It turns out that Persona 4 Arena isn’t going to be a one-off fighting game after all. Famitsu reported that Arc System Works is announcing a sequel to the popularly received fighter, which will come with new characters, new stages, and tons and tons of balance changes. The Persona 3 party will be rounded out by Yokari Takeba and Junpei Iori; this reunites them with their friends Mitsuru Kirijo, Akihiko Sanada, and Aigis from the previous game.
Yukari is described as a zoner that specializes in bow combat and wind magic. Junpei, however, is a rushdown character that fights with a bat that gives him impressive reach. Every time Junpei connects with a bat attack, runners advance along a baseball track near his super meter. Every time he scores a run, his attacks gain a permanent buff.
A few changes will be made to the core system mechanics of the game as well. Players will now be able to choose between normal and shadow type characters on character select. Normal characters will utilize standard burst mechanics, but shadow characters will trade in their bursts for Shadow Rage, an install that can be activated once a match that grants infinite SP and the ability to link skills into other skills for a short time. It’s essentially a lot like an infinite meter version of KOFXIII’s overdrive. Shadow-type characters will also have different auto combos and, unlike normal characters, carry their SP gauge over from previous rounds.
Location tests are going to be held all this weekend in Akihabara Hey in Tokyo and Taito Station Nipponbashi in Osaka. Anyone in the area will be able to try out the new characters for themselves.
It is currently unclear whether or not this “sequel” will be a true sequel, or merely an expansion to the current game. Arc System Works is well known for creating “expansion sequels” such as BlazBlue: Continuum Shift 1, 2, and EX. An American release has not yet been confirmed.
Angelo M. D'Argenio
Senior Contributing Writer