E3 2012: Persona 4 Arena (impressions)

by: Matt -
Atlus has a lot of stuff to keep Persona fans happy for the rest of the year. Between Persona 4 Golden, and Persona 4 Arena, there is plenty of gaming to go around. This morning I had the honor of receiving a short demonstration of Persona 4 Arena from PR and Sales Manager of Atlus, Aram Jabbari, who is a pro with Teddie/Kuma, seriously, he's a beast. I tried a round against him, and it was no contest.

The collaboration between Atlus and Arc Systems Works has yielded one of the best looking 2D fighters in a while. The unfiltered sprite-work looks really good, and is full of vibrancy and life. Leave it to Arc Systems Works to take Atlus' fantastic art and bring it to life with great looking 3D backdrops. This game could be compared to Blaz Blue in terms of looks, but the similarities end abruptly.

Players can choose from thirteen characters and their personas that starred in Persona 3 and Persona 4. The roster feels a little short, but the personas make up for it, since they seem to play like their own separate character. Players will control a main character and can summon their persona with the push of a button, similar to the Jojo's Bizzare Adventure games released back in the late 90's by Capcom. Each character and persona has two attacks, weak, and strong, making for simple gameplay, but with plenty of options for devastating combos.

The home version of Persona 4 Arena will also feature a story mode that was not present in the arcade version, giving players plenty of story to explore. The game also manages to feel like a part of the Persona 4 universe perfectly, with the menu aesthetics and Rise as an announcer, it has all the charm it needs to get by on its own. Though I was especially captivated by the music. Featuring tracks such as 'Electronica of the Soul' for the character selection screen, the selection of tunes by series composer Shoji Meguro were spot on.

The build shown was near final, and looked and felt pretty damn complete. All that's left to do now is wait for that August 7th release date.

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