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Persona 4 Arena - Xbox 360 Standard Edition
|List Price:||CDN$ 24.99|
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- A collaboration with genre masters Arc System Works: Developed in partnership with the studio responsible for fan favorite fighting games BlazBlue and Guilty Gear.
- Platform: Xbox 360
- ESRB Rating: Teen
- Media: Video Game
- Item Quantity: 1
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Platform for Display: Xbox 360
Amazon.ca Product Description
Developed in collaboration with genre masters Arc System Works, Persona 4 Arena uses gorgeous, hand-drawn, high definition 2D anime-style fighters and colorful, over-the-top special effects to bring to life a roster of fighters from the critically-acclaimed, highly popular Persona 3 and Persona 4. Backed up by an original, hardcore fighting engine from one of the most respected 2D fighting game developers in the industry, Persona 4 Arena represents the biggest, most noteworthy expansion of the esteemed series to date. A collaboration with genre masters Arc System Works: Developed in partnership with the studio responsible for fan favorite fighting games BlazBlue and Guilty Gear. Console-exclusive features and content: The home console release will include a number of new features over the Arcade version, including a full Story mode and online multiplayer! Characters and settings from award-winning Persona 3 & 4: Beautiful, hand-drawn 2D anime-style sprites of characters based on the award-winning Persona 3 and 4 roleplaying games, along with eye popping stages and special effects, are a special treat for both Atlus and genre fans. Original, hardcore fighting mechanics: True to Arc System Works tradition, P4A looks and feels like nothing else out there. Each fighter has attacks tied to their Persona, their summoned inner strength, adding to the depth and complexity.
From the Manufacturer
Two months after the ending of the hit RPG Persona 4, a new threat has emerged in Persona 4 Arena! Jump into the next chapter of the story as Persona 4 enters a new genre in this 2D fighting game from the dream team of ATLUS and Arc System Works, made to be enjoyed by fighting game beginners and experts alike!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Im hoping this is just the 1st in what could be a very good persona series fighting game and even though i'm a huge BlazBlue fan something just makes this more appealing, now a Persona vs. Blazblue game. That would be good, but this is good for now
Luckily, ASW addresses that issue in Persona 4 Arena, which became almost instantly identifiable when I jumped into Challenge mode with Akihiko. I was expecting a GG or BB control scheme, complete with all sorts of different attacks for a single button that can be performed through simple directional inputs (e.g. 2C, 5C, 6C), which consequently opens the doors to long combo chains. Although that's quite fun, ASW left that system in those games and simplified things considerably here.
And by simplified, I mean that during the early days of this game's cycle you'll probably see a lot of players online spamming Auto Combos, which certainly look impressive and would be more difficult to perform normally, but as you can plainly see by the notation (a string of five A attacks, for example) the combo is pretty braindead. Before you shake your head in dismay, though, remember Marvel also has braindead combos (and characters), and it's a game that's easy to grasp yet hard to master. And as far as impressions go on day one of release, Persona 4 Arena seems that way as well.
Persona 4 Arena looks, plays, and feels in almost every way like an ASW title. It has multiple single player modes, such as a comprehensive tutorial, challenge mode, extremely robust story mode (understatement of the year!), and a training mode with more bells and whistles than you can shake a stick at. The SP meter (super meter) is identical to BB, not just in how it's measured but also in how you build it; there is a burst system; you can combo after throws; and you have two Persona normals that feel like a Drive attack in BB. One cool aspect of the Persona attacks, though, is that your Persona has a health bar, too, in the form of four cards which if depleted deactivate it for about 10 seconds. This is huge. Several attacks and combos rely on Personas, and some characters are useless without their Persona. Think of the implications this could have in matches and tournaments.
Despite the heavy ASW flavor so far, Persona 4 Arena's attack buttons aren't as multi-purposed as other titles from the company. As mentioned previously, A, B, C, and D for the most part all have one attack without multi-directional counterparts, which is actually a really nice departure that simplifies combat a lot. There's one weak and one strong attack; one weak and one strong Persona attack; and a sweep performed by hitting down, plus A and B. Simple, right? Another unique feature is Furious Actions, which is just a combination of B and D at the same time. For some characters this is a simple DP (Dragon Punch), for others it's a counter, but what makes it interesting is that it reduces your HP slightly (which auto recovers, though) and usually has significant recovery (but can be used in combos if used properly). All Out Attacks are also somewhat unique, but for the most part feel like modified versions of Dust attacks in GG. This is basically an attack that hits once and sends the opponent spinning backwards allowing you to follow up with a launcher or a "grounder," both of which allow for combos afterward. You simply hit A and B and viola, you have an All Out Attack.
What also makes the game unique is probably the most obvious aspect, and that would be the Persona characters which will immediately guarantee a sale for any diehard Persona fan even if he/she isn't into fighting games. The same trend happened when BlazBlue released in 2009; plenty of anime fans flocked to the game because of its visual aesthetics and elaborate story mode, the latter of which not typically associated as a strong suit for fighting games. The Persona writing staff is luckily on board for this title, though, and with that comes certain expectations in terms of quality and content, which have been exceeded with leaps and bounds as far as I can tell so far, since this is after all a proper sequel to Persona 4.
Despite all this, however, the game's strong suits may be its undoing. As popular as Persona may be, it is still a niche series made even more niche by becoming a fighting game, a pill that gets harder to swallow when you have to master combos and fighting game techniques such as footsies and spacing which can be grueling trials of endurance for a novice player. After story mode has been completed, the sheen might fade and diehard fans might not be compelled to play online despite the numerous tools ASW has provided to make any fight a button mashing affair. Of course, I hope I'm wrong, but we saw it happen to BlazBlue; hopefully, ASW will find a way to keep the game fresh, and the community will find a way to make it relevant because it would be a shame for such a gem to fade into obscurity as countless other amazing games have.
In the Persona games, each character has a Persona with special skills they use in battle. So it is here - each character has strong and weak attacks, and their Persona has strong and weak attacks. The Persona has a mini health bar of its own, and five hits sends it away to recover. There are even status effects like poison and dizzy, similar to what you'd see in a RPG.
Like ASW's other games, this game is fast-paced, technical, and with lots of different systems around. In addition to Persona break, there is a meter (indicated with SP, like the Persona games) and a burst. However, the game doesn't get bogged down by the details. It's pretty accessible, and even has a simple auto-combo system for the button mashing beginners.
Persona 4 Arena is a full-featured game with a detailed story mode with lots of cinemas and voice acting, an arcade mode, a score attack mode (with full online leaderboards), a lesson mode with tutorials, a challenge mode, and a training mode. Unlike a Capcom fighter, there's lots to do here.
The online mode deserves a special mention. First of all, the game does an excellent job of pairing up fighters with good connections. This is key, and it's also why so many games seem to have bad "netcode." By pairing up people who have a good connection to one another, Persona 4 Arena ensures the hard work is already done. Once in the game, it plays great - as close to a local game as one can get. Combos hit, action is intense, and it just works great. In terms of feature set, online has the usual 8-player lobbies, detailed player cards, and leveling for each character. There are no issues here.
The Persona games have, for my money, some of of the best character designs out there in games. So it makes sense to put them in a genre with such an emphasis on individual characters. The sprites are huge and well-animated, with lots of flair and color. Each character looks great. The Personas look amazing - like their illustrations in the RPG menus. The backgrounds, inspired by Persona 4, are colorful and stylish. This game looks spectacular.
The voice acting is very good and features both English and Japanese VA. There is commentary throughout the match, similar to the voice acting in the Persona battles. The music is classic Persona - a mix of brooding tunes and upbeat Japanese pop. I'm not one of those people who listens to J-pop normally, but I love the Persona music.
I can see myself playing Persona 4 Arena for years. It's insanely good. I couldn't get into Marvel vs. Capcom 3 and Street Fighter X Tekken for a number of reasons, but Persona 4 Arena works.