It's hard to imagine something darker than shooting yourself in the head to summon demons, but Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 4
manages to top that. The story follows a student (you) who moves to a small town to live with his uncle. Not long after your arrival, your classmates tell you about a TV station with a bit of a "Bloody Mary" -style rumor behind it. According to the rumor, watching the station after midnight on a rainy day will allow the viewer to see their soulmate. Curious, you decide to try the trick, only instead of seeing your soulmate you see images of the two grisly murders that your uncle is currently investigating. You also discover that you can enter the TV where you meet Kuma who tells you that things haven't been right in his world either.
It goes without saying that there's a good bit of exposition involved with Persona 4 is an understatement. You'll have to read and listen to nearly an hour of setup before the gameplay begins, and after that, you're treated to long stretches of explanation. I'm usually one to complain about games that I have to watch more than I play, but with Persona 4, it's different. Story and gameplay segments are evenly balanced and compliment each other. As you explore the mysteries surrounding occurrences in both the real and TV world, you discover that the occurrences are due to entities that are actually manifestations of the main character's doubts and fears and the only way to save the day is to face their inner demons.
Time management plays a major role in gameplay. Rather than follow lunar cycles to predict important events, Persona 4 follows weather patterns. Since you can only enter the dungeons after school, it sometimes feels like there isn't enough time to work on both your dungeon hacking and social skills. Though it feels limiting, it ends up working in the game's favor. Everything feels like it has greater weight to it and nothing feels insignificant. This is a big part of what made Persona 3 such an amazing experience and makes it stand out from other games that attempt similar features.