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[PS2] Persona 4


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Translated from my gaming blog After having a great time with Persona 2 duology I decided to check out Persona 4. Which, by the way is the "lighter" of all SMT series (except for Demikids, of course). The protagonist (named Seta Soujin in the manga) moves to this uncle's place at a small Japanese town called Inaba after his parents left to travel abroad because of work-related stuff. At first glance, it's a nice town, but there's something...Uncanny. Soon mysterious murders take places when there's mist after a rainy period. There's also rumors about a TV channel called Midnight Channel: they say if you stare at your TV at midnight on a rainy day you'll see your soulmate. When the hero and his friends try this Midnight Channel they find out that all people that appear on the TV end up dead. And as if it isn't enough, the protagonist have a newfound power that allows him and the party to enter the TV, in a twisted dark place full of monsters. Then they start investigating: how to stop new victims? Who's the murder? What are those Shadows? The true self? Of course we are in a SMT game, so there's lots of turnarounds, betrayal, secrets, tension and psychological background. The system is a better version of Persona 3: outside the dungeon you got to maintain an academic life and make new friends to get new Personas through the Social Links, and with it you can learn more about the other characters and understand some sub-plots. Some status like Courage can affect the decisions the player can make and just a few of them matters. Persona 3's random dungeons are back and there's an artificial inteligence that allows your party to get out of your way during the exploration, helping to avoid unwanted battles. And unlike the original Persona 3, now you can directly control all the characters during the battles instead of trying to trust a brain-dead AI (this system was later used on Persona 3 Portable). The enemies are more of the same, but the dungeons are a little more interesting, because they are usually about some character, focusing on their fears and reprimed feelings. So they are incredibly weird sometimes, from an Enchanted Castle to Underground Laboratories, video-games and even a gay sauna. The graphics aren't too bad and it got one of my favorites soundtrack. The only downside is the voice acting of the female members of the party, for some reason I didn't like them. This game also features many endings, with lots of bad endings if you don't rescue a potential victim in time and some false endings. There's also an huge ammount of Personae, so you might want to collect many of them. It's a incredibly fun RPG, but not too serious, with many memorable parts and some cool characters. It's really worth trying. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DYVJcdwpcnQ

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