Will Persona 5 Arena Happen?
Date Published: October 19, 2016
It was unexpected, but not out of the realm of possibility that another fighting game spin-off would happen with the Persona franchise. However, if Persona 5 Arena is in the works, there’s questions about how the fighting game would turn out compared the series’ preceding spin-offs; Persona 4 Arena and Persona 4 Arena Ultimax.
Persona 5 isn’t even out in NA yet, but the possibility of another fighting game spin-off was already mentioned by Atlus. It’s no secret that I hold both Persona 4 Arena and Persona 4 Arena Ultimax in the highest regard as far as quality when it comes to a 2D fighting game. I have complete faith and trust in the collaboration of Atlus and Arc System Works; which would be the developer working on the title. The two have shown that they can take a popular franchise, endeared by seemingly everyone, turn it into a fighting game and not only make it work, but maintain the high-quality set by the game’s other adaptations.
Speculating whether it would turn out good or not is not the issue with Persona 5 Arena. The questions that do arise have more to do with what would the game look like and whether or not it decides to spin-off completely into its own thing or maintain some characteristics of the previous Arena games.
The pixelated art style in both the prior Arena games is a possibility that could surface again with the art direction of Persona 5 Arena, however with Persona 5 reminiscent of the aesthetic quality used in Catherine rather than that of Persona 3 or Persona 4, an art style more to the liking of Ultra Street Fighter IV could also be a possibility. There is also the possibility that the game would decide to do neither and go in the way of Guilty Gear Xrd: Revelator’s art direction which would also be a fitting look.
Whichever style the game decides to take if made, it’ll definitely be flashy and unique and that’s really all we want. The other big question with the game is how will it overall play out in a canonical sense. Persona 5 being set in modern day Japan makes the implementation of Persona 3 and Persona 4 a bit awkward as they are set in a fictional Japan but considering its all fiction, it could still work. Excluding the shadow-type characters introduced in Persona 4 Arena Ultimax, there is a total of 20 characters that may not make the series’ third attempt at a fighting game if Persona 5 Arena decides to branch off from its predecessors and focus on only the Persona 5 cast.
If branching off is the case with the game, it may find itself in the same predicament of Persona 4 Arena, which was a solid fighting game, but suffered from inactivity due to its low playable character count. Merging the characters of the previous Arena games would certainly be favorable from a fighting game community standpoint, however maintaining a canonical storyline may prove a bit difficult. It is safe to say that if there are no returning characters in Persona 5 Arena, the odds of seeing a Persona 4 Arena 3 are very slim.
In closing, I personally welcome the possibility of another Arena title, whether it is Persona 3, Persona 4, Persona 5, or even all them together in one game, the Arena games have never disappointment in quality and another addition to the series would certainly make the smaller, yet vocal and passionate community of these games very pleased.