In 2016, a video game titled, “Persona 5” was released. It received unanimous praise from critics and gamers alike selling millions of copies. An updated version known as, “Persona 5: Royal” was released in 2020 exclusively on PlayStation 4. Like the original, the special edition earned universal acclaim from critics and gamers alike. I’m gonna be honest will you fellas, I’ve never heard of Persona 5 before. Thanks to a video of Angry Joe playing it, I thought about giving it a try. Turns out I became addicted to the game.
A follow up titled, “Persona 5: Strikers” is out. It earned positive reviews from critics and gamers. The main protagonist appears as a DLC character in “Super Smash Bros Ultimate.”
Today’s review doesn’t contain no crucial SPOILERS. Feel free to read my non-spoiler article. I’ll do my best explaining Persona 5’s mythos. Bear with me, I never played any of the previous games.
Powerful & Weak Elements
Powerful: Voice Actors did an excellent job for their respective voiceover performances.
Graphics look pretty decent as it brings character models, environmental locations, fluid movement among many other stuff.
Combat is presented as a turn based strategy system similar to the “Final Fantasy” series. Ranging from normal attacks, range attacks, a Persona’s powers and and a powerful team attack. Elemental attacks help you beat a specific enemy. Some can be immune. Don’t forget certain bosses are invulnerable to every attack.
Once you beat an enemy, you can recruit it as one of your Personas in battle. If you already own one, an exact duplicate levels it up.
At Igor’s place, you can combine two Personas into a brand new powerful creature. Invest in your Personas giving them custom powers.
Save enough money for items you need on your journey. Plan accordingly before you head out stocking up health, energy, weapons, remedies and gear. Make sure you save the game periodically.
Cutscenes are presented in anime format. They look polished like the in game graphics.
The game has plenty of humor you’ll crack up.
Soundtrack is very memorable. Each one is so catchy. My favorite track is “River In The Desert.”
You play as a teenager under the codename Joker (has nothing to do with The Clown Prince Of Crime) who’s falsely charged with a crime he didn’t commit. As you progress, you make allies with special abilities reflecting his or her personality. You and your buddies attempt enter the culprit’s subconscious. Your goal is to make the him/her atone for shady misdeeds.
Morgana’s persona is Zorro. Sadly, Antonio Banderas couldn’t reprise his role. Someday, he’ll be back in a possible live action adaptation of Quentin Tarantino’s comic book crossover of “Django/Zorro.”
Goro Akechi’s persona is Robin Hood. This version has no connections to Disney’s fox or Russell Crowe’s iteration.
When you’re in the real world, you interact with your buddies presented as a “social simulation.” You wake up every morning, go to school, spend time with your teammates, get to know each of their lives etc. A romance option is available. I romanced with Ann.
You can rename The Phantom Thieves. I renamed them “Nolanites.” A fan name after my idol, Christopher Nolan. It’s actually pretty funny when you play as a character named, Joker.
If you hang out with a friend or associate, every individual, a bonding mechanic levels up unique perks. Pick whoever you wanna hang out, will eventually aid you in later missions.
If you’re no to the Persona series, it’s not required to play previous installments.
If you’re a pop culture buff, there’s some many references. Can you spot them all?
Joker’s five attributes are Charm, Knowledge, Guts, Kindness & Proficiency. Any activity increases his stats.
Each boss represents The Seven Deadly Sins. Gluttony, Lust, Pride, Greed, Sloth, Envy & Wrath.
Palaces play a huge role. They serve as the main areas to navigate various objectives.
Every single character is unforgettable. My favorite is Ryuji/Skull. His catchphrase is “For real?”
There are many twists and turns. Particularly a huge twist linked to Joker. I won’t say, you’ll have to play and find out.
Level Cap for all your characters is 99.
If you fully rank up Takuto Maruki’s confidant, a new storyline is unlocked.
If you bought DLC, more powerful Personas come in handy.
Various stages set in a dark subway under, mementos” allows you to explore uncharted territory filled with enemies. Jose randomly appears. He’s a vendor who only accepts flowers as currency, rather than yen. If you have enough flowers, you can trade them to buy stronger items or increase how many random items, XP or yen inside mementos.
Thor & Loki appear as Personas. Don’t expect them as Marvel characters, they’re based on Norse mythology.
Depending on your actions, Multiple Endings are shown. Be wary of your decisions.
It took me 100+ hours to finish the game. There’s a whole lotta replay value worth your money. Once you complete it, your strongest weapons, social stats, armor and items will be transfer in New Game+ you can use them to your advantage making the game much easier. If you wish for another playthrough, an additional 100+ hours will definitely keep you occupied.
Weak: Regardless of difficulty, the game is extremely hard. Thankfully, walkthrough videos on YouTube is your golden ticket.
The Final Verdict: A, FOR APEX!
From my perspective, Persona 5: Royal is an instant classic. Every single pro listed, indicates why the game is a masterpiece as it raises the bar for Japanese role-playing games. If you’re curious to play Persona 5: Royal, I strongly recommend it.