability to directly control characters), few fans would say that it made the the PS2 edition of Persona 3 FES obsolete. It converted rendered anime cutscenes down to still images, and reduced exploration of non-dungeon environments (like Gekkoukan High School) to a static, menu-based experience.

There are no such concessions in P4G. If anything, this new edition has only added to the PS2 original: more cutscenes, significantly higher resolution, re-done/enhanced user interface, and a new character (Marie) are some of this version’s new additions. New elements are sprinkled throughout, such as being able to sneak out at night to hang out at a club and run into characters. Even those who’ve played through Persona 4 previously should find lots of little hidden gems.

Other things I noticed during my playthrough: the music is fantastic. Load times are practically non-existent. There’s a slick effect when you skip cutscenes that looks like fast-forwarding a VCR. In a similar vein, there’s a cool “playing on a CRT monitor” filter when you’re in the Midnight Channel combat areas. And, of course, Trophies.

PS Vita: Persona 4 GoldenPS Vita: Persona 4 Golden

While the build of P4G I sampled didn’t yet contain English voiceover tracks, I can confirm that there will not be Japanese language support in the US version of Persona 4 Golden. Even as someone who tends to take advantage of this option when it’s offered, if the English-language voice quality is as good as what’s featured in Persona 3, I’ll overlook the omission.

As someone whose feelings about the Persona series quickly morphed from ‘apathetic’ to ‘obsessed’ during a playthrough of Persona 3 Portable, I’m confident that P4G will become a fixture in my PS Vita when it ships later this year. If you’ve got any questions about Persona 4 Golden (besides the release date, which hasn’t yet been locked down), drop them in the comments and I’ll find out what I can.

//Add Your Own

64 Comments

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51

+ mlataupe on August 10th, 2012 at 7:44 am said:

We need this in Europe as well!
SCEE has to work with publishers to get this game released here.
There’s no need for full localisation either. We all understand English just fine.


52

+ Sevyne on August 10th, 2012 at 9:05 am said:

@PrinceofXIII: Dude, look at who wrote the original blogpost. It’s not an Atlus employee. It’s Jeff Rubenstein. He works for Sony you dolt.


53

+ Vailintine on August 10th, 2012 at 9:44 am said:

*sigh* What is taking so long Atlus? It’s only voice overs and text that need translation and recording. Hope they don’t take the vidoes of the the live concerts off of it. I never got to see the second one. I like the group who made the songs as much as the games themselves. It’s the reason I always want the CD that comes with the games. Anyone up for some P4 Arena?


54

+ Elvick_ on August 10th, 2012 at 9:58 am said:

Want it nao. D;

Need moar RPGs on mah Vita.


55

+ Vhaeraun on August 10th, 2012 at 12:17 pm said:

Was there any word on preorder bonuses yet? I’m waiting to preorder until I know where offers the best bonus but haven’t heard anything yet.


56

+ Sevyne on August 10th, 2012 at 12:34 pm said:

@Vailintine: The concerts included in P4G aren’t the full concerts anyway. It’s like 3 or 4 songs from each. Still really cool, but I thought you should know this. Worse comes to worse, both concerts ARE in fact up on youtube. in full, and I’ve watched both of them. Really good stuff.

As far as removing stuff, I’m pretty sure they’re just removing commercials and maybe an interview.


57

+ solidusnake877 on August 10th, 2012 at 4:08 pm said:

any chance to se it on ps3?


58

+ oakaymrt2 on August 10th, 2012 at 9:50 pm said:

If this was on a console whycan’t it be on the PS3? It would be amazing if there was crossplay between Vita and PS3 (ex: Sound Shapes).. It would also give me a chance for me and other players to experience (or re-experience for all of you awesome original fans) the new re defined colorful worlds on HD- TV’s!


59

+ God-Of-Lyf on August 10th, 2012 at 10:33 pm said:

“dat screen”? Come on, Your better than that!


60

+ Ball99 on August 11th, 2012 at 10:19 am said:

Looks Awesome! I bought P4A on Tuesday and I love it. Considering how much fun it was I thought that I’d try my hand at Persona 3 on my vita, and I gotta say that it also delivers. I’m way stoked for P4 Golden now!


61

+ HeathenAmerico on August 12th, 2012 at 7:41 pm said:

My lord I can not wait. <33 I love me my Persona.


62

+ MGSH123 on August 12th, 2012 at 8:07 pm said:

I can’t wait for this game,its the real reason why I bought myself the vita and man I find out everyone did the same think I did last month(july) buy and play persona 3 portable.P3P was an awesome rpg experience and i hope p4g will provide that same or better rpg experience don’t let us down altus


63

+ joeyrpger on August 12th, 2012 at 11:00 pm said:

I’ve played through Persona 4, and the P4 spoilers in P4A are minimal. In fact, I rather have gotten the little spoilers P4A gave me because I was completely puzzled throughout the investigation in Persona 4. But well, unless you’ve have a knack for figuring out stories with just simple vague clues, then perhaps you should stay away.


64

+ junjouai on August 13th, 2012 at 3:22 am said:

Why can’t it just have the Japanese voice-over with English text? Why can’t we have a choice. Why……


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