Today is a truly great day if you are a fan of Atlus’ splendid Persona universe, because we have not one, but two juicy nuggets of news for all y’all.
Remember Persona 4 Arena? You should do, because we raved about it earlier this year (even though it had been out for ages in other parts of the world). I even made a video about it and put it on the internet! Well today we have discovered via Famitsu that the Arc System Works/Atlus crossover banger is all set to recieve a sequel, which will have at least two new fighters.
Joining the action will be Yukari Takeba and Junpei Iori from Persona 3, and there will be numerous tweaks to each of the existing characters.
Shoryuken.com have very helpfully translated much of what Famitsu have told us about the new game, which will undergo location testing from today until Sunday in Akihabara and Osaka:
“The two new characters both have styles and systems yet to be seen in P4A. Yukari specializes with her bow and wind-type “Garu” skills and excels at speed. Her bow attacks are extremely fast and difficult to avoid on reaction. When one of her arrows hits “Maha Garu”, which remains on screen for a fixed period of time, it becomes a guided missile, giving her a tricky factor. Her bow is great at long range, but she can also rush down in close range with jump attacks and Persona attacks.
Junpei Iori is a power-type character with a variety of attacks with his bat. The bat has long reach, so works best with just a bit of distance between Junpei and the opponent. His unique system is tied into the rules of baseball. When Junpei connects with a bat attack, a runner advances, possibly scoring a run, which gives a buff to certain moves after scoring 10 runs. The improvements to his attacks are substantial, so finding mix-ups and combos to efficiently advance runners is a part of the character’s charm.
In the new P4A, when choosing a character, a type is also selected. You can choose between Normal type and Shadow type (Elizabeth and Shadow Labrys do not have Shadow type). Normal type allows the use of Bursts for pushing back the rushing opponent or in combos with One More Bursts. Shadow type swaps the Burst for a new system, Shadow Rage. For players of the previous version of P4A, Normal type offers the same sort of feel as before.
When using Shadow type, pressing A+C+D simultaneously when the SP gauge is full actives Shadow Rage, which allows for unlimited use of SP Skills, Skill Boosts, etc. for a fixed period of time. You can also cancel Skills into other Skills. Using Shadow Rage, with the free use of meter you can connect with combos that would normally be impossible to do. It’s fair to say that Shadow type offers a huge buff to offense.
As for other contrasting points, Shadow type and Normal type have different auto-combos. Normal type includes new moves in the combination, making useful as a base for combos. In Shadow type, the fourth hit of the auto-combo builds more meter. In addition, Shadow type carries the SP gauge from the previous round. There doesn’t appear to any differences in special move properties, attack power or defense power between the two modes.
When activating certain Skills, you can hold the A button to charge the special attack using the new “S Hold System”. The moves activated with the S Hold System vary by character. While the special move looks the same as before, charged special moves have additional properties, such as invincibility. While the time to charge the attack is a bit long, if used properly it should add to both offense and defense.
A significant change from the previous version is that you can now cancel normal moves into Hops. Since you can do normal attacks from a Hop, incorporating Hop cancels in close-range fights adds a new level of strategy. While normal attacks from Hops aren’t overhead, you can now moves from Hops slightly easier than before, making them easier to use as a counter to throws.
The ways to achieve a Fatal Counters are also slightly different. Taking a hit in during the recovery of a Furious Action will now always be a Fatal Counter, regardless of the type of attack used.
Other changes include the ability to perform certain Skills from a backdash. The D version of All Out Attacks is now cancellable.”
Lets start praying now that us Western gamers don’t have to wait as long for a home version of this one as we did for the original.
If that wasn’t enough, Persona’s team Director Katsura Hashino took time away from his day job of producing brilliant videogames to drop a little lurve for the fans on the official Persona Blog – which Siliconera reported on. It talks about all of the exciting stuff going on in the Persona-verse, such as the aforementioned Arc System Works fighter and the live stage plays (!), but he also hints at some possible Atlus 25th Anniversary stuff:
Hello, this is the Persona team’s Hashino.
The live music event is finally going to be held at the Nippon Budokan (one of Japan’s most iconic venues,) so please allow me to share a brief message of gratitude on behalf of the developers, for the fans who’ve been supporting us.
Before we realized it, it (Persona) had become a series that is the topic of many people out there. From television anime adaptations, live-action stage plays, and now a musical live event on the big stage. We are very blessed. Again, looking at it from the development side, it’s been almost 10 years (!) since the same team that was in charge of Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne and Digital Devil Saga began work on Persona 3 in 2004. We’ve been able to make it this far because of the encouragement fans have given us. And we truly appreciate it.
Due to certain circumstances as of late, we really regret to have caused you to worry. Next year is the 25th anniversary of the Atlus brand, and there is some news we’d like to share; however, we ask if you can be patient just a little longer. The new titles we’ve yet to announce are all currently being developed zealously. The only issue at the moment is simply how we can further better these titles. While we have been spending our busy days tackling various issues as usual, we’re still doing our best to not lose focus.
Lately, it appears that the way games are valued has greatly diversified, but with the sentiments of those who love video games, and our feelings that go into the making of the games along with our accumulated know-how, as long as there are continued challenges and expectations, I believe that the future of gaming will be something great that is full of fun and stimulation. As part of a creator, it would bring me great pleasure to know that we are contributing to said value. And to those of you who are already part of the “pleasure” in our work, nothing brings me greater joy than that.
Atlus Persona Team,
Directer & Producer