In a year dominated by ‘Next Gen’ hardware, a lowly little RPG on the nearly dead Playstation 2 came along and stole the award out from under them. Proving that shiny graphics and heavy tech aren’t always necessary to create a dynamic narrative, Persona 4 took everything that made its predecessor great (my personal favourite game from 2007, and one of my favourite games of all time) and improved it in the subtle ways that count.
Unlike most RPGs, Persona 4 thrusts the player not into a cliche medieval/futuristic world, but rather into a rural Japanese town. The nameless protagonist, though young, then has to deal with the social aspects of life as he battles through both dungeons (created by the personality flaws of the people he meets) and the halls (and twisting social structure) of high school. Even as someone long removed from high school (well, several years, at least), the unique style of the narrative and the deft handling of the social aspects drew me right into the story and the small setting it takes place in.
What drives Persona 4 home, just like the previous entries in the trilogy, are the characters and the interactions between them. When I first started Persona 4, I wasn’t sure how I would like the new characters, considering how attached I had become to those of the previous game, only a few hours in all of my fears were washed away. The top notch character interaction is improved, the characters are just as relateable (if not more so) and the gameplay systems driving the social interaction elements is buttery smooth.
Everything I loved about Persona 3 is back again in finer form and I couldn’t be happier to declare Persona 4 as my personal Game of the Year.
A fantastic follow-up to two classic PC games.
Chrono Trigger DS
My favourite game of all time, in portable form, with added stuff. Damn.
Persona 3: FES
Like Chrono Trigger DS, this takes a classic RPG and makes it better.
Professor Layton and the Curious Village
A charming romp with a gorgeous art style.
An ugly puzzle game from Steven Spielberg that just somehow works.
What was your favourite game to come out this year? What game not on my list should I try to get my hands on?