Register  |   Log In  |  
Sign up to our weekly newsletter    
Search   
Empire Magazine and iPad
Follow Me on Pinterest YouTube Tumblr
Empire
Trending On Empire
The Future Of Film
The 100 Greatest Video Games
Robin Williams: The Big Interview
Kevin Feige:
My Movie Life

The Marvel supremo's pick of the flicks
Want To Be An Empire Journalist?
Find out how here
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
Disgaea 4: A Promise Revisited
4 Star Empire Rating
Sims 4, The
2 Star Empire Rating
Destiny
4 Star Empire Rating
Tales Of Xillia 2
3 Star Empire Rating
Metro Redux
4 Star Empire Rating



5 STAR REVIEWS
Last Of Us Remastered, The
5 Star Empire Rating
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

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
Empire's Interstellar Newsstand Cover Has Arrived
Plus a full preview of what you'll find inside our brand new issue

The Future Of Film: British Film Will Thrive (If Tax Breaks Allow)
Or how Harry Potter saved the British film industry, and could again

The Making Of The Lost Pilot: An Oral History
The cast and crew look back at the epic season opener…

Empire's Gone Girl Review
Our official verdict on David Fincher's adaptation of the best-selling novel

The Future Of Film: The Streaming Services Will Be Major Studios
(Or how Hollywood will have to start worrying about Netflix)

The Empire Podcast #129: Liam Neeson Interview
Plus Max Irons, Sam Claflin, Douglas Booth, Holliday Grainger and Jessica Brown Findlay drop by to talk The Riot Club

The Future Of Film: We'll Be Watching Films In Virtual Reality
Immerse cinema aims to become the must-have experience for the filmgoers of the future

Subscribe to Empire magazine
Get 6 Issues Of Empire For Only £15!

Get exclusive subscriber-only covers each month!

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  |  Editorial Complaints  |  Privacy Policy  |  Bauer Entertainment Network
Bauer Consumer Media Ltd (company number 01176085 and registered address 1 Lincoln Court, Lincoln Road, Peterborough, England PE1 2RF)