Persona 4: Golden Shines Brightly On PlayStation Vita

By Spencer . November 13, 2012 . 6:16am


Persona 4: Golden begins almost exactly like the PlayStation 2 game. You, a gray-haired teen from the city, hop on a train to Inaba. Your uncle Dojima, a police officer, and jingle loving cousin Nanako are waiting at the station to pick you up. For the next year, this rural town is your home. The protagonist (we’ll call him Yu like in Persona 4 Arena) bumps into Marie, a new character made for the Vita version, who insists your dropped something.




When Marie is in the Velvet Room she can power up your personas with skill cards, another new element in Persona 4: Golden. Skill cards let you customize a persona by bestowing abilities like Agi (that’s a fire spell) or Media (healing magic). You get skill cards from Shuffle Time and you can either use them or give them to Marie so she can duplicate them for a fee. If you see Marie in town you can start the Aeon Social Link. Marie is confused about the “real world”, riddled with teenage angst, and tends to rambleinsultsinlongsentences. Yu can also spend time with Tohru Adachi, Dojima’s bumbling and loose lipped underling, and develop the Jester social link. These social links are tied to a handful of new for Persona 4: Golden personas that weren’t in the original game, but were in Persona 3. Gurr, Sati, and Narcissus are some of the personas Atlus added to Persona 4: Golden.


Social links? Personas? What are we talking about? For those of you that missed Persona 4, it’s a dungeon RPG meets dating sim hybrid wrapped in a murder mystery. Someone is throwing people into the TV World where enraged Shadows kill them on foggy days. Victims appear on a mysterious program called the Midnight Channel and the Investigation Team led by Yu vows to save them before the weather changes. When you’re not wearing snazzy glasses and wandering through steamy bathhouses, you are an ordinary teenager). Persona 4: Golden brings players back to high school – pop quizzes included. You pass the days developing personal stats like Yu’s knowledge by going to the library or hang out with friends to build social links. Social Links infuse personas with a surge of experience points and new for Persona 4: Golden additional skills for your teammates.


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Persona 4: Golden plays like a standard RPG when you step into the TV World. Yu and three other party members run around randomly generated dungeons. If you run into one of the Shadows the game shifts into battle mode. Fights in Persona 4: Golden are turn based and like other Megaten titles monsters are tough. The key to defeating shadows is exploiting weaknesses and fusing personas with the right skills. Atlus made a few tweaks to the battle system like team attacks that automatically trigger if you can knock all of the enemies down and created a new Shuffle Time mini-game. Persona 4: Golden also has an online enabled rescue feature and a very easy difficulty mode for newcomers that just want to experience the story. Speaking of the story, you can peek at how other players are progressing through Persona 4: Golden with Vox Populi. This shows what other people did during the same in-game day.


Okina City is another “new” element in Persona 4: Golden. You can explore the town in the PlayStation Vita version when you get a motorbike. Okina City has a movie theater, a pricey costume shop, and Chagall Cafe. Yeah, that’s the same coffee chain from Persona 3, but sipping coffee won’t boost Yu’s charm. You gain skill cards from Chagall Cafe. With so many opportunities to get skill cards, customizing personas is much more streamlined in Golden than the original game. A beach lies beyond Okina City and this area has a new fishing spot. A new bug catching mini-game makes getting bait easier too. Yu can also help Nanako tend her garden. This raises Yu’s diligence, improves his relationship with the Dojima family, and creates healing items.




Persona 4: Golden also has new events like a ski trip in the winter and a celebration of something that just passed. There’s a new dungeon to explore, as well, but it is possible to miss it. I think fans of the original game will probably find the dungeon, just try things you weren’t able to do in Persona 4 on PlayStation 2. Fans are going to love the extras Atlus stuffed into Persona 4: Golden. You can watch game trailers, test your knowledge in a quiz show game, and see clips from the Persona Music Live concert series. Now that’s fan service!


Even though I knew how the mystery would unfold, I loved returning to Inaba. Persona 4: Golden’s brilliant blend of high school life and good old dungeon crawling is engaging. Inaba may be a backwater town, but there is always something to do. One day you’re eating beef bowls so large they take Yu into the “meat dimension” and the next day you’re running through a dungeon designed like a retro RPG. There was already a ton of content in Persona 4 and the Vita version adds even more to it. If you loved Persona 4 you’ll love this version and if you missed Persona 4 don’t miss out on Persona 4: Golden.

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  • ShadowScipio

    Man, I am so hyped for this.  So glad I preordered the solid gold edition as soon as it was announced.  Only a week left now.

    To those who’ve played it already/seen videos and stuff – Have they included anything akin to the P3P clock in this version?  I only ask ’cause going from P3 to P4 to P3P, I’ve gotten way too used to the clock based healing system for grinding.  Going from P3P to P4G is gonna hurt if there’s no equivalent.

    • Koji Kabuto

      You can use the fox to heal you when you get his Social Link, but he is way too expensive.

      The other way I found to replenish my SP for free is going to a low level and activate the online mode to start asking for help. Everytime you enter into a battle and depending on how many people aided you, you recover a percentage of your SP and HP. 

      Takes some time to recover completely but it´s very useful if you are short on money or if you don´t want to spend anything.

      • malek86

        I remember after a while you start getting SP-recharging Personas. By managing my SP well enough, and having the main character heal everyone, after battles, I would be able to grind a whole lot in one day. That’s when the game stopped being difficult, pretty much.

        I don’t know if they changed something in P4G though.

    • qazimod

      Haven’t tried the Vita game, but in the PS2 game Rise has a skill that restores a little SP to your party after every battle. It isn’t earned until much later in the game, but it helps give you a little more time to grind. Just rush through easy enemies to refill your SP, then use a party-healing skill and you can carry on…

  • PoSiTiV3tEnSiOn

    “You, a gray-haired teen from the city, hop* on a train to Inaba”
    (^ Sorry, this was really bothering me for some reason)

    Good stuff. I can’t wait to pick it up next Tuesday.
    This is going to be a long seven days for me, 
    especially with all the enticingly positive reviews the game has been receiving.

  • Brandon001

    Been watching the Anime lately, and honestly, while it is entertaining, nothing will give you the complete experience like the game.


    • Tried watching the Sentai released English-dubbed version of Persona: The Animation.  Chie and Naoto’s voice make me WANT TO STAB MY EARS WITH CHOPSTICKS!  I swear, I went in completely open-minded, and tried to like Chie especially for the first few episodes, but my gawd she just kills it for me.  Stick to the original script, don’t try to reinvent the GD character girl!  And Naoto’s voice actor just confused me even more…

      • Brandon001

        When i heard Natoto’s voice, i thought “wait, i must’ve missed the news where they changed her VA”

        tbh, i like chie’s new VA, teddies is bearable (lol), but it can get a little annoying at high pitches.

        Also, the series feels like a recap, or series of events of the game’s story. i dont really feel like it can stand on its own, and the fight sequences are underwhelming. all this is IMO of course

  • malek86

    Looking at the screenshots, I guess this has no mipmapping. In some parts it will look ok (road), in some others not so much (floor in the Jiraiya screenshot).

    Since the PSV has enough memory for it, and this game doesn’t look like much more than a PS2 port anyway, I wonder if some trilinear or even a touch of anisotropic would have been in order.

  • OatMatadoQuatro
  • Bobthegreat

    I’ll pick up this game whenever I get a Vita. Already played through the PS2 version last month.

  • I am really looking forward to this, and all the articles and videos are just making me want it even more. I don’t want to wish time away, but having just finished VLR I hope the next week or so doesn’t go by too slowly…

  • rebecasunao

    I’m still disappointed at the missed opportunity of adding a female protagonist. Oh well, the new additions look fun (except for Marie, she gives off “fanservice character” vibes. I hope I’m wrong).

    • puchinri

      A female MC was what I was looking forward to and hoping for. Maybe they’ll include the option from the get go in the next Persona title though.
      (And you’re right, she kind of does.)

      • Considering this is on the Vita, we could very well see DLC that adds a female MC and/or costumes, etc.  I don’t see Atlus doing that much, but there’s always the possibility.

        • puchinri

          I don’t see that happening (and it’d actually be considerably irritating if that were the case), but if it did, I’d consider getting the game.

    • Herok♞

       The reason no female was added was because unlike 3 where the female was cut out in development, this game was meant to be played with a male main character.

      • rebecasunao

        But that doesn’t mean it’s impossible, and considering how most games have male main characters, it would be a really nice addition. Especially for the girls who like Persona 4 and don’t want to keep dating girls.

        • Herok♞

           I understand what you mean, I was just trying to say why it isn’t so. I have seen plenty of people who wanted the option and agree it would have been nice.

    • Totally agree, it would have been awesome to play through the game as a female protagonist.

      • rebecasunao

        I’m glad you think so too!

  • bernard yanga

    Hoorraaayy for the tsundere Marie!!!

  • XiaomuArisu

    Adachi Social link?
    Social link go?
    And Marie seems to be a TsundereXD

  • Tianyu Wei

    The game’s difficulty has been tone down quite a bit. Unless you charge ahead and want to finish every dungeon on first try, using 2 try to get through a dungeon will be more than enough. Normal mobs are more dangerous than boss, boss is nothing more than heal and spank. Yukiko is all you really need to crawl through any fight victorious. 

    • OatMatadoQuatro

      I heard Margaret became stronger in Golden. Now she has consecutive turns

    • Niyari

      It makes sense. The old Shadow Yukiko/Kanji were a bit too much for the average joe. At least there are more difficulty options now. I’m interested in seeing just how challenging “Very Hard” is.

      • Can’t be any worse than SMT:Nocturne’s Hard where you die on the first fight in the game if you’re very unlucky! :D

    • Quinton Cunningham

      Well, main concern #1 about this has been eliminated. Can you answer a few questions for my other ones?

      For #2: Is the camera still awful? In dungeons especially?

      #3: Does the strike animation for player advantage on the field still take 7 years and have a hitbox the size of a toothpick?

      • Mobs are much easier since the team attack lets you strike enemies twice if you knock them down.

        The camera is the same. You have to rotate it with the shoulder buttons and the strike animation is still really slow. It’s still frustrating to get an advantage, I usually don’t bother unless I’m behind an enemy.

        • Quinton Cunningham

          Gotcha. I’m getting the game regardless, but those were some sore spots for me with 4. Thanks a bunch for the info, Spencer!

  • This is a game that could actually convince me to get a Vita at some point.

    •  It’s the sole reason I bought a Vita, and I’ve actually played import games more than any other since I’ve owned it. (Project Diva f and Dream C Club Zero)  Gravity Rush wasn’t half bad, very well done, but…the pickings are so slim on a system that’s suppose to be so revolutionary and great.

  • GreekGod88

    Will be my first Persona.

    • SMT

      go for it. this game is awesome. for me it worth to get vita for this game :)

    • As I tell everyone who says that:

      Be sure to check other Shin Megami Tensei games if you like Persona. Persona is a spin off series based off a much bigger, engaging universe of Shin Megami Tensei games, which deserve your full fledged attention.

      Well, that being said, have fun!

      • GreekGod88

        Arent those Shin Megami Tensei games firstperson in combat?
        I cant stand firstperson rpgs i want to see my characters fight!
        but thx anyway

        •  Not all of them. While the classic SMT games and some of the newer ones (Devil Survivor 1 & 2, Strange Journey, the soon to be released SMT IV) do play out like that, there are some SMT games that featured 3D battles.

          That being the case, be sure to check out SMT III: Nocturne/Lucifer’s Call (the name changes depending on your region, it’s Nocturne in NA and Luficer’s Call in the PAL regions) and Digital Devil Saga 1 & 2.

          SMT III: Nocturne/Lucifer’s Call is actually my favorite SMT game, and one of my favorite games of all time. It’s brilliant.

          Random thought: Ya know, just like you, I couldn’t stand first person rpgs/dungeon crawlers even. That was until I really set my heart into this series. I think the games are so engaging that you easily overcome the whole first person perspective, it’s all about demon negotiation and fusion and overcoming some difficult battles using deep thinking and strategy. Anyway, like I said, just give Persona 4 a try and take it from there ;)

          • GreekGod88

            I am sure already i ll be buying Persona 4 :) i only hear good things about it and its supposed to be 1 of the best Jrpg ps2 back then as i hear, how could i miss it lol

            thx again for all the information concerning those shin megami games i check them out after P4

          •  Go do it, the game’s awesome. Let me/us know what you think about it then ;) Shin Megami Tensei needs more fans in the west!

  • So I have been excited about this for a while, but I haven’t quite finished up Persona 3 yet.  I love the game, but it seems to be dragging at this point and I really wish it would just end.  I mean, I’m 87 hours in and I’m still doing the same thing over and over.  So I guess my question is, do you think Person 4 will hold the interest of a player who loved Persona 3, but started to get tired of it towards the end?

    • Definitely.

      P4 is actually the opposite. Starts really slow, with a very long introduction (you can’t even save the game for the first 20-30 minutes) and gets better as you go on.

      • Alright, thanks for the info.  I have been interested int he game for a while, just there is only so much time in my life.  I will definitely check it out though.

    • Scratch90

      In my opinion, as a fan of P3 and P4, is that the pacing for both games are WAAAY more different than other JRPGs, but you’ll already know that. Although  to be honest, P4 pacing aren’t as bad as P3 mainly because you can only battle at daytime, unlike P3 where battles take place during night time.

      A bit of bias here, but if you kinda like P3 at first but hate the pacing, then you’ll love P4 since it doesn’t feels dragging on (Funny, since the first 1h30m of P4 are just ‘Press X’). Actually, since it’s 87 hours you’ve played I ENCOURAGE you to finish P3.

      • I definitely want to finish it, and plan on doing so, I just can’t make myself do it at the moment.  That false ending (won’t say any more than that) killed all momentum in the story, imo, and just really put me off on the game.  Can’t make myself climb any higher.  

        But thanks for the input regarding P4.

      •  Scratch90 summed it up pretty well, Persona 4 is just such a well-done game you can’t NOT play it. ;)

  • KHSoraKeyBlade

    February can’t come soon enough.
    *sits patiently*

  • Why do I keep coming here? I don’t own a Vita.


  • KingGunblader

    Atlus I love you, but seriously: A POX UPON YOU for releasing this in the same week as Wii U. As such, it’s gonna be a few months before I can even think about Vita. :/

    •  Wow, you’d buy a Wii U over the chance to play Persona 4: Golden on release? o.O  Sorry, but that’s just the wrong decision in my book friend. :)  Nintendo lost my loyalty a long, long time ago.

      • KingGunblader

        Think whatever you want about Nintendo, but I’m sure it’ll still be there in a few months.

      • Herok♞

        Honestly I would do the same thing if I didn’t already have a Vita, this is only one game which is a port of a PS2 game I could get for $20 on Amazon.

  • Kawens

    The first Vita game I’m really interested. Right now I’m playing P3P (psp version) and it’s great to play ps2 level rpg games portable. And with plus next 19, finally Vita owners will receive some love. How about Uncharted, Gravity Rush, FFT WotL and other titles, totally FREE?

    • Herok♞

       totally free is misleading, you have to be a PS plus member to get that stuff.

      • Leon_Tekashi

        At least becoming a member is sorta cheap.

  • $24431191

    Damn, I wish Atlus would print more limited editions. I missed my chance on the pre-order so now I have to go with the regular edition. I suppose it’s called “limited” for a reason.

    •  Indeed, I had to fall back on eBay and pay an extra $60 for a limited edition. :(  I even tried to pre-order it as soon as it was announced, but they sold out so fast on preorders…

  • ロ ス キ ュ

    Already beat it thrice =V

    • Sweet Sui ♥

      As did I~ I’m still looking forward to beating it a 4th time on the PS Vita, however xD. 4 playthroughs for Persona 4… works out perfectly for me (^o^)/
      /Major Persona fan over here ^_^” lol.

      • Leon_Tekashi

        *Glomps from behind* Yay!

  • **** Got to save up and buy a Vita >.<

  • Sweet Sui ♥

    Even though I bought the Vita practically Day 1, this will be the very first game I will buy for it ^_^”” 1.) Because I lacked any real incentive to purchase any of the Vita’s other titles and 2.) Because I have very limited funds and very many games for other systems that I want to play, lol. Buying Vita games kinda slipped to the backburner with everything else that came out this year ^_^” I WILL get this game however~ come hell or high water, I WILL get it; during Chirstmas time at the very latest. The Golden was what sold the Vita to me after all xD lol.

    • ExiaSoul01

       Lol, same here, I got my Vita day 1 and have yet to buy a game also.But I am
      definitely getting this one…….maybe just not day 1.

    • *high five* This game is epic and will totally be the best thing ever. SO you don’t have it on pre-order? It might be hard to find…

  • Herok♞

    I have had my Vita since launch day and this is finally a reason to use it again.

  • Glad to hear Persona 4 is still strong. Though I am struggling to resist typing down Hiimdaisy jokes with some screenshots above.



    Er, anyhoo, this I believe is one of the extra features that makes P4G a must get:

  • Hinataharem

    Marie is so tsundere

  • darkfox1

    Man I want this SO BAD but first a Vita…..

  • rurin

    AHHHH I need a Vita!!!!

  • E15

    ^*still doesnt have a Vita..*

    I came for the Tsundere.  :]

  • Dylan Neill

    glad I pre-ordered it yesterday, a sticker? OH ATLUS HOW DID YOU KNOW!?

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