Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 4 


ate last year, Atlus completely reinvented its Persona series, a spin-off from the relatively niche Shin Megami Tensei franchise, and brought its third entry to the US after seven years of retirement. With its unconventional yet addictive blend of dungeon-crawling action and social simulation, it quickly garnered accolades from all directions. A year later, Persona has returned with a sequel that not only builds upon but greatly improves the quirky formula that made its predecessor so successful, and with its unique take on the murder mystery and its realistic characters, it proves once again that the PlayStation 2 isn't quite as dead as you may think.


Persona 4 begins when your main character--a silent protagonist whom you name--is sent to live with his uncle in the sleepy village of Inaba. After experiencing some difficulty adjusting to your new school life thanks to a nightmarish homeroom teacher, you make fast friends with Yosuke, another big-city transplant like yourself; Yukiko, the daughter of a family famous for running a traditional local inn; and Chie, a hyperactive girl obsessed with martial arts movies. Things seem to be going well, until one morning shortly after your arrival an unnaturally thick fog sets in and leaves behind a body hung upside down from a power line. With the local police seemingly unable to even determine a cause of death, and faith in them waning thanks to a second, eerily similar case, you discover that you may be the only person who can put an end to the killings. For some reason, you possess the ability to travel into the Midnight Channel--a rumored show said to appear and reveal your soul mate if you stare into a TV on a rainy night--where victims are trapped before they meet their fatal end, and provided you make it in time, you can set them free and thwart the killer.