|Persona 4 Arena Ultimax|
|ペルソナ4 ジ・アルティマックス |
|Perusona Fō Ji Arutimakkusu |
|Developer|| Arc System Works |
|Platform(s)|| Arcade |
November 28, 2013
August 28, 2014
|/||September 30, 2014|
|November 21, 2014|
Persona 4 Arena Ultimax, also known as Persona 4: The Ultimax Ultra Suplex Hold in Japan, is a 2D fighting game developed by Arc System Works and under the supervision of Atlus's Team Persona. It is a sequel to Persona 4 Arena in both story and gameplay.
The story is a continuation of the events depicted in Persona 4 Arena and begins a few days after the previous game. The Midnight Channel is back on the air and once again broadcasts a strange advertisement for another fighting tournament christened P-1 Climax, that shows members of the Investigation Team and the Shadow Operatives in combat. Just moments after this, Inaba is subject to a power outage and is engulfed by a bizarre red fog. Furthermore, figures that look suspiciously like Mitsuru Kirijo, Aigis and Akihiko Sanada being crucified are shown on TV. While the Investigation Team attempts to figure out what's going on, Junpei Iori becomes trapped in the red fog, while Labrys and Yukari Takeba ride on a helicopter to see the fog engulf Inaba.
At its core, the gameplay in Persona 4 Arena Ultimax remains unchanged from its predecessor. However, there have been made substantial changes and tweaks to the balancing and various mechanics typical of a fighting game sequel. Among these major changes are a new auto/dial combos for each returning character and a specific amount of Persona cards for each character (for example, Yu has 4 cards, the amount all characters had before; Yukiko, a Persona-dependent character, has 5 cards; while Akihiko, not known for needing his Persona, only has 2). In compensation for this, when a Persona Break does happen, Persona Break time is equivalent to the amount of Persona Cards that character has (Akihiko would only be in Persona Break for a very limited time while Yukiko would have to wait much longer than average).
Regarding the auto-combos, this is the first game in comparison to other games that have used this auto-combo system (Under Night In-Birth, JoJo's All-Star Battle, etc), where the second hit can be used as a standalone command normal/unique move for all characters with the use of 6A. For some characters, it is also more easier to cancel either the second or third move of the auto-combo into a desired move of one's choice since the previous game.
The original Short-Hop mechanic can now be cancelled into from an attack with less startup, despite the fact that it ruins any implied overhead setups as it won't cause any jumping normal done from a cancelled short-hop to hit overhead, this new tactic is to mainly counter possible throw reversals. Evasive Actions can now be Guard Cancel Rolled into at the cost of 50 SP. Recovering from certain attacks or getting counter hit normally will cause a counter hit state as usual, only some moves now provide a window of a free Fatal Counter hit, which makes the aforementioned moves more risky than before.
A new system implemented is known as the "S Hold System" (coined by the recent trailer primers as the "Suplex Hold System") which is a special attack which changes its properties the longer the A button is held down, physically shown as a meter on the screen (Skill Boost, SP Skill, Awakening SP Skill then Instant Kill in that order of held-down duration). Aimed at beginners, this may not be as practical for battle, but it still has certain useful applications regardless.
Enhanced Super Moves called Skill Boost Skill Attacks allows characters to perform a much powerful SP Skill Attack by spending 75 SP instead of the usual 50 SP and using two associated buttons instead of one (much like how one does a normal Skill Boost, and is also reminiscent of Enhanced versions of Supers from other fighters).
Another major addition to the game is the addition of Shadow-type characters, which work similar to the EX/Ura-type versions of characters in other fighting games. With the exception of Elizabeth, Shadow Labrys with Asterius, two versions of Sho Minazuki, Tohru Adachi, and Marie, there exists an alternate mode based on the Shadows of the Persona series. Shadow-Type characters are more geared towards the offense as they build more SP as they attack and their SP is carried over between rounds. Shadow-type characters utilize the character's original auto/dial combo from Persona 4 Arena and can use Awakening SP Skills with 100 SP. Shadow-Types are also altered on their stats in comparison to their normal counterparts, as they all have 2000 plus HP and deal 20% less damage overall.
In addition, they gain access to a mode known as Shadow Frenzy (Shadou Bousou), which gives them unlimited SP for a limited amount of time and is activated by what would be the Burst command while the character is at 100 SP. In compensation for these additions, they lose major defensive techniques, mainly Bursts and Awakenings despite their larger HP amount. Thus, this makes the Shadow Type a high-risk, high-reward playstyle with an emphasis on skill usage.
It should be noted that in the case of Labrys and her Shadow mode[s], there is indeed both a Shadow Mode Labrys (with Ariadne) and the original Shadow Labrys (with Asterius).
Other changes include lowering the overall damage of all characters in comparison to the last game, and as well as the new HUD somewhat reflecting Persona 3 more (turquoise-like blue) as opposed to Persona 4 (gold and yellow). Also, for the first time in a while, Ultimax like certain fighting games also enables an extra Super Meter bonus on first attack landed after the round's start, where an additional 10 SP bonus is given (even for both characters if they managed to both counter hit themselves and land the first attack at the same time).
Exclamation marks not only appear above the characters' heads as usual in recent games for any incorrectly blocked moves, but also during a Negative Warning.
In Japan the Arcade versions of Ultimax will receive a update in January 2015 that includes the Console characters, as well as Shadow-Types obtaining burst.
- Yu Narukami
- Yosuke Hanamura
- Chie Satonaka
- Yukiko Amagi
- Kanji Tatsumi
- Naoto Shirogane
- Akihiko Sanada
- Mitsuru Kirijo
- Shadow Labrys
- Yukari Takeba: The Unsightly Pink Sniper (ドぎついピンクスナイパー Dogitsui Pinku Sunaipā, a reference to the fact that she's wearing her Pink Argus costume.)
- Junpei Iori: The Mighty Strike-Out Slugger (逆襲の全力空転スラッガー Gyakushū no Zenryoku Kūten Suraggā, a reference to his baseball theme and his constant failings.)
- Sho Minazuki
- Solo: The Rule-Smashing Pun Machine (掟破りの駄洒落マシーン Okite-yaburi no Dajare Mashīn)
- Persona: The Scar-Faced Dark Messiah (創面貌（スカーフェイス）の黒き救世主（メサイア） Sukāfeisu no Kuroki Mesaia)
Console Exclusive CharactersEdit
- Rise Kujikawa: The Scandalous Superstar Idol (完全変態☆スーパーアイドル Kanzen Hentai Sūpā Aidoru. "Kanzen Hentai" is a for "totally perverted", a reference to her Shadow; and " ", a reference to the fact that Himiko has undergone a drastic change from a navigational Persona to being capable in fighting.)
- Ken Amada and Koromaru as one playable character: The Pretentious Tenderfoot Duo (生意気盛りの皮肉屋新人（シニカルーキー） Namaiki-sakari no Shinkarūkī, a reference to Ken's seriousness and naïveté and the fact that he and Koromaru play as a single character.)
- Tohru Adachi: The Egocentric Police Dick (完全自己中キャベツ刑事（デカ） Kanzen Jikochū Kyabetsu Deka, a reference to his egotism and the fact that he is a former police detective. "Dick" is a play on both his personality and his former profession, while the Japanese title includes "cabbage", a food that he is said to eat often.) (DLC Character)
- Marie: The Antisocial Poet of the Hollow Forest (虚ろの森のツンデレ詩人（ポエマー） Utsuro no Mori no Tsundere Poemā, a reference to her dungeon, her personality, and her habit of expressing her thought into a poem.) (DLC Character)
- Margaret: The Sadistic Stud-Keeping Secretary (イケメン飼いのドS秘書 Ikemen-gai no Do Esu Hisho), a reference to her position as an assistant in the Velvet Room, all the Personas she uses in-game are male, and how she kissed Yu the day before he leaves in the True Ending. (DLC Character)
- Like its predecessor, the game's official Japanese website once again featured Aigis and Yu Narukami fighting in a duel. However, Aigis is seen defeating Yu with a massive suplex, which befits the Japanese title of the game.
- The Shadow Types do not share themes with their other selves, as all of them have their own distinct themes, all of which have been taken from either Persona 3 or Persona 4:
- Shadow Yu: Reach Out To The Truth - First Battle
- Shadow Yosuke: ZONE TIME
- Shadow Chie: Backside of the TV
- Shadow Yukiko: Castle
- Shadow Kanji: Sauna
- Shadow Teddie: Borderline of Madness
- Shadow Naoto: Secret Base
- Shadow Rise: Striptease
- Shadow Yukari: Calamity
- Shadow Junpei: Deep Breath Deep Breath
- Shadow Mitsuru: Shadow
- Shadow Akihiko: Crisis
- Shadow Aigis: Master of Shadow
- Shadow Ken & Koromaru: That Which Comes from the Darkness
- Shadow Labrys (Ariadne): The Almighty
- All characters' auto-combos' first inputs (5A) are unchanged from the previous game, and a few characters, namely Yu and Akihiko, retain the same second inputs (5AA) as well. All other characters' auto-combos differ past the first hit for the normal version of their character, while Shadow versions of characters retain the old auto-combo from the previous game. Shadow Labrys (Asterius) is the only returning character from Pesona 4 Arena whose auto-combo has not changed in Ultimax. Elizabeth is the only character who can also access the first 3 hits of her original auto-combo via repeatedly pressing heavy character attack (5BBB), thereby making her the only character with two auto-combos.
- Newcomers also possess moves their Personas normally do not learn:
- Official Atlus Japanese Website
- Official Arc System Works Japanese Website
- Official North American Website