Persona 5 has been out for a week, and the game feels so deep and a layered, I feel like I have barely put a dent into it. I’ve got to say, I am totally ok with that fact, this game is amazing and I’ve only recently completed the second dungeon. The first persona I played was Person 4, which I bought on a whim during a golden week sale for my PSV, and fell in love. When I heard, there was going to be a 5 and on PlayStation 4 no less, I had been anxiously twiddling my thumbs in anticipation.
I, of course, picked up the limited edition and will be bumping my themes in the car and using my Shujin High School bag to carry random stuff in too. However, let’s get to a quick rundown of the game so far. The game starts with the mysterious Joker trying to make an escape from a building, he fights his way through a few random guards. This is pretty much the tutorial I don’t feel I’m giving too much away. Eventually, just when you think you’ve gotten away, Joker ends up in a trap and arrested. One of the guards tells you that you were sold out and this is where the main storyline starts to begin, you flash back and like Persona 4 must solve the mystery of who sold out your squad.
The gameplay is pretty awesome, it’s your traditional turn-based combat, which is a nice change of pace from everyone trying to be hack and slash with QTE’s (quick time events) like God of war and Force unleashed. There’s also a really small thing, but I really love it, and that is the post-battle transition back to the dungeon. Most RPG games when you finish a battle, it shows the EXP you gain and any items you got, then it simply fades out and back to the map you were on. Persona 5 adds a little wrinkle, that’s so cool to me, sometimes when you win a battle the character will walk past the other party members as they strike their victory pose, then he breaks into a jog as all the battle information pops up around him on the screen, eventually it seems like he runs back into the spot where the battle initiated. I know, it’s minor, but the little stuff in games like that really make it more enjoyable for me. It’s like a small signal the developers were thinking of you and wanted to mix it up a little bit for you instead of the same animations over and over. For example, Mass Effect Andromeda, how the damn tram goes in the same direction no matter where I’m going.
Anyways, the new hold up system and monster capture scenarios are a nice new wrinkle to the way it worked in 4. Another mild fanboy thing I enjoy is the comic book style posters that pop up after the all-out attack finishes. I can’t speak to how the voices are done in English because I immediately downloaded the Japanese voiceover add on because, as well as the voices were dubbed in Persona 4, and as good as the cast for Person 5 might be, american voice actors absolutely cannot nail the necessary voice role for Persona. That key moment when a person is pushed to the brink, everyone who’s played a persona game knows someone is going to have a breakdown, American voice actors just can’t pull off the shriek that really makes you feel like the person is crazy like the original voice cast can. I know people out there who are ok with the dub, I’m not judging you, but I am happy with my decision, because I know I couldn’t stand hearing Morgana nag me in English.
The game is fun, and if you haven’t picked it up yet, I highly recommend you do so, especially if you’re looking for a great JRPG experience. As my friend Chris put it, Its dungeon crawling, Monster collection mixed in with teen angst.
What more could you ask for?