Step into the shoes of Joker and join his motley group of friends, aka the Phantom Thieves, as they, inadvertently, set out in a bid to reform the society. Persona 5, a turn based jrpg, was released to overwhelmingly high praise from all quarters of the gaming world in 2016, exclusively for the Playstation.
You start off as a transfer student to a high school in Tokyo wherein you stay at an acquaintance’s place, in an attic above a cafe. The story’s timeline stretches roughly for a year and it is focused mainly on you and your group of friends, that you slowly encounter over the course of the year, as you go about changing hearts and redeeming the society. You encounter this strange app on your phone that no matter how hard you try, you can’t seem to delete it, plus you are unable to determine its purpose. Further on, in your school life, some events transpire that lead you to discover the “Metaverse” aka the alternate reality and this is where the things get interesting.
The game features dungeons in the form of palaces and mementos, where the palaces are a direct reflection of somebody’s twisted and deep rooted desire while the mementos are the representation of the collective consciousness of the masses. The first palace you encounter is of your PE teacher, Kamoshida, where you meet Morgana, a cat who doesn’t like to be called one, and where the game introduces you to most of the game’s combat mechanics as well as what personas are.
There is a lot of content to explore in this game, such as confidants, hang out spots, working part time, go on a school trip and activities like baseball, fishing etc. This can get a bit overwhelming for some people, especially if you are a new entrant to this series, just like me. I had trouble adjusting to the confidant ranking up mechanism vis-a-vis correct responses, as well as difficulty managing my time efficiently but I slowly grew more confident as I reached further into the game and new game plus was a really enjoyable experience and is something I would recommend that everyone do. Ranking up Confidants is a great way to access some really cool and game changing abilities like the ability to down any persona using a special gun skill or increasing the persona carrying capacity and so on.
The combat in this game is also really enjoyable with plenty of personas to choose from along with a wide range of elemental, physical and gun attacks combined with your staple buff and debuff spells. Most of the enemies have some sort of weakness like wind, ice, etc. which can be utilised to land a hit in a way that catches the enemy off guard allowing you to attack once more, do a baton pass, or if all enemies are downed perform an all out attack or negotiate with the enemy. Personas can be acquired in two ways, either by negotiation or by fusing them in the Velvet room and you get more fusing options as well as recipes as you keep progressing in the game.
What takes the crown for me are two things, the superbly composed music and the beautifully crafted visuals. The music enhanced the whole experience in a way that it made exploring palaces and mementos fun and kept me going even while I was running low on SP, but I stubbornly refused to leave until I had secured my route to the treasure. Shoji Meguro has done a fantastic job with the score and the music feels apt for each scenario. The menus have been crafted so artistically and the animation that happens when you bring up the menu takes the cake for me, out of all the games that I have ever played. The Palaces have been designed with great care and they strictly follow the subject matter i.e. a palace based on a museum will have displays of art, security to keep them from being stolen etc. which lend a certain sense of realism to the games and makes you feel as if you really belong to an elusive group of Phantom Thieves.
- Artistically crafted menus
- A great combat experience along with a good variety in move-sets
- A terrific soundtrack which makes you groove
- Well-designed Palaces, mementos and a great story overall
- Feels like a management simulator, sometimes
- Lack of control over your own schedule on some days
Persona 5 is a jewel that still hasn’t lost its luster to this day and continues to be a source of enjoyment for a lot of players. The deadly combination of a fantastic score and gorgeous visuals will make you go non-stop and really immerse yourself in the narrative Persona 5 has to offer. The game can get a bit overwhelming for new players but New Game+ is a much needed savior where you can take it easy and I would strongly suggest that people give this game a chance as this can shape up to be one of the most memorable games that you have ever played.
If you enjoyed this Review, why not check out some more we have on site.
You can also chat to our writers and friends by joining us on Discord with this link – Discord Invite
Game & Developer Information
Developer/Publisher Website: P Studio/Atlas
Developer Socials/Publisher Socials: Twitter
PSN Store Links: ₹3,499 India/ £49.99 GB/€59.99 Europe / $19.99 North America
Trophy Information: 49. 1 / 3 / 5 / 40
Cover Image – https://www.mobygames.com