- Developer: P-Studio
- Publisher: Atlus USA
- Genre: JRPG
- Platforms: PS4, PS3
- Release Date: April 4. 2017
- Single player
Spoiler Free | Reviewed on a PS4 Pro
When I passed the 50 hour mark in Persona 5 and saw that I still had a TON of things left to do, that was the moment that I fell in love with this game. Every single time I think I have reached the point where I have seen just about everything the game has to offer, it throws something new at me and I get sucked right back in again.
While I was in Tokyo a few months back for Tokyo Game Show, Persona 5 was released in Japan. In fact it was released the day after I arrived and I wrestled with the idea of buying it then and there. I actually spent and entire day in Akihabara going from shop to shop trying to convince myself to pay what at the time was the equivalent of $75 USD for a game that had no English subtitles with my limited understanding of the Japanese language. In the end I decided to wait for the game’s North American release and even though it suffered another delay since my trip, it was well worth the wait.
Persona 5 places you in the role of the Protagonist (just ignore that and think of him as yourself) a high school student forced to move in with a reluctant guardian after a run in with the law. Forced to meet new people and make new friends in a new location and school can be difficult when everyone is whispering behind your back and wondering if the rumors of your criminal record are true. Things begin to heat up rather quickly in Persona 5 compared to other games in the series, and you start to make friends aka party members in this very stylish JRPG.
If you have never played a Persona game, you can kind of think of Personas as the summons in Final Fantasy except your Persona is always with you in battle. You can use melee and weapon attacks as your character but it is your Persona that has all of the cool abilities such as elemental attacks, healing and more. While each character you party up with has his/her own Persona, you as the main character can capture enemies fought in dungeons and then summon them into battle as a new Persona. You can also take the Personas that you have amassed and fuse them together to strengthen or create all new Personas in ways that I will just let you see for yourself.
I have found that for me personally the battles have not been too difficult. Some can be very challenging until you discover which attack the enemy you are facing is weak against. Most of the challenge lies in trying to discover the weakness of a new enemy and once the weakness has been discovered, each new battle against that enemy type is pretty much a piece of cake. Deciding how you want to finish off your enemies becomes the next challenge. Enemies defeated by exploiting their weakness can be finished off in a stylish group attack, shaken down for money and items or recruited into your own Personal (you see what I did there?) army.
As a high school student you also have to balance your time wisely. Each of the game’s dungeons (known as Palaces) must be completed in a certain number of in-game days. During which time you need to also hang out with friends, study/take exams, manage your relationships with the many characters that become a part of your life and so much more. I have found time management to be my biggest foe in Persona 5 (in a very positive and rewarding way) as it forces me to choose what people and skills I want to invest my time in. Do I want to increase my charm stat by going to see a chick flick with a friend today or do I want to go to one of my part-time jobs and earn some cash to buy items I need before I go off to fight the next boss? There is a lot to see and do in Persona 5‘s Tokyo and my need to want to do and see everything has me already prepared for a second playthrough.
Persona 5 is also a gorgeous beast. From its anime-style cutscenes to its very well created version of Tokyo, the game is just beautiful. The subway map looks every bit as confusing as it does in real life and I love it. The jazzy soundtrack composed by Shoji Meguro is catchy and does a great job of capturing the feel of a certain district or an important cutscene.
Persona 5 is an expertly crafted RPG experience that you should already be playing. It continues 2017’s already amazing run of great PS4 games…and it’s only April. Last-gen gamers will be happy to know that they were not left out as Persona 5 is available for PS3 as well.
Persona 5 is deep, satisfying and well worth the delays we had to endure before it graced our consoles. It’s well worth the price of admission and with 80+ hours of gameplay, a Japanese voice over option (English is not too shabby by the way), a harder difficulty mode and tons of post release content, Persona 5 will keep you entertained for months to come.
Final Score: 9.75/10
Need help getting through all of your schoolwork in Persona 5? Check out our handy classroom guide below for the answers you seek: