This role-playing game (RPG) remake was fantastic on the Vita, but its wider release on consoles means that a whole new audience of fans will be exposed to this classic game. Persona 4 Golden dives deep into the franchise's well-known mechanics of detailed story development through "Social Links," which are governed by how much time you invest into getting to know your fellow classmates. You have to become acquainted with the people in your life, taking on odd jobs or quests they ask you to complete, and spending time to make sure that they feel like you care. The same can be said for the randomly generated dungeons, which pack turn-based battles into twisting, cramped hallways. These tense, challenging fights between your party members and strange monsters have a specter of time pressure hanging in the background. If you can't defeat creatures in dungeons and save victims within a set number of days, the game ends. It's the balancing act between your personal life and your otherworldly investigator life that adds tension, drama, and emotion to a challenging game, and it will give dozens of hours of entertainment. Plus, it looks great in full HD, which the Vita and PS2 simply couldn't produce at the time, so visually, this feels like a completely new game. The most recent updated visuals feel like they're ripped from an animated feature, and with only a few moments of slowdown, look fantastic. The inclusion of a Suspend Save feature makes it a bit easier to make progress as well, since you don't always have to escape a dungeon or run to a save point before stopping your gameplay, which was always a headache from the original game.
All of this being said, the challenge is one of the biggest issues that some may find with Persona 4 Golden. The difficulty can spike on some dungeon levels, which can make improving your characters, boosting the levels of your collected Personas, and still accomplishing your goals a very steep climb. Similarly, the game's take on a character's questioned sexuality is cringeworthy. It was questionable in the original title, and it just feels antiquated and offensive now, especially when there's extra months and characters added into the title -- much of this could've been addressed with . It's a large blemish on an otherwise fantastic port of a classic game.