Well this was completely unexpected, even for us: and we knew about this announcement ahead of time!
Atlus has revealed that Persona 4 Golden will arrive on PC via Steam today: something they’ve been able to somehow keep under wraps in this age of leaks. We’ve played it, so read on for impressions.
But before we get to that, I just have to say it: another Vita exclusive bites the dust!
Persona 4 Golden (PC, Vita)
Released: June 6, 2020
MSRP: $19.99 (Standard Edition) / $24.99 (Deluxe Edition)
Did you miss Persona 4 Golden in 2012? Well, I don’t blame you. Okay, I kind of do, but I don’t blame you for not wanting any part of the proprietary Vita memory card fiasco.
For as much as I love the Vita (RIP), the exclusivity was a hard sell. Although Persona 4 proper does exist on the PS2 platform safe and sound. it’s not exactly an accessible way to play it in 2020. Plus, the “Golden” treatment added so many enhancements into the mix (more characters, a more in-depth story) it’s really hard to go back. Bringing Persona 4 in any incarnation to its third platform in 12 years is a huge milestone. Especially for Atlus, who has only merely dipped its toes into the Steam water thus far.
I’ll spare you the thesis on why Persona 4 Golden is one of the best JRPGs of all time. You’ve probably seen Chie Satonaka in some form or another in the past decade plus. Or maybe you just heard your resident JRPG friend sing its praises over and over. Now is the time to finally jump in.
Atlus has confirmed to Destructoid that this PC version of Golden is basically just the Vita edition, with a few PC-esque bells and whistles. I’m talking achievements and trading cards, controller/keyboard and mouse support, dual audio (Japanese/English) and “HD unlocked framerates, a 16:9 widescreen aspect ratio and support for higher resolutions.” Atlus says there is no DLC planned whatsoever, but this port does include prior Vita DLC.
We’ve talked about the game itself at length for many years, so here’s a quick rundown on the port. PC options are pretty standard: nothing fancy and Denuvo is in. You have the opportunity to swap the primary monitor (which sadly isn’t standard these days), go windowed/full-screen/borderless (the latter unfortunately idles when it’s not the active screen) and tweak very few graphical options for potato rigs (shadow quality, anisotropic filter, anti-aliasing). Persona 4 Golden PC also has the standard auto-text features in every other version of Persona, as well as menu memory and audio toggles. That’s pretty much it. And well, a 100-ish hour JRPG is crammed in there too.
There’s probably going to be a lot of “unacceptable”-level reviews popping up on Steam due to the Denuvo and the lack of options: expect some fan-patches very soon. In my tests the framerate held at 60FPS consistently with v-sync on, and 120-ish FPS with the option off. I’d hope that a port of a years-old Vita game wouldn’t have major issues, and although there’s going to be pushback on the finer points, it runs smoothly and contains the same Persona 4 experience most of you have come to love.
Using a controller, it was like I was back in front of my TV circa 2008 playing it on a PS2. But this time around there’s quick-skipping for cutscenes you’ve already seen a million times over (including clever stops when there’s dialogue choices), as well as a sliding difficulty scale that lets you alter individual facets of combat like damage dealt/damage taken, XP/money earned and retry options for dungeons and battles. If you’ve ever played Persona 4 before and ran into an absolutely horrid section that led to you nope-ing out, it’s time for that nightmare bit to have its due.
Persona 4 Golden was arguably the game to get on the Vita, among a library that’s very unsung after Sony put that little portable out to pasture. Now that it’s on one of the most accessible platforms in the world, there’s little to no excuse for avoiding it. $20 is a steal for something that’s going to last you a full month and keep you thinking about it for months to come.
[These impressions are based on a retail build of the game provided by the publisher. PC Port Score: 9/10.]