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- Persona 4 Arena Ultimax
The Midnight Channel is always good for a fight.
Like seemingly every fighting game franchise available in the past ten years, Persona 4 Arena is getting an upgrade. A few days after the first P-1 tournament (the tourney from the original title), some of the crew from Persona 3 were sucked into the Midnight Channel and forced to fight as well. The title is a little misleading since it's doesn't look like a sequel, but it really is, honest!
The biggest difference is the character roster with some neat-o additions. Mitsuru and Akihiko are there, but this time there are a few friendly faces from their past; Yukari, Junpei, and Ken from Persona 3 make their debut with specialized weaponry in tow. They also bring their Personas to the fight with them, along with Ken's canine Koromaru (also from P3) for some combative backup. On top of that, Rise Kujikawa—the announcer of the fights—is now a playable idol. It's awkward to know that she's actively doing commentary for her own fights including commentary in support of her opponent, but it makes for some funny interactions like she's arguing with herself.
Also, there's a new character to the franchise named Sho Minazuki, who is actually two characters: one with a Persona and a super-aggro non-summoner incarnation. He wields two katanas and is one of the easiest to pick up and play of the crew, followed by Ken with Koromaru—who has his own stamina bar—while the others definitely cater to a distinct play style that may or may not turn off some more general players. With someone who can really take advantage of a fighter like, say, Yukari the visual madness is intoxicating to watch.
One can never go wrong with having the option to control more characters (no matter your thoughts on King of Fighters and its "let's shove in as many as possible" mentality) so this can only work in favor of more interesting fighting depth to a franchise that, in theory, shouldn't have transferred over to this genre nearly as well as it has. We can explore the fist-to-fist depths of Persona 4 Arena Ultimax on September 30th of this year.