Persona 4 The Ultimate In Mayonaka Arena

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It's officially Spring, which is my most hated season - Spring doesn't know whether to be hot, cold, wet or dry, so it's perpetually windy while it makes up its mind. Today was one of the wet and windy days, which frankly left me feeling in need of some comfort food.

Persona 4 Arena sequel announced

Fine fighting game Persona 4 Arena is to get a sequel, Japanese mega-mag Famitsu has blurted (via Polygon, Shoryuken).

The do-no-wrong developer Arc System Works is naturally behind it, and is bringing two new fighters to the fore: Yukari Takeba and Junpei Iori.

Takeba is fast and armed with a bow and jumps around a lot - a technical description if ever I've read one. Iori is more of a brute, armed with a bat, and apparently has a baseball-style combo buff thing going on.

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Persona 4 Arena review

Persona 4 Arena review

MegaTen hit combo.

Persona 4 Arena arrives on these shores after such a long wait that it's been presumed dead by most Europeans - especially since its (region-locked) US release last August. This is a shame; while its JRPG heritage makes it more niche than the likes of Injustice, this is another fighting game that's loaded with content.

Having already worked its magic on Fist of the North Star and Capcom's Sengoku Basara series, this isn't the first time that Arc System Works has adapted an existing franchise into a competitive fighting game. But while these experiments lacked the refinement of its flagship fighters, Arena doesn't feel like a rough version of BlazBlue. If anything, it matches its stablemate on the visual level, while offering a fighting system that feels less daunting without compromising too much of its mechanical depth. It also does an outstanding job of adapting the turn-based cast into real-time fighters.

Anyone who's familiar with BlazBlue knows that Arc System doesn't short-change its fans when it comes to Story mode. Arena is no exception. The game takes place two months after the events of Persona 4 and sees the Investigation Team reforming after the Midnight Channel becomes active once again. The Persona users pass through the television screen and are forced to fight in a tournament that's being run by Teddie. As they edge closer to the truth, they learn that not everything is as it seems.

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Finally, Persona 4 Arena European release date confirmed, pre-order details announced

Finally, we have a Persona 4 Arena European release date: 10th May 2013.

The game launches then on PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 nearly a year after it went on sale in Japan and the US.

If you pre-order the Arc System Works-made game you get the Limited Edition bonus content pack, which includes the Official Arranged Sountrack with exclusive artwork and the Digital Fan Pack.

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Persona 4 Arena Preview: Back to School

FeaturePersona 4 Arena Preview: Back to School

Arc System's 2D fighter could be best in class.

Before Street Fighter 4 came along and re-popularised fighting games, the wait from one fighter to the next was fairly long. Indeed, if you look back at the games released on the 360 in the years before the 2009 revival, the only noteworthy titles are Dead or Alive 4, Virtua Fighter 5, SoulCalibur 4 and Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe. Now compare this quartet to the games we've seen since the start of 2011 and you'll have a list of at least ten titles that includes everything from The King of Fighters 13 to Arcana Heart 3 and Skullgirls.

In effect, the market is being swamped with flashy fighting games that are all vying for our attention, but while choice is rarely a bad thing, the thought of adapting to a new system can sometimes be a bit off-putting. This is true for both casual and hardcore players as while a 3D veteran may be disinclined to make the 2D switch, someone who plays against the AI exclusively may find that one arcade gauntlet isn't too dissimilar to the last.

Modern fighting games have to strike a balance between mechanical depth, aesthetical finesse, accessibility, online stability and single player content, and out of all the fighting games I've sampled this year Persona 4 Arena seems to grasp this best.

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Atlus launches impassioned defence of Persona 4: Arena PS3 region lock

Atlus launches impassioned defence of Persona 4: Arena PS3 region lock

"The decision to region-lock P4 Arena was a business one."

Atlus has launched an impassioned defence of fighting game Persona 4: Arena, the first region-locked PlayStation 3 game.

In a lengthy press release sent out to press overnight, the US arm of the company responded to criticism from angry importers, which it insisted had come as a surprise.

"As we've ascertained from your impassioned responses online, this is obviously a tremendous frustration for many fans," the company said.

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Persona 4 Arena confirmed for Europe

Persona 4 Arena confirmed for Europe

Fighting game out this year.

Fighting game Persona 4 Arena launches in Europe this year, Atlus has announced.

The spin-off of the Japanese role-playing game series hits PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 on these shores courtesy of Zen Unites.

Persona 4 Arena is a collaboration between Atlus and BlazBlue developer Arc System Works, and features hand-drawn 2D artwork. Characters from Persona 3 and Persona 4 feature in a story set after Persona 4.

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