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Anyone playing Persona 4?

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Anyone playing Persona 4?

Old 02-04-09, 06:18 PM
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Anyone playing Persona 4?



It came out a couple of months ago ... only for the PS2 (not PS3). The game includes a bonus soundtrack CD. This series is highly regarded in JRPG circles, and I know there was some interest here in Persona 3 (thread is here: http://forum.dvdtalk.com/video-game-...rsona-3-a.html ). It does seem to be a series for more "hardcore" gamers: the difficulty level is high, they're extremely long (100+ hours), the graphics are relatively primitive (early PS2-level), and they're very ... uhh ... Japanese. That's not meant as an insult. I just mean the games have a cultural flavor to them that may limit the appeal to non-Japanese (though I find exposure to the culture fascinating, and one of things that makes this series stand out for me).

I'm underway with P4 ... about 16 hours in. I'm still in May (the games starts in mid-April, and I think it runs for an entire year), so I have a long ways to go. So far, so good. If anyone has played P3, this will look extremely familiar. Graphics and gameplay are almost identical. There are some little tweaks. You can completely control everyone in your party, which really helps out strategy-wise. In addition to S-links powering up your persona fusions, it also gives your teammates bonus attacks. The best of which is that, once a battle, they'll dive in front of you saving you from a killing blow. And with the difficulty so far, I've needed it. Another nice addition to battle is a "guard" option: you can't attack, but it lowers the damage done and prevents critical hits. Very nice when you know an enemy is powering up for a super attack, or a certain party member is very vulnerable to a certain elemental attack. You're still fighting shadows, some of which have exactly the same weaknesses are in P3 ... though the story explanation for shadows is completely different. Instead of Tartarus you explore a TV-world. The dungeons are better designed. Instead of one giant dungeon, you have multiple smaller ones ... each with a specific look and theme depending upon the boss. You have more skills to raise, and there seem to be more places where those skills come into play. Your character can get jobs, earning more money, raising skills, and/or enhancing S-links ... and it gives you something to do most nights (a drawback of P3 is that you quickly ran out of useful things to do in the evening if you didn't want to fight). The gameworld is about the same size.

One change from P3 that has some people upset is the introduction of regular mission time limits. In P3, you had those "full moon" bosses that would open up the next level of Tartarus. There wasn't really anything specific you had to do, aside from being prepared for them. But in P4, there are regular missions you have to complete by a certain calendar date. If you miss the date ... game over. I've had a couple of these deadline missions, and so far the time limit is generous.

So far I'm liking it. Since it's so similar to P3, that would really be a gauge to see if you'd like this or not. But the characters and story are completely different ... and that was where a lot of the appeal of P3 came from. I've read some complaints that the NPCs are too similar to those from P3. So far, I don't really see anything wrong. Like in P3, the gameplay is addictive. You keep pushing to play one more day, until you've spent far more time playing than you intended. Here's the trailer:

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Old 02-04-09, 06:28 PM
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Re: Anyone playing Persona 4?

The problem i had with p3 was the dungeon. Way too repetitive and bland looking. Every floor looks very similar. I heard there's more than one dungeon this time. Is each one different looking this time around?
Old 02-04-09, 06:30 PM
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Re: Anyone playing Persona 4?

I have this disorder, where I pick up sequels to games I haven't finished yet, but I can't play the sequel until I finish the first game. Luckily, Persona 2 wasn't readily available before Persona 3 was, or I'd still be stuck on that...

I wouldn't call it early PS2 graphics... but yeah, it's not a graphical powerhouse, and I, for one, am glad that they didn't just kick it up to the PS3 just for the sake of it like the Disgaea franchise.
Old 02-04-09, 06:56 PM
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Re: Anyone playing Persona 4?

Originally Posted by mhg83 View Post
The problem i had with p3 was the dungeon. Way too repetitive and bland looking. Every floor looks very similar. I heard there's more than one dungeon this time. Is each one different looking this time around?
So far I've been in 2 dungeons. One had a medieval look, and the other one was like a gigantic bathhouse. They were about 8 levels, with each level seeming a little simpler than the ones in Tartarus. It's still corridors, rooms, stairs, and fighting shadows. Though its a bit better. The "boss" makes a few appearances on the way to the top, making the trek upward more interesting. Also, you can automatically teleport to the highest level you were on last, rather than be limited to teleporters (which might only be on every 10-15 levels in P3).

Though it's early for me. I just hope there isn't much level grinding. I don't mind fighting monsters to work my way through a dungeon. But I hate it when the game seems to expect you to repeating fight respawning monsters, to get the power needed to beat the next boss. My opinion is that if you're strong enough to defeat the minions to make to the boss, then the difficulty should be balanced that you should be able to beat the boss as-is.
Old 02-04-09, 11:37 PM
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Re: Anyone playing Persona 4?

I wanna play this game so bad partly cuz it's gotten the most uniformly positive reviews from critics and gamers alike in awhile. It's hard to plunk down $40 for a ps2 game though.
Old 02-05-09, 08:17 AM
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Re: Anyone playing Persona 4?

I received a copy for Christmas but haven't started it yet. I will be soon though since I recently finished my replay of Suikoden.
Old 02-05-09, 08:57 PM
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Re: Anyone playing Persona 4?

I have started it and love what I have played, but I am still playing Persona 3 and want to really put that one behind me before playing more Persona 4. I personally think Persona 3 FES and Persona 4 were two of the best games available in 2008. The fact it is a PS2 game doesn't matter when it blows away most of the stuff I played on 360 and PS3.
Old 02-06-09, 09:20 AM
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Re: Anyone playing Persona 4?

You really need to give this game a chance to get into it. I started it last night and it took 2 hours to get to my first actual fight. There's a lot of reading and no playing at the beginning. I would have been nice if you could at least control the character during the first few days other than in his house.
Old 02-06-09, 02:02 PM
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Re: Anyone playing Persona 4?

I was playing it, but I was paying much attention to max social links which made it not really fun or spontaneous, so I'm going to try to continue without looking at that.

The dungeons are not all the same like in the last game. Also (so far at least) if you go to the dungeon you go during the day (then you go home to bed), so you can't really do social links those days when you do the dungeon, which makes a little pressure as far as what to do.

The other big changes are that you don't get tired, but mana doesn't regenerate when you save, and you can't buy a whole lot of mana regenerating stuff, so mana is really the thing limiting you in dungeons--on a plus side, when you leave a dungeon, then go back (even after some time passes), it lets you continue on whatever floor you left off.

Last edited by Ginwen; 02-06-09 at 04:55 PM.
Old 02-06-09, 03:52 PM
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Re: Anyone playing Persona 4?

It sounds like most of the problems i had with p3 have been fixed. I'll definitely pick this one up. Does anyone know if there'll be a price drop anytime soon?
Old 02-09-09, 11:30 AM
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Re: Anyone playing Persona 4?

Can anyone give some advice on beating the optional 2nd boss at the end of the 1st dungeon? My team is level 17 as are my Persona's and he's kicking my ass.

Also, will I be able to go back and fight him whenever or is there a time limit? I'm on April 30th right now and I don't want to leave to end the day if I can't go back to fight him again.
Old 02-09-09, 01:03 PM
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Re: Anyone playing Persona 4?

Originally Posted by noonan4224 View Post
Can anyone give some advice on beating the optional 2nd boss at the end of the 1st dungeon? My team is level 17 as are my Persona's and he's kicking my ass.

Also, will I be able to go back and fight him whenever or is there a time limit? I'm on April 30th right now and I don't want to leave to end the day if I can't go back to fight him again.
It's only the required bosses you have to beat by the deadline. You can go back to old dungeons to beat the extra bosses (but if you do, you have to start back at the first level of any dungeon you are in the middle of)--I just had to talk to whoever's dungeon it was when I was in the TV to go back to it. Usually you have to go back anyway because there are quest items you need from the old dungeons (various statues in that first dungeon). I was around 27 when I beat the optional boss in that first dungeon so it was pretty easy, I expect it is just a level thing.
Old 02-09-09, 06:31 PM
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Re: Anyone playing Persona 4?

Originally Posted by Ginwen View Post
The dungeons are not all the same like in the last game. Also (so far at least) if you go to the dungeon you go during the day (then you go home to bed), so you can't really do social links those days when you do the dungeon, which makes a little pressure as far as what to do.

The other big changes are that you don't get tired, but mana doesn't regenerate when you save, and you can't buy a whole lot of mana regenerating stuff, so mana is really the thing limiting you in dungeons--on a plus side, when you leave a dungeon, then go back (even after some time passes), it lets you continue on whatever floor you left off.
Yeah, I'm not sure I like the removal of the mana recharge we had in P3. With the time-deadline and afternoon dungeon crawling, I'm feeling the need to maximize the productivity of my tv trips. I can completely see people getting screwed as fog day approaches - either because they need to level some more, or they ran out of mana. Does anyone know if the fox might eventually recharge mana (if you increase that s-link enough)?

I did find a few other sources for mana recharge that some of you may not have noticed:
Spoiler:
Buy cans from the soda machines in the shopping section. They recharge 10 and 20 SPs. They run out (taking a few days to refill) and you can't use them during battle. But bumping up your mana before a boss fight makes all the difference in the world. And keep an eye on Takana's Sunday show ... a couple of times he's offered nice packages of mana potions.


Is it possible to "break" s-links like in P3? There's no mention of it in the manual. As the s-links pile up, it's easy to loose track of some of them (and maybe ignore it too long). I'm getting close to the summer break - if it's like P3, I might not be able to attend to certain s-links for weeks (game time).
Old 02-09-09, 07:15 PM
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Re: Anyone playing Persona 4?

The fox recharges mana, it's expensive but gets cheaper as S-Link goes up. The mana not recharging makes it a lot more challenging for me, at least so far. Also there's a ton of grinding to get high enough for the bosses, but I don't really mind that.

I'm not sure about breaking social links, doesn't seem like I can so far--I have a few girls at a pretty high level and none of them has gotten pissed at me even when I blow them off for a long time.

Last edited by Ginwen; 02-09-09 at 07:18 PM.
Old 02-25-09, 01:55 AM
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Re: Anyone playing Persona 4?

I just finished! It's certainly at least as good as P3. The murder-mystery aspect is pretty good, offering some nice twists, surprises, and red herrings. And the characters are well fleshed-out, and there are some surprisingly moving sequences.

The issue with the mana recharge was not a factor ... once I got that s-link at 5 I would make more money scouring the dungeon than it cost for fox to recharge mana. And since (unlike P3) you never get tired, it was pretty easy to clear out a dungeon in 1 go. Which leaves you more time for s-links on the other afternoons.

Maybe its because I'm a veteran of P3, but I didn't find this too hard (especially in the second half of the game). As long as my level was about the same as the shadows on the highest level of the dungeon, the bosses were very manageable. There were very few multi-shadow boss fights (which I found toughest in P3). Deep into the game, between the strong accessories and personas I would be strong against practically everything a boss could throw at me. So I rarely died.

I managed to see all three endings. Be careful ... it's actually pretty easy to not get the best one. The "bad" ending is annoying, because there's a ton of dialog and cut-scenes before that part where you can retry things. It should be obvious that you screwed up if you get it, although I've read some people actually thought the game ended (and were pissed because the ending was so weak). You really want to experience the best ending (which opens up a new dungeon and the toughest boss in the game), and the things you have to do aren't obvious. Without spoiling anything, make sure you save before you do anything that might end the game. That way if you miss it (only getting the average ending), its easy to go back and try again.

And be careful about searching the internet about P4 before you finish. I noticed that its easy to have massive spoilers pop up in your search results, even if you weren't specifically looking for something that involves that spoiler.

I managed to max out a lot of s-links. In retrospect, I could've been better too. Those rainy days really suck ... nobody wants to hang with my dude Well, except the drama club (which I picked over band since the girl in band looked like she was wearing clown make-up). And there's a certain s-link character that disappears - if you didn't max out the relationship by then, you never will. Maxing out the fox pissed me off:
Spoiler:
for the life of me, I just couldn't catch that guardian fish. I read spoilers and everything for tips. I just tried and tried and couldn't do it. After wasting about 2 hours I gave up. Which is a shame, because a maxed out fox would allow you to pray at the shrine on rainy days to boost other relationships. That would've been a huge help maxing out more s-links.
Old 02-25-09, 10:28 AM
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Re: Anyone playing Persona 4?

I'm at the boss at the end of the Void dungeon and he's annoying me. I fought him for a half hour last night only for him to get an incredibly lucky string of critical hits and group magic someone in my party was weak to. He ended up getting about 6 attacks in a row which took out my entire party who were all at full life. And I think I'm over-leveled at level 45.
Old 02-25-09, 10:59 AM
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Re: Anyone playing Persona 4?

Originally Posted by noonan4224 View Post
I'm at the boss at the end of the Void dungeon and he's annoying me. I fought him for a half hour last night only for him to get an incredibly lucky string of critical hits and group magic someone in my party was weak to. He ended up getting about 6 attacks in a row which took out my entire party who were all at full life. And I think I'm over-leveled at level 45.
That was one of the toughest battles (and the last point in the game that I think I actually died). Dungeon design was really nice ... "old school" all the way!!! Sometimes there's not much you can do when the enemy gets a lucky string of criticals. What party composition do you have? I think I used Teddy and Yukiko (along with Yosuke)- both have strong group healing, good offense, and Teddy's ennervate cure came in handy in that fight. Do you have your party members equipped with the best possible accessories? Having them equipped with items that give extra evasion to the element they're weak against can be a big help against those critical hits.
Old 02-25-09, 11:20 AM
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Re: Anyone playing Persona 4?

Originally Posted by brainee View Post
That was one of the toughest battles (and the last point in the game that I think I actually died). Dungeon design was really nice ... "old school" all the way!!! Sometimes there's not much you can do when the enemy gets a lucky string of criticals. What party composition do you have? I think I used Teddy and Yukiko (along with Yosuke)- both have strong group healing, good offense, and Teddy's ennervate cure came in handy in that fight. Do you have your party members equipped with the best possible accessories? Having them equipped with items that give extra evasion to the element they're weak against can be a big help against those critical hits.
I have them all maxed on equipment and have beaten the 2nd bosses for all previous dungeons. The first time I fought him I used Yukiko but her persona is weak to ice so he took me out quickly getting a 2nd attack on almost every turn. This 2nd time, I sub'd her for Teddie. Everything was going fine until that lucky string he got. I'd say two more rounds and he would have been dead.
Old 02-25-09, 01:14 PM
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Re: Anyone playing Persona 4?

Originally Posted by noonan4224 View Post
I have them all maxed on equipment and have beaten the 2nd bosses for all previous dungeons. The first time I fought him I used Yukiko but her persona is weak to ice so he took me out quickly getting a 2nd attack on almost every turn. This 2nd time, I sub'd her for Teddie. Everything was going fine until that lucky string he got. I'd say two more rounds and he would have been dead.
Sounds like you're right there. Like I said ... for the party level, I think this was one of the toughest fights of the game (even compared to the "big bad" at the very end). Don't be stingy with your items. You've probably got a bunch of stuff that buffs you up, protects you, or hurts the enemy. Use them. If you've got any personas with mind/power charge, use that too. Even though the description says it doubles damage the next round (which makes it sound like a pointless skill, instead of just attacking twice), the damage increase is more like 2.5x. They're essential skills for bosses with huge hit point totals. At your level, I know you can fuse a persona with Mind Charge + Agidyne.

A little strategy spoiler regarding your allies elemental weaknesses:
Spoiler:
here's another place where maxing out the s-links is huge - their personas upgrade and they all lose the weakness.

Last edited by brainee; 02-25-09 at 01:17 PM.
Old 02-25-09, 03:21 PM
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Re: Anyone playing Persona 4?

I'll have to try using more items. I do have a bunch and really only use the ones that give back SP. I have a Dia with Agidyne. I used that attack every turn. I'm not sure if I have Mind Charge.
Old 02-27-09, 05:19 PM
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Re: Anyone playing Persona 4?

I just received my copy of P4 today from the Amazon DoTD $25.98 offer, and to my surprise, it came with a full size (roughly 8"x11") 100 page Art book, much nicer than the DVD case sized art book that came with P3 FES. I'm going to keep it tucked away until my daughter finishes up P3.
Old 02-28-09, 11:10 PM
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Re: Anyone playing Persona 4?

Originally Posted by PerryD View Post
I just received my copy of P4 today from the Amazon DoTD $25.98 offer, and to my surprise, it came with a full size (roughly 8"x11") 100 page Art book, much nicer than the DVD case sized art book that came with P3 FES. I'm going to keep it tucked away until my daughter finishes up P3.
Just got my copy with the artbook as well. Very nice deal. I'll start this up tomorrow. Cant wait
Old 03-03-09, 10:13 AM
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Re: Anyone playing Persona 4?

I finally beat the boss of the Void Dungeon last night. I'm hoping I can finish this one up by next week sometime.
Old 03-20-09, 02:49 PM
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Re: Anyone playing Persona 4?

I'm now on the boss of the Heaven dungeon and he is kicking my ass. Even after grinding to 5 levels higher from the 1st time I fought him, I still only got him down to about half life before he got a few lucky attacks in a row to take out the main character. I have everyone at level 65 or 66.

My biggest gripe with this game is that if the main character dies in a fight, it's Game Over. Kinda sucks when I have a revive spell I could use.
Old 03-22-09, 05:04 AM
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Re: Anyone playing Persona 4?

Originally Posted by noonan4224 View Post
I'm now on the boss of the Heaven dungeon and he is kicking my ass. Even after grinding to 5 levels higher from the 1st time I fought him, I still only got him down to about half life before he got a few lucky attacks in a row to take out the main character. I have everyone at level 65 or 66.
Hmmm ... you should be plenty strong enough. As is obvious, keeping the main character alive is crucial. Keep a persona equipped that doesn't have any elemental weaknesses. That way you don't get critical hit. Then the MC can't be hit more than once in a round, and if you're keeping close tabs on your HP you shouldn't die. And at this point, either Teddy or Yukiko should have Mediarahan (fully heal entire party). One of those 2 should be in your party. I don't even mess around with HP levels in these long boss battles. If anyone (especially the MC) has any decent damage done to them, I let the healer do their thing. Even if it's practically every round. Be patient, and you'll grind the boss down. Again, Mind/Power charge to up the damage, and don't forget to buff up your party (attacks, defense).

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