Persona 4 Golden
E3 2012 Hands-on Preview
"We need more fun RPGs for our PSVita, and this one... should start making Sony's powerful handheld another bastion for the RPG."

It's difficult to write a preview about a game that's technically already been out for several years. The premise is commonplace at this point – follow around a group of Japanese teenagers in a rural town who find a giant, anthropomorphic "bear" and then fight monsters inside of a television. Every game has something like that now! However, in Persona 4 Golden, your characters do all of this on your PlayStation Vita. Certainly, on the surface it sounds like a bit of a cash grab... after all, it was only three and a half years ago that Persona 4 became one of the last good games on Sony's PlayStation 2. This is far more than a port, however, and both fans and newcomers alike should view this as the definitive version of Atlus' flagship title.

Now, to be completely honest, we didn't get to see even a sneak peek of the English version of the title – Atlus demoed the Japanese game – but based on the original localization, we can expect that any new content in the game will be localized well. A great deal of the new stuff in the game is video content – you'll be able to unlock things like Japanese television commercials, video of concerts featuring the game music, and much more. Atlus USA says that it's their goal to include most – if not all – of the video from the Japanese version of the game, as long as it's feasible to include for American audiences.

Also new to the Vita version are the game's enhanced graphics. Unlike Persona 3 Portable, which saw a great deal of its content shrunk down to fit more easily with the PSP's form factor and processing ability, Persona 4 Golden looks better than its PS2 counterpart, with high-resolution graphics that look amazing on the Vita’s OLED screen. The load times are also improved; there were only a few moments where we saw loading screens.

There are additionally quite a few pieces of content unique to this version of the game that we weren't able to see during our short demo. There's a new playable character – Marie – along with a grip of new personae, including Ultimate Persona for the main characters. During critical scenarios, you'll also be able to call on your friends via Wi-Fi to assist you in battle. There's also everything else you'd expect – more gear, more story, more cutscenes, more everything.

We're excited to see the release of Persona 4 Golden this fall; we need more fun RPGs for our PSVita, and this one, alongside Ragnarok Odyssey and Little King's Story Vita, should start making Sony's powerful handheld another bastion for the RPG, just like its older brother, the PSP.

© 2012 Atlus USA, Atlus. All rights reserved.

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