Man I got POSITIVE FEELS about SMTIV from the screens, but on the other hand, Strange Journey did do a lot of things that pissed me off. A lot of the same stuff that kind of hurt my interest in Persona 3 over time.
I probably really should've played P4 since it sounded more like an incremental fix and probably would've addressed most of my issues with P3, really. Oh well, maybe if I see a copy around town sometime.
More interested in Soul Hackers. While I'm guessing the dungeons'll probably suck (earlier SMT game. Par for course. Oh welp*) the remaining gameplay mechanics sound really cool to me.
* I don't actually MIND this necessary, unless it hits Phantasy Star 2 levels of bullshit (which isn't likely. Even Persona 1 only really got to that level with Deva Yuga, and that was... acceptable, since it was the climax dungon). My issue with the dungeons in Strange Journey and Persona 2 weren't the designs per se -- that aspect was actually fine in SJ I felt -- but rather that the remaining gameplay mechanics didn't work with the dungeons. Persona 2's automap wasn't precise enough and the camera bugged me for some reason; SJ only showed you invisible doors if you were FACING them, or NPCs/dungeon features if you were in the same tile.
I get that a lot of older dungeon crawlers do that, but it was more necessary back then, but not as necessary in Strange Journey/Etrian. Also for some reason I never had problems with it in, say, Xeen, or Wizardry 6/7.
SMTIV definitely avoids this from what I've seen which is why my feels good.