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Persona 4 Arena Ultimax: Release Date, Trailer, And Changes - What We Know So Far

"Persona" can be a hard series to follow. It started out as a relatively obscure offshoot of the "Shin Megami Tensei" JRPG series, but has grown in western popularity with each new release — now spanning multiple platforms — and developed a unique identity all its own. The critically acclaimed "Persona 5: Strikers," which is a direct sequel to "Persona 5," swapped formats from turn-based JRPG to a musou-themed action-RPG. The change in mechanics was even more dramatic in the direct sequels to the previous mainline installment in the series, though. "Persona 4: Arena" came out back in 2012. It's a fighting game with a story mode that continues right where "Persona 4" left off. Then came "Persona 4: Arena Ultimax" in 2014. It's technically a sequel that continues the story, but it offers a DLC that contains the narrative of "Arena" as well.

Celebrating the series' 25th anniversary, Atlus has given it's fans some great news by announcing that it has several new projects in the works via its official celebration website. One of these new "Persona" projects is an enhanced version of "Arena Ultimax" containing the stories of both games and several updated features. The game was announced at the 2021 Game Awards and it has fans eager to see what this revitalized chapter in the franchise has in store. Here's everything we know about it so far.

Does Persona 4: Arena Ultimax have a release date?

Fans who are curious when they'll be able to get their hands on this new-and-improved version of "Persona 4: Arena Ultimax" will be relieved to know that Atlus has already declared a release date for the new title. According to the official Atlus website, the game will be available on March 17, 2022 — only three months after its initial announcement. That might look like an incredibly fast turnover, but it seems that Atlus has had these plans in the works for a while now and they likely want to move this one out quickly so that they don't step on the toes of their own future releases, like maybe an announcement for "Persona 6."

According to Atlus, "Arena Ultimax" will be available on PC, Nintendo Switch, and PS4 and is already available for pre-order on those platforms' respective storefronts. There are three versions available as of now; a Digital Standard Edition, a Midnight Channel Collection, which includes the original "Persona 4" and a Deluxe Edition of the collection. It seems that PS5 and Xbox users will be out of luck, however.

Is there a Persona 4: Arena Ultimax trailer?

A trailer for the new "Persona 4: Arena Ultimax" was played as part of the game's announcement at the Game Awards. It's just under a minute long and shows more gameplay than story content. The trailer begins with a graphic displaying the "Persona 25th Anniversary" title card, followed by the appearance of the anthropomorphic bear mascot Teddie, who narrates the trailer with as many of his iconically un-bear-able puns as could be fit into his brief appearance. "Hello everyone. I come bear-ing news," he says. "Ever wonder what happened after 'Persona 4: Golden?' Now you can check out 'Persona 4: Arena Ultimax' and find out! I can bear-ly wait to show you how everybody's doing." Clips from the game are then displayed on screen, showcasing a large arena surrounded by a cheering crowd and a bit of the game's vibrantly colored, fast-paced fighting and over-the-top super-moves. It doesn't give much information, but serves to get fans who love with the franchise excited to see a few familiar faces.

What's changed in the new Persona 4: Arena Ultimax?

Those who've already played the original "Persona 4: Arena Ultimax" might be wondering what new features and changes they might be able to expect in this new version. Users can likely assume a certain degree of graphical refinement, but what about content? The game's preorder description on the Atlus website states that in addition to the "Persona 4: Arena" story and all previously released "Persona 4: Arena Ultimax" content, there are several new features that will come to the game. Many of them are cosmetic, but some of the bigger additions are "challenge demonstrations," the "ADACHI" story mode, and the addition of three new characters.

That's a lot of new material, but it seems there are going to be some changes to the way the game is played as well. According to the Persona Central Twitter account, "The upcoming remastered release of "Persona 4: Arena Ultimax" will be based on the 2.50 arcade version of P4U2, representing the first release of the game's updated version outside of the arcades." The 2.50 version of the game has long been coveted in the console community. It rebalances several of the characters, giving the Shadow characters more flexibility while making their previously overpowered Shadow Fury abilities more difficult to use. This in turn makes the game's fighting mechanics more balanced overall.