I really enjoyed Persona 3, so I looked forward to Persona 4 with what I would call “reasonable expectations.” Persona 3 was macabre and atmospheric, full of morally ambiguous characters with lots of personality. Persona 4 seemed to be carrying forward the same things I enjoyed from the first game, including everything down to the awesome soundtrack and the animated cut-scenes. Of course, I was still skeptical.

I think my first concerns arose with the color scheme of Persona 4. Its bright, psychedelic motifs contrasted pretty sharply with the moody blues and greens of the previous installment. Still, I remained optimistic, since it might have been a subversion. The game started off with a grisly murder. I liked that. And I enjoyed meeting Dojima and Nanako-chan. Nanako won my heart over immediately and eternally. Being greeted whenever I returned home was a special treat. :)

My next concerns came when I met Yosuke and Chie, who both irritated the hell out of me. Yosuke was a wuss and didn’t compare to the nerdy awesomeness that was Junpei. Chie was nerdy and easier on the eyes, and then it occurred to me that the Persona team had gender-swapped Junpei and Yukari. (The soccer-loving kung-fu movie nerd replaced the baseball-loving video game nerd, and the prickly, insecure bitch was traded in for a cowardly, pants-wetting … loser.)

I mostly want to finish Persona 4 so I can take it off the list. I’m pretty sure I’ll be disappointed by the ending, as I’ve already been disappointed by the characters and the story. The gameplay is passable, but there isn’t enough in the dungeon-crawling to carry the game by itself. I’d also like to mention that I loved the bittersweet ending of Persona 3.