Atlus confirmed speculation of a Persona 4 port stemming from this teaser site in this week’s issue of Famitsu by announcing a port for the Playstation Vita called Persona 4: The Golden. The Vita version will contain new features such as a new character named Marie, 1.5 times more voicework, new outfits and Personas, and new animations including a new introduction with an accompanying new song. In addition, you can also use the wireless support on the Vita to enlist help if you’re close to dying in a dungeon. Atlus also mentioned a feature oft-requested by fans would also be included, but did not elaborate on what it was.
In addition, Atlus also announced a crossover fighter called Persona 4: The Ultimate in Mayonaka Arena. Atlus will be collaborating with Arc System Works, the developers of the BlazBlue games. The game will include characters from Persona 3 and 4 and will have a story for each of them. The game takes place two months after the events of Persona 4 and involves the fighting program called P-1 Grand Prix. The modes in the game are arcade mode, where players follow the story while battling CPU opponents; story mode, a deeper look at the arcade mode’s plot which will be exclusive to the PS3 and 360 versions; versus mode, where players can square off against a CPU or human opponent; score attack, which involves fighting CPU opponents for high scores; and online battle, where players can fight other people online around the world.
A few basic details about Persona 5 were also dropped. All preparations for development have been completed, including the staff that have been working on previous titles in the series. Katsura Hashino, Shigenori Soejima, and Shouji Meguro return to resume their roles as director, character designer, and main composer respectively. They’ve decided on the themes they would like to address and want to go further than they did with Persona 3. They’ve developed their own internal engine to use in the game.
Persona 4: The Golden is slated to be released in Spring 2012. Persona 4: The Ultimate in Mayonaka Arena is currently set to be released first in arcades in Spring 2012, then for PS3 and Xbox 360 in Summer 2012. Hashino said to expect a long wait for the release of Persona 5.
Analysis: After Persona 3 Portable, I expected a port of Persona 4 would eventually follow. The one thing I’m tentative about is whether features would have to be taken away in order to fit the game onto a portable. While P3P did have some new features, namely a female protagonist with her own social links and Persona 4‘s battle system, the exploring outside of dungeons and animated cutscenes were excised in exchange. Depending on how large of games the Vita can accommodate, perhaps such cuts won’t have to be made, and it does seem like Atlus is aiming to add more content to this port. I’m curious about the feature that fans clamored for.
A crossover fighting game is certainly something I wasn’t expecting from Atlus. After the success of Catherine, though, it seems experimentation is on the forefront of their minds. Given that this is completely new ground for Atlus, it could really go either way, though it may turn out decently at least, depending on your opinion of BlazBlue. Either way, it’ll be fanservice fodder for fans of Persona 3 and 4.
I’m intrigued about Persona 5, and while I would need more details before I can really give an opinion either way, I’m glad that it’s in development. As much as I like portables, another console release would be even better.