Friday, October 17, 2014

Review - Persona 4 Arena

Released - 8|7|12
Platform - Arcade, PS3, Xbox 360

Final Completion Time - I don't know, I don't wanna hook up the PS3 to find out.
Final Clear Percentage - 100%

Just a short while after the murders in Inaba were solved, the Investigation Team find the Midnight Channel airing again! But this time, they're the contestants on a fighting grand prix led by none other than Teddie himself?! The Investigation Team dive into the world inside the TV once again and fight their way to victory and the truth.

Now aside from playing a bit of the first one, Persona 4 Golden is the only Persona game I've played. Regardless of whether you prefer the 3rd or 4th entry, it can be agreed that these are pretty much the greatest RPGs out there. Persona 4 Arena (P4A) is a spin off sequel to the 4th that includes a few characters from the 3rd entry.

The fact that it's a fighting game definitely diverges from its more traditional RPG roots, but it tries not to sacrifice story by introducing a visual novel story layout. I'm gonna be honest -  if you don't like reading, don't play story mode. This is going to provide HOURS of text walls and you can't quick skip unless you've already seen the text before. And if you're trying to 100% story mode its going to be even worse.

To 100% story mode you not only have to complete all the character story lines (represented by a gold medal on the character card on the selection screen), but you'll have to stop and go with cliffhanger endings to do so. It pretty much goes like this - beat one of the initial characters to cliffhanger to unlock Teddie and Kanji, cliffhanger clear another character to unlock the Persona 3 characters plus Naoto, cliffhanger clear one the P3 characters to unlock Labrys, clear Labrys to unlock full clears of all the P4 characters minus Naoto, fully clearing one of those characters unlocks the full clear for the last four, and FINALLY full clearing one of the original four P4 characters and one of the P3 characters unlocks Elizabeth (who I recommend saving for last, as she kinda makes the story feel complete.)

Don't worry, you won't be done there because doing all that doesn't give you 100%. Nope, you have to also get the joke endings for Yukiko, Chie, and Kanji (I think Kanji's is the funniest.) You also have to pick both dialogue options at the end of Chie's joke ending and both dialogue options before you get to Kanji's joke ending. After that you have to complete two full runs with Yu, one with all the first options picked and one with all the second options picked. With all the first options picked, you will unlock a secret scene with Margaret at the end that you then have to pick both dialogue choices for. Then you should have 100%.

It sounds more time consuming then it actually is, I'll admit as you can skip to the cliffhangers of the ones you've already unlocked and well placed bookmarks can save you a ton of work, but it's still pretty ridiculous. And the only thing you get for doing this is the 100% on the story mode character select screen. No trophy or anything else. Kind of a bummer, yeah?

I don't think the story is too bad in P4A and it's far better than DOA5 I can say, at least. The only thing is that the victor is always whatever character you're playing as, so there is no concrete canon story line (though I've heard that the manga adapts Yosuke's story, which I'm okay with.)

Final Thoughts
This has been going on for a while, so I'll say this - P4A is one of the best and most fun fighting games I've ever played. It's accessible for veterans of the genre and newcomers alike. The visuals are great, the music is fan-freaking-tastic, and in general it's just a good ride.

Score - 8/10

~ Zephyr♥

I love the Grand Prix contestant cutscene so much that I have it pretty much memorized, and though I skipped all the other cutscenes after seeing them once, I always let that one play. Because really how much fun is it to introduce Yu as the Sister Complex Kingpin of Steel? Also, Naoto is my favorite character in P4. Naoto♥

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