I went into Persona 5 expecting it to be one of my favorite games of the year sinceI loved Persona 3 and it being a solid 10 years since Persona 4 came out. I finished the game at around the 120 hour mark and I can honestly say that I could’ve played more. I will defiantly go back and play the game with the Japanese voice actors at some point and take a shot at the platinum trophy. It handles character development and story unlike any other game I’ve ever played. I’ll say that even if you don’t care for JRPGs that you should consider giving this game a shot if you like a well told story and addicting fast paced combat. It’s an amazing experience that every gamer should treat themselves with if you have a PS4!
I want to start with the story because I think it’s one of the best video game stories I’ve ever seen. I played P3 and P4 and in my opinion this one is better and the characters are deeper and more interesting. The game takes place in Tokyo and you play a high school transfer student that attends Shujin Academy. You live in the attic of a coffee shop with someone who took you in after an incident where you formally lived occurred. You meet people at school and around the city and form bonds with them. Once you make a few friends, one of them being a cat, you start to see bad things happen around the city and you discover an alternate dimension called the Metaverse. Each major enemy has a Palace(dungeon) that you have to steal the treasure to. So you form a group and call it The Phantom Thieves to steal the hearts of the evil people in order to stop them. You have to send out a calling card to the real life person before you can steal their trees though. Those are some of my favorite scenes in the game. All the characters give themselves codenames that fit the clothes they change into once in the Metaverse and that’s a cool touch. And I have to mention the voice acting because it’s tremendous. I really felt like these were real people by the end. It’s also cool because you start the game by getting caught by the police and you’re being interrogated throughout most of the game. Every time you form a new bond with someone you go back to the interrogation room and learn some about them. The dungeons you go to are all awesome and unique. They do have set puzzles and aren’t randomly generated like in the past games but I think that works here for story purposes. I won’t go more than that into the plot cause I want you to experience everything for yourself.
So if you’ve never played a Persona game before I’ll break down what kind of game it is, cause it’s a few mashed together. At it’s core it’s a turned based RPG. You use spirits that represent the character’s inner self called Personas to attack and use magic or you can just do standard moves as well. The magic in this game has unique names like ice is called bufu and fire is called agi. It does take a while to get used to but once you do it’s second nature really. Most enemies have a magic they’re weak to and once you find it the game remembers and lets you know before hand if your character has the magic they’re weak to and that’s super convenient. This game adds a third option with guns. Most flying enemies are weak to them so the guns are a nice addition. The game also has a dating sim vibe with the character bonds. You go around the city and hangout with people at the movies, get food, go to the park or just hang out at your place and play video games. You lean a lot about the characters this way and all of them have interestingly deep backstories. You can also date someone once you get their rank high enough. Makoto is bae!
The final aspect resembles Pokemon. As you fight Personas you can recruit them to come fight for you. You can only hold so many but you can fuse them together to make more powerful ones. The negotiations with the Personas are kind of nuts and pretty weird/funny. You also have base stats that you level by doing activities. You can do things like rent DVDs, play video games, take on food challenges, go to a batting cage, go to a spa and so on. Each thing raises a base stat and you need to raise your stats in order to talk to certain people or do well in school.
If you’ve seen clips of this game then you’ll know its absolutely dripping with style! I played a good part of this on a 4K TV and the colors popped to the point that I’d just stop and stare sometimes. Even the menus are cool and move with such fluidity. When you hit every enemy with their weakness you have the option to do an all out attack and the art for each character after killing the enemies with one of those are all hang on your wall awesome looking. There’s fully animated cutscenes that happen for big story moments and they all look straight out of an anime movie.
There aren’t many negatives about this game but there are a few things that stood out to me. This came out on PS3 as well and some of the textures look pretty rough close up but honestly with a game this big that’s forgivable. Another is there are a ton of useless conversations that happen. When you’re in class you’ll get a group text with some banter and story stuff. This happens often and most of that stuff doesn’t really do anything other than remind you that you have a deadline to beat a palace or talk about a story beat that happened. If this didn’t happen too often then it would be fine but I found myself not caring about a good chunk of them. But really that’s it! The other 99% of the game is amazing!
I can’t recommend Persona 5 enough! It’s one of the best RPGs I’ve ever played and will be one of those games that will go down as one of the best games ever made. Like I said earlier, if you like a great story with fleshed out characters then you need to play this game. And if you like JRPGs then this is an absolute must play that you need to make time for! It’s honestly worth getting a PS4 for if you don’t have one. For a game this long it gives you a ton of reasons to play though again, and it does have a new game plus mode! Just do yourself a solid and get this game! It’s a masterpiece!
- Character Development
- Some Muddy Graphics