Spoilers for game, obviously.
Yesterday, I finally beat the True End of Persona 4. I went in fully knowing the quality I was expecting after playing P3, and I still came out amazed. The characters were even better than I expected, and managed to like and care for every single one of them. The battle system was clearly awesome, the same way P3P hooked me in. I probably wouldn’t have been able to stand the AI-controlled teammates in FES. I enjoyed the music better than I did in P3 (although I’m sorta biased, since I played the majority of P3P on mute in class whereas I played P4 in front of the TV), especially the boss themes. I fell in love with “Mist” at first sound. The ending and final boss wasn’t as memorable as P3, but P4’s strengths greatly overcome the flaws. I’m glad I got into the Persona series.
P4’s ending tugged at my heart in a different way than P3’s. For an SMT game, Persona 4 ended very positively and happily. It’s probably the happiest an SMT game can get, and very cheerful despite the theme being on murders. The ending was truely a genuine happy ending, but made much more emotional by the ending theme. P3MC’s death at the end certainly got me emoing for a bit and left a huge impression on me, but P4MC’s leaving of Inaba makes me want to cry just as much (not saying that I actually cried, of course). Happy and a bit cheesey, P4 ended off with MC’s friends seeing him off at the train station, running after the train saying their ultimate final farewells. The lyrics of the ending theme lets us peek at MC’s feelings about the friends he made in Inaba (or how he is supposed to feel, assuming that the player isn’t a jerk). It makes you sad in a way you can probably relate, since many people have had the experience of moving away and leaving their friends. A boy (well, a teenager) leaving his beloved friends and the town he grew to love is a sadness different from dying. The impression isn’t as strong as a sad ending, but it leaves you a bit reassured since the MC is alive and can keep in contact with his friends.
…Oh shit, I do get emotional easily–over fictional characters, that is. It’s because after the end, you don’t really see what they do anymore.
I didn’t max all social links yet, I only focused on party members since they get more useful as you progress in their social links. My favorite social link is, surprisingly, the Magician arcana (Yosuke). It does the friendship bonding very well, and having a physical fight at the end as friends makes it so much more awesome. Fist fight between friends FTW (FRIEEEEEENNNNDDDDS! Must. Keep. BLfangirlside. Away.)! I always enjoy it when the fight strenghtens the friendship, just like between Okazaki and Sunohara in the Sunohara siblings route in Clannad. Not an epic magical battle with lots of flashy skills, but a raw fistfight with straight-out punching. It just amplifies the manly friendship.
I’m also really liking Naoto’s S.link, but I didn’t finish it because I maxed courage too late. I somehow always end up liking kuudere girls ❤ Ai’s story was also very interesting, but I didn’t get the chance to complete it due to idiotic action on my part (fighting Adachi early). There weren’t really any social links that bored me here (no more fat jerkass kid and hanging out with old men at night), and some of them even raised stats!
The music is great, like the usual with SMT games. The regular battle theme is an extreme ear worm, and the melody makes an epic return at the final boss fight. Mist (song for fighting Izanami’s first form) made me instantly fall for it. I’m just pissed that they only give you Side A of the soundtrack with the game, and not the complete set. Damn I love rock battle themes in RPGs. Actually, screw it. I love game music. There.
Also, the ending theme (especially if you know the meaning of the lyrics):
Persona 4 holds a special place in my heart, right next to P3. They’re so special, I will refrain from comparing future RPGs I play with them unless it’s from the same series (Persona 5 will make me get a job and buy a PS3). I will never sell or give away my copy. Ever. Haha, if my house caught on fire, The things I’d take with me would be A) PS2 & PSP Memory card (proof of my existence for many hours), B) Persona 4, C) Persona 3 Portable (easier to find, so lower on priority list), D) Artbooks, and E) Handhelds and consoles. Damn right I have my priorities straight. I said “artbooks” because I will never let go of my Persona 3 Official Design Works (and P4 version that will come in the mail).