The lights are on
So the concept of this game was really interesting to me. Take the theme of the Persona series (one of, if not, my favorite JRPG series), and make a fighting game out of it. So when I originally heard about this in like March I was a little skeptical. I wasn't sure how they would translate an RPG series into a fighting game. Well thanks to some videos released, before the game release showing off some of its tech in a tutorial, I was quite impressed. There was thing that got me in the video. The game appeared to be very friendly to new fighting game player. Now I have been playing fighting games casually for a long time, but under no circumstances would I consider myself good at fighting games even though I enjoy them generally.
Fast forward 5 months to the actual review portion. Well when I assumed the game was beginner friendly. I was right...to a degree. First off the game does a pretty good job on teaching the mechanics, unlike other fighting games like Street Fighter 4, or Marvel vs. Capcom 3 that are like well we expect you already know everything about these games, good luck. So during the tutorial stuff you learn you can chain combos by hitting the same button over, which is very beginner friendly. Sadly there is where my first complaint comes in, although it isn't a big one. I'm not sure if I'm really a fan of the whole mash one button and let the game combo for you. Yes it is nice since I'm just starting out, but what will be my feeling about it down the line when I've become more accustomed to the controls. Well I'm guessing it won't be a super big deal since those combos aren't exactly game changers, because there is so much other tech to use to counter it. Speaking of tech, so you remember when I said the game was beginner friendly to a degree? Well the reason I say that is even though the game is good at teaching the basics, there is an astounding amount of pretty advanced stuff. I have played quite a few fighting games, but the actual complexity of the combat system has blown my mind. There is so much tech in this game it's astounding. At this point I'm still mostly mashing buttons thinking I'm being a fighting game wizard, but deep down all I know your basic attacks, power attacks, and the equivalent of Supers. Now I may just be used to 6 button set up since I play stick, but it feels with the amount of tech in this game the controls shouldn't be localized to 4 buttons. To make up for only generally using 4 buttons there are a lot 2/3 button presses, and they aren't as friendly as LP+LK, MP+MK, HP+HK, etc presses.
Now for the art. I always seem to love the art in Atlus games, and this game is no exception. I have to admit the look of the game was also a huge selling point for me. The animation of the sprites are flawless to my eyes, and they are well designed. Now it fits the feeling well, but the screen can become cluttered with a bunch of stuff in the heat of battle. Although to someone who plays Marvel vs. Capcom that's no big deal.
The sound, and soundtrack in general are really well done. The soundtrack did a very good job of making me feel like I was playing Persona 4 again.
As for the story. Well there is a lot to it I couldn't properly summarize it to you. I personally haven't made much of a dent into the Story Mode sadly, especially since you can play an alternate portion of the story with each character. Except there is a lot of talking in the story mode of a fighting game, but whatever. So that brings up my final point, which is good one, there is a lot of game play on that disc. I can tell you I will still be playing this game for good while, probably until Resident Evil 6 (yeah I said it, looking forward to this more than Borderlands 2. I know, you don't have to give me the whole speel about Resident Evil not being as good as it used to be, because I don't care.), or once I get distracted by something else.
Overall I was, and am happy with this game. I don't really have any qualms with the game. I thought it was well done. The only complaints I have had about the game are very miniscule things that most people probably wouldn't realize, and only a skeptic like me would see. So I would approve this game of a $60 purchase, if you like fighting games and Persona. But warning to everyone especially beginners there is a pretty big learning curve to this game.
I had to give it points off due to the online play being the same buggy system that BlazBlue Continuum ultimo hyper super shift uses. There is no region separation so I couldn't only join games in the states. When trying quick match it does not auto match-make for you, you need to search through rooms which can be tedious when they are trying to determine the connection half the time.
And the BIGGEST online play issue that has been persistent for the past 2 Arc fighting games, rooms that show empty spots but give you the 'room is full' message.
Awesome game otherwise. Just need to stop trying to play it like BlazBlue and they need to fix the online play issues.