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    Ragnarok's Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 4 (PS2)

    [November 4, 2012 05:11:30 PM]
    It is with a heavy heart that I announce that this is the final installment of GameLog: Persona 4. So without further ado, let us end this awesome journey in Inaba.

    Since my last post, I have completed the final month of the game, December, completed the final two dungeons, and achieved the True Ending for my third time. I established the final S. Link in the game, as well as maxing out four more S. Links for a total of 20 out of 21. On top of that, I cleared all 50 side quests, obtained most of the ultimate equipment, defeated the gameís optional super-boss, and achieved a 99% Compendium completion rate, thus making this run a near-perfect playthrough.

    Since this is my final post on this game, I suppose itís only right that I sum up my thoughts on this game. Itís awesome. The end.

    No, but seriously, this game is easily one of the paragonís of narrative-driven games. Atlus managed to yet again craft a masterpiece, a testament that, regardless of how tired or clichťd one might think the genre is, JRPGs can be totally awesome when done right. If there is any complaint that could be leveled at this game, itís the fact that none of the gameís mechanics are that original. But that too is a part of Atlusís genius. They decided to rely on simple tried and true RPG and visual novel mechanics so they could put most of their time into perfecting the gameís wonderful story and the characters within. And they succeeded in every category. Honestly, I have yet to find any negative reviews of this game anywhere. And Iím not about to be this first person to do so either. So, yeah, if you havenít already done so (and shame on you for not listening to my orders in the first installment), go out and rent or buy this title. You owe it to yourself to play one of the finest games to ever grace the PS2. Or you could wait until the end of this month and get the improved remake for the Vita, your choice.

    And so ends my chronicles of GameLog: Persona 4. Stay tuned for my next game review. Until then!
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    [October 27, 2012 04:29:20 PM]
    Does everyone know what time it is? Itís time for another installment of GameLog: Persona 4 (If you answered ďHowdy-Doody Time,Ē you get a virtual cookie)! I have covered even more ground since my last post, so letís get down to business.

    Since my last post, I have completed two more in-game months, bringing to the end of November. I have cleared another two dungeons, recruited the final member of the Investigation Team, establish one more S. Link, thus bring the total up to 20 out of 21, and I have maxed out 13 more of my existing S. Links, bringing that total up to 16 out of 20. The proverbial ďshit has hit the fanĒ and I am currently right before the point where the ending branch takes place. In other words, things are about to get REAL.

    One thing I havenít covered that much in my logs so far is the gameís cast. Being a narrative-driven game, Persona 4 relies on its robust cast to sell itself. And it succeeds on every level. All the characters in this game are wonderfully realized, from their incredibly well-built personalities to their utterly believable weaknesses and failings to the superb voice acting that brings each character to life. While some characters do have some stereotypical aspects to them, like ďgoofy best friendĒ or ďtomboy,Ē all the characters are developed in such a way that, if it wasnít for the gameís rather ludicrous premise, you could easily imagine these people existing in real life. You as the player genuinely feel connected to each and every character; not just the different members of the Investigation Team, but all the other S. Link characters and a few other NPCs as well.

    In my next installment of GameLog: Persona 4, Iíll proceed to the month of December, and with it, the endgame of Persona 4. Stay tuned!
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    [October 21, 2012 11:13:47 AM]
    Hey everyone, itís time for another installment of GameLog: Persona 4! Since Iíve covered a lot of ground in the game since my last entry, Iíll skip the recap and dive straight into whatís happened since then.

    Unlike my last two entries, I managed to complete not one, not two, but three whole months in-game, bringing me to the halfway point of September. With that, Iíve also managed to clear two dungeons and gain access to a third, as well as established five more S. Links, bringing the total up to 19 out of 21. Iíve also managed to max out three of my S. Links, clear several side quests, and have two more characters joining the Investigation Team.

    It should be noted that this game is very anime-inspired, to the point of having several anime cutscenes in the game and a later anime adaptation. And like many anime, Persona 4 has several instances of ďthoseĒ scenarios. You know the ones; the ones where due to some misunderstanding or mishap, things end up so that there is no way that it can not go wrong. Itís like a train wreck; you want to look away, but you canít. One of those scenarios is rather interesting because it links directly to the previous game. Persona 4 is not a direct sequel to Persona 3, however both games do take place in the same continuity, and so one of the scenarios in the game has the Investigation Team go on a school trip to the setting of Persona 3 and meet a couple of minor characters from that game. Itís also rife with nods to major characters and events from the previous game, and it foreshadows a major plot point later in the story.

    One last thing I felt I should mention in this installment is the art design behind the various Personas in the game. If youíve ever played another Megami Tensei title before, youíll know what I mean. Every Persona in the game is inspired by some mythological or legendary historical figure from just about every culture imaginable, from Greco-Roman to Egyptian to Hinduism to Judeo-Christian to Norse to Celtic to the big one for this game, Shinto. And each is rendered in Megami Tenseiís unique art style. Look up some of these designs online and youíll see what I mean.

    Iím getting closer to endgame in this playthrough, so I doubt I have many more entries left for this game. Stay tuned for my next one!
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    [October 13, 2012 04:32:57 PM]
    Last time on GameLog: Persona 4: Our silent protagonist, Yu Narukami, had arrived in the sleepy Japanese town of Inaba to stay for a year with his uncle and cousin while his parents worked overseas. Within a week of arriving, two people are mysteriously murdered; Yu is visited in his dreams by a mysterious man named Igor; our hero hears about this urban legend called the Midnight Channel and learns that the legend is all too true; and he finds that he can now enter a bizarre world inside TVs. After meeting a strange bear-like thing in the TV world, Yu becomes involved in solving the murder mystery and awakens to the power to manifest oneís inner strength, Persona! With his new found friends, Yosuke Hanamura and Chie Satonaka, who have also obtained the power of Persona, Yu is able to rescue the third victim, Yukiko Amagi, before she is killed. Meanwhile, our protagonist has established Social Links with both Yosuke and Chie, as well as two other people from his school, Daisuke Nagase and Yumi Ozawa. And with Yukiko, who also awoke to the power of Persona, joining the Investigation Team, the month of April comes to a close.

    Now that weíve recapped what happened in my last entry, hereís whatís happened since then: I have completed the month of May in-game and begun the month of June. I have completed the second dungeon and rescued who is arguably the most awesome character in the game, Kanji Tatsumi. I have established an additional 9 S. Links, bringing the total up to 14 out of 21. And Iíve cleared quite a few side quests and defeated both bonus bosses.

    It should come as no surprise that this game continues to be awesome, even on the third play through. I absolutely LOVE the story, the game play is pretty sweet, the graphics are pretty stellar for what theyíre worth, and the music is wonderful. The only thing thatís even remotely annoying is trying to hunt down certain enemies for the sake of side quests. Even then, itís not so bad because the primary battle theme is just that awesome. You must bask in the splendor and majesty that is ďReach Out to the Truth.Ē BASK, I SAY!

    Next time on GameLog: Persona 4: Listen to me gush about this game some more as I finish up the month of June and attempt the third dungeon. Until then!
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    [October 7, 2012 11:50:44 AM]
    So for my next game on GameLog, Iím going to be talking about Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 4 for the Playstation 2. Unlike my previous log, Iím going take a more experience journal-like format instead of a review, since the game has been out for some time (in fact, thereís going to be a PSVita remake out near the end of the month) and so everyone should have played it or at least know a decent amount about it. Whatís that? You havenít played or heard about it before? Well get to it! Now! Go out and play it or research it then come back here. Iíll wait.
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    Okay, now that everyone is on the same page, Iíll begin my experience journal:

    I have just recently begun my third play through of the game, and I am only just past the month of April, and with it the first dungeon. Although it is always a bit slow starting out each play through, it never gets old. For the record, I always play on Normal difficulty (Iím not confident enough in my skills to try Expert, and Beginner is for sissies) and I name my protagonist after his ďofficialĒ designation from Persona 4 Arena and Persona 4 the Animation, Yu Narukami. On the Social Link side of things, I have only managed to establish 5 out of the 21 S. Links, but then again thatís all I can establish this early in the game.

    This was a relatively short journal entry, but I promise to more than make up for it next time, when I recap the story so far and give my impressions on the gameís oh-so-lovable cast and mechanics. Until next time everyone!
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    Status

    Ragnarok's Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 4 (PS2)

    Current Status: Playing

    GameLog started on: Sunday 7 October, 2012

    Opinion
    Ragnarok's opinion and rating for this game

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    Rating (out of 5):starstarstarstarstar

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    1 : Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 4 (PS2) by dkirschner (rating: 5)

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