I have always been a fan of anime and fighting games, so naturally I am a fan of anime fighting games. In my most submersed stint in this category, I spent a lot of time playing Guilty Gear XX. Rapid movement, character traits, instant kills, and even story mode were all welcome additions to a fighting game to me. I stopped playing anime fighters for a while, but Persona 4 Arena was on sale recently and I picked it up. The game reignited my obsession with anime fighters, and now Persona 4 Ultimax out I can confidently say that this is the one I’ve been waiting for.
I wanted to write this review the same day the game came out, because I had seen a bit of it before, and I thought I had gotten a decent understanding of the overall changes, but I couldn’t have been more wrong. I kept trying to write and then discovering new things that I wanted to mention. The most obvious of the changes are the eight new characters (full character list). In addition to adding new characters, they made significant changes to all of the returning characters. Everyone’s auto combo has changed, and a lot of characters have been buffed.
Each character, with the exception of Elizabeth and Labrys, has a shadow version that features a large number of offensive advantages, but with defensive disadvantages. Also, a fun, new option called Golden Arena Mode offers players a nice break from story mode in a sort of gauntlet where you can level up your characters, and even choose abilities. Little changes like taking the training room away from network play, not being able to switch all of the voices to Japanese, being able to choose the menu background music, and character tweaks work in conjunction with the other new features to make the game feel entirely separate from P4A.
Though I had only played P4A for a few months before Ultimax released, Ultimax legitimately feels like a new game and not just the same old thing with some new characters. There are so many changes it is almost overwhelming, but they are also exciting. A fighting game is most fun when players get to innovative with the combos, and with all of the new features, I can see a lot of good things in the future for P4U; Japanese players who got it earlier than us have already started to come up with some wild options. I addition to the fighting, there are also hours and hours of story mode. I have yet to really get into it, but at a glance it seems that one of the new characters, Sho Minazuki, is the antagonist in this all new continuation of the story from P4A.
The game costs as much as any other new game, but they threw in a blow-up Teddy bag, and some Persona style tarot cards for you. Anyone who is interested in Persona or fighting games should pick up Ultimax. If you get it on PlayStation, send me tweet and I’ll play you. I may not be very strong yet, but my love for anime fighters is as strong as it ever was. Peace!