Persona 4 Arena - Xbox 360
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on August 8, 2012
This game is different, and nowhere near in a bad way. Featuring a 46 lesson training mode that everyone should do soon as the game starts up. To put everything in a nutshel this game has normal 2d fighting game mechanics (move cancels, super moves, special attacks, aerial blocks etc) pretty much what you'll expect from Arc System Works but it also has strong and weak persona attacks, all out attacks, instant kill attacks, status ailments, penalties, awakened sp skills, almost too much to name honsestly. Since I've gotten my 360 I've went through almost every 2d fighting game out and this is the most unique and flat out fun one and i don't regret trying it. Of course it has the usual modes too (Network, vs, challenge, score attack, arcade, story, lesson mode, theater & gallery plus the xbox marketplace, but the real meat of this game is the fighting and that's how every fighting game should be. Another step forward in my opinion is that it doesn't have a "simple" fighting style which makes multiplayer a little unbalanced in most fighting games plus it has a REAL story (still pictures and voice overs & some fmv. The usual when it comes to fighting games) it's a pretty long winded one just like BlazBlue and the whole game has a very persona feel to it. It's not just characters ripped out of the game pasted in a fighting engine
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
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on August 8, 2012
I absolutely love fighting games, the Persona series, and Arc System Works, the masterminds behind Guilty Gear and BlazBlue, so naturally one would think this game would be a smash hit. Technically it is, where in Japan it's become the number one selling fighting game in recent years, and if there's anything to be learned from that it's that fighting games aren't dead, despite the lack of "commercial" accessibility.

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.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on May 10, 2014
I have never played a Persona game before. To be honest, I never even heard of persona until the announcement trailer for Persona 5 went live. But, the people who I did know that played Persona, loved it. I first discovered this game while watching Two Best Friends Play (aka, The Sw1tcher on Youtube). I had been pretty bummed out by the lack of diverse next-gen games, and I've been wanting to play a good fighter game for a while. But what was there to play? I had Street Fighter, Tekken, Marvel vs. Capcom. I wanted a new fighter, a series I'd never played before. After watching the fast-paced and flashy combat of Persona 4 Arena, I was instantly hooked. The gameplay is exactly what I thought it would be: a fun, explosive fighting game with 2D-style graphics and a diverse combo system. It's attractive to both new comers to fighting games (super cancels) and hardcore players. The only complaint that I have is the story mode. While the story is very interesting (I have yet to complete it), it's a lot more "press 'A' to continue" than "fight your way through." It seems like you only have two options if you want gameplay and story: the Story Mode (which is 90% story and 10% combat) or Arcade Mode (which is 90% combat and 10% story). Score Attack Mode is impossible for me, although that may just be me. Music is fun and catchy, voice actors are good and stick to their characters, and stages are pretty. Overall, P4A is an extremely fun game, but the bold line between story and gameplay off puts it. As a result of playing P4A, I have started to watch the anime (which i recommend)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on January 11, 2015
Excellent game for 2D fighting fans. Fast action with a forgiving combo system that makes you feel like you're accomplishing something even if you're a beginner. The biggest change compared to other fighers is the universal dragon punch. Each character has one, and you will learn to bait / avoid them or be destroyed by them. Despite the shallow learning curve, the game is deep, and skill will ultimately be rewarded.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on July 22, 2014
One of the best fighting games out there if you love fast ones that are heavily skill based. No button masher will ever beat a seasoned veteran. The combat is very smooth and combos connect together with ease unlike some other popular games (i.e. Mortal Kombat or street fighter franchises). And less cheap, as it takes an extremely good player to take most of your health bar away with one combo.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on July 18, 2014
It should be clear that this is not a traditional persona game however, it is very lovable. Aside from the fact that the story seems to drag it does have parts that give the story its charm. The fighting is very smooth and the controls are very responsive. If you are new to the fighting game genre then I would recommend this game as well as fans of the Persona series.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on October 25, 2012
Persona 4 Arena is a extremely fun entry into the fighting game genre. While recently it seems that this genre has suffered from cannibalism with a large amount of fighters coming out this year, if you are a fan of 2D fighters or want to give them a try I urge you to pick this one up. The cast is small in comparison to other fighters however you can tell that the Persona team put a great deal of effort and care into making each one completely unique, often with a distinct meter system that is character specific. The art in this game is flashy but not so much that you can't tell what is going on. There is a tremendous amount of support for newcomers built in to this game. Basics of fighting games are covered including how to apply mix-ups, pressure, and punishes. There are challenge missions that will help you build basic practical combos into some of the more advanced ones. I am a huge fan of classic 2D fighters, but I feel that this game in particular takes everything I loved about those games and is not afraid to build upon it to create a fighter that is definitely worthy of its own spot in casual and tournament play.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on September 7, 2012
Bought a new Stick for this game and love them both. It's a very simple fighting game compared to others but it's still fantastic.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon August 13, 2012
The idea of marrying a JRPG with a fighting game might have seemed weird, but Persona 4 Arena pulls it off brilliantly. Arc System Works has done a great job of making a game that doesn't just look like Persona, but feels like it too.

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.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on January 6, 2015
If you are an anime fan, this is the game for you! It's full of awesome characters with different abilities. The action is made to look just like anime. So far there's no issues.
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