According to Famitsu, the collaboration work between Arc System Works and Atlus will produce a follow-up to their 2012 fighting game, 「Persona 4: The Ultimate in Mayonaka Arena」. The sequel will be seeing new balance changes, system mechanics, stages, music themes, and a few new faces added to the roster — Persona 3′s Yukari Takeba and Junpei Iori have been confirmed so far.
*New Features: (provided by Shoryuken.com)
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.
Changes to Existing Characters
The existing characters have new moves and Skills. The new Skills seem to expand the play for all of the characters, with plenty of uses. Existing moves have changes to start-up, untechable time, proration, etc., so players will need to create new combos and mix-ups.
Each character seems to have different numbers of Persona cards now.
- Yukiko Amagi – 5
- Elizabeth – 6
- Akihiko Sanada – 2
- Shadow Labrys – 6
- Chie Satonaka – 3
- Teddie – 5
- Kanji Tatsumi – 3
- Naoto Shirogane – 4
- Yosuke Hanamura – 3
- Junpei Iori – 4
- Yukari Takeba – 4
- Labrys – 3
- Mitsuru Kirijo – 4
- You can select normal mode and Shadow mode for each character.
- Shadow characters have no burst.
- Can activate “Shadow Fury” mode with ABD, allows free use of meter.
- Shadow Labrys is still available as a separate character.
- Elizabeth does not have a Shadow mode.
- Shadow characters start round with 100 meter.
- Shadow Awakening: Unlimited meter on a timer.
- Gold burst nerfed, much longer overall frames.
- Every character except for Kanji Tatsumi has Skill Boost supers; 75 meter for more damage.
- Every character has a new auto combo with “unique and flashy” animations.
- New stage: Entrance to Tartarus.
A compiled list of changes for each character can be found here.
There will be location test events taking place in two separate areas this weekend — “Hey” in Akihabara and “Taito Station Osaka Nipponbashi” game center. Some off-screen photos and game footage of what will be in store for attendees can be viewed below.