E3 2012 Impressions: Persona 4 Arena (Microsoft Xbox 360/Sony PlayStation 3)
by Sean Madson on July 4, 2012

I’ll be blunt: I suck at fighting games. This isn’t to say I won’t play them, I just don’t go into them expecting to best anyone particularly seasoned at it. Since I had an interest in the Persona titles, particularly the fourth entry, I figured I’d at least give the fighting game spinoff a try just to see how well I could adapt to it. The answer to that question is “not well at all”, but I still had a pleasant time with it, and I had more fun than BlazBlue for what that’s worth.

When I stepped up to play, I did so while playing against another human opponent (where I subsequently got worked, although it was close!) When you begin a match, you can choose between characters from both Persona 4 and Persona 3, but with alternate appearances. So far, the roster goes:

-Yu Narukami (The main character from P4)
-Yosuke Hanamura
-Chie Satonaka
-Yukiko Amagi
-Kanji Tatsumi
-Naoto Shirogane
-Teddie
-Aigis
-Mitsuru Kirijo
-Akihiko Sanada
-Elizabeth
-Labrys (Which is the girl resembling Aigis on the cover. She also has a shadow version)

As you battle, you have two regular attacks and two buttons that correspond to Persona attacks. The only difference that I could see with the Persona attacks is that instead of your character personally performing the move, a Persona is summoned and will shoot icicles or whatever attack that particular Persona does. The Personas are also utilized when using attacks that are charged by a Burst Gauge to inflict even more damage. While I couldn’t figure out precisely how to do it, there’s a way to perform the group attack move from the RPG game (the one with the cloud of smoke), and it launches your opponent into the air to get juggled around, which I thought was pretty neat. Aside from that, it’s pretty standard fighting game affair, but it was easy to learn despite not being given the rundown on the controls beforehand. The final game will have a story mode as well as the ability to compete online, so the more competitive crowd should be able to get into too just fine.

Look for Persona 4 Arena on August 7th for Xbox 360 and PS3.



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