All parent member reviews for Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 4

Parents say

(out of 8 reviews)
age 15+
Review this title!
Adult Written byRachael Ward May 6, 2012

A game that demonstrates the importance of truth

While I admit that I agree that a lot of what this review says is true, I feel that there are a lot of positive messages presented in P4 that have been overlooked. Each of the characters that are thrown into the dream world in the TV are forced to face their shadows or inner demons. While these scenes are very dark and borderline disturbing, it has a purpose. Each character comes to the realization that they need to accept all that they are, both the good and bad, in order to fully realize who they are as people. The main motif of the game as a whole is truth and its intangibility. Especially in an era where we are surrounded by media which can blind us to what is real or fake. Something that is very true to real life and important for people to understand. While this game isn't for everyone, I whole heartedly recommend P4 if you are looking for a game that has good RPG action, deep characters and heart pumping mystery.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Too much consumerism
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Adult Written byGamerStudent October 6, 2010
I am a teenager an very into gaming, i love this game and i dont see why its rated so high, its fun and a memorail game. i do not recomend this to anyone under 12/13. If u know ur child well and hes not an influencail kid like one day he/she acts like this then wen he sees this guy or any form of media he/she acts differently. I am 14 years old and im not influencail honestly, i belive in myself and others and i do wat i think is best. MY advice to parents, if u have kid who is 15 years theres no doubt if u should get it for him if he'll will like it, 12/13 years may vary, if ur 12 year old is immature u could give it to him bt thats ur choice 13+ is generally good so i rate this game "T" for violence, animated blood, slight sexual content and alchohalic reference. I really hope u take this concideration and not shuve me aside likeany other unknown reviwer as a gamer, ur child may miss out on an experience that hell remember and love, it might even give good ideas for writing esays, it did for me so why not ur kid?
Adult Written byROS1313 July 4, 2014

Prepare for a LOOONG Review That Explains This Masterpiece in Detail

The site's review makes the game sound far worse than it actually is in terms of mature content. Granted, there IS in fact mature content in this game, but that's kind of a given once you notice the Mature rating on the box. First of all, this site COMPLETELY skipped the positives of this game. There was a 0 rating in terms of good morals? REALLY?! I went into this game as an antisocial person in search of a pastime. After 70+ hours of playing through its story, I came to realize several things about myself and about others: While at times in our real world other people may seem like they're out for all the wrong reasons, especially in the mindset of someone like me who distrusts people in general, there are more people who understand and are like you than you realize, they CAN and most likely WILL help you through your ordeals, there IS good inside even the meanest of people, and everyone needs help sometimes getting over their own faults. Everyone has things inside that they don't want to admit to themselves, but as the game shows, holding these dark feelings inside is harmful if you don't seek some form of acceptance, from yourself or from others. Persona 4 teaches you to be true to yourself and others and to never be ashamed of who you are, and it also teaches a great deal about the value of friendship, through its constant motto: "Bonds are the power of people", which is even emphasized by its integration into the gameplay itself. While some characters may seem like negative role models, most of them are redeemed in the end through realizing and accepting their faults, thus causing them to change for the better. That being said, the iffy parts come next I suppose, since I assume that's what this review is for. Swearing is definitely a part of this game, but it's not really that bad, depending on your personal attitude towards curse words. No "f bombs" are ever dropped, and the language stops at the "s-word". The violence is minimal and the site's review really over-imagines it in my opinion. It is an anime-styled game, and while some anime can be violent Persona 4's fighting is more cartoon-like than anything. The most "realistic" violence you'll really see are people swinging swords or using guns, but the result is never gory and these actions are mostly aimed towards the monsters that inhabit the game's TV world, with the exception of the climactic battle against the killer, who is injured in the fight but DOES NOT bleed or die afterwards, instead going to prison. Really, that battle plays out like a Spider-man comic: Heroes find bad guy, have a spar with him, he is defeated and sent to jail. End of story. The only instance of blood in this game I can think of is when one character gets a nosebleed, but that is a comic relief scene and is not violent in any way. Drinking as portrayed in this game is viewed in a neutral light. Your in-game uncle is a drinker and a smoker but he is not abusive and in fact loves his daughter; however, he is too caught up in work to spend enough time with her, which sometimes causes arguments, though it is resolved happily in the end. And the infamous "King's Game" scene does NOT in fact feature underage drinking. The game explains this very clearly when one character notes that the establishment does not even serve alcohol. As for sexual references, they are definitely there, but in a game set in a high school what did you expect? There is no explicit nudity, though admittedly some female Personas are partially nude, but again nothing graphic is ever seen. The female cast is for the most part heroic and likable and is totally equal to the male cast, and there is little in terms of what you'd call "fanservice" except for certain events played for comic relief. The game deals with issues like homosexuality but it's largely subjective. The character dealing with that issue is not actually homosexual but was in reality struggling with what it means to himself to "be a man". The game's third dungeon is modeled after a strip club but there is no nudity, and the reason for the design is because of the insecurity in the heart of the character the place was born from. She is unsure of who she is as a person, which is made worse by the fact that she is a celebrity with multiple proverbial masks she dons for the public, and as such she feels she is letting the world treat her like an object instead of a person. There are other instances but they are mild, played for comic relief, and certainly not explicit. Finally, the only other thing I think parents should be aware of that absolutely none of the other reviews cover is some of the religious references. The Personas themselves are based on figures from popular mythologies the world over, and these include but are not limited to Ancient Greek, Roman, Chinese, Japanese, Muslim and Christian. These range from angels and archangels from the Bible to demons from the same book, as well as good and evil divine figures from the other religions mentioned, each with their own blurb in the "Persona Compendium". None of these are portrayed as superior or inferior to others except in terms of level but again, it's an RPG. They are meant to balance each other out, and while the Personas you use don't have an effect on the outcome of the story the mythology is worth mentioning. To conclude this galumphing novel of a review, I say that what you think is appropriate for your kids is up to you, but I think most kids 14 and older should be okay with it. Most movies we have today are WAAAY worse than this game in terms of violence, swearing and sex. If your kids play Call of Duty or Grand Theft Auto, then you should have no problem with this one, and to those who are still on the fence about it there is plenty of gameplay footage of this game on YouTube. Check it out if it strikes your fancy.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Parent Written byCommonSenseGames March 25, 2014

Mature philosophy, not childish fantasy

Persona 4 has some of the most intellectually deep story and perfectly engaging gameplay I have ever seen. However, the game is clearly written for an audience of high school age and above. Sexuality, swearing, smoking, they are all in the game, but set realistically, not gratuitously. And, if the 50-hour completion time doesn't wear you out by the end, the game's mature message of psychology and identity will most likely touch you (unless you are not a human)
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Adult Written bybuzzwords September 13, 2010

this blurb can't do this game justice

this was really a deep and interesting game, and while it does include a lot of iffy content, taken as a whole the context isn't so bad. your motivation is to STOP a murderer and RESCUE his intended victims. i can't honestly tell you what age this is appropriate for, it's so deep and complex that i strongly urge you to play this yourself before deciding if it's allright for your child, the game is so good it won't even feel like a chore.
Adult Written byAeries June 4, 2010
I do not see any issue with letting kids play this game; however, this is based completely on what each parent allows their children access to. If you have an issue with your children making a choice to have multiple love interests than you might not want to let them play this game. On the other hand, you have the option to join extracurricular activities such as band, basketball, drama, and so on. Depending on the choices you make, the game also deals with parent issues between a child and a estranged father. I have let my kids play it and they range from 8 to 10. The only reason I rate it at a 10+ is because the game can be incredibly hard at times. I personally think that younger kids might have an issue trying to keep up with it. My eight-year-old struggled (but she does not like video games), while my nine and ten-year-old had no issues.
What other families should know
Too much swearing
Adult Written byImamom July 2, 2014

Let you're kids have this!

I agree with some of the other parents here. It is does have some "mature" content. But if you're child has ever played skyrim or call of duty. This is not as bad as those things. It does have a very good message. This games has VERY low sexual themes. I mean it's ps2 for heavens sake. Even the small amount it doesn't look let alone fee love this game. My family gets together and plays it every night for family home evening. I would definitely recommend this game!
Adult Written byChronOblivion March 31, 2014

Persona 4 is a Masterpiece With Powerful, Positive Themes

Persona 4 is, quite simply, the greatest game I have ever played. An incredibly diverse cast, a well-paced mystery/adventure plot, an iconic and catchy soundtrack, and very solid gameplay that will have you juggling your many social links while trying to catch a killer and protect the people of Inaba. But what distinguishes this further from ordinary games is the powerful motifs it carries throughout the story. The primary messages are that the bonds you make with others are incredibly important, that you should accept who you truly are, and that you should reach out to the truth, no matter how comforting a lie might be. If you are a parent whose child is interested in it, you should know a few things. First off, this game holds some very powerful and positive messages about friendship and accepting the flaws in themselves and others. I certainly learned a lot from this game, and would like to think that I came out of it a better person. Secondly, this game is pretty dark in the interest of maintaining realism, which is the entire point of the game. After all, one of the primary messages is to accept the truth, and that couldn't be done if humanity's darkness wasn't explored and acknowledged. Essentially, the main plot is that someone has gained the power to use television screens to enter into another world, referred to as the "TV World", which has been used as a perfect instrument of murder that can't be traced back to them. When someone is thrown into this world, they are confronted with their 'shadow', which is a physical embodiment of every part of themselves that they try to hide or won't admit to themselves. Basically, their inner darkness. A dungeon that follows the same theme is created around them. These Shadows continue to berate the originals by confronting them with what they hate about themselves, and will eventually kill them when the fog that permeates that world lifts. These Shadows serve as the main bosses of the story. It is only when these Shadows are accepted and acknowledged as part of themselves that they turn into a powerful force for good, their Persona. The goal of the main cast, the Investigation Team, is to save each person when they're thrown in, and to find who is throwing them in in the first place. Specifically, the main reasons that this should be kept from a child who is not ready for it is the language, the sexual themes present in a few of the dungeons and Shadows, and the brutal reality that these characters have to face about themselves. One female character, Rise, is a nationally famous model who is terrified that her 'idol' self is slowly becoming her true self. Her dungeon, because of this insecurity, is a strip club, and her Shadow is clad in only a bikini and says and acts very suggestively. Rise eventually realizes that she doesn't have a 'true self', and that all aspects of her form her identity, including the part of her that loves being an idol. Another character's shadow challenges his insecurities about his masculinity, and acts very flamboyant and has a dungeon in the form of a bathhouse. One character in particular swears somewhat often, though never to the point of an f-bomb (it should be pointed out that a big part of his character is that he is pretty soft underneath his rough exterior, and is a very caring person). A couple others swear less often and less severely, and most do not swear at all. The killer, when revealed later on, is very cruel and his utter distaste for the world is exemplified in his crude and offensive language. In conclusion, this game is a masterpiece of storytelling, and can be an amazing experience that will teach someone a great deal about the nature of humanity, the importance of truth, and a lot about accepting themselves and others for who they are, but only if they are old and mature enough to handle and process the dark themes correctly. As such, I would recommend a minimum age of 16, though this could be reduced if a child is mature enough to handle it.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much swearing