Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 4
Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 4 is one game in the Persona series of dark supernatural RPGs. Players should note that Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 4 Golden, for the PlayStation Vita, is a 2012 re-release of the game with slightly updated content.
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Story & Themes
The game mechanic is based on the manifestation of characters' innermost thoughts as either "Shadows" or "Personas." Shadows are negative emotions, fears, or aspects of the personality that manifest as dangerous beings. Characters must face their own Shadows and come to terms with these malevolent inner thoughts. If they are successful, the Shadow will become a Persona.
Persona 4 features an entirely new set of characters and story from previous games. The player will take on the role of the new kid in town, who must befriend a group of teenagers and try to solve the mystery behind several murders. The group ends up in a mysterious dreamlike area inside a television set, and there must face their own fears, as well as battling enemies forged from the collective fears of the town they live in. Meanwhile, a mysterious mist begins covering the town outside the television, and each time it appears, another person is murdered.
The protagonist must help his newfound friends through some emotionally trying times, some mundane, others not so much. While these troubles are fairly typical for the teenage crowd (questioning of traditional gender roles, feelings of uncertainty about the future), they are treated with maturity and taken seriously.
There is some suggestive dialogue (e.g., "What are the school computers used for?" "Porn.") and one instance of a succubus-like monster appearing, but no overt references to sex. Characters do flirt with each other fairly often, however. At several points in the game male characters get excited about seeing female characters in swimsuits or at a bathhouse.
Several characters must confront inner turmoil over gender identity and sexuality.
- Do you think the games point the player in the "right" direction? Are some endings worse than others?
- Do you feel that the Personas and Shadows are a realistic way of thinking about inner turmoil and acceptance? Would you use a visualization like this to come to terms with your own inner turmoil?
- What do you think of the Evokers? Why are they shaped like guns? Did this bother you?
- Did you relate to any of the characters? Do you think they are realistic depictions of teenagers?
Action/Adventure, Role-Playing (RPG), Simulation
Interests / Subjects:
Art (Painting, Drawing, etc.),
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Cannot be played online