If there are two things the internet loves it’s list articles and nerd rage. I shall now attempt to fuse the two into an unholy force of nature. Cower in fear as I present to you the top five reasons critical darling Persona 4 is totally rubbish and not worth your time.
5.) The combat
[Image Via Spectacle Rock]
I like turn based combat so my dislike for Persona 4 has nothing to do with some kind of action twitch preference. Give me a cup of coffee and a spreadsheet to paw over and I’m normally a happy camper. The problem with Persona 4 is that for about the first 15-20 hours the combat contains almost no strategic depth.
Once you know which attack a given enemy is weak to, you can use that attack to knock them down which will allow you to score a super-mega-attack. This will almost always kill your adversary. It’s basically a win button. This would be bad enough but keep in mind that you will be fighting wave after wave of the same enemies. Hit the win button, watch shit die, repeat till you run out of mana, leave and come back to do it all again.
It does get a little better as you progress but it’s hard to be bothered getting that far when the game fails to be interesting in the first 15 hours. Hell most games these days don’t even last that long.
4.) Teddie needs to STFU
Oh really Teddie did Yosuke just get knocked down? I didn’t see that because I’ve been playing the game with my eyes closed for the last half hour. Oh I’ve just killed one of the monsters and there’s two left now? Thanks I could never solve a mathematical problem like 3 – 1 = 2.
For some reason your companion Teddie decides to narrate in painstaking detail every thing that happens during combat. At first I figured it must be some sort of annoying hand holding tutorial thing but it never stops. I don’t know if Teddie thinks I’m an idiot or what exactly.
By the way this is not a minor complaint, you will hear each of his stupid combat barks roughly a million times, and they will piss you off. Shit like this ruins otherwise decent games.
3.) The save system is nonsensical
[Image Via Game On! 2.0]
The optimal point to insert an autosave is after every single combat encounter. Basically if I’ve overcome a challenge I shouldn’t have to repeat said challenge. Of course this is not normally practical because saving that often would slow the game to a crawl. That’s fine but the absolute minimum you should be autosaving is at the beginning of every single level.
Persona 4 only offers two save points per dungeon one right before you enter and one right before the final boss. In a 13 level dungeon this gets to be a problem. Oh yeah and the mid level bosses (who are sometimes capable of one hit kills) don’t have a save point before them. This throws the entire flow of the game under a monster truck because instead of just relaxing and enjoying yourself you need to act like a paranoid wreck constantly backtracking to the beginning of the dungeon just to save your game. The only other option is to cop a cheap kill every once in a while and replay two hours of tedious dungeon crawling.
2.) The dungeons are stale and lifeless.
[Image Via Silicon Era]
Part of the excitement of a good dungeon crawl is exploring and uncovering new things to loot, admire and kill. Persona 4 does manage an interesting menagerie of monsters to kill but the dungeons themselves are utterly dull. Enter any random room in any of the dungeons and you’ll have seen everything there is to see. Each room looks the same, each hallway looks the same and the only things you can interact with are monsters and chests. By the time you’ve cleared three levels of a dungeon you’ll be fed up with it. But don’t worry there’s only another ten to go.
1.) The storytelling is pathetic.
[Image Via Dark Zero]
Persona 4 isn’t just slow paced it’s damn near glacial. The game goes for two freaking hours before it’ll hand over any significant control to the player. Some people may try and defend this as a neccesary evil. I disagree. If Persona 4 was a movie and it took 2 hours to establish it’s premise it would be a horrible movie. The slow sense of unease that Persona 4 builds is nothing compared to what the friggin remake of The Ring does in seven minutes.
Every plot detail both major or minor is repeated constantly just in case you’re too thick to get it the first time. Plot turns are foreshadowed so heavily they’re impossible not to guess. And characters in the story wander around like the most obvious things are freaking revelations.
Here’s an example, there’s a boy named Kanji who is a tough street thug. At some point in the game you’ll see him in a bathhouse speaking with a rather exaggerated lavender lisp. You, the player, will go “Oh okay they’re saying that he’s gay.” Then as you explore said bathhouse looking for this guy, Teddie keeps dropping ‘subtle’ hints that he might be a bit odd. And it’s like “Jesus man I got it okay? Your thinly veiled shit is not exactly difficult to decode”. Then Teddie is all like “Oh so you’ve figured it out, aint you clever”
No I’m not clever you stupid cutesy piece of shit, I just happen to have a working bundle of synapses still firing in my head.
Persona 4 has a lot to like and I do understand why people love it but for me it isn’t nearly the game it could or should have been.