BlazBlue and Guilty Gear makers Arc System Works recently shared a look at Persona 4: The Ultimax Ultra Suplex Hold, a sequel to Persona 4 Arena, featuring Junpei Iori and Yukari Takeba from Persona 3, and a brand new character named Sho Minazuki. Director Seiji Fukumoto and assistant producer Takumi Iguchiya talked about these developments in an interview with Dengeki Online.
Dengeki kick off the interview by asking what primary focus that went into the development of Persona 4: The Ultimax Ultra Suplex Hold was.
“With the previous title, we collected plenty of feedback from players, such as character balance,” says director Fukumoto. “With that as a base, we’ll continue with the parts that made it fun, while adjusting the parts that weren’t too well received. As far as any big changes are concerned, please try it out at the location tests to get a feel it for yourself.”
In our earlier report, we got a look at the two new characters in Yukari and Junpei from Persona 3, who will be joining the mix in Persona 4: The Ultimax Ultra Suplex Hold. Dengeki asks the developers to share the concept that went into the making of the new fighters.
“Shooting characters that can fight from a distance are essentially quirky [to use,] and there are plenty of them.” says Fukumoto. “I wanted to do away with that, as we’re going for a shooting character that is easy to use this time around. For this reason, those who are using [Yukari] for the first time will have a much easier time.”
“When it comes to Junpei, it’s all comes down to ‘baseball’,” Fukumoto says with a laugh. “The baseball system shaped itself up after we wondered how to implement baseball into a fighting game. By using the bat to attack, you’ll see baseball elements appear on the screen. If you land a hit, you’ll score a point; if you miss, you get a strike. By scoring points, Junpei’s attacks become stronger.”
Most of the combos will be the same as the previous game, aside from a few adjustments made to some moves. Dengeki asks if we’ll get to use the offense-minded Shadow-type characters in a similar manner to their counterparts in Persona 4 Arena.
“Those who play a combo-heavy offensive style, might actually have better movements using Shadow characters,” Fukumoto shares. “However, fundamentally speaking, I believe that normal-mode characters are easier to use. You can fight with stability. Meanwhile, Shadow characters can easily turn the table of the fight.”
“Not having a Burst is the toughest part,” adds assistant producer Iguchiya. Fukumoto then further clarifies, “However, Shadows have impressive firepower.”
According to Fukumoto, Yu Narukami was the most popular character by a landslide during location tests, followed by Persona 4’s Chie Satonaka. Dengeki asks if it’s true that Narukami has changed quite a bit from the previous game.
“That’s correct. We’ve made some adjustments to characters who were on the stronger side in the previous game,” says Fukumoto. “However, Narukami will be getting a new special attack and changes in action, so we could be seeing a more versatile Narukami as compared to before.”
“Having characters be strong isn’t a bad thing, but we can’t have it to a level where other characters can’t fight against them normally, so we’re adjusting such parts accordingly,” Fukumoto elaborates. “To a degree, you can fight the same way you did in the previous game, but I think you might have to make some changes [to your approach] when it comes to fighting against top-ranked players.”
While Narukami will be getting a fair share of adjustments, Dengeki asks which character has been adjusted the most, thus far.
“Ahh, each character has received so many [adjustments], so it’d be hard to say which one has the most,” Fukumoto replies. “It’s already been about two years from the previous title, and I believe that players will get bored of the exact same way of fighting. For this reason, we’d like to offer new ways to play, and the characters are seeing major changes. However, the character concept remains the same from the previous game.”
“Persona 4 Arena is fundamentally adjusted through an upper-balanace, so rather than simply making stronger parts weaker, we adjust the cumbersome strong parts, instead,” Fukumoto concludes.
Finally, a message for the fans.
Fukumoto: “Now that Persona 4: The Ultimax Ultra Suplex Hold is coming out, I hope that those who missed out on Persona 4 Arena will get to ride the approaching wave. Thank you for your continued support.”
Iguchiya: “With the previous location test included, I’ve come to realize that many others, not just those limited to fighting game fans, have high expectations of us. Until next time, we’ll continue working on adjustments and production, so please look forward to it.”
Persona 4: The Ultimax Ultra Suplex Hold will be released in arcades this winter.