A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Persona 4 Arena is a fighting game set in the surreal fantasy world of the Shin Megami Tensei: Persona video game franchise. Players battle a series of characters and monsters from the previous games in the series, along with their partner known as a "Persona." The battles contain various types of attacks, including punching and kicking, along with weapons like swords and guns and much more fantastical attacks, such as magic spells and colorful bursts. While no blood appears during the actual combat, one of the fighting stages contains blood spots in the background. The female characters sometimes pose in provocative positions, and there is dialogue that contains sophomoric sexual innuendo. In addition, one character is depicted smoking a cigar.
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What's it about?
PERSONA 4 ARENA lives up to the Persona franchise's history of long-winded and convoluted storylines. The story starts off simply enough, with a plot about a bunch of characters wanting to compete in an arena-style fighting competition. However, when a few of them end up disappearing, a more nefarious plot is unveiled. Players are called into action, now fighting for their friends' freedom instead of just a friendly sportsmanlike competition. Ambiguity of good versus evil comes into play when the mastermind behind the ordeal ends up controlling other characters' minds, leading to a series of twists and turns in the story where no one can be trusted.
Is it any good?
Persona 4 Arena is part of an extremely niche video game series. Anyone not intimately familiar with the previous installments of the role-playing game franchise will likely be overwhelmed by this title. On the flip side, those who are fans of the series will enjoy the vast selection of characters and creatures that are included in this game. While the storyline is intricate and goes down a lot of winding roads (just like other titles in this franchise), it doesn't really pull players in quite as much because the gameplay is focused solely on combat as opposed to exploration and puzzle-solving. Nevertheless, this game is designed to bring the Persona characters into another genre, and it does that very well. This fighting game isn't for everyone, but anyone who is already a fan of this series will be pleased with all that it has to offer.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the fantastical nature of the violence in this game. Do you feel the violent content is inappropriate? Does it have any connection to the real world?
What are your thoughts on the "good guys" in this game? Would you consider them to be role models? Why or why not?
How would you react if someone tried to sabotage your chances of winning a competition?
- Platforms: PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
- Skills: Thinking & Reasoning: analyzing evidence, decision-making
Self-Direction: achieving goals, effort
- Price: $59.99
- Available online? Not available online
- Developer: Atlus
- Release date: August 7, 2012
- Genre: Fighting
- ESRB rating: T for Language, Mild Blood, Suggestive Themes, Use of Tobacco, Violence
- Last updated: June 20, 2019
For kids who love fast action
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.