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A Game Completed! Persona 4 Arena

Since my PS3 has problems with my current Internet connection, I didn't get to try the online matches, but nevertheless, here is this.

Few days of persona summoning, combo spamming and teethgrinding, and it seems that I have poked Persona 4 Arena Ultima -addotherwordrswhateverthenamewasdoesithavetohavesomanywordseh- quite well through. Let's see...

Taking on from three months after Persona 4, new suspicious turns of events arise just well in time, for the main character is returning to Inaba, a small town somewhere in Japan, to spend his holidays with his friends. As it happens the highly suspicious tv program called Midnight Channel that last year played a big part in a serial murder case is back in air, so things need to be investigated to prevent deaths and other horrible things.

While the story mode gives a short insight into the events of Persona 4, there will surely be a good amount of question marks above those heads that have never played P4 before (or watched the anime). However there isn't any major spoilers so playing P4 after P4 Arena still holds some surprises storywise.
The characters are a nice colorful group of P4 main team with few characters visiting from Persona 3 and some all new characters. The old characters' personalities are nicely shown on all the dialogue and cutscenes found in the game. The looks of them being nicely casual, fitting the scenario, executed in good-looking 2D anime style.

The whole game looks a bit animeish, if that is a correct (and does it matter if it's not) way of describing it. Nice 2D all the way from battles to cutscenes, birght colors and clean (=no pixelish) execute.

As a fighting game... well, it is a fighting game, one attack per button, flashy combos with many buttons in a row. You can play through the game with no knowledge of combos (or just this very handy one where you hit the same button about five times), since there is many different difficulty levels starting from "beginner". If you do like memorizing combos, then good, because most of them you won't be hitting accidently.
To have the personas (sort of inner strength that manifests as a summonable spirit/monster/thing) taking part in the fights makes P4 Arena's fights a bit different from the usual ones inside the fighter genre, even though they usually just flash on and off in few seconds.
The fighting styles are nicely different for each character. Most of the characters wield some kind of weapon (from swords to fans and firearms (literally)), and with different personas, their combat styles variate quite well.

Another aspect that makes P4 arena a bit different fighting game is it's story mode. Because it really is a story mode, more than a simple excuse to fight, even if it too holds the traditional fighting tournament idea in itself. But to even get to the first fight, you will be reading a good deal of texts. Most likely you'll be using more time to reading than in the battles while playing the story mode. And the story is quite alright in itself, but the way it ties the earlier Persona games together is the best thing about it. The story has an open ending, so there is more to come, and maybe on the main line of Persona games. (Since this, while having a story that has clearly been thought of, still has an air of a spin-off.)

Aside the story modes, we have the usual vs battles, online matches, archade matches and die-fast score attack. I don't need to mention the training modes, but I suppose I just did. And then there is the challeges, which wil give you a good brainfull of combos. 

Persona 4 Arena is a good spin-off game while being a nice fighting game too, even though it's pretty much made for fun of the fans of the series. The story mode makes it worth the while also for those Persona enthusiastics who otherwise wouldn't care much for the fighter genre.