A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
While the characters get together and work together to solve mysteries, some are churlish, rude folk who are violent and/or swear (The cussing is full of four letter words.,although the C word is never used, many others are.) Schools and teachers are made fun of. Also, some of the kids seem depressed and it appears to be more than teenage angst. Boys are too pushy when flirting with girls.
Violence & Scariness
There is animated blood and there is death. But it's not the gushing kind as in Devil May Cry. What you do see is blood that's somewhat akin to exploding fireworks. You don't see wounds, but you see this exploding balloon of blood spraying like fireworks above the heads of those in the battle room. And there's a lot of battling.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
There's partial nudity and a fair amount of innuendo. The innuendo is more like flirting that all kids do, but it can be fairly aggressive. The partial nudity is female, including showing of breasts, in the Japanese comic book style of manga. Primarily, it happens in the dream portion of the game. Also, you'll enter an area at one point that seems like a strip club. On the wall are shadows portraits of what appear to be naked women. There is no stripping, but there is a dancer in a bikini.
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You'll definitely encounter cuss words. You'll hear "s--t" and "asshole" a lot.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
There are references, but smoking or drinking isn't promoted as a good thing. It's just there. For instance, the uncle, who's the main cop in the mystery, sometimes wishes he had a beer or a cigarette when things are stressful. You will see people who are drunk.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that while this game feature high school students as protagonists, this is an M-rated game intended for those 17 and up. The game contains a dark storyline, and is full of cussing, references to alcohol and smoking, along with occasional partial nudity. Within the first hour, you'll witness flirting by boys that's too pushy. At a crime scene, you'll see blood on the walls. Some of the script that you'll read has references to female monsters who have sexual relations with men. People act drunk as well. But even more than this, there are characters who seem to be severely depressed and the nightmares that the main character enters feel real. The horror and sadness is palpable, and that may require more maturity from the player to reckon with than the violence, sex references, partial nudity, and references to tobacco or alcohol.
Is It Any Good?
From the get-go, you'll be privy to mature sexual themes like love triangles, a foul-mouthed school teacher, and references to drinking and smoking. Yet this is no over-the-top Grand Theft Auto IV. All the references just make the game more intriguingly real, not satirically hyperreal. If you're used to an action game, the nature of this RPG is slower. But the curious will be rewarded with some scares along with a deep storyline and well-rounded characters who run the gamut of personalities.
The odd, nightmarish dream world may be too much for some with its long-tongued creatures and bears who have nothing inside their bodies. Though the weakest part of Persona 4 is the artwork, the anime style keeps it from being too frightening. The turn-based fighting can get a somewhat dull at times if you're not into the strategy that goes into defeating each strange foe. Ultimately, though, Persona 4 is a carefully honed game with a story that may not be unique, but is nonetheless as compelling as a page-turner. The game also includes a bonus soundtrack disk.
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Our Editors Recommend
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