These were the same faces the RPGamer staff made going into the tournament.
Although Persona 4 Arena released earlier this week, we at RPGamer had the opportunity to check this title out thanks to the good people at Atlus USA. Whether you are a fighting game enthusiast or a Persona fan, this particular title has something for everyone. With a deep and detailed story campaign, a standard arcade mode, and a versus feature, there's a lot to like about Arena in terms of what it represents for both fighting and RPG fans.
As a bunch of fighting game noobs, we needed Aram Jabbari, Atlus USA PR guru, to give us a major crash course in the basics of fighting games, and more specifically, what is unique to Arena. Considering Arc System Works had a hand in developing this title, we were given the specifics for many of the star fighters such as Yukiko Amagi being a ranged fighter, while Chie Satonaka is a more close ranged combatant. Each character has a Persona that can help them in combat, as well as a set list of skills that can be performed with the right button combination. Each character has their own unique play style, and the Run to the Sun staff had the pick of the litter in their Persona 4 Arena tournament. Let me state for the record that I played as Mitsuru Kijiro (who is a complete babe) and completely had my butt handed to me, removing me from even qualifying for the next round.
Persona 4 Arena is made for both fighting and RPG fans alike, and it certainly has a lot to offer fans on both ends of the spectrum. To explain more of our special in-house tournament, here's Michael Cunningham, Adriaan den Ouden and Emanuel Merino:
Adriaan: I am terrible at fighting games. My little sister used to kick my butt in Street Fighter II all the time. Granted she was button mashing Blanka's electric attack, but still, I wasn't expecting to like Arena at all. Once I got to play it, however, I was shocked at how fluid and easy it was to get into. I started off by playing as Yosuke against Atlus USA PR Guru Aram Jabbari, and was thoroughly destroyed. However, for the next match against RPGamer's Sam Marchello, I switched to Yukiko and was able to win in two rounds against her Mitsuru. I then took on Michael Cunningham's Chie with the same character, and in a tough series of three matches, still managed to emerge victorious. Considering my experience and general distaste for fighters, Persona 4 Arena won me over. It's got a huge amount of story and gameplay that even those not adept at this style of game can enjoy.
Manny: I played as Aigis using an arcade stick. Seems like a competent fighting game and the game sure is flashy.
Michael: While I only played Arena for a couple of matches, it was enough to know that I still suck at fighting games. I enjoy playing them casually, but accept that I will never be good. That said, I was more interested in what I saw of the game's story mode than anything. While it was very text heavy, and most of the text was not voiced, it still looked like something I was down for.