Persona 4 Arena Ultimax makes Rise and Ken formidable fighters

Persona 4 Arena Ultimax, the sequel to fighting game Persona 4 Arena, has a few new additions in the form of Persona card abilities and fighters Rise Kujikawa and Ken Amada.

We recently spent some hands-on time with the game's Vs. mode, during which we got a look at Rise and Ken. Ultimax marks the fighting debut of Rise, who acted as a support character in Persona 4. In Ultimax, each character is armed with two primary commands for their Persona and two physical attacks; these can be mixed and matched to create combos or evoke different moves.

Aside from fighting with her Persona, Himiko, the teen idol attacks enemies with a microphone stand. When we managed to trigger one of Rise's special moves, it activated a sort-of rhythm game in which we tapped specific buttons to deliver vocal attacks.

Persona 3's Ken summons doggy pal Koromaru to assist him in battle. While Ken himself fights with a long, spear-like weapon, he can also use Koromaru to deliver long-range attacks.

In Vs. mode, characters can be customized by swapping palettes on their costumes and Personas. A special Shadow version for every character is also available; in Shadow form, fighters lose some special skills, but gain a frenzy mode that allows players to chain together super attacks.

Persona 4 Arena Ultimax also mixes up the number of Persona cards, or items needed to summon a Persona, each character is given. Where the previous game had static amounts for every character, Ultimax's card amount changes depending on your fighter. Once depleted, you have to wait for them to recharge before you can deliver special attacks.

Persona 4 Arena Ultimax will be available for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.

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