Note: iOS 9 + Facebook users w/ trouble scrolling: #super sorry# we hope to fix it asap. In the meantime Chrome Mobile is a reach around
hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts

Persona series

Japan Warriors poll photo
Japan Warriors poll

Persona or SMT Warriors? Atlus says 'get in touch with us anytime'

Or Final Fantasy Warriors?
Nov 19
// Steven Hansen
A recent Famitsu poll asked fans what Koei Tecmo Warriors (or Musou) crossover they'd most want to see and Gematsu has the Sokuho@Hokanko translation of the results, as well as responses by those series' respective creators o...

Review: Persona 4: Dancing All Night

Sep 29 // Kyle MacGregor
Persona 4: Dancing All Night (PS Vita)Developer: Atlus Publisher: AtlusReleased: September 29, 2015MSRP: $49.99 Taking place shortly after the events of Persona 4, Dancing All Night opens with Rise Kujikawa and a couple members of the gang in a dance studio. The former idol is mounting a comeback and has enlisted her friends as backup dancers to perform at a large music festival. Of course, things quickly go awry. A cursed Internet video has droves of people falling into comas, and to top it all off, members of Kanamin Kitchen, the pop group headed by Rise's frenemy Kanami Mashita, have gone missing. We soon find out the women have been transported to an alternate dimension called the Midnight Stage, where a mysterious voice and hordes of Shadows hold them hostage. Kanamin Kitchen's captors prey on idols' identity crises and try to make them fall in line with the image of what people think believe are, or want them to be, rather than wage any sort of painful personal struggle. The Investigation Team naturally comes to the rescue, except in this world they can't use their Personas to fight. The only way to beat back the Shadows and save Rise and Kanami's friends is to dance. It's a contrived plot device to shoehorn in rhythmic gameplay based on Sega's Hatsune Miku: Project Diva series, but honestly, who cares when the end result is a damn good time?  [embed]311909:60472:0[/embed] The mechanics at work here are nothing revolutionary. Notes appear in the center of a circle and fly outward toward six zones on circle's perimeter in formations based on music. Players are tasked with keeping the beat, the success or failure of which will determine things like high scores, whether new levels are unlocked, and earn in-game currency for purchasing items and costumes. Dancing All Night functions perfectly, and its three main difficulty settings all feel appropriately challenging. Regardless of which you choose, a poor performance will result in a quick hook, though a mediocre one may allow you to complete a level without passing. This can be a powerful motivator, and definitely kept me coming back to some of the tougher stages. On top of the standard fare, there's also an even harder (hidden) difficulty setting awaiting dedicated players. So good luck with that! Aside from the joy of watching familiar faces like Teddie and Chie cavort around in ridiculous outfits, what makes Dancing All Night a blast is the music itself. One of my favorite aspects of the Persona series is composer Shoji Meguro's handiwork, which is obviously thrust into the spotlight this time around. After completing both the story and free dance modes (plus redeeming some downloadable content) I've unlocked 36 songs, spanning everything from original Persona 4 tracks to spin-off theme songs and even a live performance. However, while that may conceptually seem like a decent-sized selection, it doesn't always feel that way. Half of the soundtrack is padded out with remixes that may or may not resonate with players. While I absolutely loved many of them, there are others I will seldom play again. I found it difficult at times to appreciate versions of songs I've adored for years, only to have some DJ somewhere strip the track of nearly all its personality and transform it into something else entirely. Dancing All Night's uneven score wasn't the only facet of the experience that wasn't as compelling as it could have been. The story is somewhat plodding at times and suffers from repetition, following multiple groups that tread similar ground for most of the game. While there are some pensive themes at work, endearing new characters, and a dramatic finale once the narrative threads begin to converge, the plot doesn't quite live up to its source material -- which is probably expected, given how phenomenal that is. This fusion of visual novel of rhythm game isn't exactly perfect, but speaking as someone who loves Persona (and Shoji Meguro's work in particular), I really enjoyed my time with this one. It might be pure fan service, but sometimes maybe that's enough. [This review is based on a retail build of the game provided by the publisher. Several DLC tracks were also provided by the publisher. ]
Review: P4D photo
Your prize cow
Persona 4 was a story about acceptance. We all have a dark side, some aspect of our personality we dislike about ourselves, something we choose to repress and hide away from the rest of the world. This isn't the healthiest pr...

ATLUS photo

Atlus confirms Hatsune Miku Persona 4: Dancing All Night DLC for the Americas

Coming October 20 for $5
Sep 24
// Kyle MacGregor
While we already knew Hatsune Miku was coming to Persona 4: Dancing All Night in Japan, the possibility of a western release was up in the air. Well, until now, anyway. Atlus USA has just informed us the make-believe singer's...
ATLUS photo

Persona 4: Dancing All Night launches in Europe this November

Not the worst delay, I suppose
Aug 22
// Kyle MacGregor
Persona 4: Dancing All Night is coming to Europe on November 6, NIS America has announced. As per usual (as far as Atlus goes), the PlayStation Vita-exclusive rhythm game's PAL version is launching a tad later than its North American counterpart, which debuts September 29.

Free Persona DLC photo
Free Persona DLC

Persona 4: Dancing All Night swimsuit set free the first week

No Kanji swimsuit though
Aug 14
// Steven Hansen
Persona 4: Dancing All Night's ladies swimsuit DLC will be free during the rhythm game's first week of release (it comes out September 29). After October 5, the costume pack will cost money. Unfortunately, this free DLC does...
ATLUS photo

These Persona 4: Dancing All Night remixes are hot!

But I still prefer the originals
Aug 09
// Kyle MacGregor
I'm sure most Atlus fans would agree one of the Persona series' greatest strengths is its music. The studio's in-house composer Shogi Meguro and his crew do brilliant work, which makes the idea of an entire game dedicated to...
ATLUS photo

Persona 4: Dancing All Night gets a release date

Taking the stage September 29
Jul 24
// Kyle MacGregor
Persona 4: Dancing All Night launches in North America on September 29, Atlus has confirmed. The rhythm game has been out in Japan since late June and is planned for an autumn release in Europe, where NIS America is handling ...
P4D x Hatsune Miku photo
P4D x Hatsune Miku

Hatsune Miku joins Persona 4: Dancing All Night

A match made in Heaven
Jul 23
// Kyle MacGregor
In case you were wondering just how long it would take for Sega and Atlus to finally cross streams, Hatsune Miku is making a guest appearance in Persona 4: Dancing All Night. The digital diva will perform a remix of "Hea...
Persona 4 Dancing photo
Persona 4 Dancing

Atlus fans have the best dance moves

All this energy's got us inspired now
Jul 05
// Kyle MacGregor
E3 is a sweaty, smelly place and Atlus did its damndest this year to take the electric circus' pungent aromas to new heights by getting over 1,000 up on stage to bump and grind with Teddie.
Japanese charts photo
Japanese charts

Fire Emblem Fates outsells Persona 4: Dancing All Night

Good thing Nintendo didn't kill it
Jul 01
// Kyle MacGregor
Last week was a great time to be a portable gaming enthusiast in Japan, as not one, but two highly anticipated titles launched on Thursday in Fire Emblem Fates and Persona 4: Dancing All Night. Fire Emblem Fates was far and a...
Persona 4 Dancing photo
Persona 4 Dancing

Persona 4: Dancing All Night coming to Europe without delay

We shared the same mad potion
Jun 30
// Kyle MacGregor
It looks like Persona 4: Dancing All Night might arrive simultaneously (or close to it) across Europe and America, as NIS has followed Atlus' lead, announcing the rhythm game for a "Fall 2015" launch. In addition to the stand...
ATLUS photo

Persona 4: Dancing All Night opening movie

Scorpion something true now...
Jun 25
// Kyle MacGregor
No lie, I've been listening to Persona 4: Dancing All Night's main theme, "Dance!," on repeat since playing the game at E3 last week. It's just so danged infectious. I'm this close to importing the game -- which just came ou...

Persona 4 goes full Miku in Dancing All Night

Jun 20 // Kyle MacGregor
This is all a set-up for a rhythm game, where the spotlight shines on Atlus composer Shoji Meguro's infectious tunes, including some new tracks to go along with remixes of old favorites.  Persona 4: Dancing All Night's gameplay is reminiscent of Sega's Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA series, which makes sense given the tiles were both created in part by the same studio, Dingo. Unlike the Project DIVA games, where the notes fly in from off-screen toward the center, Atlus is taking the opposite approach with Dancing All Night. Star-shaped objects appear and fly from the center of the middle of the screen toward six points on the outer edges of a ring, all of which correspond to parts of the D-pad and individual face buttons. As rhythm game veterans know very well, how you time your button presses as the notes fly into these zones will impact how well you score. There are various levels of difficulty to select between, so fans of the genre can challenge themselves while those just looking for a new Persona story can breeze through the stages with less resistance.  As you tap along with the beat, familiar faces like Kanji and Chie will groove out to the music on the Midnight Stage while Shadows look on the in audience. Eventually, the stages will culminate in a Persona summon, which I got a real kick out of. Seeing (the main protagonist) Yu's partner Izanagi jam out on a bass guitar put a big smile on my face. Atlus also showed us the game running on a PlayStation TV, which might be a tad more challenging than playing it in the palm of your hands on the Vita depending on how far away you sit from your screen. Since we were pretty close to the monitor during our demo, this required us to rely heavily on our peripheral vision, which added a layer of challenge. Whether it's an RPG, fighter, or rhythm game, more Persona is always a good thing in my book and seeing Persona 4: Dancing All Night in action this week at E3 has me no less excited about the game. I'm definitely looking forward to seeing more of it when it finally launches sometime this fall.
P4D preview photo
Just set it free and dance!
It's been months since the Investigation Team cracked the case and life is getting back to normal. That is, until members of Rise Kujikawa's J-pop group suddenly go missing. And, surprise, surprise: The rescue mission brings ...

P4: Dancing All Night photo
P4: Dancing All Night

Persona 4: Dancing All Night's Japanese box art is appropriately groovy

I'd expect nothing less
Mar 25
// Brittany Vincent
Persona 4: Dancing All Night is still slated for a Western release in 2015, but it's headed for Japanese Vita owners on June 25. I'm eagerly gobbling up every single scrap Atlus tosses out until the official release, so check...

Experience Points .08: Persona 4

Mar 21 // Ben Davis
The hard-kicking heroine The best thing about Persona 4 is its huge cast of interesting, colorful characters. There aren't really any characters I particularly dislike, aside from the ones you're supposed to hate (Morooka and Kashiwagi, for instance). Everyone has their own favorite Persona 4 character, but I've always been particularly fond of Chie Satonaka. Chie is one of the protagonist's classmates, and one of the first people he meets at his new school. She's very energetic, friendly, and upbeat. She loves watching kung fu movies and eating all kinds of meat (especially steak!), and she can kick foes into oblivion with her signature Galactic Punt move. Like, she can actually send giant robots and tanks flying into outer space with just her foot. She's amazing! She's also one of the characters the protagonist can date. Chie is so charming that I always end up dating her every time I play Persona 4, rather than seeing how any of the other girls would react. The way she says, "I love you," at the end of her social link just makes my heart melt. You're the best, Chie! I'll face myself Persona 4's shadow bosses are pretty crazy. Chie's shadow takes the form of a yellow-clad dominatrix sitting atop a tower of pale girls, Rise's shadow is a rainbow stripper squelching around on a pole, and Yosuke's shadow... well I don't even know what the heck he's supposed to be. The shadows are supposed to represent the characters' repressed thoughts and emotions, so they can get a little awkward. Arguably the craziest shadow is that of Kanji Tatsumi. Kanji is the tough guy of the group; he shouts and gets in fights a lot, and generally maintains a street punk facade. His shadow is an entirely different story. Shadow Kanji is essentially a homosexual stereotype: feminine, flamboyant, speaks with a lisp, hangs out in bathhouses. It's very unexpected, based on Kanji's demeanor, and he seems to find it very embarrassing and offensive. Unsurprisingly, he denies that the shadow is really a part of him. Then Shadow Kanji changes, taking the form of a massive, muscular dude, decorated with roses and wielding two huge, metal male symbols as weapons, with two other bodybuilders at his side for support. Whoa. It's extremely absurd, super awkward, and yet it was my favorite boss fight in the game. Having dealt with issues of sexuality and being in the closet myself, I sort of understood what Kanji seemed to be going through. It can be a very confusing time, with conflicting ideas in the media and from peers about how a person should or shouldn't behave based on their gender. It creates this amalgamation of bad thoughts and confusing ideas, which could lead to something like Kanji's shadow lingering in the back of one's mind, which they try to hide and push back as far as possible so no one finds out. Even though the shadow was an extreme, ridiculous example of those thoughts, it was still something I could relate to, which is why it left such a huge impression on me. This was the first time I'd played a game that tried to tackle these issues, and I really appreciated the attempt. A game within a game If there's one thing Persona 4 lacks, it's dungeon variety. Sure, there's a bunch of different themed areas, like a bathhouse, a strip club, and a secret laboratory, but they all start to feel like palette swaps for the same basic dungeon layout after a while. However, there was one dungeon that really stood out to me: Mitsuo Kubo's Void Quest dungeon. Void Quest is built to resemble an 8-bit videogame, with chiptunes-inspired music and lots of little references to old JRPGs. There's so many neat little touches in this dungeon that I can't help but enjoy myself while I'm wandering around the randomized floors. The entrance appears as a title screen, with the words "Game Start" and "Continue" hovering in midair. The doors open with this delightfully clunky animation and sound effect. On each new floor, Mitsuo's thoughts read like text from an RPG, and he even "levels up" with attributes like "coolness increases by 3" and "emptiness increases by 8." The boss fight against Shadow Mitsuo even plays out like an old 8-bit turn-based battle, with command menus that pop up whenever he attacks. I could tell the level designers really had fun with this area, and it paid off. Even though it was basically still a palette-swapped dungeon layout like the rest (with the occasional unique floor which required puzzle-solving), it managed to be exciting and memorable just through style alone. Bear-y funny, Teddie Wanna know the main reason to play Persona 4? Bear puns. Teddie is so full of bear puns it's almost unbearable. Every other line is "bear this" or "bear that," but you just have to bear with it. He's a beary useful member of the party, at least. You'll bearly be able to keep up with his bear-sona bearing down on you. If he ever starts going bear-serk, you bear-ter watch out! God, these puns are awful (kuma)... For real though, Teddie is awesome. Bear puns and all. Sensei don't fear the reaper I had no idea the Reaper was a thing in Persona 4 until I randomly stumbled upon it during my second playthrough. While exploring Yukiko's castle dungeon, I came across a suspicious chest. Upon examing the chest, a creepy message flashed across the screen: "You sense an intensely terrifying presence... open this box?" I hesitated, but I was really curious about what that meant exactly, so I said yes. Suddenly, my navigator chimed in, warning me not to open it. It then prompted me again: "Will you really open it?" I was a little too nervous at this point. I expected something powerful and scary, and I hadn't leveled up very much yet. I decided to walk away and try again some other time. The next time I found the suspicious chest was in Mitsuo's Void Quest dungeon. I'd leveled up quite a bit since the castle, so I decided to give it a shot and finally opened the chest. Out popped the Reaper, a creepy, masked monster covered in chains and tattered rags, wielding two revolvers with super long barrels. I loved his design, and his guns were like the coolest looking weapons I've ever seen. Unfortunately, he was way too powerful for me, and he quickly killed my entire team within a few turns. Well, so much for that... I challenged him again in the Magatsu Inaba dungeon, and after an intensely difficult, grueling battle, I finally managed to defeat him! I was rewarded with the Blade of Totsuka, the protagonist's strongest weapon. I later found out it's possible to challenge the Reaper multiple times, in order to get the most powerful weapons and armor for each character. I didn't go through the trouble of finding everything, but I did at least get the best weapons for my three other main party members: Teddie, Kanji, and Chie. They definitely felt well-deserved, after battling such a formidable opponent. It came from the Dojimas' refrigerator There's a lot of things to do in Persona 4 to spend time during the day or increase stats. One such activity involves raiding the refrigerator at home for snacks. Seems pretty straightforward, but the Dojima residence's fridge is a mysterious thing. Sometimes the protagonist will find normal things in the fridge, like melon soda or shortcake. But other times, he'll find things that are quite worrisome... A pot full of grass? Unidentified mushrooms? An alarm clock?! He can also eat Nanako's pudding, like a big jerk. Tasting these weird discoveries can raise his courage stat, but sometimes it'll send him to bed sick, unable to do anything else that night. The best part about the fridge finds is the wording, though, with prompts like, "A single slice of ham lies lonely on a paper plate. Something about it disturbs you..." and "There's a brown spherical object in the depths of the fridge. You think it used to be a pear... Eat it?" I never knew what to expect when I opened the refrigerator door. It's simultaneously frightening and hilarious. I'm not sure I'd be brave enough to eat anything that came from the Dojimas' fridge after seeing some of the things they keep in there... Helping out the hanged man One of Persona 4's biggest draws is its Social Links system. Social Links are the relationships formed between the protagonist and other various characters in the game. Spending time with friends will strengthen the Social Links, granting the protagonist and his party members greater skills in battle. It's also a chance to learn more about the characters and their backstories. All of the Social Links are interesting, but I think my favorite one is the Hanged Man Arcana, Naoki Konishi. The protagonist's relationship with Naoki starts off pretty rough. Naoki is the younger brother of Saki Konishi, who was one of the murder victims towards the beginning of the game. Still coping with his sister's death, Naoki lashes out at the protagonist when they first meet, telling him quite plainly that he hates him. Even though he came off as incredibly rude, I really felt bad for the guy. I kept trying to talk to him whenever I saw him in the hallway at school, even though he didn't want anything to do with me. Eventually, he came around and decided to chat with me, and apologized for his previous rudeness. Through Naoki's Social Link, the player gets to learn about how someone might deal with the death of a loved one, how other people might treat that person, and how their behavior and gossip can make the mourner feel alienated. I felt a lot of empathy for Naoki and just wanted to make him feel better by being there for him and lending an ear to listen to his troubles. Towards the end, he's finally able to let loose and cry, and share some fond memories of his sister, and he thanks the protagonist for being so friendly. It's a really sad story, but sometimes the saddest moments are the ones that stick in your mind the most. That's why Naoki's Social Link was by far the most memorable to me. Past Experience Points .01: The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask.02: Shadow of the Colossus.03: EarthBound.04: Catherine.05: Demon's Souls.06: No More Heroes.07: Paper Mario
Persona 4 highlights photo
I am a shadow... the true self
Experience Points is a series in which I highlight some of the most memorable things about a particular game. These can include anything from a specific scene or moment, a character, a weapon or item, a level or location, a p...

Holy hindsight! Five series that should have been on Wii

Mar 10 // Tony Ponce
In a 2009 interview with Kotaku's Stephen Totilo, Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aime expressed frustration regarding why the biggest third-party titles were skipping Wii: "I've had this conversation with every publisher who makes content that is not available on my platform. The conversation goes like this: 'We have a 22-million unit installed base. We have a very diverse audience... We have active gamers that hunger for this type of content. And why isn't it available?'" The unfortunate reason was that, prior to Wii's launch, most publishers didn't have faith in Nintendo's unconventional strategy, especially coming off of GameCube's lukewarm performance. By the time they realized that Wii mania was real, they were too entrenched in HD development to easily shift gears. When support did come, it was in the form of minigame collections and low-priority efforts farmed out to C-team studios, most of which seemed to target the stereotypical "casual" gamer while ignoring the rest of the audience. The Wii wasn't conceived as a "casual machine," but rather a low-risk development option that could ideally satisfy everyone -- with a focus on videogame newbies, true, but not an exclusive focus. From the beginning, there was enormous interest among the enthusiast crowd for more substantial software, but as the years slipped away and their needs weren't met, they simply turned their attention elsewhere. There were sporadic attempts to appeal to enthusiasts, though most typically fell into the mid-tier category -- the types of games that, on a well-served platform, would help round out the library. But without headliners to attract an audience in the first place, the MadWorlds and Little King's Storys of the world were stuck playing an empty venue. It's clear that the Wii was no powerhouse and wouldn't have been able to realize many of the eventual HD hits in a satisfactory fashion. However, you can't tell me that publishers weren't sitting on golden preexisting properties that could have easily been adapted to the hardware -- properties that had a near guaranteed chance of finding success, which would in turn have led to a greater influx of auxiliary Wii software and a healthier third-party ecosystem overall. Just to name a few examples... Kingdom Hearts Remember the rumors years ago that Kingdom Hearts III on Wii might be happening? A series whose chief draw is allowing you to visit famous Disney worlds and battle alongside famous Disney heroes seemed like the obvious choice for a Nintendo platform, where family-friendly entertainment is the order of the day. Square Enix thought so too, just not in the manner we had hoped. Following Kingdom Hearts II in 2005, numerous word-building side stories and interquels were released on portables, with the bulk appearing on Nintendo machines. One in particular, Dream Drop Distance for 3DS, was even billed as a lead-in to the eventual Kingdom Hearts III. Meanwhile, the series was completely absent on home consoles. This would have been a perfect opportunity for Square Enix to port KHI and II onto Wii in their "Final Mix" forms. That way, those who followed the series on PS2 would be able to transition smoothly, while others with little exposure to the games would have the perfect entry point. And with all these returning and newly minted fans on Wii, maybe the PSP-exclusive Birth By Sleep would have had another platform on which to score sales, which were otherwise soft in Western territories. Metal Gear When Super Smash Bros. Melee was brought out West, it introduced players to Marth and Roy, two unknown characters from a Japan-exclusive franchise called Fire Emblem. The warm reception these fresh faces received gave Nintendo the incentive to start localizing future installments in the tactical RPG saga. I had hoped that Solid Snake's appearance in Super Smash Bros. Brawl would have led to a similar decision regarding Metal Gear, but no dice. Why was Snake in Brawl to begin with? Definitely not because of his rich history on Nintendo platforms -- Metal Gear did more for PlayStation than it ever did for NES. No, it's because Hideo Kojima practically begged Masahiro Sakurai to put him in. Regardless of how the arrangement came about, Snake was a welcome addition to the Smash roster, quickly rising to the top of many players' lists of favorite fighters. A smart publisher would have tried to capitalize on that kind of exposure. Konami could have tested the waters with a Wii reprint of The Twin Snakes, which had become quite rare in its original GameCube format. Follow that up with with MGS2 and 3 ports, possibly an up-port of Peace Walker as well. MGS4 was never going to come over for obvious reasons, but hey, 360 didn't get it either, and Xbox and Metal Gear are good buddies these days. Instead, the only Metal Gear to appear on a Nintendo platform post-Brawl was Snake Eater 3D, which was made redundant a few months later with the release of HD Collection on Vita. One of the most popular characters in Nintendo's all-star roundup wound up being nothing more than advertisement for competing platforms, even though he didn't have to be. Street Fighter Did you know, if we disregard the combined-SKU Resident Evil 5, that the original Street Fighter II for Super Nintendo is the single best-selling game in Capcom's history at 6.3 million copies? It also happens to be the best-selling third-party game in the SNES library -- and that's before we even factor in the various updates! Among Wii owners were a fair number of lapsed gamers -- people who may have gamed in the arcades or on an NES or SNES back in the day but have since lost interest. I guarantee a significant cross section of that group were former SFII players itching for a proper follow-up. And since the goal of the Street Fighter IV project was to make the series accessible again to the widest possible audience, it would have behooved Capcom to include in its multi-platform plans the console built entirely around the concept of accessibility. You can't tell me that SFIV was dependent on high-end hardware -- it was designed to be a traditional 2D fighter with 3D window dressing. The fact that a spot-on port was later developed for 3DS, with static backgrounds as the sole concession, should be all the proof that a Wii version could have looked and played just fine. If you want to argue that SFIV was ill-suited to Wii because the Wii Remote was an inappropriate fighting game controller, I think you're overestimating the general game-playing public's need for the "perfect gaming controller." Besides, anyone who desired a more traditional pad would have made the effort to buy one -- such as with Tatsunoko vs. Capcom. Speaking of TvC, there's a game that strikes a fine balance between technical skill and accessibility. Although I appreciate the effort it took to localize such a licensing nightmare, that seahorse in the logo was the kiss of death -- only hardcore anime aficionados had the slightest inkling who these strange new characters were. It's odd that Capcom would invest in TvC yet couldn't be bothered to hammer out an adequate SFIV port, which would have had a significantly larger shot at finding a receptive audience on Wii. Persona Atlus has enjoyed a wonderful working relationship with Nintendo since the former's founding in 1986, and that relationship thrives to this day. In fact, over the past generation, the bulk of Atlus' in-house productions have found an exclusive home on Nintendo platforms, including new IPs like Etrian Odyssey, Trauma Center, and Radiant Historia. Of important note is how Atlus has gradually been shifting the entire Megami Tensei franchise back into the Nintendo camp, beginning with Devil Survivor on DS and culminating with Shin Megami Tensei IV on 3DS. One particular MegaTen sub-series, however, has remained with Sony: Persona. It's apparent that Atlus was reluctant to jump into HD development right away. Releasing Persona 3 as a late-gen PlayStation 2 title was one thing, but sticking to PS2 for Persona 4 as well? That earned the company quite a few stares. But if Atlus was insistent on squeezing out every last ounce from legacy hardware, why not prep those Personas for simultaneous release on the low-spec Wii as well? Atlus already had a Wii development pipeline in place, so the financial risk would have been extremely minimal. Wii versions could have only added to those games' success. The series has finally come to Nintendo in the form of Persona Q on 3DS, although the game's main selling point -- the crossover of P3 and P4 characters -- would feel more appropriate had those two titles actually appeared on a Nintendo platform prior. Grand Theft Auto "Nintendo has done all it can to persuade Take-Two Interactive Software to bring the Grand Theft Auto franchise to Nintendo consoles, and it is now up to the third-party publisher to decide whether Rockstar Games' immensely popular series will appear on Wii." Reggie Fils-Aime shared this nugget in December 2006, shortly after the Wii's launch, to let the world know that Nintendo desired the violent crime series on its hardware (those Game Boy Color and Advance titles don't count). Sadly, Take-Two didn't seem to want to play ball and even laughed at the notion just one year later, when then-executive chairman Strauss Zelnick asserted, "[T]here are other titles better suited to the Wii than Grand Theft Auto." Nonetheless, talks continued, and Take-Two and Rockstar Games eventually decided to give Nintendo a shot... with a DS game. That's not what fans were asking for, but baby steps, we figured. Take-Two CEO Ben Feder did state that Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars was an important step in the company's relations with Nintendo and suggested that this new title could pave the way for future developments. The rest is sick, sad history. Chinatown Wars earned rave reviews, becoming the highest-ranked DS title on Metacritic, yet sold just under 90,000 copies in the US in its launch month. Not willing to take any chances, Rockstar quickly announced PSP and mobile ports. Mature games were reaffirmed as poison on DS, and all hopes of another GTA on a Nintendo platform vanished. Let's try to understand why Chinatown Wars failed. First, GTA is not a handheld series. Some brands are simply better suited to home consoles than handhelds or vice versa -- Monster Hunter, for instance. Yeah, both Liberty City Stories and Vice City Stories on PSP were million sellers, but those sales were a drop in the bucket compared to what the console installments regularly pull in. Those were ported to PS2 months later too, so it's not like Rockstar had full confidence in them either. Still, both LCS and VCS sold much better than Chinatown Wars, which brings me to my second point: GTA only became a phenomenon with GTAIII and the leap into the third dimension. Taking the series back to its top-down roots was never going to appeal to all the same people who fell in love with the real-world atmosphere and fully voiced and acted cutscenes, no matter what kind of review scores it earned. Need further proof? Although you can find copious news bites around the web lamenting the poor sales of Chinatown Wars on DS, you'd be hard-pressed to find any mention of sales of the PSP port. It's safe to surmise that it tanked even worse than on DS, because Take-Two would have said something otherwise. The mobile ports likely outsold those two combined, though it's difficult to draw a solid conclusion there when sales were aided by rock-bottom mobile pricing. Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars was the wrong game for the wrong platform. From day one, Rockstar should have been working on a Wii game in the desired 3D style as Nintendo had originally intended. It would have been more expensive to produce, though I doubt anywhere in the range of GTAIV's $100 million price tag. If Rockstar didn't want to take that gamble, it could have assembled a PS2 trilogy collection, or ported the PSP games, or anything! We're talking about the biggest home console of all time, after all! If you still doubt the viability of GTA on Wii, consider Call of Duty: World at War, which sold over a million copies on Wii. Big deal, you figure, since sales of the PS3 and 360 versions vastly outstripped it. But also consider that Activision has repeatedly withheld information regarding the Wii versions of Call of Duty installments up to and sometimes even after release, limiting awareness to those who had prior knowledge or had seen one of the rare TV commercials. Somehow, the game still broke a million -- can you imagine how much better it could have performed had Activision given it exposure comparable to the HD builds? How could Take-Two wholeheartedly say, during a period when Wii was selling faster than any other home console before or since, that the audience wasn't there? Grand Theft Auto is one of the biggest gaming brands of all time! Its most recent entry has shipped 45 million units across all platforms! Its consumer base includes every type of gamer, from kids to adults, from the hardest of the hardcore to those whose only other gaming purchase in a year is the latest Madden! If Take-Two honestly believed that there was little to no chance of success in adapting Grand Theft Auto to Wii, it means that either its marketing department is completely clueless as to what makes GTA so appealing, thereby attributing each record-breaking achievement to blind luck, or everyone in management simply didn't give a shit. As you can see, I'm not suggesting that publishers should have thrown millions at unproven concepts. All it would have taken to get the ball rolling was some low-risk ports based on established, popular brands. Even if some of these franchises wound up not resonating with the Wii audience, most are powerful enough that they would have been accepted without question. Had key third-party tentpoles been established and found success on Wii early on, smaller studios would have felt comfortable in producing Wii content. Instead of the sudden decline as casual players lost interest, Wii could have maintained a steady momentum by serving the enthusiast crowd low-tech yet feature-rich software, in turn extending its life. By the time Nintendo introduced a follow-up console, publishers would have been far more willing to offer support than they wound up being with Wii U. Though we can only speculate precisely how such a movement would have affected Wii and the industry overall, it could only have been a net positive -- for Nintendo as well as third parties that struggled to stay in the black or simply wanted to grow their consumer base. You can blame Nintendo for certain Wii shortcomings, but third parties are at fault for letting painfully obvious opportunities slip through the canyon-sized cracks.
Wii got shafted photo
Third parties missed some major opportunities
By the end of 2014, Xbox 360 had slid past Wii to become the best-selling seventh generation console in the US. While a fantastic achievement for Microsoft, this event also punctuates the drastic shift in Nintendo's market do...

Tomm Hulett's unified Mario Timeline Theory

Mar 04 // Jonathan Holmes
If you're not in a position to look at this truly luxurious and expansive image at the moment, here are a few words from Tomm about the timeline: "This chronology begins with the Magikoopa Kamek attacking a stork carrying the Mario Brothers, causing the events of Yoshi's Island. It splits immediately, with one timeline depicting the events that follow Yoshi's rescue of Baby Luigi, and the other charting his failure. "Similar branches follow each Yoshi title to create three separate realities based on Mario's parents: Blue Collar Hero, Action Hero, and Storied Hero -- the latter of which creates two new sub-realities surrounding the babies in Partners in Time being left in the adult world: the Babies Era, where Wario and Waluigi replace the heroes, and the Adult Era, where the babies grow up to live lives of their own. Additionally, the timeline branches after Donkey Kong and any game that involves dreaming. Finally, the Action and Storied Hero timelines merge via the resolution of Mario Galaxy, leading directly to Super Mario 3D World." Brilliant stuff, Tomm. I wonder what Miyamoto and company would think of it?
Mario Timeline photo
The mighty multi-Marioverse explained
Game director Tomm Hulett has been working in the industry since he was a kid, starting with a job testing NES games. Since then he's worked on everything from Persona, Contra, Silent Hill, and Adventure T...

ATLUS photo
If you never give up life keeps on groovin'
Atlus has revealed Persona 4: Dancing All Night's main theme, "Dance!," complete with lyrics and everything. Personally, I think that spoils some of the fun. Deciphering the words behind Shoji Meguro's tunes has become ...

Persona photo

Atlus details its full schedule for the 30-hour Persona stream

Are you watching the whole thing?
Jan 30
// Chris Carter
On February 3 at 11pm EST, Atlus will run a 30-hour stream for all things Persona. It will consist of development talk, looks at new games, and even a few surprises. Recently the full schedule has been revealed, so you can pl...
Persona 3 photo
Persona 3

Persona 3: The Movie: Falling Down gets a new teaser trailer

Out in April in Japanese theaters
Jan 13
// Chris Carter
On April 4, the third Persona 3: The Movie will hit theaters in Japan, compliments of Aniplex. It has just released a new trailer for the anime film that you can view above. As an aside, the second film will be out...
Persona 5 photo
Persona 5

Persona 5 is definitely coming in 2015, you guys

We kinda already knew this, but hey!
Dec 06
// Brittany Vincent
During the PlayStation Experience keynote in Las Vegas today, Atlus USA confirmed that Persona 5 will indeed be dropping on both PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 3 in 2015. We pretty much knew this already, but official announce...
Persona photo

Which Persona crew did you choose in Persona Q?

4 Live Crew
Dec 03
// Chris Carter
While the story eventually normalizes with both groups, you have somewhat of a difficult decision at the start of Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth. Do you go with the Persona 3 crew, or the gang from Persona 4? I know a few...

Here's what the Persona Q Premium and Limited editions will look like

I need!
Oct 15
// Dale North
The Velvet Room theme song started playing in my head as I began writing this news blurb this morning. Igor and friends would be glad to know that after all of these years (and games) that the song stuck. It's in there for go...

Review: Persona 4 Arena Ultimax

Sep 29 // Kyle MacGregor
Persona 4 Arena Ultimax (PS3 [reviewed], Xbox 360)Developer: Arc System Works, AtlusPublisher: AtlusReleased: September 30, 2014MSRP: $59.99 Ultimax picks up right where P4A left off, taking place almost immediately after the events of the first game in the familiar setting of Inaba. The region suffers a blackout and suddenly is blanketed with a mysterious red fog. It isn't long before shadowy doppelgangers appear and our heroes are thrust back into the ring. Unlike most fighting games, Ultimax honors its RPG lineage by offering a substantial story mode. The narrative plays out much like a visual novel, featuring an abundance of dialogue, glossy character art, and vintage tunes from composer Shoji Meguro. Oh, and there's a handful of fights tossed in there every so often. The story is divided across two campaigns, one focusing on the cast of Persona 4, while the other centers around the group from Persona 3. The tale takes place from several vantage points, and struggles with the new structure. You will be forced to witness repetitious events, as one character comes to grips with what's going on, only to see someone else go through a similar scenario. Eventually these threads intertwine and the story picks up, but until then it can be a bit of a drag.  Really though, the conceit is just an excuse to spend more time with characters we know and love. The opportunity to catch up with Yukari Takeba, Junpei Iori, and Ken Amada is a real treat, as the new combatants join the roster and give us a glimpse at what life is like after the events of P3. This isn't the strongest Persona story, but it certainly has its moments. Maybe you didn't understand anything I just wrote, though. Perhaps you're here for the combat and couldn't care less about Persona. Well, Arc System Works still has you covered. This is an exceptional fighting game, irrespective of the source material. It's just one fans of the series will be able to appreciate on a different level. Ultimax is the type of experience that takes a day to learn and a lifetime to master. It's simultaneously accessible and incredibly intricate, providing newer players a shallow end of the pool to play in, while veterans are given the tools to go deep sea diving in the Marianas Trench.  The fighting engine at work here has a myriad of sub-systems, but is constructed to be incredibly flexible. Hammering on the light attack button will launch the character into a string of impressive-looking combos, which can feel gratifying for the type of person who has trouble pulling off quarter circles consistently. On the other end of the spectrum, there's an incredible amount of nuance to be discovered for those who wade out of the shallows. Much like with Guilty Gear and BlazBlue, Arc System Works has created a fighter with a satisfying sense of weight and momentum. It's fast-paced and the animation is amazingly fluid, which is something everyone can appreciate --  whether for focusing on landing those one-frame links or just for the spectacle. Ultimax also helps bridge the gap between players of varying skill levels with its practice modes. The lessons on hand here go at great lengths to communicate the basics, and really set beginners on the path to mastering the systems at play. The game's real strength is in its roster, which is sure to please Persona fans and fighting game aficionados alike. There's a wide variety of characters with equally diverse play-styles, ranging from keep-away and rushdown characters to zoning types and grapplers. There's something here for everyone. One of my favorite parts of the experience is how faithful it is to the source material. Little things like new addition Rise Kujikawa swinging around a microphone stand in battle or just seeing Persona Skills and All-Out Attacks recreated so lovingly in a fighting game make the moment to moment gameplay such a joy. Aside from Rise and the trio of new P3 characters, the most notable addition is newcomer Sho Minazuki. Sho is the game's antagonist and comes in two forms, one of which doesn't have a Persona. To make up for that shortcoming, he's incredibly fast and powerful -- maybe a little too fast and powerful. I suppose time will tell if that is the case. Most of the characters also come equipped with Shadow variants. These are more precarious skill-based fighters that sacrifice normal attack damage, defense, and instant kills. In exchange, they gain the ability to carry SP across matches and rampage, granting them an infinite amount of SP for a limited time. So look out for that! Beyond the story and standard modes like arcade and versus are score attack and the Golden Arena, which should be something of a curiosity for anyone looking for a more RPG-like experience. While the main game already incorporates little touches like temporary status ailments for players who fight too defensively, (in an effort to encourage aggressive play) the Golden Arena lets you fight through "dungeons." There, you will attempt to survive while leveling up, improving your stats, and learning new skills. It even involves building Social Links with your navigator character. The netcode seems largely unchanged from P4A, which was just fine. My tests with the online features were lag free and completely functional. One new component is a lobby area that is set up to look like an arcade. It's a nice little addition that allows you to design a Persona-style avatar and sit down at a cabinet with another player to initiate a match. Yep. It's pretty adorable. Persona 4 Arena Ultimax is pretty much everything a fan could ask for. It's a satisfying, high-octane fighter that's synchronously accessible and fathomless. Atlus and Arc System Works have forged an experience that tops its predecessor, adding new content, characters, and story to the mix; thereby coming as an easy recommendation to both Persona fans and fighting game enthusiasts alike. 
Persona 4 Ultimax review photo
It's a knockout!
It's still tough to believe a fighting game based on the Persona series exists, let alone is any good, but Persona 4 Arena certainly came as a pleasant surprise. Atlus and Arc System Works are two distinctive studios kno...

Persona 4 Ultimax photo
Persona 4 Ultimax

Margaret, Marie, Adachi will be $5 DLC in Persona 4 Ultimax

Also, that initial shock at Margaret's new voice
Sep 26
// Steven Hansen
Marie and Adachi will be free to download for the first week of Persona 4 Arena Ultimax's release. On October 7, they revert to paid DLC, at which point the Sadistic Stud-Keeping Secretary of the Velvet Room, Margaret, will release as well. Each character will cost $5. 
Persona 4 Dancing photo
Persona 4 Dancing

Persona 4: Dancing All Night delayed in Japan

Atlus pushes rhythm game back to 2015
Sep 21
// Kyle MacGregor
Persona 4: Dancing All Night has been delayed in Japan, Atlus has announced. The rhythm game was scheduled to debut this autumn, but is now postponed until next year. No word on how this impacts the western release of the Pl...
Persona 4 Ultimax Europe photo
Persona 4 Ultimax Europe

Sega to publish Persona 4 Ultimax in Europe

The fighting game travels across the pond this November
Sep 19
// Kyle MacGregor
Persona 4 Arena Ultimax is coming to Europe this November, courtesy of Sega. The fighter's release will mark the first occasion Sega acts as a distributor for Atlus since the publisher acquired the Shin Megami Tensei&nbs...

Persona Q Edition of Nintendo 3DS coming to U.S.

No way
Sep 10
// Dale North
We get some of the limited edition 3DS systems but we miss out on the better ones in USA. But this one makes up for it all. Nintendo will release the Persona Q 3DS XL here, exclusively at GameStop. $199 will get you this Velv...

You already know you want it but here's a Persona Q preview anyway

Sep 09 // Dale North
Persona Q is adorable. That was my first impression, and that's really the one that sticks the most. Seeing your favorite cast members from Persona 3 and Persona 4 with big heads and little bodies is a delight, but seeing them move and hearing them talk takes it over the top. Watching Rise's eyes bug out or hearing Chie rant about meat products won me over before I ever entered my first dungeon. Teddie is still horny, but now cute. And Nanako? You're not ready. It's fan service by the boatload. They pulled out all the stops -- the music, voicing, art, menus, and more are all dialed up to thrill. There's no way a fan of either Persona 3 or Persona 4 should miss this. There's plenty of new gameplay to go with the fan service. I only played for about an hour but I could already tell that Persona Q is going to be a meaty, satisfying dungeon crawler. Jumping into a brand new game session, I saw that Persona Q has five difficulty levels. All but the very last one, called Risky, lets you bounce around between levels. For Risky, you're locked in for good. But even on Normal, don't expect a walk in the park; Persona Q pulled more from its Etrian Odyssey roots when it comes to difficulty. [embed]280940:55590:0[/embed] There are a bunch of new sub-systems for this spin-off, pulling from both franchises. New from the Persona side of things are sub-Personas, a secondary choice that acts as a status buff. Equipping a sub instantly adds hit and skill points to a character, to be used in battle. These bonus extra HP and SP gains recover for each battle, too. Etrian Odyssey roots show in a trio of specific attack types. Characters will have either cut, stab, or bash attack types that have to be factored into the attack plans as the rock/paper/scissors rules come into play with these. I didn't see this play out early on, but knowing Atlus we'll end up in battles where you'll have to be sure to be set up just right to win. I did some dungeon crawling right off, making my way down corridors that would have any Etrian Odyssey fan feeling right at home, and then jumping into battles that would have any Persona fan feeling right at home. And it all looks great: the corridors look better than even the latest Etrian Odyssey game, with sharper textures and more detail. The character models in battles are PS2-level, holding up to the latest Persona.  For dungeon crawling, there's auto-mapping to help you make your way through the maze, and a new Boost system to help you through the fights. Boost isn't quite Press-Turn, though it still does have you working to exploit enemy weaknesses for a battle advantage. Getting in the right kind of hit will eventually earn you this Boost, which has the attacking character's skills zeroed out for the next turn. Free skill attacks are always welcome! Continued exploits let you continue to Boost, though getting hit will knock you out of Boost status.  All of the dungeons of Persona Q have their own theme. The earliest is Alice themed, and has the gang visiting a messed up version of Wonderland. I don't want to spoil too much, but the last battle of the stage has you fighting exactly who you think you would. My fight had my team going up against this boss' minions, barely making it out alive. Right when the big boss moves in to take over from the minions, the other half of the cast appeared to save the day. Get ready for a really great entrance scene. Oh, baby. Even in the short time I played I could tell that there's way more under the hood to be discovered. New skills, spells, team attacks, and more teased from the menus. And that's not even touching the loot and what you can do with it. I only got the smallest taste. I'd also like to avoid spoiling the story, so we'll go light on those details. It's safe to say that you'll start out by picking which cast you'd like to start with (I started with the P4 crew). Each has their own story start, but the two casts come together in the first hour of play, with a Yasogami High school festival serving as the backdrop for this event. The P4 group finds that school feels weird on festival day; the P3 gang finds themselves at a strange school suddenly. You'll see. It's not long before your party ends up in a mysterious place that leads to a freaky dungeon, and things really get going from there. I don't have much to say about the new kids on the block, Rei and Zen, either. That's mostly because I glossed over their bits in my playtime as I want to enjoy my first real play through, and I don't want to spoil the story for you. I got to see the first hints of their story, which involves lost memories. Their missing memories seem to be tied to the manifestation of the dungeon, and beating the boss of the dungeon reveals a clue to their pasts. So far, all I can really say is that Rei is super cute. And you'll recognize her voice. Though Atlus wouldn't exactly confirm the voice actor's identity, it seems we were on the right track earlier.  Persona Q is a bit different, but you're going to like it. You knew that already, though. Etrian Odyssey loving people are going to like it -- that's a no-brainer. Persona fans will too, especially if they're into the casts of the last two games. This new spin-off might be missing some of the Social Link hooks, but it's got new gameplay, a huge cast, and tons of personality to make up for that.
Persona Q preview photo
First hands-on in English
It was almost surreal to be playing Persona Q in English for the first time this past week. It came out of nowhere late last year, a fantasy game mixing Persona 3 and Persona 4 characters in a new 3DS game that uses Etri...

P4U tops Japan charts photo
P4U tops Japan charts

Persona 4 Ultimax tops Japanese sales charts

Yo-Kai Watch 2 dethroned after nearly two months as Japan's best-seller
Sep 03
// Kyle MacGregor
Persona 4 Arena Ultimax made its debut atop the Japanese software charts with 89,000 units sold, according to the latest figures from sales tracking authority Media Create. In doing so, the fighting game from Atlus and Arc Sy...

Auto-loading more stories ... un momento, corazón ...