You may recall a few months back that Atlus announced four new games in the Persona series: 3DS dungeon crawler and Etrian Odyssey crossover Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth, dancing game Persona 4: Dancing All Night, fighting game sequel Persona 4 Arena Ultimax, and the long-awaited fifth entry in the main Persona series.
At the time these new games were revealed, there was no official confirmation of any of them coming to the West -- both Jeremy and I were concerned that Atlus' new ownership under Sega might hurt the four games' chances of being localized -- but today we can thankfully lay our worries to rest: all four are coming to North America, beginning this fall.
A refresher of what's on the way is in order, then!
Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth
The first 3DS-based installment of the Persona series, Persona Q brings the characters from both Persona 3 and 4 to the gameplay style of Etrian Odyssey -- that's thoroughly old-school PC-style dungeon-crawling, if you've never had the pleasure.
The plot for Shadow of the Labyrinth revolves around a parallel world in which the bell chimes from Yasogami High's clock tower causes people to die. It's up to both Persona 4's Investigation Team and Persona 3's SEES (Special Extra-curricular Extermination Squad) to get to the bottom of what is going on -- and there's two paths through the game, depending on whether you choose Persona 3 or 4's protagonist at the outset of the game.
Shadow of the Labyrinth has a revamped art style that is more in keeping with Etrian Odyssey's child-like characters, and it also introduces two brand new characters: Rei and Zen. It's due in the fall of this year.
Persona 4 Arena Ultimax
Following on from the fascinating visual novel/fighting game hybrid that was Persona 4 Arena, Ultimax continues the story where the first game left off. The town of Inaba is enveloped in a thick, red fog, and Persona 3 heroes Mitsuru, Akihiko, Fuuka and Aigis appear on the Midnight Channel. Naturally, it's up to the Persona 3 SEES and Persona 4 Investigation Team to get to the bottom of what's going on by thumping the tar out of each other.
New arrivals to the character roster include Yukari and Junpei from Persona 3, and brand new character Sho Minazuki, who is described as "an unstoppable force in both puns and combat."
Ultimax is headed our way in the fall.
Persona 4: Dancing All Night
Developed in collaboration with Dingo Inc., the company who brought the original Hatsune Miku: Project Diva games to PSP, Dancing All Night is, as its name suggests, a Persona-themed-music game for Vita.
Taking on the role of Rise and her friends in the Persona 4 Investigation Team, you'll have to dance your way through a series of challenges set by the Shadows on the Midnight Stage as you attempt to rescue Rise's companions from her idol group Kanamin Kitchen. There will be 30 tracks on offer in the game -- and if the Project Diva series is anything to go by, we can probably expect some extensive character customization along the way, too.
Can't wait for this one, personally, but I'll have to -- the Western release is set for 2015.
Finally, the biggie. Unfortunately, details are still extremely sparse about this one, save for its vibrant red-and-black color scheme (in contrast to Persona 3's blue and Persona 4's bright yellow) and its themes, which are something to do about being "enslaved" and "emancipation."
We'll have to wait until 2015 for this one, too, and it'll be on PS3 -- so even if you've jumped aboard the next-gen train, don't get rid of your old consoles just yet!