I'll start off admitting I don't know much about rpgs. The ones I love best are the old school ones. Ff on the nes, dragon warrior series, pokemon games are my favorite. I played skyrim and really liked it, but I think it was because it was an easy learning curve.
I guess the games I like best are turn based.
Is persona turn based? Is it easy to pick up and play without being overwhelming?
Is it a consecutive story line? Am I gonna be lost staring with the 4th?
I see it promises 100 hours of vita gameplay and I really need a good portable game.
Persona games are turn based. I think the game is pretty easy to pick up because it is a pretty standard turn based gameplay, and everything in the game are explained nicely. The game start off a bit slow (about 30 minutes before you get to fight anything) because it is a story heavy rpg. The game cut into two parts: school life during the day, and fighting monsters during night time. During the day, you get to build your social status (courage, knowledge, diligence, expression, and understanding) and Social Link (rank up your relationship with your friends which in turn net you extra exp during fighting and able to fuse better personas)
The stories in Persona games are not connected. Each one is its own story with its own characters, but set in the same world (persona 3 + 4 anyway, I never played 1 and 2). However, Persona 4 Arena (a fighting game and a sequel to persona 4) have characters from persona 3 + 4 meet each others, and at the end of story mode (great story mode btw) suggest that if there is a sequel to this game (either be an rpg or another fighting game), they will be working together at some point. So if you start with Persona 4, you won't be lost with the story however if you want to play the fighting game or a sequel (that might happen or not) then you might want to go back and play Persona 3).
I hope I didn't overwhelm you with too much information. There are still much about the game but this is the basic that you should know first. I hope you get the game because Persona 4 is still one of the best jrpgs (and there's not many good JRPG on PS3 or 360 anyway). Also if you pre order the game, you will get a skin for you Vita which I think look awesome. I hope I helped you a little.
Edit: The game also have multiple endings. So if you are like me, I'll play the first playthrough without any guide then seceond playthrough with guide for the true ending.
Persona 3/4 will give you 60-70+ hours of gameplay each easily. Thing is, the games are very, very, VERY plot driven. Something like 70-80% of your time will be spent RPGing, 20-30% will be fighting.
Persona 3 is also $10 on the playstation store, or you can get the portable version for the vita at full price. P3P might be easier if you're going to start with Persona 4, though, due to changes in gameplay mechanics.
You may not want to play it on any difficulty other than easy, if it's your first time. the battles are very.. difficult/tedious, for someone not used to persona and how demon fusing works.
Naaah. The game isn't THAT difficult for someone who isn't a SMT pro. Normal mode is just fine. Just means you might die to a couple bosses and have to use that knowledge to your advantage the next time going through.