Persona 4 Ultimax Arena, which we analyze today in review, is a fighting game developed by Arc System Works and Atlus and published by SEGA. The game features a fantastic combat system, easy to learn ma difficult to master, with the presence of Personas adding an extra layer of depth to the gaming experience. Persona 4 Arena Ultimax was originally released for PlayStation 3 as a sequel to Persona 4 Arena, which was itself a sequel to Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 4.
Persona 4 Ultimax Arena is a one-of-a-kind fighting game which fuses “visual novel” style storytelling with combat gameplay, and it all works surprisingly well. This new version has all the contents of Persona 4 Arena and the original Persona 4 Arena Ultimax. Unfortunately, Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 4 is only available on PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, PlayStation Vita and PC. PlayStation 4 and Switch owners who intend to play Persona 4 Arena Ultimax without missing any detail from a narrative point of view, will necessarily play the original JRPG. This is one of the few complaints that can be addressed to the game though, since as we will see in this review, Persona 4 Arena Ultimax will please everyone those who are at the search for a great fighting game one of a kind.
History and connections with the Persona series
As mentioned, Persona 4 Arena Ultimax is a sequel to Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 4 Arena, which itself is a sequel to Persona 4 Arena. Yu Narukami returns to the city of Inaba during the Golden Week holiday season to visit his family and his friends in the city. The Persona 4 Investigation Team is quickly catapulted into a new conflict, as the Midnight Channel returns and forces them to fight each other. The story continues with the Ultimax chapters, where a red mist falls on Inaba, causing Shadow versions of the cast to appear. The story, however, it's a pretext to justify why these characters are fighting each other.
In addition to two complete visual novels, Persona 4 Arena Ultimax also contains a lengthy DLC chapter from Adachi's point of view. One of the strengths of the Ultimax story is the way it is told from multiple perspectives of the characters. Yu is no longer the only point of view for the world of Persona 4, and attention dedicated to development of all the characters is really impressive.
Persona 4 Arena Ultimax also features characters from Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3. Although there are Persona 3 characters in the game it is not necessary to play this title as well to better understand the plot, unlike Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 4, as specified at the beginning of the review. The story of Persona 4 Arena Ultimax, it must be reiterated, is aimed exclusively at Persona fans, but if the other exponents of the series are turn-based RPGs, there may be a lack of attractiveness for fans of the series who don't appreciate fighting games. Fortunately, Persona 4 Arena Ultimax has more accessible and even difficulty modes an automatic battle option, so those interested solely in the story can skip the fights and focus on the narrative. There is also the mode Golden Arena, where the player can level up and learn skills, which is closer to the original Persona experience but has no narrative content.
Arc System Works is probably the best known anime-style fighting game developer, proponent of two of the most important series in the genre such as Guilty Gear and BlazBlue. Persona 4 Arena Ultimax takes its cue from the two franchises just mentioned, becoming accordingly a perfect sum of the experience of Arc System Works in the genre. Despite being a game originally released for arcade systems in 2013, Ultimax to see is still wonderful today. Its anime sprites have stood the test of time, and in some ways the graphics quality looks even better than other Arc System Works titles. The anime-style cutscenes, character models, menus and music all have the Japanese hip-hop vibes that the Persona series is famous for.. What it hasn't aged as well are the static wallpapers and images that appear during the story mode, with many of them being grainy and clash with the sprites of the characters. The Persona 4 Arena Ultimax soundtrack features remixed tracks from Persona 4, so the music didn't need a lot of work to keep it going. extraordinary quality of the songs.
As in the main games in the series, most of the characters in Persona 4 Arena Ultimax can summon Personas into battle. The cast can perform the normal basic attacks of fighting games, such as fast attacks and slow but more powerful attacks, but the aforementioned Persona add a new level of depth to the gameplay. Personas can be summoned alongside regular attacks and tend to have a wide range and a variety of effects. The ability to chain physical hits into Persona attacks offers many strategic opportunities, although it cannot always be relied upon, as this consumes one of the cards under the health bar and breaking them all will not be able to make new summons. Even if it is a fighting game, however, there are also RPG elements where characters can boost their stats by awarding points.
The big news of Persona 4 Arena Ultimax is the rollback netcode. The problem is that this is not active at the time of writing and it will not be available until summer 2022. Once there, there will be renewed interest in online gaming. Persona 4 Arena Ultimax is a fantastic fighting game for the casual and hardcore audience, with a unique cast of fighters and plenty of systems to use in combat, although much of its appeal will be lost for people who aren't fans of Persona and haven't experienced Persona 3 or Persona 4. It's not a title aimed at everyone, but can make various groups of users happy.
Fans of fighting games can play something unique and intuitive, RPG fans have stat progression and character building to play with, while Persona fans can delve further into the complex mythology of the series. If you are part of all these three types of fans, Persona 4 Arena Ultimax is the best gift you could give yourself.
- Persona 4 Arena Ultimax (Tested on PS4) 8 Final grade
Persona 4 Arena Ultimax is a great fighting game that embodies all the experience of the Arc System Works development team in this anime-style genre, given their precedents with the Guilty Gear and BlazBlue series. Apart from some slight problems on the technical side, easily negligible, the real problem of Persona 4 Arena Ultimax is that it risks being incomprehensible to those who are entering the Persona series for the first time, given that the title in question is closely linked to its predecessors, especially Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 4 and Persona 4 Arena. If you are a fan of the series and love anime-style fighting games, Persona 4 Arena Ultimax could prove to be one of your all-time favorite titles.