Review: Persona 4

Susan Arendt

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Jan 9, 2007
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Review: Persona 4

Persona 4 is an addictive and unusual RPG that should not be missed. Oh, and did we mention that it's really, really weird?

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PedroSteckecilo

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*sigh* and I won't get a chance to play it until friday evening...

Stupid Canadian release date delays.
 

Nikita89

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The way you described the game, reminds me of Psychonauts :)

each victim is in a new location, created by their own personal inner demons
But I didn't have the chance to play it (yet).
 

Vlane

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Hankage said:
Digital Devil Saga was fun: 'Should I kill this person or just eat them?'
Yes it was fun at times. Especially when Cielo talked. I just love that guy.
 

Susan Arendt

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Vlane said:
Hankage said:
Digital Devil Saga was fun: 'Should I kill this person or just eat them?'
Yes it was fun at times. Especially when Cielo talked. I just love that guy.
It was a lot more fun when you learned Iron Stomach; when you first start, the game seems to pick a certain character that always gets sick when you feed.
 

Watershed

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Square Enix have confirmed they're publishing it in Europe but I'm still gonna have to wait a while for this to come to the UK. Looks like it'll be worth it though, and I have Persona 3 FES to keep me going.
 

PedroSteckecilo

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Hankage said:
Vlane said:
Hankage said:
Digital Devil Saga was fun: 'Should I kill this person or just eat them?'
Yes it was fun at times. Especially when Cielo talked. I just love that guy.
It was a lot more fun when you learned Iron Stomach; when you first start, the game seems to pick a certain character that always gets sick when you feed.
I didn't like the first one, but DDS2 was some kinda brilliance with an awesome skill system, really cool battles, hella awesome visuals and one of the best plots I've ever seen in gaming.
 

ZeroMachine

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With the exception of the music, it kinda sounds like a Mother/Earthbound game that's rated M...

... I'm definitely intrigued.
 

PedroSteckecilo

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ZeroMachine said:
With the exception of the music, it kinda sounds like a Mother/Earthbound game that's rated M...

... I'm definitely intrigued.
That almost acurately describe Persona 3 actually. Haven't played 4 yet so I can't confirm that, but it's likely true.

They are a little less overtly silly than Earthbound though. and a LOT more Jpoppy, despite the Jpop Soundtracks in Persona being exceedingly well composed and not really gratting at all.
 

LaxLuster

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I loved the first one more than any other JRPG released to date, missed the second entirely and then was less than thrilled with the third. While Persona 3 wasn't bad, the characters seemed a lot more 'cute' than the original and the gameplay seemed limited in exploration and repetitive in tasks. Four looks a bit more promising, but considering the massive let-down I experienced from the third, how would you compare the two?

Sorry for the boring history lesson, this question's open to anybody who's played the games.
 

Lvl 64 Klutz

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Another great review, and only mildly spoilerific. I don't know if I'm getting this one or not. Is the music really that repetitive? I've never been able to enjoy a JRPG with bad music, I don't know why. I think it's because JRPG's tend to be all about story and atmosphere, and music is vital to both of those, particularly the latter.

Also, is Context Sensitive ever coming back? I found that column to be particularly entertaining.
 

Calamity

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Lvl 64 Klutz said:
Another great review, and only mildly spoilerific. I don't know if I'm getting this one or not. Is the music really that repetitive? I've never been able to enjoy a JRPG with bad music, I don't know why. I think it's because JRPG's tend to be all about story and atmosphere, and music is vital to both of those, particularly the latter.

Also, is Context Sensitive ever coming back? I found that column to be particularly entertaining.
This isn't like any RPG music you've heard before, trust me.

My only complaint in 10 hours of game play is the fact they made the fusion puzzles from 3 into a Social Link (man I hate those so much). Other then that this improves on 3 in every way, and shouldn't be missed even if you're only vaguely interested in JRPGs.
 

Lvl 64 Klutz

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Calamity said:
Lvl 64 Klutz said:
Another great review, and only mildly spoilerific. I don't know if I'm getting this one or not. Is the music really that repetitive? I've never been able to enjoy a JRPG with bad music, I don't know why. I think it's because JRPG's tend to be all about story and atmosphere, and music is vital to both of those, particularly the latter.

Also, is Context Sensitive ever coming back? I found that column to be particularly entertaining.
This isn't like any RPG music you've heard before, trust me.

My only complaint in 10 hours of game play is the fact they made the fusion puzzles from 3 into a Social Link (man I hate those so much). Other then that this improves on 3 in every way, and shouldn't be missed even if you're only vaguely interested in JRPGs.
I'm aware of that, I did play Persona 3. I did notice that the soundtrack to this game was much shorter than that of the previous title, but I didn't think much about it until reading this review. I can see it getting a little irritating.
 

Susan Arendt

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To answer a few questions:

1. P4 is less cutesy than P3 simply because you're attempting to track down a serial killer. It's nowhere near as dark as, say, SMT: Nocturne, though.

2. The music isn't bad, it's just omnipresent. You WILL get it stuck in your head. The same song plays every time you get in a fight, and you'll get in hundreds and hundreds of fights. The other songs are less obtrusive, but that one...yeah, there's just no escaping it.

3. Yes, Context Sensitive will be coming back, just in a new form. :) Oh, and I kept the spoilers to an absolute minimum. Oh, the stuff I wanted to say.
 

Murian

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This is listed as not going to be out in Europe until the second quarter of next year...I guess that gives me time to finish Persona 3, since I only started playing it recently.
 

Mstrswrd

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It still doesn't seem as weird as Person3:FES (Or the original, for that matter). You fight a Jesus Demon, for Christs's sake (See what I did there? Ha... I'm so pthetic). Anyway, yeah, I'll have to get this game... later, in the summer, when I'm home, and have access to a PS2.
 

PedroSteckecilo

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Speaking of this...

Has anyone else in Canada had trouble getting ahold of this? I have. So far it hasn't come in to any stores, it's "on order" but it hasn't arrived. Usually it doesn't take this long.
 

Susan Arendt

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Music to Nocturne: http://ca.youtube.com/view_play_list?p=C500F04ECB528E42

Music to DDS: http://ca.youtube.com/view_play_list?p=D770BA0516B26E2D

Just so you can compare to the earlier stuff.
 

Keane Ng

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Lvl 64 Klutz said:
I'm aware of that, I did play Persona 3. I did notice that the soundtrack to this game was much shorter than that of the previous title, but I didn't think much about it until reading this review. I can see it getting a little irritating.
I'm not that far in yet, but I like the music a lot more in P4 and am finding it less aggravating. Overall it seems more poppy and less pseudo-jazzy.
 

Susan Arendt

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WHY DID MY PS2 HAVE TO DIE!!!!!!!

Oh and don't get me started on my explanation of Persona 3

Stop me when it gets to weird, right so your a special kid who a robot battle girl sealed the embodiment of death inside your soul so that the world would be saved, later when you are older you are transferred to a new school and placed in a special dorm where you sign a contract with the creepy kid only you can see.

Then creepy hand rape things appear at an hour that exists between each day that normal people don't notice cause they transform into coffins.
Now it's up to you and other Persona users to kill these embodiments of utter death by shooting yourself in the head with trauma to summons gods/ angels/ demons from the pits of your soul.

The only way to make these Persona stronger is to become friends with the boys (and with the exception of the online gamer girl who turns out to be your teacher, and the lolita) and boyfriend to all the girls.

Then a dog and little kid join you around the time Hippie/Revolver/Vampire Jesus arrives with a nerd and a Gothic Lolita, Then the Robot Battle Chick joins you.

In short, Wake up, Go to school, save the world.

Conclusion: Only the Mother series can reach this level of mindfuckery.


I allways loved that the reason you can't use a gun was simply that it would SUCK to make THAT mistake in battle seeing as the Evoker to use your Persona is, well a Gun, that shoots trauma, lord knows what happens when you use it on a normal person, and in the heat of battle you don't wanna pull the wrong gun when your going to shoot yourself in the head.
 

OverlordSteve

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PedroSteckecilo said:
*sigh* and I won't get a chance to play it until friday evening...

Stupid Canadian release date delays.
Be lucky you can play at all. It's only on PS3, isn't it?
 

unangbangkay

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Susan Arendt said:
2. The music isn't bad, it's just omnipresent. You WILL get it stuck in your head. The same song plays every time you get in a fight, and you'll get in hundreds and hundreds of fights. The other songs are less obtrusive, but that one...yeah, there's just no escaping it.
Yes, the music. I liked it well enough to tolerate more than 100 hours of Persona 3 FES, but it drove my sister nearly to siblicide.

"Please, for God's sake just play Grand Theft Auto 4 already, ANYTHING. I'll pay you!"

OverlordSteve said:
Onmi said:
No it's on PS2
Son of a- sold mine last year. *Growls*
Don't new 80gb PS3s come with software-based backwards compatibility? The PS website has a compatibility list for 80gb (60gbs have near-perfect hardware BC, heh) models, and Persona 3 FES is on that list. From that I assume that Persona 4 would also fit.
 

Susan Arendt

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unangbangkay said:
Susan Arendt said:
2. The music isn't bad, it's just omnipresent. You WILL get it stuck in your head. The same song plays every time you get in a fight, and you'll get in hundreds and hundreds of fights. The other songs are less obtrusive, but that one...yeah, there's just no escaping it.
Yes, the music. I liked it well enough to tolerate more than 100 hours of Persona 3 FES, but it drove my sister nearly to siblicide.

"Please, for God's sake just play Grand Theft Auto 4 already, ANYTHING. I'll pay you!"

OverlordSteve said:
Onmi said:
No it's on PS2
Son of a- sold mine last year. *Growls*
Don't new 80gb PS3s come with software-based backwards compatibility? The PS website has a compatibility list for 80gb (60gbs have near-perfect hardware BC, heh) models, and Persona 3 FES is on that list. From that I assume that Persona 4 would also fit.
No the removed BC with the new versions, we are waiting for them to realize that was dumb and return it. your former player base doesn't have the drive to upgrade to the PS3 if your old PS3 games don't work on it.
 

Lvl 64 Klutz

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By the way, does anyone else think "M Rated Pokemon" is a pretty good description of the Persona system?
 

Susan Arendt

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Lvl 64 Klutz said:
By the way, does anyone else think "M Rated Pokemon" is a pretty good description of the Persona system?
Meaning the collecting of Persona's? nope I would say Digimon World 2 is closer, especially how you have to merge them to get stronger Persona.

Like Thanatos, Satan (THAT Satan) and Messiah.
 

Russian Redneck

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This game seems like a definite 'do want' in my book but thanks to advent of what is known as college and the misery it caused me, my psyche has been battered and reformed in ways that I can't even begin to comprehend. In essence, I've become skeptical about EVERYTHING, even Persona 4. *cry*

Still, I'll buy if only to play it later when I'm not acting like such a mope.
 

PedroSteckecilo

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Lvl 64 Klutz said:
By the way, does anyone else think "M Rated Pokemon" is a pretty good description of the Persona system?
M Rated Pokemon with an awesome plot describes Nocturne for sure.

Definitely doesn't describe DDS though

I think M-Rated Earthbound with Superheroesque Summon Spells describes Persona better.
 

Susan Arendt

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unangbangkay said:
Don't new 80gb PS3s come with software-based backwards compatibility? The PS website has a compatibility list for 80gb (60gbs have near-perfect hardware BC, heh) models, and Persona 3 FES is on that list. From that I assume that Persona 4 would also fit.
Sadly, no, the newest models have no BC. *hugs her 60gb PS3. Oh, my little PS3, I love you so...
 

Susan Arendt

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Susan Arendt said:
unangbangkay said:
Don't new 80gb PS3s come with software-based backwards compatibility? The PS website has a compatibility list for 80gb (60gbs have near-perfect hardware BC, heh) models, and Persona 3 FES is on that list. From that I assume that Persona 4 would also fit.
Sadly, no, the newest models have no BC. *hugs her 60gb PS3. Oh, my little PS3, I love you so...
you r a Lucky bastard, Australia where they NEVER released the BC PS3.

Hey I wonder if I put a PS2 emulator on my PS3 will it be BC?
 

PedroSteckecilo

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Susan Arendt said:
unangbangkay said:
Don't new 80gb PS3s come with software-based backwards compatibility? The PS website has a compatibility list for 80gb (60gbs have near-perfect hardware BC, heh) models, and Persona 3 FES is on that list. From that I assume that Persona 4 would also fit.
Sadly, no, the newest models have no BC. *hugs her 60gb PS3. Oh, my little PS3, I love you so...
I didn't think any of the PS3's could be counted as little...
 

Susan Arendt

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PedroSteckecilo said:
Susan Arendt said:
unangbangkay said:
Don't new 80gb PS3s come with software-based backwards compatibility? The PS website has a compatibility list for 80gb (60gbs have near-perfect hardware BC, heh) models, and Persona 3 FES is on that list. From that I assume that Persona 4 would also fit.
Sadly, no, the newest models have no BC. *hugs her 60gb PS3. Oh, my little PS3, I love you so...
I didn't think any of the PS3's could be counted as little...
It's a honkin' behemoth, to be honest - far heavier than the brand new 80 gb we just bought for the office - but I loveses it.
 

The Eaten Cake

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PedroSteckecilo said:
*sigh* and I won't get a chance to play it until friday evening...

Stupid Canadian release date delays.
You should be happy. I have to wait till next frigging Spring for this game, which is undoubtedly a masterpiece if it's anything as enveloping as P3.
 

PedroSteckecilo

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The Eaten Cake said:
PedroSteckecilo said:
*sigh* and I won't get a chance to play it until friday evening...

Stupid Canadian release date delays.
You should be happy. I have to wait till next frigging Spring for this game, which is undoubtedly a masterpiece if it's anything as enveloping as P3.
So far it's pretty awesome... though the new main character is kinda funny lookin.
 

The Eaten Cake

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PedroSteckecilo said:
The Eaten Cake said:
PedroSteckecilo said:
*sigh* and I won't get a chance to play it until friday evening...

Stupid Canadian release date delays.
You should be happy. I have to wait till next frigging Spring for this game, which is undoubtedly a masterpiece if it's anything as enveloping as P3.
So far it's pretty awesome... though the new main character is kinda funny lookin.
Ah, you taunt me! Although, I should really finish P3 before I complain about this not being out here. The Hanged Man is damn frustrating.
 

Lvl 64 Klutz

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So I went to the mall today, and after finding out the game was sold out in Gamestop, and Best Buy had only one copy left, I said 'screw it!' to my stingy side, snagged it, and put the $40 on my Credit Card. I mean, I knew Susan was right about this title going fast, but I never thought THIS fast.

I felt a little guilty, but not after playing it for a few hours. This plot is already even more compelling than Persona 3's.
 

Woe Is You

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That supplement video had me laughing when Susan was describing the enemies.

It sounds extremely interesting. Shame I don't have a PS2 anymore.
 

Neon Orange Ninja

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I got intrested in the series when a freind showed me Persona 3. About a week later, I ran to my local game store to pick up FES. All in all it was the best 30 bucks i've ever spent on a game.

Can't wait for P4, by the looks of it, It seems to feel alot like persona 3 but in more of a rural setting.
 

PedroSteckecilo

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Lvl 64 Klutz said:
So I went to the mall today, and after finding out the game was sold out in Gamestop, and Best Buy had only one copy left, I said 'screw it!' to my stingy side, snagged it, and put the $40 on my Credit Card. I mean, I knew Susan was right about this title going fast, but I never thought THIS fast.

I felt a little guilty, but not after playing it for a few hours. This plot is already even more compelling than Persona 3's.
Rule #1 of JRPG collecting...

Always buy atlus games as soon as they come out. They don't last long.
 

Susan Arendt

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Jan 9, 2007
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The Eaten Cake said:
You should be happy. I have to wait till next frigging Spring for this game.
Why not buy an NTSC machine on eBay? I got one for £30 including two controllers and four memory cards. There are tons of awesome games which have never been released over here: Xenosaga 1 & 3, Raw Danger, Radiata Stories, Suikoden 3, Tales of the Abyss, Eternal Poison, Growlanser Generations, Katamari Damacy, Xenogears (PSX), Valkyrie Profile (PSX), Chrono Cross (PSX)...

Not to mention that each game is 60Hz by default. Final Fantasy X is like a totally different game. Ditto Onimusha.
 

twilinova07

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i cant wait to get this for christmas. sounds like such a bizzare and wonderful experience.

ill miss the whole evoker pistol method of summoning. i thought that was a very cool idea. although i was probably pretty morbid at that time...
 

Susan Arendt

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DarkRyter said:
They still make games for the PS2?

That old guy still has some spark, I guess.
The PS2 can go Toe-to-Toe with the new gen consoles, and it STILL has exclusives made for it.
 

PedroSteckecilo

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I'm 13 hours in and loving this, my only disappointment is that upping your stats is tough and getting new equipment is annoying. Definitely pleased with the story though.
 

rizo536

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Onmi said:
Like Thanatos, Satan (THAT Satan) and Messiah.
I remember taking a lot of time to make Thanatos. Alice and Lilith...sheesh. Then, when I finally got all the right personas, I sat for about half an hour just trying to give him a move-set that didn't have more than three Instant Death moves. (I aimed for Mudoon, Please Die!, and Hamaon) It was pure, unadulterated pain. Oh, but the payoff... And don't even get me started on Asura.

By the way, I will never, ever, attain Orpheus Telos. I can't imagine the torture that would be.
 

NewClassic_v1legacy

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PedroSteckecilo said:
Rule #1 of JRPG collecting...

Always buy atlus games as soon as they come out[sup]1[/sup]. They don't last long.
1. All rules have exceptions, this one included [http://www.gamerevolution.com/review/sony/rhapsody].
 

Calamity

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My one and only complaint with this game is the fact you NEED to look at a guide on the last leg of the game if you plan to get any kind of worthwhile ending.

I would be fine with it if they hid just the true ending, but holy crap, getting anything above the bad endings requires some really obscure things, and no hints that you need to do them.
 

Susan Arendt

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I spent twenty minutes fighting a particularly bitchy boss this weekend. Finally had him down to a sliver of health and then BAM! He throws a bitchy one-hit-kill spell that misses everyone but me.

Yeah, there was some swearing and some switching off of the PS3 in disgust.
 

PedroSteckecilo

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Susan Arendt said:
I spent twenty minutes fighting a particularly bitchy boss this weekend. Finally had him down to a sliver of health and then BAM! He throws a bitchy one-hit-kill spell that misses everyone but me.

Yeah, there was some swearing and some switching off of the PS3 in disgust.
Stupid Hama/Mudo skills, always work against the main character, never work against the enemies, even when it's their weakness.

I play it on easy/beginner specifically because of the occasional cheap ass move by the enemies.
 

The Eaten Cake

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harhol said:
The Eaten Cake said:
You should be happy. I have to wait till next frigging Spring for this game.
Why not buy an NTSC machine on eBay? I got one for £30 including two controllers and four memory cards. There are tons of awesome games which have never been released over here: Xenosaga 1 & 3, Raw Danger, Radiata Stories, Suikoden 3, Tales of the Abyss, Eternal Poison, Growlanser Generations, Katamari Damacy, Xenogears (PSX), Valkyrie Profile (PSX), Chrono Cross (PSX)...

Not to mention that each game is 60Hz by default. Final Fantasy X is like a totally different game. Ditto Onimusha.
I already bought a Swap Magic for that purpose, and I own Tales of the Abyss. I have a slight problem of having exactly no pounds in my money reserves.
 

1-800-STFU

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Some of these bosses whip your ass badly at first. Also during the 4th tv world a norm shadow did 350 with one hit.....

If he hit my main char I would have punted a small animal.

I love how each is themed differently, alot better than P3's giant 200+ single tower. Also so far....no fucking neon level. My retinas are still recovering from that.

I am about 18 hours in right now. Probably hit it up for another 5-6 tonight now that I am finished with finals.
 

1-800-STFU

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harhol said:
The Eaten Cake said:
You should be happy. I have to wait till next frigging Spring for this game.
Why not buy an NTSC machine on eBay? I got one for £30 including two controllers and four memory cards. There are tons of awesome games which have never been released over here: Xenosaga 1 & 3, Raw Danger, Radiata Stories, Suikoden 3, Tales of the Abyss, Eternal Poison, Growlanser Generations, Katamari Damacy, Xenogears (PSX), Valkyrie Profile (PSX), Chrono Cross (PSX)...

Not to mention that each game is 60Hz by default. Final Fantasy X is like a totally different game. Ditto Onimusha.
PS emulators are your friend......
 

Tsumi91

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I'm about 15 hours in and I like it more for the most part except:
The card shuffle when you win the battle(in some ways I don't care for it).

I do like being able to give direct commands
I like not being on the clock as much as the old game(full moon).

However, I don't feel the characters are as deep as those of P3FES(at least not yet...). I did spend 100 hours on Persona 3(and another 35 on FES, which I didn't finish because of the damn key battles).
 

antipunt

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wow I LOVE YOU FOR THIS. P3 and P4 are close to my favorite games of all time (thus far). Very glad you like P4 Susan!

But yes, the battles can be unforgiving at times. Instant KO FTW yea?

and man yea, Teddy is unBEARable... how freaking emBEARassing can he get? how BEARy .. (OK i'll stop)..
 

Gerazzi

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I like to jump into the action though.
doesn't sound like the game for me.
 

SD-Fiend

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I wish I could play any of the persona games but I don't own a ps anything