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86

Generally favorable reviews - based on 47 Critics What's this?

User Score
7.8

Generally favorable reviews- based on 158 Ratings

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  • Summary: Persona 4 Arena uses hand-drawn, high definition 2D anime-style fighters and colorful, over-the-top special effects to bring to life a roster of fighters from Persona 3 and Persona 4.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 46 out of 47
  2. Negative: 0 out of 47
  1. May 11, 2013
    92
    Even though it's aimed at fans of the franchise, this title is an outstanding 2D fighting game, deep and fun that fans of the genre will enjoy too.
  2. Aug 24, 2012
    90
    With an absolutely stellar presentation, some of the most memorable tracks picked from the last game, an arsenal of modes to play, and one of the lengthiest stories in a fighting game, Persona 4 Arena has everything a fighter should have, plus more.
  3. May 16, 2013
    90
    Sporting satisfyingly deep, yet accessible fighting mechanics and a diverse range of gameplay modes, it’s hard to fault Arc System Works' intense entry into the Persona franchise. Persona 4 Arena is a focused and polished brawler that will appeal to both fans of the series and fighting aficionados alike, and has proven to be well worth the wait for European gamers.
  4. Aug 7, 2012
    85
    I'm not totally convinced that the copy of Persona 4 Arena that I'm holding in my hands is real, because the idea of a Persona-based 2D fighter actually existing still baffles my brain. For as long as it does exist as something that I can play, though, it's an elaborate yet engrossing fighter that packs a ton of content, charm, and competition for those willing to put in the time required to master its offerings.
  5. Jul 30, 2013
    85
    Persona 4: Arena is a great fighting game, able to conquer without much difficulty the hearts of the genre lovers.
  6. May 9, 2013
    85
    Persona 4 Arena is, without a doubt, a wonderful tribute to a great series that has been going strong for years. Fans will find many elements and features that are well known for the Persona franchise. The downside of this is that newcomers to the series will have a harder time to fully appreciate this beat 'em up spin-off for what it is.
  7. May 9, 2013
    70
    Better late than never, P4 Arena is a strange beast that is at turns both satisfying and terribly long-winded. [June 2013, p.76]

See all 47 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 23 out of 35
  2. Negative: 11 out of 35
  1. 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
  2. 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
  3. 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. Expand
  4. 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
  5. 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
  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. 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.
    Expand

See all 35 User Reviews