Hands on with Persona 4 Golden on PS Vita

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Hands on with Persona 4 Golden on PS Vita

There’s never been a better time to be a fan of the Shin Megami Tensei: Persona series. Persona 4 Arena has just arrived on our shores this week, taking the venerable RPG franchise into 2D fighting game territory (and successfully so). This fall, one of the PS2’s most highly regarded games is coming to PS Vita with Persona 4 Golden. Even if you’re new to the series, as I am, there’s never been a better time to get into it.

Persona 4 Golden

As a recent inductee into the Persona universe (via Persona 3 Portable on PS Vita), I eagerly took up Atlus on the opportunity to sample a work-in-progress edition of Persona 4 Golden last week.

The first thing you’re likely to notice about P4G is how good this game looks. It’s not surprising that a PS Vita game would look better than a PS2 or PSP game, but the sharpness and contrast of the visuals on “dat screen” are dramatically better than anything the series has seen. While a lot of the static character art isn’t new (especially that of the Personae, which are largely the same as in P3), the crispness of the screen had me thinking I was seeing it for the first time. Even the menus are beautiful, taking on golden hues and easing the game’s extensive navigation. The full anime cutscenes look amazing, as they’re running at a higher resolution than ever.

PS Vita: Persona 4 GoldenPS Vita: Persona 4 Golden

While Persona 3 Portable added a new playable main character and other features (such as the ability to directly control characters), few fans would say that it made the the PS2 edition of Persona 3 FES obsolete. It converted rendered anime cutscenes down to still images, and reduced exploration of non-dungeon environments (like Gekkoukan High School) to a static, menu-based experience.

There are no such concessions in P4G. If anything, this new edition has only added to the PS2 original: more cutscenes, significantly higher resolution, re-done/enhanced user interface, and a new character (Marie) are some of this version’s new additions. New elements are sprinkled throughout, such as being able to sneak out at night to hang out at a club and run into characters. Even those who’ve played through Persona 4 previously should find lots of little hidden gems.

Other things I noticed during my playthrough: the music is fantastic. Load times are practically non-existent. There’s a slick effect when you skip cutscenes that looks like fast-forwarding a VCR. In a similar vein, there’s a cool “playing on a CRT monitor” filter when you’re in the Midnight Channel combat areas. And, of course, Trophies.

PS Vita: Persona 4 GoldenPS Vita: Persona 4 Golden

While the build of P4G I sampled didn’t yet contain English voiceover tracks, I can confirm that there will not be Japanese language support in the US version of Persona 4 Golden. Even as someone who tends to take advantage of this option when it’s offered, if the English-language voice quality is as good as what’s featured in Persona 3, I’ll overlook the omission.

As someone whose feelings about the Persona series quickly morphed from ‘apathetic’ to ‘obsessed’ during a playthrough of Persona 3 Portable, I’m confident that P4G will become a fixture in my PS Vita when it ships later this year. If you’ve got any questions about Persona 4 Golden (besides the release date, which hasn’t yet been locked down), drop them in the comments and I’ll find out what I can.

Comments are closed.


  • Awww yeah, another great Vita game! Can’t wait. The screenshots look especially pretty.

  • I wish Persona 4 The Arena was coming to the Vita. But I guess this will do as well. I wish there were more Anime titles for the Vita. We need more games and apps for this beast of an under-rated console!

    Thanks for the news btw!

  • Meanwhile, European Persona fans don’t even know if the game is getting a release in their regions… :(

  • Isn’t this game coming in October?

  • I didn’t get into Persona till I got a Vita as well. I haven’t been able to put P3P down. I can’t wait for this.

    Completely agree +Hokage_45678.

  • This was the primary reason I picked up Vita on Day 1. I jumped in with P3P back on the PSP and since then I can’t get enough of the Persona series and am currently playing Arena. The Golden is easily my most anticipated game of the year.

  • I was excited until I read that there won’t be an option for Japanese VO.

  • Really excited about this RPG, I have never played one of the Persona games so I can’t wait. Is this coming out on October 30th?

  • Looks amazing! I also am just starting the series with Persona 3 Portable and i love it! As always Atlus is awesome!

  • honestly this is in my top 3 this year for vita games, number one being LBP and number 2 being assassins creed, this sits securely at number 3! i cant wait!

  • Another Vita RPG. Nice. Keep them coming. Some of those F2P MMOs would really set the machine apart too.

  • Oh, and grats to Atlus for having Growlanser being Vita compatible on day 1. Nice to see some companies learn from their foibles.

  • I can’t wait to play this.


  • Another day on Vita purchase for me. I know there has been some bad news about PS Vita’s future rolling around the internet, but the now and near future looks excellent.

    – Sound Shapes
    – Zen Pinball 2
    – Ragnarok Odyssey
    – Persona 4 Golden
    – Assasin’s Creed III: Liberation
    – COD: Black Ops Declassified
    – Retro City Rampage
    – Jet Set Radio
    – DJMAX Technia Tune
    – New Little King Story

    And those just the titles I’m interested in. There are many more!

  • I am EXTREMELY excited for this game. I was going to buy Persona 4 for the PS2 but once I heard about it coming to the Vita *with* extra features, I had to wait. My patience is finally starting to come into fruition soon…

    I’ve been a fangirl of the series ever since I played Persona 3. I hope this game would be just as great, if not better!
    I’m just wondering what those “extra features” or “new content” or what’s different in the Vita version as opposed to the original?

  • Never mind, I’m an idiot. I just read it. It cut like half of the page for me on my phone’s browser for some reason and I thought that was it until I refreshed it. LOL

    Can’t wait nonetheless!

  • wait, wait, wait…
    ATLUS said and confirmed Oct 23rd in the past, then appearently pushed back A week. now there isn’t a release date? why is This Happening with every vita game? no vita game has a release date more then 2 months before release smh. how are people going to buy if they hear a release date so close to release, im worrying now cuz i didn’t expect lbp to be released a month after the announced release. I had heard sept 25 for ragnarok, now no release but it’s coming fall, i want the vita versions for sly and PlayStation All-Star Battle Royale and also Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed if it’s the same as console. not to mention Assassins Creed 3: Liberation & Call of Duty: Black Ops Declassified, which should be a game that they are showing off yet hasn’t showed anything for smh. With how fresh BO2 is Surprising looks I probably won’t bother. i personally know vita has alot already, but really horrible support for games. Also PSOne better not come last week of summer like sony keeps pulling recently. I’m expecting next week. I’ve been dying to continue FF on the go cuz rpgs are better like that imo when you can stop and continue anytime and not forced to save and turn off

  • Man! This might sell the Vita to me.

  • Wow, this looks gorgeous. I’m playing and loving Persona 3 Portable on the Vita at the moment.

  • I’m looking forward to seeing more on this game.
    I’m generally not a fan of JRPG’s, but this one has my interest piqued.

  • ohh besides the complaint i said please tell me all the Persona 4: The Animation Openings are extras in this game also :)

  • Dear Sony,

    Add MAG to playstation plus. Its one of my favorite games ever.

    Thank you,

  • I saw the E3 presentation of this game on this blog, apparently it has a bunch of animations as Extras.

  • As someone who currently owns P3FES (ps2), P3 PSN edition and P3 portable, as well as Perona 4 (ps2) and persona 4 Arena, I’m not even getting the least bit tired of this franchise.

    The more I play the more I want to, even to the point of owning 3 versions of P3 for those small differences.

    I’m currently watching the P4 anime before Golden comes out/as I play Arena. Love these characters/the world/the gameplay etc….

    I bought the Vita largely because of the rumours of P4 even before a NA release was confirmed. (Disgaea 3 was the other reason).

    If games like this keep coming out for Vita I could easily see it becomming my favourite, or at least most played system.

  • Persona 3 FES and Persona 4 were some of the most fun I had with my PS2. I’ll gladly revisit P4 (it can keep me occupied during my Christmas travels).
    I’m curious about the addition of scooters. Are they just a fancy way to get around, or is there a bona-fide scooter racing mini-game? And most importantly, can you attack shadows with them?

  • OK, Jeff. You convinced me. I’ll buy this as soon as it’s on PSN store. It will keep AC Liberation company on my pre-ordered white Vita bundle. Oh, & LBP too, of course.

  • Anybody who hasn’t played P4 on the PS2 and plans to pick up Golden for Vita is in for a treat. It really is an incredible RPG.

  • Can we still get the original Persona 4 as a PS2 classic too?

  • I’d like to know when Midway Arcade Treasures is going to work on Vita. Also Motorstorm Arctic Edge.

  • I would also like to suggest getting Persona 4 PS2 on the PSN as a classic.

  • Excellent post! I love hearing more and more about this fantastic title. Can’t wait for it to release. I am saddened to learn that it won’t have JP voice support, but I think I’ll live. Atlus has been great with dubbing in the past.

  • +Jeff Rubenstein
    Can’t wait! Im new to the series as well. btw cud u guys make G+ more intuitive for PSBlog? If uve seen G+ b4 when u post a link to an article on IGN, Gameinformer, etc, it comes with the articles headline and cover picture but on the blog its just the link…..doesn’t look asthetic at all its usually ingnored cus of that…also u guys update the G+ page pretty late..

  • I’m so jealous of you Jeff ( and Brittany Avery of XSEED ), you guys get to try the games while all we can do i read about your experience, and i know you’re sharing that experience with us but sometimes it feels like you’re rubbing it in our faces. ; p

    I just wish that the devs would release a demo early and not wait till right before the release of the game or even with it.

    Any-who this looks like an amazing game and I’m definitely picking this up.

  • @Teflon02

    Nice post, I agree with everything you are saying. It would be nice to get some concrete release dates. I have plenty to play but I am highly anticipating a lot of what you posted. Let’s hope Sony can get this a little more organized. You know they are pushing and realize the Vita needs games. I honestly don’t think the Vita is in trouble as there are a lot of great games for the system. It’s always dry for the first year. Sony has the best handheld ever made. All Vita adopters are lucky to have one and will be richly rewarded very soon.

  • Sorry to hijack this thread before. I am so interested in Persona, never played any of them. I may get P3 and give it a try. Everyone says it’s amazing. P4G looks really good!

  • I loved Persona 3 FES on PS2, and i wanted to pick Persona 4. Is there any chance that this new edition comes to PS3? I don’t want to miss any of the new cutscenes!.

  • If everything that releases on Vita also come to the PS3 then the Vita will without a doubt fail. Every single Vita game post people ask for the games on PS3. Go buy a Vita if you want to play those games.

    Also if they release P4 as a PS2 Classic they’d be screwing themselves over.

  • Umm, this looks pretty cool but I still have no idea what this game is… I’ve never played persona before, can anyone give a quick description, I know its an rpg but that’s about it, I’m a huge fan of the older ff games, is it turn based? Open world? Classes? Progression system? Loot? Thanks..

  • P3P made me fall in love with the franchise, and I even bought P3 again when FES released on PSN. I can’t wait to pick this up along with a new Vita.

  • Please don’t push back the North American release of P4TG! I don’t think my patience can handle it…

    You’re toying with us, Atlus! Cut that out!

  • Oooooohhh yeaaaa~!

  • Pre order set! loved P3 and i will love P4G. never played p4 ps2 so i should be just fine playing the enhanced version of the game :D!! cannot wait for this game to be released! my psvita is urging me to insert this game into it ;)

  • This is a PERFECT game for Vita. What is crazy, is it comes out the same day as SFxT for Vita. So much this year for Vita

    Ragnarok Odyssey
    Little Big Planet
    Persona 4 : Golden
    Street Fighter X Tekken Vita
    Assassins Creed III : Liberation
    Sly freaking Cooper
    All Stars
    COD Black Ops Declassified
    Silent Hill Book Of Memories

    Did I miss anything? Those are just the retail releases I didn’t even list the PSN content. Vita, you Shut up…. You shut the hell up and take my money!

  • Can this get a ps3 remake? please?

  • Great impressions Jeff, can’t wait to get my hands on this :)

  • I hear nothing but great things about this game and even reading through the comments makes the wait so much harder. I liked having RPG’s on my PSP and I want more on my Vita. This will be extra special as well since I seemed to missed all these games when they first released. About how long is this game and is there worth while side quests that are already included or are being added to this remake?


  • Persona 4 Golden and Assassin’s Creed: Liberation are the primary reasons I want a Vita. I love RPGs, and my time with the Persona series on the PS2 is very treasured. I’m going to do everything I can to get the money ready so I can buy this on release.

    Can we get some Persona 3 and Persona 4 avatars on PSN now that P4Arena has been released? I really want to get my Yukari on.

  • I definitely wish that Persona 4 Arena was also available on PS Vita, but alas it is not so. I’ll just have to make do with P4: The Golden! Man, I can’t wait for this game. I never played the PS2 one, but Persona Innocent Sin, Persona 3 Portable got me hooked. I also hope Atlus brings the port of Persona Eternal Punishment out here in the States. You can port over the stats for the main character from Innocent Sin over, even if you haven’t beaten the game! Please, Atlus?

  • “Even as someone who tends to take advantage of this option when it’s offered, if the English-language voice quality is as good as what’s featured in Persona 3, I’ll overlook the omission.”

    ohh so that’s why you refuse to put dual audio for years now.

    i can now finally confirm Arc System Works was responsible for the multiple language and subs for every version of Persona 4 Arena NOT Atlus US.

    will still buy it though, it’s a shame it has come down to this.

  • In repsonse to MushThePainter, it’s a turn-based RPG. I haven’t played P4 (yet) but after playing P3 on the PSP, the news that this was coming to Vita is why I bought one… and I’ve been biding my time playing through P3 until it comes out – between massive amounts of Sound Shapes this week. I think what is special about the series is the story, voice work, and the ability to create social links with characters during the daytime, which have an impact on battle at night. I was sceptical about P3 at first, but it gets your hooks in you pretty fast.

    My only gripe is that it’s not out yet. I would have happily bought P4 Arena (which I’ll second the request for a Vita version) if I’d already played P4 – but hearing there are story spoilers, I’m steering clear until I play through P4 Golden.

    And as for the list of upcoming Vita games, when the heck is New Little King’s Story getting here? The original was possibly my favorite Wii game.

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