Individual Work
Persona 4 Golden

Persona 4 was a game released exclusively for the Playstation 2 in 2008 by the Japanese Game Developing company known as Atlus. Because of the release of the Playstation 3 in 2006, followed by the portable Playstation Vita system in 2012, the game was re-released so that owners of the current generation (now former generation) of consoles could experience the game.

Persona 4 is a Role-Playing, Dungeon Exploration game where players control a protagonist whose goal is to balance having a social life and solve a murder mystery when dead bodies begin appearing around the Japanese rural town of Inaba. Not much later the player learns that they have the special abilities to walk into an distorted version of the in-game world via Televisions--a world simply called the "TV World"--and while in the TV World, they can summon a Persona--a Physical manifestation of themselves--to use in combat.

Aside from the person committing the murders, the primary enemies in the game are inhabitants of the TV World called 'Shadows', which represent people in the real worlds dark desires and malevolent intents. These enemies can be engaged in turn-based combat throughout the dungeon exploration done in the TV world. The more powerful, boss type Shadows are called 'Shadow Selfs,' and are representations of the Main Character's friends that they could make provided they go along with the mission. These shadows reveal a major conflict each character is internalizing and once defeated the players not only receives a new party member, but a new friend. It's also worth noting that this game takes inspiration from Psychologist Sigmund Freud's theory on the 'Self,' meaning the Id, Ego, and Superego.

While the Dungeon-Crawling and Combat are very important to the game, it's only half of the what the game has to offer. Whenever you're not fighting shadows or saving people from the TV world, in Inaba you can do various things in your free time like getting jobs to earn money, studying to increase personal skills--such as Wisdom, Understanding, and Courage--to unlock more dialogue options, complete fun tasks for inhabitants of Inaba like fishing or bug catching, and last but most importantly socialize! Indeed, talking to your friends and certain people in Inaba is a great way to learn more about each character's life and help them grow to become better than they already were, as each character has their own personal problem related to the aftermath of defeating their boss Persona. On the surface these more intimate interactions between the player and their in-game friends reward the player with experience points, items, and special abilities,--which compliment entire dungeon crawling parts of the game--but even on its own, the socializing parts of the game are what made Persona 4 playable. It felt good knowing that I was able to manage my in-game time so well, meet so many people, and help them with problems that are actually very realistic.

Overall, Persona 4 is game that offers a lot in terms of its mechanics and story, and gives the player enough freedom to choose how they wish to handle the scenarios that are brought to them. The characters are memorable and realistic, and the world is very engaging. I loved Persona 4 Golden and would recommend it to any gamer!