Persona 4: The Ultimax Ultra Suplex Hold is a sequel to the 2012 fighting game Persona 4 Arena, featuring playable characters from both Persona 3 and Persona 4. It is once again being developed by Atlus and Arc System Works together and was announced through a location test on August 16th, 2013 where people had a chance to play a test version of the game at an arcade. The game was released in arcades on November 28, 2013, and is due for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 releases in fall 2014 for North America.
The game is set only a few days after the events of Persona 4 Arena. The Midnight Channel returns once more featuring a new tournament by the name of "P-1 Climax" and soon afterwards, a mysterious red fog starts to cover Inaba. People start to disappear, the real world starts to appear like the world inside of the TV and space-time itself starts to distort.
Mitsuru Kirijo appears on television crucified as well as Akihiko and Aigis. Junpei Iori misses his train stop and ends up in Inaba when the events of the game start while Labrys and Yukari fly to Inaba via a helicopter. Members of the Shadow Operatives and the Investigation Team decide to cooperate in order to save Mitsuru and the others who appeared on TV as well as find out who is behind all of this. They then find out that Shadow versions of themselves are ready to prevent them from accomplishing their goals.
Sho Minazuki is a character who claims to be responsible for the events of the game and says that he "chose" Labrys because he states that he is just like her. He desires to save the crucified Shadow Operatives, especially Aigis, though he also states that he wants to kill Yu and the rest of his friends. He appears to be jealous of Persona users and a "Plume of Dusk" can be sensed from him, substance at the core of the anti-Shadow weapons (i.e. Aigis and Labrys). Sho seems to want to "remake the world" and is apparently not driven by revenge.
Adachi is also an important character in the game's story. Apparently, Adachi and Sho are not partners but are aware of each other's presence. Adachi seems to know a lot about the events of the game and wants to reach the top of the new Tartarus tower.
So far, three new characters have been added to the returning roster from the previous game: Persona 3's Junpei Iori and Yukari Takeba, and newcomer Sho Minazuki. Also, with the exceptions of Shadow Labrys and Elizabeth, all characters now have alternate playable Shadow versions of themselves. Tohru Adachi has also been confirmed to appear in the game, but has not yet been confirmed as a playable character.
Sho Minazuki has two playable forms: one where he fights without a Persona and one where he fights alongside a Persona. Both forms are very different, such as Labrys and Shadow Labrys, and they both have different movesets, character portraits and properties.
The characters' move lists can be found on their respective pages.
So far, five new stages have been shown. In addition, stages from the previous game have been modified to reflect the story of P4A2. None of the following stages have been given official names, but are referred to as the locations they take place in:
This stage takes place in Inaba's shopping district near the bust stop. There's an eerie looking long bus to the left of the stage and an empty diner to the right. The stage is enveloped in purple fog.
This stage represents the entrance to Tartarus which served as the area before entering the dungeon itself in Persona 3. There are coffins laying around with chains around them, presumably people transformed from the Dark Hour, on the ground but other than that it looks exactly how it did in the game itself.
This stage takes place in Junes where Persona 4's Investigation Team often met up to discuss the Inaba kidnappings. Aside from the unsettling atmosphere given by the green and red hue that is shown in many of the new stages as well as all of the pandas to the right of the stage, it looks just as one familiar with Junes would expect it to.
Top of Tartarus
While most likely not actually the top of Tartarus, it is at an elevated position where a big moon and destroyed structures such as a clock can be seen in the background. The floor has an odd pattern on it and there are crucifixes surrounding the area. It's very reminiscent of a certain scene in Persona 3.
The theme of this stage seems to be the world coming to an end. It depicts a cityscape that's been completely twisted and destroyed with an intense, gloomy red sky and rushing water under a bridge.
Several changes have been made to this game's mechanics compared to the original Persona 4 Arena.
It seems that characters generally have lower damage output overall than they did in the previous game.
Characters now have different numbers of Persona cards compared to the standard four each character had previously. Characters with a higher number of Persona cards will be able to use their Persona more often without fear of it breaking, however their Persona cards will regenerate much slower when their Persona is broken than a character with less cards.
For example: Elizabeth has six Persona cards, however her cards recharge slowly when her Persona is broken. Akihiko only has two Persona cards, but his cards will recharge very quickly when his Persona is broken.
Every character has been granted a new auto combo (with the exception of Shadow characters who use their original auto combos).
With the exception of Elizabeth and Shadow Labrys, every character has a selectable Shadow version of themselves in addition to their Normal versions. Shadow Mode affects the following:
- Shadow characters are unable to Burst or enter Awakening mode.
- They can activate their normal version's Awakening super by spending 100 SP.
- They are able to initiate "Shadow Fury" by pressing A+B+D and spending 100 SP. During this mode, Shadow characters have a limited meter that gives them access to certain specials.
- Shadow characters maintain their level of SP between rounds.
- Shadow characters use the auto combos of the previous game and not the new ones given to their normal version's.
- The damage of Shadow characters is reduced by 20% compared to the normal versions.
Skill Boost Supers
Every character has Skill Boost supers which are more powerful versions of their standard super attacks. For example, Chie's Skill Boost God Hand super sends two powerful fists crashing down from the sky instead of one.
These Skill Boost supers cost 75 SP instead of the 50 SP supers normally cost.
A Gold Burst now has much longer recovery frames, making a whiffed Gold Burst very punishable by an opponent.
S Hold System
Certain special attacks can be charged by holding the A button for a certain length of time, a mechanic called the "S Hold System." The charged special attacks look the same as their normal counterparts, however they have special properties such as invincibility.
Short Hop Cancel
Normal moves can now be cancelled into short hops (2AC), which adds new strategy to close-range fights as a way to counter throws with normal moves after a short hop cancel, despite them not having overhead properties.
Air moves can now be used after backdashing.
Furious Action Fatal Counters
Furious Actions (B+D) are riskier to perform now as being hit during a Furious Action's recovery frames will be open to Fatal Counters by certain moves which normally would not have that property in a counter hit state.