The Golden Difference(s)

There is quite a lot that has changed in Persona 4 Golden since it was just Persona 4 on the Playstation 2. So much so, in fact, that I thought the changes deserved their own article. For those who have played some or all of the original game, this list may help you decide whether the revised game is worth getting at all. I’m going to try to be exhaustive here but may miss a few.

Indeed, kitten.

Indeed, kitten.

I’ve divided the list into three sections: the small changes, the medium-sized changes and the big changes.

MINOR

Default movement speed is now slightly faster

Additional background details in most scenes

New gag weapons, which bestow 50% EXP bonuses

New graphic that shows exactly how much of what books you have read

Things make a little more sense this way.

Things make a little more sense this way.

New books that make you more effective at raising attributes or completing minigames

No more save points at the entrance to boss rooms

Load times are considerably faster

Can now use a search function to see what Personas you are able to fuse out of what you currently have

Can now go on scooter rides with party members to remember lost skills or learn random new ones

Battle music is now different depending on whether or not you get a preemptive strike

MODERATE

All party members now have a number of different costumes to unlock and wear in battle

A handful of entirely new scenes, mostly played for laughs (although one of them makes you feel like an awful person for choosing more than one girlfriend)

Oh boy...

Oh boy…

Several new anime cutscenes

All cutscenes are now skippable

All dialogue exchanges can now be fast-forwarded

Two new difficulties: Very Easy and Very Hard

Normal difficulty now allows you to restart boss battles immediately if you fail

Whenever an all-out attack doesn’t finish enemies, compatible pairs of team members will do a special attack

Like this.

Like this.

Social Links for party members now bestow additional skills when leveling up

Now able to choose the skills a fused Persona inherits, rather than hoping for luck

Entirely redesigned fishing mechanics, with more skill and timing involved in catching

Now able to catch bugs in a new minigame – these are necessary for the new fishing mechanics

Can now plant and harvest vegetables in the backyard – these have uses in dungeons

Each party member’s Persona can now transform a second time – each learns a powerful new skill when doing so

New Shoji Meguro music tracks throughout the game

MAJOR

The game is now portable!

Visuals are now presented in pseudo-HD widescreen

Two new available Social Links

One new dungeon (tied to one of the new SLs)

An entire extra month to play through (January)

Complete with new weather.

Complete with new weather.

Now able to go out at night – every conversation and event occurring at night is all-new, including:

  • Ability to talk to available party members to receive items and strengthen SLs
  • New access to night-time jobs
  • New “nightclub” which allows you to trade gems for powerful new equipment

Vastly improved Shuffle Time mechanics that change the things you can achieve in dungeons

Skill card system from Persona 3 Portable now exists in the game

Two new areas to visit – the city and the beach (tied to the new ability to obtain a scooter), where you can:

  • Buy new battle costumes
  • Obtain skill cards straight from your Personas
  • Watch movies with characters to strengthen their Links and Personas
  • Catch additional fish

New online functionality allowing for Demon’s Souls-style asynchronous multiplayer

All-new “TV Listings” feature, which unlocks bit by bit and eventually contains:

  • Trailers for other Persona games
  • A ten-part lecture on Jungian psychology (no, really)
  • Most of the game’s music tracks, which you can listen to at will
  • All of the game’s anime cutscenes, which you can watch at will
  • Footage from live Persona music concerts in Japan
  • A virtual gallery of concept art from the game
  • A new “Midnight Quiz”, testing your knowledge of the game’s events
In the bottom right you can see pretty much the only touch screen functionality in the entire game

In the bottom right you can see pretty much the only touch screen functionality in the entire game.

4 responses to this post.

  1. I see you liked the Shuffle Time and Skill Card mechanics so much, you talk about them twice =P

    Reply

  2. It would have been so easy for Atlus to mail this in as a basic port to help out the struggling Vita. Instead, this is one of the most comprehensive remakes ever done — all for a game that was pretty damn great in the first place. I continue to be impressed.

    Reply

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