I’m just going to start this review by saying that Persona 5 is one of the best role playing games out of Japan that I have played in a long time. Persona 5 should be put on a pedestal and shown to all aspiring game designers or developers of the genre on how design and polish should be handled, it is absolutely oozing at the pores with style and personality.
Right when I popped in the game and the minute the opening sequence played I had already fallen in love and knew this was going to be an ‘extremely enjoyable experience’; the three lovable E’s. Like most Japanese games, there’s an anime opening but this one is much different and handled with some of the coolest sequences ever committed to screen. It shows a few of the main characters ice skating on asphalt through the Tokyo city streets. This sequence along with the absolutely brilliant song sets the tone perfectly for the rest of this game.
the game is absolutely Japanese in everything it does so you have to be a fan of not only the culture but the very unique Japanese sense of humor too
Persona 5’s premise is almost like the movie Inception but with the Japanese absurd twist. Unlike most other JRPG’s, Persona 5 takes place in a modern setting in Tokyo. The game follows a group of teens who through mysterious circumstances can enter a person’s consciences that has manifested itself as a distorted type of world and be able to steal their heart which appears as a personal treasure and by doing this make this person confess all their sins. Yea…on paper I’m sure it sounds silly but it’s actually pretty cool. A fair warning though; the game is absolutely Japanese in everything it does so you have to be a fan of not only the culture but the very unique Japanese sense of humor too.
While you’re not fighting demons and monsters in a person’s conscience you’ll be doing other things like washing your laundry, spending time at public bath houses, working out at the gym, being harassed by your school teachers who always call on you no matter what to answer questions and working part time jobs. Managing your free time in between battles is essential and I found the hardest thing in this game to do. Hanging out with friends will level up their confidence and unlock certain features that can be used in battle not to mention you get to complete their personal side story. Unfortunately you can only pick one thing at a time during the day and doing one will move time forward and make you miss other opportunities that may be available at that time. I was unable to max out a few of my teammates abilities and I was disappointed because I felt like I actually missed out on a huge portion of the game after I completed it.
Atlus has truly taken the original turn base action RPG style and brought it up to modern times
As for combat, it’s the little things that standout in this game when fighting, the all out attacks which is a group attack are great and end with one of your characters striking a dramatic pose while the enemies in the background shoots blood out in defeat. Sometimes before an enemy dies they’ll stop the battle and beg you to spare their life. Other times, an enemy can even take one of your teammates hostage and demand something from you. It’s these little things that make this game fantastic.
The presentation of Persona 5 is brilliant and as I said earlier, it is oozing with style. I seriously cannot stress this enough. The UI of the game is nothing but vibrant colors, the stat screen, the save menu, the options menus, literally everything in this game pops out and grabs you and looks like it was done by the latest, coolest hipster artist that can’t be bothered with old conventional ways of screen interfaces. Atlus has truly taken the original turn base action RPG style and brought it up to modern times and it’s not even doing much of anything different just making it look as cool as humanly possible.
This game should win multiple awards alone on just the music. I am positive this is the only game where I actually considered buying the soundtrack, it is seriously that good. There were times I left the game idle just so I can hear the song loop. If I were a game developer I would scrap my musical score and demand I get the folks behind Persona 5 to do my score.
Now all this praising isn’t without some nitpicks I have of the game. The biggest criticism I have and I am sure will turn a lot of people not familiar with this series off are the long stretches of talking and doing absolutely nothing this game will subject you to. I found myself spamming the X button to move forward and end a scene only to find that there were many scenes after this that were just as boring. It gets frustrating at some points in the game as some of the dialogue is tedious. I chalk this up to a lot of standard Japanese anime shows as I found they do this a lot too.
Why is this cat cock-blocking my pimpin to hot anime chicks?
Another issue I have is that damn cat telling me I must go to bed. A cat named Morgana guides you throughout the game and like I said earlier, doing some things will progress time forward so you have to manage your day and evenings carefully. However, sometimes doing the most menial tasks progresses time and its mind boggling that it would do this. For example in the evening my character is in his room crafting a lock pick and afterwards I want to hangout with the hot Shogi chick across town and this damn cat is not letting me out my room and telling me I’m tired and should go to bed. What the hell cat!? I just made a simple lock pick, why would that tire me out? Why is this cat cock blocking my pimpin to hot anime chicks?
This type of gameplay makes the game a bit linear and may turn a lot of folks off but I beg you to look past that and enjoy this game as the masterpiece it truly is. I can honestly say I need more Persona in my life and I actually considered playing the game again after completing it just to max out the relationships and go for another love interest instead of the honor roll student that I felt trapped me in a relationship …like most insane women in leather and steel masks in my life do.
This game has truly shown what makes the PS4 so special. I cannot imagine anyone having a PS4 and not trying this game out for themselves. I have to give all my respect to Atlus and the people behind this game, while other JRPG’s are going for this action type of fighting style (which I love) these guys stuck to the old turn based roots but made it just as exciting as their action based counterparts. The Persona series needs to become a staple and not release once every console generation, it needs to be as frequent as Final Fantasy games and the Tales series.