Persona 4 Arena’s battles see you summoning personas using two of the attack buttons,
with their precise behaviour depending on the summoner’s motion and position. A persona
can be damaged and even knocked out, effectively halving a character’s abilities during
the healing period. The four-button combat system has only strong and weak attacks, each
for you and your persona, and features single button autocombos to ease novices into the
mechanics. The “Burst” combo provides a get-out-of-jail-free card (if you have a full
burst meter)–if you’re getting hammered, you can knock your opponent away with a short
stun and a little damage. The hardcore needn’t despair though, as further combos and
quarter-circle specials allow flowing chains of satisfaction, with the added interplay
of simultaneous persona and character combat bringing a host of techniques to the table.
A Lesson mode is also included, a welcome feature in a notoriously inaccessible genre,
developing on BlazBlue’s Tutorial with smoother transitions between exercises. The mode
provides lessons, from moving all the up way to runs of combos and the game’s three types
of guard. Arena’s online Versus mode, with all 13 characters available from the off,
utilises the same successful netcode as BlazBlue, promising a smooth experience at
broadband speeds. If you’re trying to move from intermediate to advanced level, you’ll
benefit from the “record a combo” feature, where you can teach the computer to attack
with a specific move, allowing you to perfect a counter. Arena’s Challenge mode, similar
to Lesson mode, allows fluid transition to the next task with no bothersome loading
screens to break up the flow of play.
Size: 1 DVD
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