Gameplay - 8
Style - 10
Music - 9
Story - 9
The most refined Persona game to date, but has a mid-game slump.
As far as gaming goes, I’ve become sort of a slacker. Taking my time and slowly grinding my way through each game, hell, I’m still in the middle of playing through Pokemon Sun. That’s changed with the release of Persona 5, it has reignited my burning desire to marathon a game until I’ve completed it. Everyday for about a month I’d get off work and rush home to put in as many hours of Persona as I could before I had to go to bed. I clocked in at about 85 hours once I beat the game, it was 6 in the morning and I immediately started my new game+. So, what I’m trying to say is I really enjoyed this game.
-Slight Spoiler Warning-
Persona 5 puts you in control of a Japanese high school boy that is arrested for injuring a corrupt politician that was forcing himself on a woman. You are put on probation and expelled from your old high school, your parents have you move into the city to attend a new school. On your first day attending your new school you end up being transported to a palace controlled by the twisted desires of the school’s volleyball coach alongside one of your classmates, where you come to unlock your hidden power as a Person-user. The ability to summon your inner self as a demon or other mythological creature. After meeting a cat with the same power as you and escaping the palace you learn that it is possible to force the coach to confess to his crimes by stealing the treasure of his palace. Thus giving him a “Change of Heart”. With that, you, your classmate, and a talking cat form the Phantom Thieves so you can change the hearts of corrupted adults.
Gameplay is split into two sections with an overarching calendar system that gives you only so many days to complete your next job. During your daily life, you will be going to school, hanging out with people, raising your social stats so you can date certain characters or pass the exams, or buying equipment. After school you have the option to gather your members and infiltrate the palace of your target to change their heart, or to go to Mementos to grind for levels and change the hearts of minor baddies. While in your daily life the game plays like a visual novel, lot of dialogue and choosing what to say to people. Where as in Palace’s and Mementos it plays like a RPG, running through floors of a dungeon that has enemies to fight and a big boss at the end. Each of these two styles blend really well together, and building up your bonds with friends in your daily life will give you new abilities while you’re in a Palace. Although both styles are fun they can become repetitive, maxing out all of your social stats on the first play through will be next to impossible without a guide and battles can get boring if you’re trying to complete a Palace in one day.
Graphics and Music
I cannot go without praising the amazing stylized graphics of this beautiful game, every little thing from the menus, the battles, the cut scenes, and even the shops demonstrates the style this game goes for. Add in the always impressive Shoji Meguro to compose the music and you have a game where the graphics and music work in harmony. The game runs on an improved engine from the PS3 and Xbox360 game Catherine that was also an impressive looking game. The soundtrack this time around definitely has a lot of jazz influenced songs, which once again only adds to the games unique style with the main theme of rebellion being ever apparent.
Overall this game is a masterpiece, you can tell how much the developers enjoyed pouring every once of energy they had into this and it shows throughout the game. Now it’s not a perfect game, no matter how much I’d love to say it is. It has a rather rough mid-game slump where it becomes tedious to push through, but it makes the last few hours in the game a very enjoyable ride. The combat can be repetitive, as with many JRPGs, although the game it built to where you really don’t need to grind for levels too much. I believe this a is a great game if you’re wanting to get into the Persona or Shin Megami Tensei series, if you’re already a veteran this is a must have.