Persona 4 Arena Ultimax: 5 Fighters To Play That Will Help You Learn The Game

Persona 4 Arena Ultimax is an amalgam of two different genres, RPGs and 2D Fighters. However, the crazy combinations don't stop there. If you look closely, you'll discover that P4AU's fighting system combines old and new elements from many fighting games.

At first glance, these various mechanics can feel overwhelming to pick up. Luckily, this technical fighter becomes much more digestible once you find its parallels. Therefore, we recommend getting your hands on these 2D fighting classics to help you better understand P4AU. Who knows, you may even find your next favorite game!

5 Darkstalkers Series

Street Fighter 2 was the fighting genre standard back in the nineties, and its prequel Street Fighter Alpha further expanded the series's popularity. Capcom developed various new 2D fighters outside of the Street Fighter IP on the heels of these achievements. Unfortunately, some of these titles, like Red Earth and Cyberbots, faded away with time. However, Darkstalkers, a game featuring monsters of myth and horror, became a cult classic with multiple sequels.

The Darkstalkers series introduced two mechanics that redefined fighting games for years to come. One of these mechanics is the chain combo, a combo performed by pressing progressively stronger attack buttons. The other mechanic, EX moves, upgraded special attacks by inputting an additional attack button. These techniques have become mainstays of the genre, showing up time and again in games like Street Fighter 5 and the Guilty Gear series.

In turn, P4AU features both mechanisms as well. For instance, you can perform a chain combo by pressing A, B, and C sequentially. Furthermore, the game's skill boost system is similar to Darkstalkers's EX move system.

4 Guilty Gear Series

Of course, you can't talk about Arc System Works fighters without mentioning the legendary Guilty Gear series. These hardcore, rock and roll-inspired games introduced techniques that pop up often in the developer's other fighters.

For instance, the Burst mechanic in P4AU is nearly identical to Guilty Gear's mechanic of the same name. Furthermore, the One-More Cancel mechanic bears a close resemblance to Guilty Gear's Roman Cancel system. The Roman Cancel system allows players to cancel un-cancellable moves to extend combos. While there are more variations of the Roman Cancel than there is One More Cancel, the foundation of the technique is the same.

However, one Guilty Gear feature that stands out among the rest is Instant Kills. Unfortunately, GG Strive dropped Instant Kills in the pursuit of balancing gameplay. Still, you can find Instant Kills in any of GG's earlier entries, including GG Rev2.

3 Dragonball FighterZ

It's not often that a fighting game based on an anime series becomes one of the most revered titles of a console generation. However, with Arc System Works at the helm, Bandai Namco shattered expectations with Dragonball FighterZ, a 3-on-3 brawler that made us remember why turning Super Saiyan is so effing cool!

One of Dragonball FighterZ's crowning achievements was its balance of approachable controls and in-depth gameplay. You'll find an auto-combo system like P4AU's in DBFighterZ. Additionally, the Dragon Rush mechanic bears a striking resemblance to the All-Out Attack feature in P4AU. This automatic attack also allows players to launch opponents for an air combo.

2 Marvel Vs. Capcom Series

While DBFighterZ is the reigning 2D tag-team fighter, it would not have the ground to stand on without the innovations of the Marvel Vs. Capcom series. With the launch of 1996's X-Men Vs. Street Fighter, the MVC games pitted Marvel's legendary superheroes against Capcom's eclectic roster of superstars in two-on-two, and later three on three (and then two-on-two again, but we don't talk about that one) tag-team battles.

More importantly, the MVC series is one of the first to feature air combos. These super-powered combos would launch opponents into the air for strings of attacks that were more damaging than their ground-based counterparts.

The air combo mechanic has changed a lot in MvC's lifespan, becoming arguably less complicated as the series progressed. Furthermore, you never needed a fancy launching combo, like P4AU's All-Out Attack, or the DBFighterZ's Dragon Rush, to initiate an air combo in MVC. Still, if you wish to practice juggling an opponent in the air, these games are the ones to play!

Another mechanism you can study in the MVC series is partner assist attacks. These are minor support attacks that you can call your tag-team partner in for when you need help. Assists have a similar feel to Persona attacks and can get followed up for longer combos. Furthermore, your partner can take damage during an assist, just like your Persona can take damage in P4AU.

1 The King Of Fighters 15

So far, this list gives Capcom and Arc System Works a ton of attention. However, no fighting game listicle is complete without giving attention to SNK. This company has launched many 2D fighting hits, such as Samurai Shodown and the Fatal Fury series. Still, they're arguably best known today for the King Of Fighters series, a team fighting game featuring a cornucopia of characters from the SNK video game universe.

The King Of Fighters series is one of the most technical, so learning it will give you a more robust understanding of the genre. However, its strongest resemblance to P4AU is its super cancel mechanic. Initially introduced in KOF '99, super cancels allowed fighters to cancel special moves into super special moves and beyond.

You can find a more sophisticated system of super cancels in The King Of Fighters 15. This system offers super cancels, advanced cancels (Super Special Moves into MAX Super Special Moves), and Climax cancels (MAX Super Special Moves into Climax Super Special Moves).

Super cancels work quite similarly in P4AU. The only significant difference is that performing a super cancel costs HP, which is a unique quality compared to other games in the genre.

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