Atlus has released the mother lode of announcements today confirming that four, count ’em, FOUR new Persona games will be localized and released in North America over the next year. “The Persona series is one of the most progressive, mature role playing game franchises in the world, and a cornerstone of what makes ATLUS a great video game company,” said Naoto Hiraoka, president and CEO, Index Digital Media, Inc. “The latest ventures into the worlds of Persona 3 and 4 give new perspective and depth to some of gaming’s most incredible characters, and the new games have a wide enough breadth to be enthralling for newcomers to the series.” While we’ve known about some of these games for awhile now, like the quirky, chibi-fied 3DS dungeon crawler Persona Q and the Persona 5 (now confirmed to be headed to the Playstation 3, unsurprisingly) this is our first concrete look and projected release date for many of these titles. Here’s a look at the game’s along with Atlus’ description of each ego-shifting title below.
Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth (Fall 2014) — You got Persona in my Etrian! You got Etrian in my Persona! Well, you’re right on both counts. Persona Q is a cross-over for the Nintendo 3DS™ system that brings Persona 3 and 4 characters to the gameplay style of Etrian Odyssey. It also marks the first time the Persona franchise will be available on a Nintendo system.
Characters from Persona 3 and 4 have been given a complete visual overhaul to match the Etrian style and plunged into an alternate world resembling Yasogami High School. Legend has it that listening to the end of the bell chimes of Yasogami High’s clock tower causes people to die, and this time the bell tolls for the Investigation Team and the SEES. Trapped in an other-world filled with Shadows, the protagonists from Persona 3 and Persona 4 each have different events to follow, allowing the player to choose and experience two different plotlines. As both groups seek a way out of the labyrinth, they will run in to two new characters, Rei and Zen, who may hold the secret to this new mystery.
Persona 4 Arena Ultimax (Fall 2014) — Arc System Works is bringing the sequel to the award-winning tournament fighter Persona 4 Arena to the PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system and Xbox 360® in 2014! A few days after the P-1 Grand Prix concludes in the first Arena title, the city of Inaba gets enveloped in a thick red fog and Mitsuru, Akihiko, Fuuka, and Aigis are shown as prisoners on the Midnight Channel. The Investigation Team from Persona 4 and former SEES from Persona 3 must once again fight to their limits in the new P-1 Climax tournament to rescue them and finally uncover the true culprit behind the deadly tournaments.
Persona 4 Arena Ultimax will improve on the award-winning fighting game formula with battle-altering 1-hit special attacks and new characters, including Yukari Takeba and Junpei Iori from Persona 3 and a brand new character, Sho Minazuki. Not a lot is known about Sho other than his goofy nature and being an unstoppable force in both puns and combat. Two swords, two scars on his face, red hair and red mist in Inaba? Surely it can’t be coincidence that he’s standing in the way of the Investigation Team. And to make matters worse, it seems he can control a Persona…Persona 4: Dancing All Night (2015) — Funky Student isn’t funky enough to bust a move with Rise and the rest of the Persona 4 crew in Persona 4: Dancing All Night for the PlayStation®Vita handheld entertainment system. The summer following the events in Persona 4 sees Rise return to Inaba after spending the summer back in her old life as an idol. After hearing rumors about the Midnight Stage, she checks a certain website at midnight and sees a mysterious movie clip and, you guessed it, winds up on the “other side.” Worse yet, she finds out her junior idol peers from the group Kanamin Kitchen are missing as well. She has no choice but to send an SOS to the Investigation Team to help rescue the missing idols.
Not even Riddle-senpai could have seen this twist coming: Normal battle tactics don’t work against the Shadows on the Midnight Stage, but dancing does! Rise, the Protagonist, and the rest of the Investigation Team will have to dance their way to victory. 30 pulse-thumping tracks make up the new Persona Sound in this rhythm-based action game. P4DAN is made in collaboration with Dingo Inc., the company behind Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA (PlayStation®Portable).
Persona 5 (2015) — This is it. The big one. The latest true continuation of the award-winning Persona series will make its debut in North America on the PlayStation 3 in 2015.
Well, that sure was one hell of an announcement to start the day. If anyone was worried that Atlus’ recent acquisition by Sega would be slowing them down, your worries have just been summarily shattered. This megaton dose of Persona goodness is likely to foreshadow how countless JRPG fans are going to lose their next few years. If you have any goals set forth for the foreseeable future, you might want to work at wrapping them up, because Persona is coming in force.
Which of these titles has you the most excited? Of course, we at HeyPoorPlayer are dying to get our grubby mitts on Persona 5 most of all. Let us know in the comments below.