Please push RESET, hold it in, then turn off the POWER.
Fans of Persona 3's battle system will be pleased to know that it is almost entirely intact with several tweaks and improvements. Shadows still appear as amorphous blobs when you're running around a dungeon, and combat is initiated by either making physical contact or attacking them with your weapon. Attacks are divided into seven types, which both you and your enemies are weak against to some degree, and striking a shadow's weak spot will knock it down and award you with another turn. Downed enemies can be struck again to beat them dizzy and cost them a turn, and if they're all knocked down, your party can bum-rush them in an all-out attack for massive damage. Enemy weaknesses can be discovered only by trial and error, and though you've always got an ally on support to keep track of the ones you've already found for later reference, you still have to deal with their annoyingly obvious narration of your fights. Two other notable changes are the absence of the controversial pistol-like evokers used to summon personae via mock suicide (your inner self is evoked by shattering a tarot card this time) and your ability to directly control party member actions rather than being forced to rely on their AI behaviors. While the former is purely aesthetic, the latter is perhaps the best change to occur in the game because your teammates will sometimes perform inexplicable (and inappropriate) deeds in the middle of a heated fight if left to their own devices.
Visually, Persona 4 shares a number of similarities with its predecessor, including a realistic modern-day setting, an outrageously stylish presentation, and, unfortunately, a lot of reused art assets and a poor camera system that makes navigating the twists and turns of dungeons difficult. The music is heavily inspired by J-pop and J-rock and is extremely catchy, so despite the number of times you may hear the battle theme throughout your entire journey, it never gets old. The majority of the game is voice-acted by a mostly stellar cast, though there are some awkward stretches of text in social-link events and side quests that for whatever reason do not have spoken dialogue, even though some of it does.
Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 4 is an excellent sequel that builds upon an already successful formula by improving it in nearly every way. With a down-to-earth cast of likable characters, an intriguing story further realizes its cast by highlighting their psychological complexities and making them seem that much more real, and an engaging and fun combat system, it's sure to keep your attention for the duration. Whether you're a fan of the dark and bizarre Shin Megami Tensei series or a first time shadow fighter, Persona 4 is a superb role-playing adventure with something to offer to everyone.