Title: Persona 5
Platform: PS4, PS3
Reviewed on: PS4
Players: Single player
Written by Dragoon 7th May 2017
I'm just going to get straight to the point with this one, Atlus' Persona 5 is without a doubt the best JRPG of this console generation so far. Hell, it's one of the best JRPGs to have come out in a long, long time. We might have had to wait an unbearably long time for it but it was most certainly worth it. For those of you new to the series, Persona is a spin-
Persona 5 takes place in a semi-
The story is split into two distinct parts. The part that follows your life as a normal high school student and the part that follows your escapades as the leader of the “Phantom Thieves of Hearts”. You have a year of the in-
The social simulation aspects are a very personal affair, as you progress through the game you will meet various characters who can help you as a Confidant to the Phantom Thieves. These characters range from shop owners to classmates but each has their own personal story which are all fascinating character pieces. Take for example the owner of cafe who takes you in after your probation and at first seems blunt and irritable. As you spend time with him he begins to confide in you about his own personal life while teaching you his trade. Deepening these bonds lets you create stronger Personas while also giving added benefits to aid you in other ways such as teaching you to make special coffee that restores your energy in battle. You can even choose to date some of the female characters if you want to but this is completely optional. These social aspects are one of the key areas of Persona and are a big part of why this game is so great, they are well written and really make the game relatable and involving.
When it comes to your work as a Phantom Thief, it's a very different affair. As you play the game you come to meet some very despicable people who use their status or power to abuse those under them. The story might seem like a fun, light-
The dungeon crawling parts play out like a typical JRPG. You are put in a linear dungeon and have to work your way through while fighting enemies in turn based battles, eventually reaching the boss at the end. In the past two games in the series dungeons had randomised layouts but in Persona 5 they are always the same. Dropping the randomised elements allowed for some very interesting design choices and each Palace had it's own unique theme and mechanic which made things way more enjoyable. The randomised dungeons have been relegated to the side dungeon called Mementos, which works similarly to Tarturus in Persona 3. You go through different tiers of a tower which let you progress further as the story develops.
The battle system is where the game really shines. When you run into an enemy in the dungeon you start a turn-
The more interesting option though lets you hold the enemy hostage and talk to them. You get the option to force them to give you money or items but the best option is usually to try and convince them to join you as a new Persona. Each enemy has their own personality type and will respond to conversation topics in different ways depending on it. I love this system, in the past games you had to do a weird follow the card game after battles to get more Personas but here it's actually interesting. This is a system that has been pulled from the main MegaTen games and I have to say, I'm glad they did it.
Persona 5 oozes style in everything it does both visually and audibly. The menus are amazing, they are so easy to use and the way they transition between screens is so stylish. Each menu features a character in the background who will smoothly flip between poses as you switch pages which looks so cool. The battle menus are also amazing, the way they splay out around the turn character looks great and it easily lets you see what you can do and how you do it. The game generally looks great due to its cel-
The soundtrack has always been one of my favourite parts of the Persona games and it's no different for 5. The music is catchy and there's no doubt you'll find yourself humming along to a lot of the tunes on offer. The english dub is okay, a few voices are a bit too standard and a lot of the Japanese names get butchered when it comes to pronunciation but overall it's a solid effort. For the first time in a western Persona release we have access to the Japanese dub if that's what you prefer.
Persona 5 is one of the best games I've played in a long time. It's like nothing else out there but it owns its unique weirdness with overwhelming style and flair. The social sim aspects are engaging and very human while the dungeon crawling is fun and interesting. It looks great and apart from the iffy English dub it sounds amazing. The story is interesting and even though it stumbles a bit in the final act it's still a well told and genuinely mature experience. My first playthrough came to around 80 hours when I had wrapped up the story and that was with only about half of the confidant stories finished, I'll definitely be jumping into the New Game Plus mode for another go through. You owe it to yourself to play this game, it's definitely one of the best offers on PS4 right now and I can't wait to go through it all over again.
Great mature story,
Engaging battle system,
Beautifully stylish UI.
Iffy English dub,
Trips over itself slightly in the final act of the story.
Persona 5 was well worth the wait, earning itself a 9/10