Register  |   Log In  |  
Sign up to our weekly newsletter    
Search   
Empire Magazine and iPad
Follow Me on Pinterest YouTube Tumblr
Empire
Trending On Empire
Gal Gadot's Wonder Woman Revealed
The Inside Story Of Sideshow Collectibles
Guardians Of The Galaxy Review
Nick Frost:
My Movie Life

The World's End star's pick of the flicks
Subscribe: 6 Issues For £15!
Subscribe today and save 37% off the cover price!
Reviews
STAR RATINGS EXPLAINED
Unmissable 5 Stars
Excellent 4 Stars
Good 3 Stars
Poor 2 Stars
Tragic 1 Star

PACKSHOT
Persona 4 Arena

GAME DETAILS
Released
08 May 2013
Format
Xbox 360, PS3
Developer
Atlus

LATEST GAME REVIEWS
EA Sports UFC
4 Star Empire Rating
Grid Autosport
4 Star Empire Rating
How To Train Your Dragon 2
2 Star Empire Rating
Murdered: Soul Suspect
4 Star Empire Rating
Watch Dogs
3 Star Empire Rating



5 STAR REVIEWS
Mario Kart 8
5 Star Empire Rating
Titanfall
5 Star Empire Rating
Dark Souls II
5 Star Empire Rating
Forza Motorsport 5
5 Star Empire Rating
Super Mario 3D World
5 Star Empire Rating

Persona 4 Arena


submit to reddit

Persona 4 Arena (2013)
Review
Two months after the events of Persona 4 Golden, lead character Yu Narukami returns to the rural town of Inaba to visit friends and family. Soon drawn back into the warped parallel reality of the Midnight Channel, he’s forced to fight against the people he cares about most, while uncovering the secrets behind the otherworldly tournament they’re made to participate in.

Such is the reasoning to pit the formerly close-knit group against one another in this beat-‘em-up follow-up to the superb RPG. Despite the switch in genre, it’s a true sequel, one with a lengthy and involving story mode offering a narrative that’s every bit as deep as its predecessor. In fact, it may even prove too slow, at least for fighting game aficionados eager to leap into the fray. For them, Arena also offers a traditional arcade mode, plus a fantastic selection of challenges, unlockables, and a robust online mode.

Each playable character – the main stars of Persona 4, plus a handful of guests from Persona 3 – battles with a mix of strong and weak physical attacks, plus similarly balanced powers granted by their summonable Persona spirits. Developer Arc System Works have done a cracking job of making the battle system both intuitive and complex. Basic combos can be pulled off with a rhythmic tapping of the square/X button, but anything more complicated demands players learn the minutiae of the game. The inclusion of debilitating status effects, triggered mid-fight by specific moves, is a stroke of genius, one that’s reminiscent of the series’ role-playing roots while adding a game-changing dynamic. Managing statuses and mastering the vast range of blocks, counters, and breaks is necessary to gain any sort of progression, though the learning curve may be too steep for some.

Fans of the original games (and attendant anime series, even) will be pleased to hear voice actors for both the original Japanese and English casts return, and the beautifully animated cutscenes will be a treat too. However, although the in-game background art is gorgeous, it would have been nice to see sprites upgraded to full HD rather than maintain their vaguely pixellated appearance from the arcade edition of the game. That and the overall difficulty are forgivable flaws – and ones fighting game purists may even prefer – in an otherwise excellent game.


Reviewed by Matt Kamen

Write Your Review
To write your review please login or register.

SPECIAL FEATURE
The 301 Greatest Movies Of All Time EMPIRE READERS' POLL: THE 301 GREATEST MOVIES OF ALL TIME
You turned out in your hundreds and thousands, and here are the results... Browse the full list


CURRENT HIGHLIGHTS
A Pocket Guide To Game Of Thrones’ New Cast Members
Know your Doran Martell from your Nym Sand

Directors Special: Peter Hyams Goes Film-By-Film
The veteran director on Timecop, Outland, 2010, Enemies Closer and more

Explore The Massive Avengers: Age Of Ultron Comic-Con Banner
Use our interactive gadget to zoom in on Hulk, Iron Man, The Vision and co. in action

The 10 Biggest Stories Of Comic-Con 2014
The shocks to emerge from this year's geek-fest. Avengers! Max! Mann!

Models Inc.: The Inside Story Of Sideshow Collectibles
How the likes of Batman, Superman and Luke Skywalker become collectible figures

Classic Feature: Jack Nicholson - Gods Among Us
Charisma, consistency and cunning summed up in a single word: Jack.

The Empire Podcast #121: Brett Ratner Talks Hercules On This Week's Show
Plus The Purge: Anarchy producer Jason Blum pops in to talk horror

Subscribe to Empire magazine
Get The 301 Greatest Movies Of All Time Subscribers' Cover

Subscribe today and get the cover and 3 issues for only £10!

Subscribe today

Subscribe to Empire iPad edition
Get The Empire iPad Edition Today

Subscribe and save maney on annual digital subscription

Subscribe today
Buy single issues

Get 6 issues of Empire for just £15!
Get the world's greatest movie magazine delivered straight to your door! Subscribe today!
Empire's Film Studies 101 Series
Everything you ever wanted to know about filmmaking but were afraid to ask...
The Empire iPad Edition
With exclusive extras, interactive features, trailers and much more! Download now
Home  |  News  |  Blogs  |  Reviews  |  Future Films  |  Features  |  Interviews  |  Images  |  Competitions  |  Forum  |  iPad  |  Podcast  |  Magazine Contact Us  |  Empire FAQ  |  Subscribe To Empire  |  Register
© Bauer Consumer Media Ltd  |  Legal Info  |  Privacy Policy  |  Bauer Entertainment Network
Bauer Consumer Media Ltd (company number 01176085 and registered address 1 Lincoln Court, Lincoln Road, Peterborough, England PE1 2RF)