Persona 4 Arena Ultimax, recently released to PC, Nintendo Switch, and PlayStation 4 for $29.99, is a fighting game co-developed by Atlus and Arc System Works. Initially released in arcades and then on the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 in 2014. Now the fighter finds itself brought to modern devices. So how is the Atlus and Arc System Works animated fighting game? Find out in our review of Persona 4 Arena Ultimax.
Story: A deep story with more reading than fighting
Persona 4 Arena Ultimax takes place almost immediately after the events of Persona 4 and a few years after Persona 3. Bringing back all the previous characters from earlier Persona games to once again thrown back into the tv world. The conflict in Persona 4 Arena Ultimax will see these characters now have to battle it out with one another in this new mystery.
Told as a visual novel, the story of Persona 4 Arena Ultimax contains long stretches of text and some voiced-over dialogue. All of the story content from Persona 4 Arena and Ultimax are there, so players won’t be left behind. Offering a deep story with all the previous cast members returning to their Persona characters. For those fans of the Persona franchise, Persona 4 Arena Ultimax is a game made for you.
Unfortunately, for the rest of us, this may be something you want to skip. If you haven’t played any of the previous Persona games, this title will actively spoil the last games. And if you’re looking for a new fighting title with a story, you’ll be out of luck. There are very few fights, and the developers Arc System Works and Atlus went as far as to allow the fights to be automated so players can enjoy the story.
Gameplay: Frantic fighting that welcomes everyone
Stepping away from the story of Persona 4 Arena Ultimax, the game starts to get better for those unacquainted with the Persona storyline. The gameplay is easy for those new to the franchise to pick up and play. Knowing only a few inputs will allow the more casual audience to enjoy it while also giving the more hardcore audience a greater depth to the gameplay. This is proven by the sixty different tutorial lessons to teach the game mechanics to players.
Characters can perform various fighting game moves such as fast attacks, throwing moves, strong but slow attacks, and personas. Personas are the powers that multiple characters in the Persona franchise wield. Bringing an additional layer of depth to the combat, personas can be summoned alongside attacks and will have a variety of ranges and effects.
Persona 4 Arena Ultimax does offer multiplayer in 4 different modes, with three featuring online multiplayer and a local versus mode. The multiplayer modes currently are not recommended for those with slow internet speeds, as there will be a difficulty with input. The developers are already working on announcing the addition of rollback netcode this summer.
The gameplay in Persona 4 Arena Ultimax is welcoming to players who are new or returning to the franchise. Offering a quick entry into the gameplay, then allowing for further mastering of its mechanics to bring greater competition for those who are looking for a solid fighting game.
Graphics/Audio: Flashy style with a call back soundtrack
Persona 4 Arena Ultimax features a complete cartoon-style animation, with the anime cutscenes done by Capsule, known for their work on Space Dandy. This being a later entry in the franchise, the developers at Atlus and Arc Systems deliver a clean, problem-free experience.
Delivering a slick, bright, and flashy fighting game, Persona 4 Arena Ultimax continues to deliver to fans. Coming in an attractive colorful package, Persona 4 Arena Ultimax also returns much of the music that fans will know.
The soundtrack for Persona 4 Arena Ultimax mixes the music from Persona 3 and 4. Offering a clean and enjoyable soundtrack, fans of the series will find the music recognizable from the previous games they’ve enjoyed. Featuring the opening theme “Break Out Of…” performed by Lotus Juice and Shihoko Hirata.
Player’s on the PC should have no difficulty playing Persona 4 Arena Ultimax, with little to no demand on systems. Between the graphics and audio, the Atlus and Arc System Works game Persona 4 Arena Ultimax offers a fantastic-looking game for fans of the series and newcomers.
Conclusion: A game made for the fans
Atlus and Arc System Works game Persona 4 Arena Ultimax delivers a fantastic, clean experience with quick, easy-to-grasp fighting mechanics that welcome newcomers and veterans. Unfortunately, the story in Persona 4 Arena Ultimax would be considered more an acquired taste with more story than gameplay. Therefore, after playing Persona 4 Arena Ultimax for this review, we have to say that we give it a mixed recommendation.
If you’re a veteran of the franchise, this is definitely worth a recommendation, with an enjoyable story and the return of your favorite characters. But, if you’re new to the series looking for a new fighting game, I would suggest skipping this one and finding something else unless you want to get into the Persona franchise.
- Easy to grasp controls
- Great soundtrack
- Lots of depth
- The story is not for newcomers
- Multiplayer matches experience lag