User Score
7.8

Generally favorable reviews- based on 157 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 26 out of 157

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  1. Sep 6, 2014
    9
    As a fan of the Persona series, I was originally highly worried that Arena would be a "cash in" title. I can safely say that after purchasing the game, those worries have been put to rest. Fighting game fans will be pleased to know that the gameplay has been handled well by Arc. Controls are for the most part smooth, with beautifully done animations. Mechanics work differently for each character, utilizing some of their most common moves from the RPG. However, the core actions remain similar across the board, allowing for a player to learn the basics of playing a new character fairly quickly.

    In terms of the story, it adds on to the excellent world created by Atlus in Persona 4, with additional characters and story elements from Persona 3 thrown in for good measure.

    Persona 4 Arena definitely earns a solid recommendation from me, and I would highly recommend a purchase if you are in the US or Canada (the game is sadly region locked. Fortunately the sequel, Persona Arena Ultimax, will be region free.)
    Expand
  2. Jan 16, 2014
    0
    Bought with legally earned dollars, can't play because of region locked, (even though it's the year 2014) can't get refund even though it's digitally purchased, can't even find any physical copy.

    The game store's page doesn't tell me about any of this region lock stuffs

    This game is a scam.
  3. Nov 3, 2013
    10
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. The opening to this gaime is amazing. It goes "Persona 4 Arena bwee bna bee bna" The combat mechanics are very good. So very good overall. 10 kudos! Ye Expand
  4. Oct 20, 2013
    10
    it's just as good as persona 4, in it's own way. there is a story mode, which involve a lot of reading through dialogue, as well as your character's thoughts. it takes place two months after the true ending in persona 4 and is very well done. the game-play itself is also very good. it's simple to understand the basics, but difficult to master it there is also an arcade mode, which is a shorter version of story mode, online battling, a score attack mode in which the a.i. difficulty shoots up past 'hell' difficulty, and 390 total combo challenges between all the characters. Expand
  5. ERB
    Aug 2, 2013
    9
    Probably one of the best fighting games.Game play is good and It is fun playing this game.
  6. Jul 7, 2013
    8
    It's one of my favorite fighting games. The fighting mechanics are decent. The graphics are superb, and controls are great and simple. The story mode is actually very intriguing, and I didn't expect that in a fighting game. I give it an 8 in stead of 10 for 2 reasons: 1. It is region locked. It's not a big deal for me, but it is for a fairly large group of people. 2. The game can only be really appreciated if you have played Persona 4 or Persona 4 Golden. Otherwise, it's just another decent fighting game. Expand
  7. May 15, 2013
    9
    Classic 2d fighting with lots of speed and depth, love it! There's mode for beginners with automatic combos, but pros wont use this kind of help. Story mode is deep, graphical novel and takes your time about 10 hours. Net-code is pretty decent, but not as good as ssfivae. Challenge mode is classic nightmare, at least for me, but its rewarding at the same time.
  8. May 14, 2013
    8
    I own P4G so i had to get this game, i dont play fighting games but its great i havnt put it down even thought its tough especially online. A must own for fighting/persona fans
    And who in the right mind reviews a game on region lock i really dont understand that
  9. Jan 14, 2013
    10
    To all those who are giving this gamer a bad review, stop giving bad scores because of the region lock! People who are wanting to give this game a try will get the wrong impression of game quality because of your complaints. Yes, I concur that it sucks, its unprecedented and just not right... but tell the company that! Don't deter potential players from the game, please and thank you. I mean no offense to all of you- it's just something that personally bugged me. Expand
  10. Nov 29, 2012
    9
    This game is awesome! Great graphics and the soundtrack is superb. Fighting system is intuitive enough for beginners, but also difficult enough for experience players to put in some serious combos. Shame about the region lock, but thats why you should do your research on a game before buying it!
  11. Nov 15, 2012
    8
    I normally hate fighting games like this, but I found this one oddly entertaining. The story was surprisingly pretty good and was a great follow up to Persona 4. This was the first fighting game I've found to be fun at all, good job Atlus.
  12. Oct 27, 2012
    9
    This fun-to-play fighting game is backed by a beautifully catchy score and incredibly balanced characters. A must-play for any fighting game or Persona fans.
  13. Oct 24, 2012
    0
    Persona 4 is a highly touted fighting game of 2012. However, it is overrated and failed to deliver a great experience. The action is way too flashy and you really can not even see what you are exactly doing.
  14. Oct 15, 2012
    10
    Atlus always making gold of what they touch.
    This game is amazing, not only the fighting but also the story that tells you what happened after Yu Narukami left Inaba.
    Is a great title if you want a guilty gear/blazblue fighting style game and a great title for gamers like me who love Persona 4 and want to know what happened next.
    Great graphics
    Great story
    Great soundtrack
    Great gameplay
  15. Oct 8, 2012
    10
    This is the first fighting game I've picked on day 1 and the first Persona game I've ever played. As a newcomer to both worlds I can say that P4A is incredibly accessible and at the same time packs a ton of content to keep you hooked for weeks.

    I've been playing it since it came out and between the story and arcade modes, challenges, score attack, and incredibly smooth netplay, I
    haven't had the chance to bother with any other games. My GOTY 2012. Expand
  16. Sep 27, 2012
    3
    This is terrible. Maybe I should never play another anime inspired fighting game, because between this and the terrible Skullgirls, I've lost faith. Although I love Blazblue so go figure. Small chars, slow gameplay, it takes me all day just to get to the other end of the screen. Stupid persona concept (again, similar to the terrible Skullgirls), and stupid visuals. I'm so glad my gamestore let me take this back. The developers of this and Skullgirls should get together and rewrite their resumes (leaving these games out of course), and then try to get on a team that actually knows how to put an ounce of fun into their fighting games. Expand
  17. Sep 5, 2012
    0
    This is the first PS3 game with region locking, a terrible precedent and one that was not announced in the 20 or so fluff emails about the game. Nothing beats getting a game and then getting an error you didn't even know existed.

    On top of that, the game is rather weak. P4Arena is a solid pass.
  18. Aug 29, 2012
    10
    I was already a huge fan of Guilty Gear and BlazBlue from Arc System Works, and the Persona/SMT games are my favorite RPG franchise now that Final Fantasy has reduced itself to constant SUCK. But when I heard that Atlus was teaming with Arc to make a Persona fighting game, I could hardly believe it. Atlus is no stranger to trying weird things with its franchises (see: Catherine), but even after its release, I have a difficult time believing it exists. First things first, please ignore the importers that spammed this section with low scores because of Atlus' region lock, as they went out of their way to make gamers aware of this decision long before its release in Japan. Only a few weeks separated the Japanese and American releases, both included dual language capability, and the solid-as-a-rock multiplayer netcode for region-specific servers all led to the decision, and ultimately Atlus' fans have supported it as having our best interests at heart. Anyway, as for the game itself, I have been blown away by the quality of the whole thing. In combining an RPG with a fighting game, you might expect Arc and Atlus to dumb it down to the lowest common denominator for both genres. Instead, it feels like Arc saw this as an opportunity to expand on the things it learned from GG and BB, while Atlus didn't shy away from including Persona's signature social elements, extensive story, mature themes, and excellent voice acting. Yes, Arc managed to implement some entry-level mechanics like autocombos and common counters to make the game accessible to all player types, but it also included instant blocks, breaks, cancels, SP meters, and a variety of other deep mechanics that rival the best tournament-level fighters (SSFIV, UMvC3, etc.). The inclusion of Persona's status ailments was also a pleasant surprise, since it deepens both the tactical aspects of combat and the aesthetic connection to the Persona series. This is canonized material that serves as a sequel to both Persona 4 and, by proxy and inclusion of four particular characters, Persona 3. Even the end boss is a Kirijo Group android directly related to Aigis and other P3/P4 events, and since we already know that Aigis shows up in P5, Arena may serves as a light story bridge into that game as well. Also, I think it's worth noting that the Personas themselves [in Arena] were brilliantly implemented. You can alter color combinations between the human user and their Persona, allowing 64 different combinations for each character pairing. Using them in battle feels like the best parts of MvC's tag/assist system mixed with Vanguard Princess's support character mechanic, though Arena feels more advanced than both in certain ways. Even special moves are named after SP skills in Persona, ranging from Agidyne and Zionga to Megidolaon and Myriad Arrows. Guilty Gear's dust attacks have been repurposed as All Out Attacks from P3/4, and Persona users can enter an Awakened state to have a fighting chance once their health drops below 35%. Furthermore, Guilty Gear's instant kills have returned, but in a much less cheap manner, requiring certain conditions to be met before executed. BlazBlue's beginner and advanced combat modes have been blended so players always have a fallback autocombo if they get lost, but these combos are, of course, very predictable to seasoned players and not terribly effective as a button-mashing technique in the long run. That means first-time players will find the game "easy to play but hard to master", while veterans will be able to form their own refined play styles with each character and focus on technical things like frame count and recovery time. Persona 4 Arena also includes [arguably] the best soundtrack, the best 2D animation, and the best story of ANY fighting game to date, not to mention a wide variety of loveable characters that far eclipse the more formulaic BB roster or the tired SF and MK line-ups. This game is definitely worth the purchase, it will soon be a rarity along with other Atlus/Arc products, and with DLC and solid network modes to keep you interested for a long time, it may satisfy you more than other recent efforts, especially the disappointments from Capcom of late. No matter whether you like RPGs, fighting games, or just gaming in general, P4A offers enough unique content that you shouldn't pass it by. Calling it a simple fighting game would be like calling Catherine a simple puzzle game. Don't judge it just on its genre. Expand
  19. Aug 28, 2012
    8
    I just love Persona and as such I love any reason to revisit the wonderful cast of the games, particularly the latest two additions. While it's not another Persona game, it's an example of a spin off done right. Loyal to the subject matter and interesting in it's own light. Solid fighting mechanics with memorable characters, a no thrills sort of affair that leaves you satisfied and content in the end. Expand
  20. Aug 20, 2012
    0
    Thanks a lot, Atlus, for region lock. As a traveler I bought my PS3 overseas and you wasted my money with this unprecedented stunt. I couldn't expect it because PS3 titles are never region-locked, and you screwed your faithful customer big time. Good job!
  21. Aug 17, 2012
    4
    It's ok but if you compare it to Blazblue, it isn't that good, I mean to pull off a combo, you just need to mash "A" unlike Blazblue where combinations are required. In a sense, these guys are held accountable for making Blazblue so we do expect something just as good, but Persona 4 arena was de-evolution. Mashing buttons shouldn't give you a combo. There aren't that many music, there aren't that many stages, etc. Expand
  22. Aug 17, 2012
    5
    10/10 for the game. Excellent fighter, arguably the best Arc System Works game since BlazBlue. Bu, unfortunately, 1/10 for the region lock. Unless you read niche gaming blocks, you may not be aware this game contains a lockout preventing PS3s from outside of the USA and Canada from reading the disc. As I have the FFXIII limited edition PS3 from Japan, I cannot play the game. I bought it completely unaware of this, and now am stuck with a $60 coaster. After googling the issue I found information on it, but now it is too late. I will have to purchase a Japanese copy of the game to play it.

    If you have a USA PS3, I highly recommend this game as it is amazing, but if your console is imported be aware you will have to buy the version that matches your region or it will not work.

    Atlus, in the future if you must region lock again, please print a warning sticker or something to prevent unaware buyers from purchasing the game. Nothing sucks more than playing $60 to be stuck with a coaster.
    Expand
  23. Aug 17, 2012
    9
    I've been a GG fan, and now a BB fan sense day one. So I really didn't come into this worry at all, sense I know Arc System Works does it right with 2D fighting games. The graphics are NICE! The music, if you love Persona music is great. And like all Arc System Work fighting games, this game is LOADED with story, and even more sense it continues from the main story of the past two games. Game-play is a little bit easier this time around, but I understand, seeing how they're appealing to the RPG community, and not just the fighting game community. Overall it's a great game that appeals to pretty much everyone experience level. This is actually the first fighting game from Arc System Work, that I would recommend newcomers to try out. It's easy to pick up, and less intimidating than most fighting games on the market today. Oh yeah! Arc System Works has the best Net code EVER in a fighting game. Expand
  24. Aug 12, 2012
    10
    This is probably going to be my personal favourite fighter for a while. My three favourite games have all been RTS, Fighting and JRPGs. I have played a lot of Persona and SMT games and it was great to see a fighter being made using P3 and P4 characters. I didn't expect the game to actually turn out to be this good. Arc Systems Works and ATLUS are a match made in heaven.

    The mechanics of
    the game are pretty similar to Blazblue or Guilty Gear players. This game incorporates some cooler mechanics like ailments and the Personas themselves and really encourages players to be aggressive. The soundtrack is great, a mix of new tunes for Arena and some old ones from the Persona games. The voice acting is pretty good around the board for both English and Japanese. The story mode is a lot bigger than you would expect, around 10-15 hours if you are a fast reader since there aren't that many matches, and most of them are easy. For beginners it has stuff like autocombo and the tutorial and challenge modes. Overall this is a must get game if you are a fan of either Persona or fighting games in general. Expand
  25. Aug 9, 2012
    10
    Guilty gear is propably my favorite fighting game franchise out there and when i heard of blazblue i was hyped but in the end disapointed but with P4A i was very surprised. I'm not a fan of persona in general but this edition blew me away, the controls are fluid and antuitive and i find each characters apealing not like in blazblue where none of them satisfied me. Don't let you lack of persona interest make you turn away from this one its solid Expand
  26. Aug 8, 2012
    9
    The game is strong at story, the story is build by completing not only one character at the roster but all of them combine make interesting story, the presentation is amazing, great job atlus and arc system, i support atlus so atlus can make persona 5 faster.
  27. Aug 7, 2012
    8
    Persona 4 Arena is a great game with beautiful visuals a great in depth story with loving and very different characters. I am a huge fan of both Atlus and Arc so this game was a huge thing for me, and as much as I do love the game it has its short comings. Though the game is great for people looking to just pick up and play, more seasoned played like myself might have a little more of a problem. Picking up and play combos are very easy which becomes a problem for people who want to improve alot more because their isn't much room for improvement beyond setting up these simple combos. I wish they had made a beginner mode like in blazblue instead of making it the default Expand
  28. Aug 7, 2012
    9
    Persona 4 Arena is an amazing 2D fighting game. The graphics are superb, the sound and music is the best I've heard since Street Fighter 3: 3rd Strike, and the gameplay is super solid... Check out my full video review for all the details - http://youtu.be/bTLGhbk5KQE
  29. Aug 7, 2012
    10
    A brilliant game from a brilliant studio, published by the best publisher currently. I love you Atlus, never stop making games.

    Persona 4 and Blazblue are my favorite games in the genre's that they're in. This fuses them. Holy crap.
  30. Aug 7, 2012
    0
    A brilliant game from a brilliant studio, published by the best publisher currently. I love you Atlus, never stop making games.

    Persona 4 and Blazblue are my favorite games in the genre's that they're in. This fuses them. Holy crap.
Metascore
86

Generally favorable reviews - based on 47 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 46 out of 47
  2. Negative: 0 out of 47
  1. Fans of the series will rejoice, but newcomers who never tuned in unto the Midnight Channel may be overwhelmed by the walls of text developer Arc Systems throws at the player. Luckily for them, there is still an arcade mode to enjoy. [June 2013, p.78]
  2. Jul 30, 2013
    85
    Persona 4: Arena is a great fighting game, able to conquer without much difficulty the hearts of the genre lovers.
  3. Jul 2, 2013
    85
    It takes a lot from Blazblue's combat system, but remains a great game in its own right, due to some brilliant mechanics and a balanced and varied roster.