A beginner’s guide to Persona 4 Golden

Persona 4 Golden

For all of us RPG enthusiasts, a beloved masterpiece returns this month – Persona 4 Golden for the PlayStation Vita, due on shelves from 22nd February.

This is quite possibly one of the best RPGs ever released. The game tells its intriguing story with flow and grace, refusing to overwhelm the player with gratuitous cut scenes. The battle system is intuitive, with simple mechanics that won’t leave you wondering where your manual is while the enemy is torching your characters. And finally, this game is packed with new additional content never before seen in the original Persona 4.

So what is Persona? Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 4 is Metacritic’s PlayStation 2 Game of the Year for 2008. Persona 4 places you in the shoes of a high school student who needs to strike a balance between school, a social life, learning more about his family, and, as it happens, investigating a series of gruesome murders that may or may not involve a psychedelic world that lies behind the screen of every television in town.

Persona 4 Golden

Whether beating up Shadows or tackling schoolwork, the choices you make will come to affect how others see you, and how you see yourself.

In both Persona 4 and Persona 4 Golden, you play as a transfer student who moves to the sleepy country burg of Inaba. When you arrive, things quickly take a turn for the weird when you learn of a series of murders taking place in the town. You decide to do some investigating on your own, journeying into a mysterious world that you never knew existed, facing off against creatures from the very depths of humanity’s collective psyche.

Luckily, you’re not completely powerless. Each and every one of your party eventually gets access to a Persona – the inner self – and it is through these forces that you’ll learn to cast devastating spells and powerful physical attacks.

Persona 4 Golden Persona 4 Golden

The main character also has a special ability: the ability to change Personas among dozens of different spirits, with corresponding skills, strengths, and weaknesses. It is this ability to change Personas – improving and discovering new ones – that will make up the bulk of your efforts.

That’s not to say that the game finely cleaves the “RPG” part from the “social sim” part, oh, no. The bonds that form between you and other characters are known as Social Links, and each one takes on one of the Arcana that your Personas fall under. Basically, the better a friend you are to a person, the easier it will be to make and use the Personas that he or she represents within your mind.

These conversations aren’t just a chore to help you build better monsters – they’re full-on side stories. I’ve seen battle-hardened warriors cry manfully into their plaited beards when playing some of these scenes. What hope do you have? None, probably, but that’s okay. When you relate your tear-soaked tales to other Persona 4 veterans, we’ll all know what you’re talking about.

Persona 4 Golden

If you’ve played Persona 4, you might have noticed that there were a few points in the year where time skipped ahead, meaning you didn’t get to play out those days. This time, the story’s been reconfigured to give you back all that lost time, as well as giving you new fun things to do during these periods.

Will you and Yosuke ever get your scooter licenses? What will happen in the main character’s love life now that Valentine’s Day is a playable event? Will Teddie learn the true meaning of Christmas? If you’ve never played Persona 4, then all this new stuff will be gravy on the mashed potatoes of fantasticness we’re already giving you.

Persona 4 Golden

There’s also an entirely new dungeon and a brand new Social Link for you to connect with. This character is seamlessly integrated into the narrative to provide context to the entire story. Additional details include all-new animated sequences for several major events and holidays, new costumes and weapons, and a metric ton of new voiced dialogue covering almost every event sequence. What more could you ask for?

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A quick question. Can you advance the dialogue by tapping the touch screen? Super excited for this!!(-:


I imported this back in November (sorry NISA), but I will say this to people holding out for digital/EU version, or who haven’t heard of Persona before: BUY THIS GAME. This is the game I bought Vita for, and it made that purchase worth it alone.

I can say hand on heart it is the best JRPG I’ve played in the last 14-15 years. So many amazing characters, challenging on the harder difficulties (but also with accessible difficulties for people who just want to enjoy the story), and a great sense of humour, all wrapped up in a murder mystery in the Japanese countryside.

nikolaskejd 15 February, 2013 @ 1:15 pm   4

Hello Sony. Why is isnt Dragonborn DLC available in Croatia?

S-o-h-a-i-l 15 February, 2013 @ 1:18 pm   5

The temptation to import was too strong ! Absoloutly amazing game, one of the best on the Vita. Hopefully the Vita keeps delivering quality these kind of quality games.

Also, Yu Narukami for Playstation All Stars, make it happen please ! Theres a huge demand for it from the All Stars community.

Timberman80 15 February, 2013 @ 1:22 pm   6

I totally agree with Omikaru (#3).

I also imported the NA version (because of the impressive Solid Gold Edition), and this game is so totally worth it!

Easily THE best game on the vita till now.

I’ve platinumed it, after having spent nearly 200 hrs on it 😀

Get this game day one, is my reccomendation.


Cant wait to play. I heard held off importing to support NISA hopefully in the future you guys can bring more atlus games to europe but with a reduced delay


I usually don’t but another version of a game I already own, but when I do, it’s a portable version of Persona


I absolutely LOVED this game on PS2 (imo the best RPG for the system, and you know, the PS2 didn’t have lack of great JRPGs). Altough at the time I just got a PS3 for a few months, it was all Persona 4 I played. Extremely looking forward to this one (I could hold myself from importing. As the Persona 3 Portable version was an awesome improvement, my expectations are high… Hopefully I can finish Ni No Kuni by friday…

Aces73High 15 February, 2013 @ 1:39 pm   9

I am soooooo looking forward to finally getting my hands on this next week!

PsychoDantis 15 February, 2013 @ 1:40 pm   10

It warms my heart to know that this is only getting released three months after the US release. That’s actually really good!

Great game. If you’re on the fence, buy it. It’s very good.


Looking at NISA history I guess digital version will not be available in Poland? Also retail copy will be pain to get, probably import only from the UK? ….

Heavenfang 15 February, 2013 @ 1:46 pm   12

I too imported this, I just couldn’t wait, sorry. 🙂
And to everyone still wondering if this is good game: YES. One of best games I’ve ever played, and third game that’s made me cry, and I don’t cry easily. This game had me playing it day and night, one time I woke in the middle of the night and decided to play it for a bit. Next thing I know, it was morning already 😀


There’s nothing wrong about repeating this:

I imported Persona 4 Golden too and i can easily say that this is the greatest RPG ever created.

Yeah i played Planescape Torment, Fallout 1 or ES:Morrowind.

Again ladies and gentlemen, attention:

Greatest RPG ever.

supersmith2500 15 February, 2013 @ 2:00 pm   14

Bring on next week. This game could well help the Vita sales in Europe alot as it’s one of the best PSVita games of 2012 for NA. Can it make to the number one spot for the Vita charts this month just like it did in NA’s Vita chart? Let’s hope so. = )

Bacon_Crispies 15 February, 2013 @ 2:05 pm   15

Like most people commenting I imported back in December due to the lack of info on a UK release and a lack of any games to play on my Vita.

However if you didn’t import then this is a must buy.
If you have a Vita, buy it, if you don’t have a Vita, then buy a Vita and then go buy this.


Have been waiting tot play this sine the game was announced for EU.
I hear much positive sounds from the USA.
And i will get this day one.

Silent_Gig 15 February, 2013 @ 2:34 pm   17

Im just about finshing up my copy i imported. Im eargly awaiting Persona 4 Arena now.

Paulus---8p 15 February, 2013 @ 2:35 pm   18

Aw man, can’t really afford buying a Vita right now, but when I do, this game is at the top of my list. In the meantime, any chance we’ll see Persona 3 Fes coming to Europe in the near future? It’s been on the US PSN for a couple of months now. In fact, I might finally look into creating a US account, just to get my hands on this game!

Fenrir188 15 February, 2013 @ 2:49 pm   19

this might be a stupid question but will the digital release be on the stated release date or is that a physical copy only release date?

FrysteTurtle 15 February, 2013 @ 2:50 pm   20

Magnificent game, and still one of the best and most original RPG of the last 10 years.
(Re)Played and finished the Japanese version during the last summer, and after about 120 hours of gameplay, I’m still tempted to jump inside the beautiful dungeons and story twists of Persona 4.
One question, though: is it really necessary to promote a masterpiece like this saying that “Metacritic liked it very much back in 2008”?
Metacritic is notoriously one of the biggest scum of the Game Industry, sufficient to say that there are developers struggling to maintain their jobs because several publishers periodically decide to bind their contract to the “Metascore of their works”. Please, don’t give any relevance to that site, not even to promote a game that was well received there. It is neither a favour to videogames, nor to gamers.
That said, I hope Persona 4 will sell in hundreds of thousands copies here in Europe and it manages to reach a whole new audience: the Shin Megami Tensei Series is still an unknown Diamond for too many…


Wait, is NIS America the publisher for Europe?

Does that mean Scandinavia won’t get the game on the PSN like Disgaea 3: Absence of Detention never got? Please respond.

Artemisthemp 15 February, 2013 @ 3:28 pm   22

#11 Would be easier for NISA to publish in Poland/Scandinavia, if the PSN Documentation policy didn’t require the Publisher to translate the documentation into Polish/target country languages

#19 According to what publisher said or was it Sony will P4: Golden release on February 20 (Digital) and Retail on February 22

#21 Most likely, since HDN avatar didn’t release in Denmark.

DiscworldDeath 15 February, 2013 @ 3:32 pm   23

Have fun guys, I got a copy from eBay 🙂


They just need to translate store description, not the documentation. It just means they are totally lazy and don’t care about those that missed out. So we shouldn’t really expect anything at this point and it is already more than a year since we were categorized as not worthy of their games…

Sorry If I offended anyone, but this is how I feel, being told for 1.5 year we try, we try and not doing anything at all, sorry, but there is millions of people in USA who can speak Polish and 40m in Poland, so this is not some impossible task to find a translator for a mere 4-5 lines of text…

Nazar_Ops 15 February, 2013 @ 4:36 pm   25

This game is amazing! Got my imported copy last month and i love it. I haven’t completed it yet. But for those who are wondering to buy this, buy it! One of the greatest RPG’s u can find on the vita.

GANTZn00b 15 February, 2013 @ 4:47 pm   26

thanks for making vita region free , i already imported it from US cause i didn’t want to wait for the long EU delay , especially whne there are so few vita games out there

why was it not released for EU so long , translations ?

Andrefpvs 15 February, 2013 @ 4:54 pm   27

PS Vita’s game of the year right here, be it 2012 or 2013! 😀

If you have a Vita, I assure you you won’t be disappointed with this game.


Imported fom the us in December.

Awesome game…..and I’m not usually a fan of jrpgs.

Can’t wait for persona 4: arena in may!


Really hope this is released digitally in Scandinavia.


Managed to refrain from importing this, one week to go so excited! Get my RPG fix! Shame there’s no word on a solid gold edition for UK, was really wanting that skin :/


only 7 more days ^_^

– although I am hoping mine arrives a day or so early as I can’t wait (this was/is the game I bought a vita for)

Raziel-chan 15 February, 2013 @ 10:30 pm   32

Didn’t import it since I knew it was going to be released in Europe… Now I realized that according to NISA Poland isn’t in Europe, so I won’t be able to get it without importing it from somewhere anyway.

It’s quite amusing, XSeed missed the Europe-wide release of two of their Vita games because they simply didn’t know they needed to translate the store descriptions, the next game they released got released Europe-wide. Yet, Nisa’s been aware of the problem for years and they just don’t care.

I mean, come on, English-Polish translators are not few in numbers! Heck, I am a professional translator. You just have to WANT to try.


fastchumpie 16 February, 2013 @ 2:03 am   33

Is there a demo coming out soon for this?

quackerzacher 16 February, 2013 @ 2:59 am   34

i wub you thanks for bringing it outside america even if it did take a while already paid for n’ stuff

TrickishDcnc 16 February, 2013 @ 9:22 am   35

Cannot wait got this game on pre order for release day. Have never played it on ps2 but due to great reviews and my love of jrpgs I just had to have it. I managed to hold off importing it but boy its been a long wait but yay its nearly over 🙂 I am looking forward to Friday or Thursday if it gets sent by post on Wednesday to arrive on time for release.

Alienshade 16 February, 2013 @ 9:19 pm   36

Buy this game! But play persona 3 first!

European_Gamer 17 February, 2013 @ 7:22 am   37

It seems there’s a problem with the flickr images.

Lord_Gremlin 17 February, 2013 @ 7:13 pm   38

I have a question. Are there any differences compared to NA localization? Because US version has some really, and I mean REALLY American things shoved into dialogue, to the point where I found it distasteful.
Normally I would agitate people not to buy such a late release, but I can’t really hold a grudge against NIS America, I love my disk copy of Way of the Samurai 4. Thank you for that.
As for Persona 4 Golden, my first playthrough of US version took me 135 hours. I’m on my second run and still want to play more. Also, it’s such a tremendous improvement over Persona 4 on PS2 that now original looks like botched pre-alpha. Ugly and unfinished. No joking here, you haven’t played P4G = you haven’t played Persona 4.
P4G is one of those games you need to play to understand the talk about modern videogames. Like, why so many people call FFXIII garbage/failure. Or lament lack of good jRPGs. P4G is a prime example of exceptionally good jRPG. That said, P4 on PS2 had quite some bad design decisions and was rough on the edges. That was all ironed out.


Is it true that it’s not coming to Poland? Seriously? I would surely buy it (a digital version, as I go 100% digital on Vita), but if not – I can just get the PS2 version. After all, I know where to find a digital version of the PS2 game…
Really sad on your part…


The feedback we got is just so mind blowing I still can’t process it…

PortableXombie 15 March, 2013 @ 1:28 pm   41

I am viewing this on the vita so maybe I am missing something, but where is the beginner’s guide? It says beginners guide at the top of the page but I only see an overview of features here.