Sometimes video games are engaging enough that we tend to live with them for a long time and we somehow get depressed soon after we finish them since we feel the emptiness that used to be fulfilled with something that’s missing. We’ve played a lot of games so far that fit into that category and we will be playing more in the future. From Rockstar’s Red Dead Redemption 2 to Atlus’ recently launched Persona 5 Royal. It is the latter we’re turning our eyes to today. This is our Persona 5 Royal review.
Games of this caliber need a lot of hours of gameplay and tons of detail to make you drown deeply in its world. It certainly wouldn’t work with a boring messed up plot that makes you forget about the positive parts of the game. This is the point that many studios part ways with the others and are always known as top-class narrative designers launching masterpiece after masterpiece.
Let me make it clear at first that Persona 5 Royal wouldn’t be an excellent experience for impatient players who want to get into the action immediately. In this case, players shouldn’t hurry for the end of the game. The more patience applied when playing and reading the dialogues between characters, the more the game is enjoyed. Sometimes it’s like a Telltale game filled with dialogues and cut-scenes and sometimes it feels like Hitman the objective is to sneak into a Palace and fool the guards, and sometimes it’s like a brain-draining puzzle-RPG when you get stuck in combat with lots of options available and you don’t know which one will work. When all of those shapes join together, you will see the true form of Persona 5 Royal. This is a game about Personas and the game itself is built upon them.
In a world that’s not far different from the real one we live in Persona 5 Royal follows the story of a high-schooler who unites with a bunch of his friends to stop any filthy criminal in Japan. Not by killing, not by torturing, and not by assassinating. It’s all about sneaking into a criminal’s heart and destroying all the demons within.
Persona 5 Royal’s story is slow-paced and, at first, it takes quite a bit of time to get the player to the exciting moments. But once it starts rolling, there’s no stopping it. It’s like a roller coaster that moves too slowly when rising up, but you know what will happen when it reaches the peak. After all, the game has a lot of characters that need to be detailed in different ways. Long story short, you may get bored in the first 20 hours of the game, but keep going and you won’t regret your patience.
In Persona 5 Royal you’re going to play both the life of a school student and a superhero who can’t see people suffering. Such a mixture truly seems unbalanced. While one of them is filled with risky and exciting moments, the other has nothing to offer more than talking to friends, answering the teachers’ questions, and tightening relationships with others. To be honest, Atlus wasn’t successful enough to keep both parts engaging. So, sometimes the daily life of the characters becomes a bit dull, so much so that you fast-forward the dialogues for a while until it reaches the important parts.
There are a lot of conversations going on between characters in Persona 5 Royal and, unfortunately, not much is missed when fast-forwarding through some of them. It becomes more annoying when you have gone through a lot of difficulties with your friends and you know all of them very well but the game still keeps bringing up the void conversations which adds nothing to the story or the characters.
Persona 5 Royal uses different city regions as its main world, which keeps growing as you progress more in the game while adding more hobbies and activities for you to do during your free time. Watching movies, buying stuff, wandering in clubs, and meeting new side-mission providers, are some of the notable things you can do in Persona 5 Royal’s world. That said, it’s not like a Grand Theft Auto game which allows you to do tons of things in a single day. In Persona 5, time limits won’t let you do more than one or two things a day which makes it a little bit more realistic. Using underground stations, you can travel from one district to another but the problem is, for instance, if you want to get from the first station to the last one, you will be stopped in a few stations to change your train which becomes more frustrating when you have to do that every day to get back to home from school. The lack of a fast travel system is another small problem with Persona 5 Royal.
As for combat, Persona 5 Royal is a challenging, but rewarding JRPG that never disappoints. First of all, it needs a great understanding of each character’s powers to have a precise strategy in battles. Once done with that, players should focus on the formation of skills needed in battle depending on the enemy. It’s not surprising at all in Persona 5 Royal to find an ordinary enemy harder to beat than a castle owner. While players can own a lot of Personas (special skills), they’ll also be able to make new ones by mixing them. Fortunately, there are a lot of varied enemies in the game to grant dozens of useful Personas to expand the arsenal of powers.
All in all, Persona 5 Royal is a must-play title for those who love JRPGs and have never tried out a Persona game. However, even for newcomers to the genre, it’s still a recommended game with hundreds of hours of gameplay accompanied by a flawless combat style. Finally, for those who have played Persona 5 and are wondering what’s going on with the new character Kasumi, I should say that it’s not worthy enough to pay another $60 for several hours of a new story with Kasumi, though the character has a compelling backstory and interesting relationship with the protagonist.