Played a few hours of Persona 4 Arena Ultimax today. Started story mode. Didn't touch Score Attack or Golden Arena. Few hours of Network battles and Vs. with my roommate. Early reactions:
Story mode is better, because you don't need to run through six separate character stories just to unlock the ending, and THEN beat the game with the other ten or whatever to get 100%. It's more straightforward now, with a big ol' web of story segments to navigate. Better than the first game, but I have only done seven or eight dialog segments.
Junpei - kinda limited. Victory Cry is great whenever you manage to unlock it, but it can only happen if you get sustained offense, and Junpei can only do good damage with some meter AND getting in close. His Persona moves are slow and risky, but I'm sure there's good combo potential somewhere. Mobility is okay, but he gets shut out by GTFO characters worse than usual and it's hard to get the timing right for his bunts.
Yukari - oh god it's almost like Cable from MvC2. OK, not really, but damn she has some projectiles. Yukari's arrows are faster and trickier than Yukiko's fans, but she seems to have fewer tricks that Yukiko, whose fire meter is easier to build up in this game. But yeah, Yukari is basically PEW PEW PEW and she seems pretty strong.
Rise - surprisingly fun! She has some weak projectiles and slow-moving musical notes, which are harmless unless Rise hits them with a B attack, which turns them into instant stuns and combo extenders. Her analysis move doesn't seem to do much (I think it makes her disc projectile a little better?) but her combos are okay, her shield moves could be all right, and I'm SURE that I'll figure out some music note shenanigans eventually. Probably my favorite to use of the new characters. One of her SP Attacks is a throw that turns into a rhythm game for Pursuing Your True Self, because why not?
Ken & Koromaru - I only used him a few times, but his pokes are really good and there is great potential for trickery if you can get Koromaru's skills rolling. I wasn't able to at all. But if you hit the woodshed with Training Mode, I bet Ken can have some dastardly setups. Really interested to try him a little more.
Sho - I only used Boss Sho (Sun Arcana, no Persona), but wow. Really good rushdown offense with some projectile tricks. I bet he's awesome in the hands of an expert, because I was mashing A and B and using his basic QCFs and Furious Action a lot and did really well. Gonna try out Persona Sho (Moon Arcana, PerShoNa) this week.
Marie - ugh. Like a lamer version of Teddie, with slow item options, some rudimentary shield skills and a bag-thwack that is kind of like Naoto's kick. If you can figure out how to use her persistent items she's probably decent, but trying to use her cold was a mistake. My least favorite of the new characters I tried.
Adachi - I never used Adachi. Maybe tomorrow. It's late. I have work in the morning.