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Persona 4

Experience Points .08: Persona 4

Mar 21 // Ben Davis
The hard-kicking heroine The best thing about Persona 4 is its huge cast of interesting, colorful characters. There aren't really any characters I particularly dislike, aside from the ones you're supposed to hate (Morooka and Kashiwagi, for instance). Everyone has their own favorite Persona 4 character, but I've always been particularly fond of Chie Satonaka. Chie is one of the protagonist's classmates, and one of the first people he meets at his new school. She's very energetic, friendly, and upbeat. She loves watching kung fu movies and eating all kinds of meat (especially steak!), and she can kick foes into oblivion with her signature Galactic Punt move. Like, she can actually send giant robots and tanks flying into outer space with just her foot. She's amazing! She's also one of the characters the protagonist can date. Chie is so charming that I always end up dating her every time I play Persona 4, rather than seeing how any of the other girls would react. The way she says, "I love you," at the end of her social link just makes my heart melt. You're the best, Chie! I'll face myself Persona 4's shadow bosses are pretty crazy. Chie's shadow takes the form of a yellow-clad dominatrix sitting atop a tower of pale girls, Rise's shadow is a rainbow stripper squelching around on a pole, and Yosuke's shadow... well I don't even know what the heck he's supposed to be. The shadows are supposed to represent the characters' repressed thoughts and emotions, so they can get a little awkward. Arguably the craziest shadow is that of Kanji Tatsumi. Kanji is the tough guy of the group; he shouts and gets in fights a lot, and generally maintains a street punk facade. His shadow is an entirely different story. Shadow Kanji is essentially a homosexual stereotype: feminine, flamboyant, speaks with a lisp, hangs out in bathhouses. It's very unexpected, based on Kanji's demeanor, and he seems to find it very embarrassing and offensive. Unsurprisingly, he denies that the shadow is really a part of him. Then Shadow Kanji changes, taking the form of a massive, muscular dude, decorated with roses and wielding two huge, metal male symbols as weapons, with two other bodybuilders at his side for support. Whoa. It's extremely absurd, super awkward, and yet it was my favorite boss fight in the game. Having dealt with issues of sexuality and being in the closet myself, I sort of understood what Kanji seemed to be going through. It can be a very confusing time, with conflicting ideas in the media and from peers about how a person should or shouldn't behave based on their gender. It creates this amalgamation of bad thoughts and confusing ideas, which could lead to something like Kanji's shadow lingering in the back of one's mind, which they try to hide and push back as far as possible so no one finds out. Even though the shadow was an extreme, ridiculous example of those thoughts, it was still something I could relate to, which is why it left such a huge impression on me. This was the first time I'd played a game that tried to tackle these issues, and I really appreciated the attempt. A game within a game If there's one thing Persona 4 lacks, it's dungeon variety. Sure, there's a bunch of different themed areas, like a bathhouse, a strip club, and a secret laboratory, but they all start to feel like palette swaps for the same basic dungeon layout after a while. However, there was one dungeon that really stood out to me: Mitsuo Kubo's Void Quest dungeon. Void Quest is built to resemble an 8-bit videogame, with chiptunes-inspired music and lots of little references to old JRPGs. There's so many neat little touches in this dungeon that I can't help but enjoy myself while I'm wandering around the randomized floors. The entrance appears as a title screen, with the words "Game Start" and "Continue" hovering in midair. The doors open with this delightfully clunky animation and sound effect. On each new floor, Mitsuo's thoughts read like text from an RPG, and he even "levels up" with attributes like "coolness increases by 3" and "emptiness increases by 8." The boss fight against Shadow Mitsuo even plays out like an old 8-bit turn-based battle, with command menus that pop up whenever he attacks. I could tell the level designers really had fun with this area, and it paid off. Even though it was basically still a palette-swapped dungeon layout like the rest (with the occasional unique floor which required puzzle-solving), it managed to be exciting and memorable just through style alone. Bear-y funny, Teddie Wanna know the main reason to play Persona 4? Bear puns. Teddie is so full of bear puns it's almost unbearable. Every other line is "bear this" or "bear that," but you just have to bear with it. He's a beary useful member of the party, at least. You'll bearly be able to keep up with his bear-sona bearing down on you. If he ever starts going bear-serk, you bear-ter watch out! God, these puns are awful (kuma)... For real though, Teddie is awesome. Bear puns and all. Sensei don't fear the reaper I had no idea the Reaper was a thing in Persona 4 until I randomly stumbled upon it during my second playthrough. While exploring Yukiko's castle dungeon, I came across a suspicious chest. Upon examing the chest, a creepy message flashed across the screen: "You sense an intensely terrifying presence... open this box?" I hesitated, but I was really curious about what that meant exactly, so I said yes. Suddenly, my navigator chimed in, warning me not to open it. It then prompted me again: "Will you really open it?" I was a little too nervous at this point. I expected something powerful and scary, and I hadn't leveled up very much yet. I decided to walk away and try again some other time. The next time I found the suspicious chest was in Mitsuo's Void Quest dungeon. I'd leveled up quite a bit since the castle, so I decided to give it a shot and finally opened the chest. Out popped the Reaper, a creepy, masked monster covered in chains and tattered rags, wielding two revolvers with super long barrels. I loved his design, and his guns were like the coolest looking weapons I've ever seen. Unfortunately, he was way too powerful for me, and he quickly killed my entire team within a few turns. Well, so much for that... I challenged him again in the Magatsu Inaba dungeon, and after an intensely difficult, grueling battle, I finally managed to defeat him! I was rewarded with the Blade of Totsuka, the protagonist's strongest weapon. I later found out it's possible to challenge the Reaper multiple times, in order to get the most powerful weapons and armor for each character. I didn't go through the trouble of finding everything, but I did at least get the best weapons for my three other main party members: Teddie, Kanji, and Chie. They definitely felt well-deserved, after battling such a formidable opponent. It came from the Dojimas' refrigerator There's a lot of things to do in Persona 4 to spend time during the day or increase stats. One such activity involves raiding the refrigerator at home for snacks. Seems pretty straightforward, but the Dojima residence's fridge is a mysterious thing. Sometimes the protagonist will find normal things in the fridge, like melon soda or shortcake. But other times, he'll find things that are quite worrisome... A pot full of grass? Unidentified mushrooms? An alarm clock?! He can also eat Nanako's pudding, like a big jerk. Tasting these weird discoveries can raise his courage stat, but sometimes it'll send him to bed sick, unable to do anything else that night. The best part about the fridge finds is the wording, though, with prompts like, "A single slice of ham lies lonely on a paper plate. Something about it disturbs you..." and "There's a brown spherical object in the depths of the fridge. You think it used to be a pear... Eat it?" I never knew what to expect when I opened the refrigerator door. It's simultaneously frightening and hilarious. I'm not sure I'd be brave enough to eat anything that came from the Dojimas' fridge after seeing some of the things they keep in there... Helping out the hanged man One of Persona 4's biggest draws is its Social Links system. Social Links are the relationships formed between the protagonist and other various characters in the game. Spending time with friends will strengthen the Social Links, granting the protagonist and his party members greater skills in battle. It's also a chance to learn more about the characters and their backstories. All of the Social Links are interesting, but I think my favorite one is the Hanged Man Arcana, Naoki Konishi. The protagonist's relationship with Naoki starts off pretty rough. Naoki is the younger brother of Saki Konishi, who was one of the murder victims towards the beginning of the game. Still coping with his sister's death, Naoki lashes out at the protagonist when they first meet, telling him quite plainly that he hates him. Even though he came off as incredibly rude, I really felt bad for the guy. I kept trying to talk to him whenever I saw him in the hallway at school, even though he didn't want anything to do with me. Eventually, he came around and decided to chat with me, and apologized for his previous rudeness. Through Naoki's Social Link, the player gets to learn about how someone might deal with the death of a loved one, how other people might treat that person, and how their behavior and gossip can make the mourner feel alienated. I felt a lot of empathy for Naoki and just wanted to make him feel better by being there for him and lending an ear to listen to his troubles. Towards the end, he's finally able to let loose and cry, and share some fond memories of his sister, and he thanks the protagonist for being so friendly. It's a really sad story, but sometimes the saddest moments are the ones that stick in your mind the most. That's why Naoki's Social Link was by far the most memorable to me. Past Experience Points .01: The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask.02: Shadow of the Colossus.03: EarthBound.04: Catherine.05: Demon's Souls.06: No More Heroes.07: Paper Mario
Persona 4 highlights photo
I am a shadow... the true self
Experience Points is a series in which I highlight some of the most memorable things about a particular game. These can include anything from a specific scene or moment, a character, a weapon or item, a level or location, a p...

Rise's idol rival photo
Rise's idol rival

Persona 4: Dancing All Night's new dancer is Kanami Mashita


Rise's idol rival
Mar 09
// Steven Hansen
Persona 4: Dancing All Night has an additional playable character only referred to in passing during the game, Rise's idol successor Kanami Mashita.  I'm not sure why she's dressed like a clowned out Erica (or what's wi...
Rise trailer photo
Rise trailer

Rise is dancing all night in Persona 4's Vita rhythm game


Would you like to Dancing All Night with Rise?
Feb 24
// Steven Hansen
We are four months away from Persona 4: Dancing All Night's Japan release (and special edition Vita) and we've already seen and heard the lovely intro, so now what? Well, character trailers can be fun. Little tastes of the b...
Import it! photo
Import it!

Persona 4: Dancing All Night gets custom Vita in Japan


Also June release date
Feb 05
// Steven Hansen
Atlus has confirmed a June 25 release date for the Vita's Persona 4: Dancing All Night in Japan.  Alongside this is news of a couple special editions. The "crazy value pack" includes an illustration, two-...
New characters photo
New characters

Persona 4: Dancing All Night theme eases the wait for Persona 5 news


Listen to it here
Feb 04
// Steven Hansen
Okay, no big Persona 5 reveal yet. I am still completely, sincerely excited for the Persona 4 rhythm game and this amazing track, which we covered earlier today, is why. It's also worth listening to Japanese Teddy ...
Persona 4 Ultimax photo
Persona 4 Ultimax

Margaret, Marie, Adachi will be $5 DLC in Persona 4 Ultimax


Also, that initial shock at Margaret's new voice
Sep 26
// Steven Hansen
Marie and Adachi will be free to download for the first week of Persona 4 Arena Ultimax's release. On October 7, they revert to paid DLC, at which point the Sadistic Stud-Keeping Secretary of the Velvet Room, Margaret, will release as well. Each character will cost $5. 
Persona 4 Ultimax photo
Persona 4 Ultimax

Margaret is in Persona 4 Ultimax: Watch her casually kill everyone


Also, Adachi and Marie English trailers
Aug 22
// Steven Hansen
Here it is. Formerly rumored and now in butt kickin' video form, Margaret is making her way to Persona 4 Ultimax Arena's roster. Free-for-the-first-week DLC characters Adachi and Marie also got English trailers, below, ...
Persona 4 Arena photo
Persona 4 Arena

These Persona 4 Arena clothing items are expensive and not that cool-looking


The shirts look like iron-on transfers, actually
Aug 15
// Brittany Vincent
Harajuku's LHP fashion shop is displaying a line of Persona 4 Arena Ultimax-themed apparel and accessories, and it's all extremely expensive (6,000 yen/$58.50 for a t-shirt) and pretty ugly at that. Dengeki brings us a caval...
Tres bien! photo
Tres bien!

Persona 3's best character gets her Ultimax trailer


Tres bien!
Aug 08
// Steven Hansen
Let's celebrate the recent September 30 date for Persona 4 Arena: Ultimax with this trailer for Mitsuru. She's the best, despite her whacked out Arena costume. 
omgyoustupidjerk photo
omgyoustupidjerk

Persona 4 Arena Ultimax: One week free Marie DLC


omgyoustupidjerk
Jul 31
// Steven Hansen
The Hollow Forest Tsundere Poet, Marie, is in Persona 4 Ultimax as DLC. Atlus has now confirmed that, like Adachi, Marie will be freely available to download for the first week post-release. Following the first we...
Marie DLC video photo
Marie DLC video

Marie's persona in Persona 4 Ultimax is so pretty


Hollow Forest Tsundere Poet
Jul 24
// Steven Hansen
Beating on people with your handbag is less cool than beating on people with a folding chair, but it's still pretty cool. Also, throwing presents at them. Very sweet. Marie will be paid DLC for Persona 4 Ultimax. And can we talk about that music? So fun. 
Persona fighter photo
Persona fighter

Hollow Forest Tsundere Poet: Marie joins Persona 4 Ultimax as DLC


Also, lobby
Jul 16
// Steven Hansen
The waifu wars rage on as Marie joins the cast of the region free Persona 4 Ultimax. She is the second DLC character announced for the game. The first, Adachi, will be free for the first week of launch before revert...
Lesson learned photo
Lesson learned

Persona 4 Ultimax won't be region locked for North and South America


Uh, good
Jul 10
// Steven Hansen
After raising some ire region locking Persona 4 Arena (one of the only PS3 games that is region locked), Atlus decided that its follow up, set to release in the North and South America this fall, "will not be region locked for the Americas."  So this time around you European folk might consider importing instead of waiting on Atlus for a year to release it in Europe.
Persona x Seinfeld photo
Persona x Seinfeld

This Persona meets Seinfeld mock-up is making me thirsty


What's the deal with airline food?
Jul 08
// Brittany Vincent
Oh, SpacePirate Ridley. You are my hero. This Persona and Seinfeld crossover parody is what dreams are made of, and I can't wait to see more. Taken from the NeoGAF Persona Community Thread, the above still is the result of on...
Persona 4 premium edition photo
Persona 4 premium edition

I'm jealous of Persona 4 Ultimax's Japanese-only Premium Edition


First game's story and even more impressive Yu slip
Jul 07
// Steven Hansen
Here's a look at the slip cover that will adorn the Persona 4 Ultimax Premium Newcomer Package, which comes with the story from the first game so you don't have to go out of your way to catch up (it will also be sold sep...
Persona 4 Ultimax photo
Persona 4 Ultimax

Persona 4 Ultimax: Naoto & Kanji's Japanese voices are throwing me off


Two more Persona 4 Ultimax trailers
Jul 03
// Steven Hansen
The best Persona 4 character already got trailered, but I guess Atlus still needs to finish up. This week it's Kanji and Naoto, both with voice actors that are throwing me for a loop. It feels like it should've happened...
Persona 4 Ultimax photo
Persona 4 Ultimax

Persona 4's best character gets her Ultimax trailer


It's Chie
Jun 26
// Steven Hansen
When I came back to Persona 4 Arena with the intent of finally learning how to play a fighting game after abandoning it, I switched from Mitsuru to Chie. Because they are the best Persona characters. I lasted a bit longer, but my advancement was thwarted by Shadow Labrys (trailered below) and stupid fingers. 
 photo

This Persona 4 the Golden Animation trailer will make your happy


Starts streaming this July
Jun 26
// Dale North
Persona 4 the Golden Animation gets a new trailer today with subtitles from distributor Aniplex US. It starts out slow, but picks up with a new song and plenty of great things to look at. Too bad there isn't more on the rest...
Beary cool photo
Beary cool

Beary cool: Atlus streaming some Teddie Persona 4 Ultimax


Live now!
Jun 25
// Steven Hansen
Show starts in 15 minutes.  Hey, it's live now. And that's not Teddy at all. It's Rise. Still cool. 
Persona Q trailer photo
Persona Q trailer

Have a Persona Q E3 trailer to balance out the gruff and guns


Also, look at that Kanji face!!!
Jun 09
// Steven Hansen
I woke up at 4 in the morning, got on a plane, got to LA, and went straight to the press room with my luggage (too early for hotel check in) and then we started covering Microsoft's press conference. Watching this adorable Persona Q trailer was a nice breather. Don't forget to breathe.
Persona Ultimax videos photo
Persona Ultimax videos

Yukiko & Yosuke get Persona 4 Ultimax trailers


Brosuke bro-ing out
Jun 06
// Steven Hansen
I got so excited about Yu's Yul Brynner chest on the Persona 4 Ultimax box art that I almost missed new trailers for Yukiko and Yosuke. I never noticed this, but Yosuke's persona sort of looks like the frog navi the frog reporter uses in Mega Man Battle Network 2. Yeah, I like those games.
Persona Arena boxart photo
Persona Arena boxart

The Japanese box art for Persona 4 Ultimax is real good


More boxes like this, please
Jun 06
// Steven Hansen
This is the official box art for the Japanese release of Persona 4 Ultimax. It's pretty great, even with the best characters (Mitsuru and Chie) getting teeny billing. That Yul Brynner chest pose though.
Persona Q footage photo
Persona Q footage

Watch the first 40 minutes of Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth


3DSing all night
Jun 04
// Steven Hansen
Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth is out. In Japan. There is a lot of text to be translated before we get it this fall, as you can see for yourself. So the game opens with a decision. Great. Not paralyzing at all. To go the...
 photo

Adachi comes to Persona 4 Arena Ultimax as DLC


Adachi, baby.
Jun 03
// Dale North
No spoilers! Tohru Adachi, Persona 4's assistant detective and comic relief, makes his way to Persona 4 Arena Ultimax's roster as DLC that will be bundled with first-run copies of the game in Japan, according to the latest Famitsu. Gematsu says that he has his own Persona (Magatsu Izanagi) and will have his own story. Seriously, no spoilers!
Persona 4 pulled from PSN photo
Persona 4 pulled from PSN

Sony removes Persona 4 Arena from European PSN


...at Zen United's request
May 22
// Kyle MacGregor
European Atlus fans are rarely short on reasons to be upset. And today will be no different, as Persona 4 Arena has been unceremoniously pulled from the territory's PlayStation Store, according to Sony's Jawad Ashraf. &l...
Persona 4 Arena Ultimax photo
Persona 4 Arena Ultimax

Sho Minazuki cuts into his foes in Persona 4 Arena Ultimax


Have a slice of Sho.
May 22
// Brittany Vincent
Play as the maniacal Sho Minazuki in Persona 4 Arena Ultimax and sho everyone your moves. The latest character spotlight trailer for the upcoming Persona 4 fighter sho-cases Minazuki's repertoire off rather smartly, and boy ...
 photo

Persona 4 The Golden anime announced: Persona 4 The Golden ANIMATION


Airs this July
May 02
// Dale North
The ridiculous Atlus stream I watched this morning revealed that a Persona 4 The Golden anime is coming this July to Japan. The good folks over at A-1 are behind the animation of this television series. Tomohisa Taguchi is di...
 photo

Rise will be playable in Persona 4 Arena Ultimax


Your waifu?
Apr 22
// Dale North
Fighter Persona 4 Arena Ultimax will have Rise Kujikawa as a playable character! The announcer goes fighter. Rise's fighting debut was a rumor for some time, but Gematsu says that the latest Famitsu and Dengeki PlayStation is...
 photo

Persona 4 heading to the PS3 on April 8 for $9.99


Will be a PS2 Classic
Apr 03
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
Atlus has confirmed that Persona 4 is coming to the PlayStation 3. It's going to be a PS2 Classic, which was expected though we all really really really wanted P4 Golden instead. You'll be able to nab this starting on April ...
 photo

ESRB says Persona 4 coming to the PlayStation 3


Beary beary cool!
Apr 02
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
[Update: Atlus has confirmed the news and Persona 4 will be heading to the PS3 as a PS2 Classic. Find out when and how much here.] Oh no naughty naughty ESRB! You've let slip up another release before the publisher was ready ...

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