Persona 4 Arena (Otherwise Known as The Yosuke Parade) E3 2012 Impressions
- June 10th, 2012
- By MogKnight
ATLUS has collaborated with Arc System Works to make a Persona fighting game featuring characters from both Persona 3 and Persona 4. Naturally, as a guy who enjoys his fighting games, I had to check Persona 4 Arena. Unfortunately, due to my busy E3 scheduling, I intertwined my play time with Persona 4 Arena between appointments.
Seeing as I have only really played Persona 3 (boo!) and never touched Persona 4 (BOO!), I just went with my Guilty Gear/BlazBlue knowledge, picked someone I recognized and went with it.
Arc System Works has made their fair share of great 2D fighters, especially of the anime verity. They typically have the same structure of featuring a lot of rush down mechanics, air dashing, a cancelling mechanic to extend combos, and so on. Going into P4A does take a bit of an adjustment, but after a few games the transition will come.
Instead of giving you just four standard attack buttons, they give you two regular attack buttons and two Persona attack buttons. It is not as straight forward as you think, it is better to consider them as Light, Medium, Heavy and Special/Drive much like BlazBlue. It’s not an exact comparison, but that’s probably the best one I can think of.
Everyone has an auto-combo that can be done by rapidly hitting the Light attack. If you have meter, it will end in a super attack. While the damage is really not too high, it’s a great way to build meter. Certain characters seem to be completely safe after having their auto-combo blocked. There is also a universal overhead that leads into an All-Out Attack if it lands. There’s a Burst that functions as a combo breaker and a way to cancel any attack so you can extend combos in situations that would not be possible normally.
What really gets me is just how simple the game is. It feels very accessible, especially more so than BlazBlue. There’s no Beginner Mode or anything that is seen in other fighters that simplifies stuff, instead it’s all blended into the standard controls.
What also really gets me is the number of people who picked up Yosuke, who you Persona 4 fans will remember as that clumsy guy with the kunais. Every time I walked by the ATLUS booth, someone was always playing as Yosuke. After I decided to stop using Akihiko because I was getting tired of losing between each appointment, I tried Yosuke and… well, my god, he’s ridiculous. The amount of potential mix ups and how fast he is easily makes him one of the better characters to pick up when you first start the game. I’m not so much in tune with the tier list (I rarely am) but I’m almost certain there’s some sort of method to his madness.
I can’t speak much of the balance of the game, mainly because I’ve only had so much time with it. It’s a simple game to pick up, and I’m sure that Persona fans that are not really fighting game fans should be able to check this out and enjoy it.
Persona 4 Arena will be released on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 on August 7th this year.