I can hardly contain my excitement long enough to write this. We’ve just learned that Arc System Works and Atlus’ phenomenal fighter Persona 4: Arena is getting an update so significant that Famitsu is calling it an outright sequel. Location tests for this new version of the game are happening as we speak (since it already is August 16th in Japan) at Hey in Akihabara and at Osaka’s Taito Station.
Twitter is aflame with fans tweeting new details about the game, some of which I’ve compiled below (much of which is courtesy of top Japanese player Stunedge):
- The game will include “shadow” versions of each character. These characters will not have access to the burst mechanics and they’re presumed to be similar to Blazblue’s unlimited characters. This is presumed to be an in-game image of Shadow Chie.
- Yu Narukami has at least one new attack, a command grab.
- The gold burst has been weakened and its activation now takes longer.
- Shadow Labrys has at least one new attack, a midair attack affiliated with her chain knuckle moves.
- Mitsuru has a new attack that inflicts the confusion ailment on her enemies (giving her access to the charm, frozen and confusion ailments).
- Akihiko now only as two Persona cards for his stock while Shadow Labrys has a whopping six. Every character had five Persona cards in vanilla Arena. This change probably won’t affect Akihiko too terribly (he’s far from Persona dependent compared to other characters) but it should certainly make Shadow Labrys more effective.
- Junpei and Yukari will follow the trend set by Aigis, Mitsuru and Akihiko and wield their ultimate Personas: Trismegistus and Isis. Junpei will use a baseball bat as his weapon, while Yukari will come equipped with her bow.
Japan’s Persona Arena players are the very best in the world (check out the Persona finals at this year’s EVO if you’re in any doubt) and so lots of information and new details will come out of the location tests for this game. We’ll compile the highlights as more information is revealed.
It’s difficult to express just how thrilled I am about this update. It seemed that Atlus and ArcSys had turned their collective back on Arena after it launched, despite the fact that it shot to the top of the Japanese sales chart and outsold every other fighter released before it in the last several years and was also the most played game in Japanese arcades for many months.
The console version of Persona Arena has one of the most fully realized story modes I’ve ever seen in a fighter. Therefore, if Junpei, Yukari, the interface redesign and the huge amount of balance tweaks and additions are to come to home versions of the fighter, it will probably warrant a new release altogether (hence the “sequel” bit, I’m assuming). Does anyone think they’ll reveal more new fighters (Ken Amada please)?