Persona 4 Arena - Review

Author: Biagio "Shinx" Etna
Date: 2020-07-30 22:25:30
Persona 4 Arena has made itself known more for the burning controversy about the region lock than for its intrinsic qualities, and this is bad, given that we are faced with a very thick product. ARC System Works, a long time protagonist in the field of fighting games, has carved out a fair share of fans: with its Guilty Gear and BlazBlue, it has been able to stage rather bizarre and well-characterized characters, albeit diluted by a pinch of stereotype in Japanese sauce. With Persona 4 Arena, also thanks to the extraordinary work of the art designer Shigenori Soejima, this problem does not arise, and although there are some lukewarm clichés, the fighters are all expertly outlined and full of charisma.

The game, unlike the various "VS" fighting games that use easy tricks made of temporal and multiverse paradoxes, is set shortly after the events of the fourth chapter, the official RPG, chronologically and ideally proposing itself as a sort of bridge for the next episode. . The Story Mode is therefore a sequel to all intents and purposes, set in the universe of Persona and characterized by a large amount of text, perhaps too much, to want to be picky. The four initial characters of the campaign are destined to increase as the events unfold. There are even crossroads that can lead to different endings, in perfect harmony with the rolistic subtext on which the game rests. In case you don't know the backstage of the series, there is always the arcade mode, and in general the title is usable even by those who have never seen even a chapter of the Atlus saga. Obviously in that case, and it is almost superfluous to point it out, much of the global charm is lost. Despite this, the ARC System Works fighting game is a great choice for anyone who wants to try their hand at a robust and tough old school beat 'em up.

The characters are large and well animated.

The game structure is very similar to that of the various Guilty Gear and the like, but with interesting peculiarities. The Personas, entities associated with the various wrestlers who represent a projection of the psyche, are common to the stands of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure, at least from a playful point of view. Summonable with the push of a button, they are usually the protagonists of a simple blow, but continuing with crescents and other commands can launch them in battle, leading them out of our reach and attacking the enemy "independently". This involves a series of rather interesting tactics, especially when you reach full knowledge of your character. In this regard, one must be careful of the energy of the person, represented by the inevitable tarot cards. Abusing them with the risk of losing them in battle, in fact, can make a difference, even if their departure is usually short. Although not boasting a huge roster - only thirteen fighters - the great diversification of the moves compensates for this lack in an excellent way, managing, in fact, to get Persona 4 Arena out of the head from the comparison with its illustrious competitors. By offering completely different characters, instead of the usual clones offered by other fighting games, the game guarantees truly different experiences from one fighter to another.

The general structure, as usual in ARC System Works fighting games, lies in large lines on two levels: the more superficial one, which allows you to continue in the classic ways in a rather easy way, and a deeper one, made of counter, cancel, evasion , super move and a whole series of endless maneuvers reserved for those wishing to try their hand at high levels of difficulty, or rather, against human opponents. In this case, the techniques usually set aside by virtue of simple attacks and quick retreats are essential: the super guard, for example, or the blocking of the shot at the exact moment in which it is inflicted on us, will unbalance the opponent, opening a breach in his defense and reversing an unfavorable situation. Practically identical in intent, but more complex in timing and buttons to press, are the various cancel and counter, capable of blocking the execution of a move after it has inflicted a large number of strokes, to immediately ring another one, without the one break that would make us vulnerable. As it is logical to expect, the "Gauge" bar is the key to perform the various techniques available. A simple crescent, with super attached, can completely empty the bar, putting us in a situation of heavy inferiority. Here, therefore, that every attack must be considered and weighed, despite the apparent impossibility of the first, frenetic, moments of play. The only flaws, in a practically perfect gameplay, are the Instant Kill, whose name amply explains its function, and the excessive power of some characters compared to others. The online game suffers from a slightly idle matchmaking in the search for an opponent, but which is redeemed widely with an almost total absence of lag. Despite the region lock, it is obviously possible to deal with the whole world, and some oriental wrestlers are able to keep us in the air like balloons, until exhaustion - ours - and vital energy.

The graphic effects of the Super Move are excellent.

While not representing a new technical milestone in the panorama of 2D fighting games, Persona 4 Arena shows with great delight for the eyes characters of considerable size, animated with great care and expertly integrated with the excellent polygonal backgrounds. Some movements and certain transitions may still appear a little woody, but we are definitely at a higher level than in previous ARC System Works. Except for the slight aliasing on the wrestlers, yet another sign of a high definition that finds it very difficult to express himself best in this genre of games, the work done by the developers is commendable. The lines and textures that outline the backdrops are not incredible, but the chromatic and stylistic taste with which everything has been built far exceeds the computational brute force. The reverberations of the sunsets, the polished corridors of the schools, the alleys dotted with bicycles and busy passers-by ... every setting that makes theater for clashes is superb. In the field of 2D games, we are one step away from King Of Fighters XIII, today an unparalleled technical bulwark in this area.

Truly a great title, which fans of the genre and \ or the saga should not miss.

Biagio Etna , admirer of two-dimensional fighting games since the times of 180,000 lire for Street Fighter 2 on Super Nes, has experienced the evolution of the medium with no little anxiety, given the long dark moments that the genre "BEU" has spent over the past twenty 'years. Irridetelo or console him on Facebook or Twitter , at your discretion.