As much acclaim as the entire series has received, my first real dealings with the Persona series was with the 4th installment on the Playstation 2. The concept of the game seemed a little strange to me at first, but the beautiful artwork and design of the game grabbed my attention immediately. After becoming addicted to the game and spending over 60 hours with it to get the true ending, I ranked Persona 4 as one of my favorite JRPG games of all time and it’s an experience I will never forget.
Now UDON Entertainment has brought us Persona 4 Official Design Works from overseas and inside this book is a well rounded amount of content that any Persona fan will love. Those looking for concept art, final production artwork and a look at almost every character in the game will certainly want to pick this book up. One thing I enjoyed about this book is that it’s very light on spoilers, so if you’ve never played or finished P4 you can read the book without ruining the important parts of the story.
The comments from the design team are also quite interesting as they discuss some of drastic changes that occurred to certain characters as development of the game progressed. Usually, these comments are followed by the appropriate artwork progression of the concepts from start to finish.
With release of Persona 4: The Animation, Persona 4: Arena and the upcoming Persona 4: The Golden, readers may be disappointed that this book does not contain any art from those releases. While the disappointment is understandable, one must realize that UDON translated this book from the original Japanese release of P4 Official Design Works. Perhaps in the future, we may see an additional release with that content. I would have loved to see that content as an exclusive to the translated release though.
By the time I reached the end of this book, I was bum rushed with the same great experience I had with the actual game. For anyone else who has had that feeling, picking up this book is a no brainer.
Rating: 9 out of 10.
Retail Price: $39.99
Get it here: http://www.udonentertainment.com