Following the success of Persona 5 (2016) and Persona 5 Royal (2019), Persona 4 Golden (2012) was recently ported to Windows. Persona 4 was particularly well received by critics and regarded as one of the greatest games of all time. Prior to Persona 5, the series had a huge following in Japan, but failed to reach a mass audience in the west.
Persona 4 Golden enhanced the original game on PS Vita, but the graphics hardly compare to Persona 5. Here are five reasons why Persona 4 Golden should be remade.
It’s the reverse of Persona 5, as the unnamed protagonist is sent from Tokyo to a small fictional town called Inaba. Whilst the surface of Persona 4 Golden seems like a bubblegum world full of happiness and harmony – it’s the complete opposite. An unknown power is revealed through the Midnight Channel and it reveals a portal to a world inside the TV.
We follow the protagonist and his friends, also called The Investigation Team, as they gain powers through awakening to their persona (a manifestation of someone’s power that turns into a weapon-like creature). To attain their persona, they must face their shadow self and accept all of their dirty secrets. When mysterious and gruesome murders hit the peaceful rural town of Inaba, it’s up to a group of high school students to solve with their new found powers from the TV world.
Persona 4 Golden has the best cast of characters; everyone has a purpose and belongs in this world. The main character is a silent protagonist, but he has the most personality compared to the protagonists of Persona 3 (2006) and Persona 5. All of the main party are compelling and engaging with interesting personal stories and troubles. While no one is perfect, they’re still likeable. Any one of the teenage characters could be someone you know.
The supporting cast are outstanding and completely round up Inaba making it feel like a real place. Nanako and Ryotaro Dojima are related to the protagonist and become his surrogate family throughout the game. It’s an undisputed fact that Nanako is the most adorable little girl in the history of video games and she’s a valuable asset in helping the main character succeed in both real life and the TV world.
3. SOCIAL LINKS
Though this mechanic was introduced in Persona 3, it was perfected in Persona 4. Social links are essentially relationship levels with characters that trigger events and certain abilities. With the addition of two extra social links in Persona 4 Golden, there are unlimited avenues for the protagonist to explore.
The main party has their own social links and you can romance certain ladies. The relationships feel authentic and you’ll feel a genuine connection and interest in their stories.
Notoriously famous for the coolest tracks, the Persona series has a vast collection of amazing music. The original score for Persona 4 was primarily composed, arranged, and produced by the iconic Shoji Meguro with most tracks being sung by Shihoko Hirata. It’s a perfect mix of cheerful beats with deeper undertones representing the mood of the characters.
The music was so well received that it led to a dancing spin-off game and an entire concert dedicated to the music of Persona in Japan. ‘Shadow World,’ ‘Heartbeat,’ ‘Heartbreak,’ and ‘Heaven’ are some of the catchiest tracks you’ll hear whilst exploring the world.
Like many games in the Persona series, traditional RPG gameplay is blended with simulation elements. You control the life of a teenage boy for an entire year living in both the real world of Inaba and the mysterious TV world full of monsters (known as Shadows). It’s the sort of JRPG that you can fully sink your teeth into for up to 100 hours.
While the game has similar mechanics to Persona 5, the best part about the gameplay is Shuffle Time. After a battle, the player has the chance to receive Shuffle Time which gives access to additional rewards, including items, money, or XP bonuses. It makes roaming through dungeons less grindy and more rewarding.
Remaking this game using the engine from Persona 5 would be a genius idea as it already has amazing concepts but just needs updated graphics to make it a perfect game. Let’s hope that the port to PC is popular enough and makes Atlus think seriously about remaking Persona 4 Golden.
Words by Charlie Vogelsang