Remember the days when you would go to an arcade, put a quarter into the machine of your favourite fighting game, and wait for a challenger to walk up, put in his own coin and fight you? So it goes with Persona 4 Arena Ultimax.
Ultimax comes with an online “Lobby” mode. For it, you first choose an avatar from among the Ultimax cast. Then, you pick a location from among the Persona 3 and 4 maps and enter an arcade there. The room is filled with Ultimax arcade cabinets. You can sit at any machine and wait for a challenger to walk up or challenge someone who is already waiting.
By pressing the square, you can look at the online play record of anyone in the lobby. The nice thing is that the people sitting closest to you show up at the top of the list, making it easy to learn a bit about your prospective opponent.
Lobby mode also comes with a range of emoji to properly convey your feelings after a battle — you know, to make the virtual arcade experience complete.
All in all, it’s a fun little online mode, and while you can, of course, do normal ranked and unranked matches through the main menu, I always find the lobby mode (with the added bonus of letting you wait for the opponent of your choice) to be a lot more enjoyable.
Persona 4 Arena Ultimax was released in Japan on August 28, 2014, for the PlayStation 3. It will be released in North America on September 30, 2014.