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E3 2012: Atlus offers new trailer, details and release date for Persona 4 Arena

Touchscreen devices are cool and Halo 4 looks pretty, but there’s something missing from the big E3 announcements so far. Something visceral, colorful and goofy. Something like “Japanese teenagers punching each other into submission (and also sometimes a giant living teddy bear)”. Thankfully, Atlus comes to the rescue with an early-morning news burst offering a host of new information on the upcoming Persona 4 Arena.

For those of you baffled by the new trailer posted at the bottom, just know that Persona 4 Arena is an upcoming fighting game created as a joint project by Atlus and Guilty Gear creators Arc System Works. Most notably this means that the characters and attacks are faithful to their source material and that the on-screen fighting game action is hyper-kinetic and gorgeously animated. As the title implies, Persona 4 Arena features almost the entire cast of Persona 4, but also drops in a few characters from Persona 3. There’s no great canonical explanation for this, but it keeps the fans happy, so just roll with it.

As far as new info on the game, Atlus has now confirmed that Persona 4 Arena will include both a Japanese and English language voice option that can be toggled in the game’s “Options” menu. It’s a small thing, but most Persona fans are also fans of anime, and anime fans are very particular about their voice actors. Thus, in an effort to appease everyone, Atlus included both major language options. Seems like the smart move.

Even more crucially however, is that release date I mentioned above. Barring major catastrophe, Persona 4 Arena will see release on the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 here in North America on August 7. So far it is unknown if Atlus will stick to tradition and include some manner of bonus extras alongside the game, but it would be baffling to see a big new Atlus title on store shelves without at least a soundtrack packed alongside. Expect more info on that sort of thing as we near the release date.

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