Hi everyone and welcome to my place!
So today is the day I give my bronze medal to (you guessed it by the title as always) Persona 5! First things first, this one will probably be a longer one to read, just because it is perfect in so MANY ways. If you still want to read the review grab a nice cup of coffe, or tea (or vodka if that is your thing xD – I don’t judge).
It didn’t surprise me a bit when I found out that Persona 5 was nominated for best game of the year, because it is just extremely good! As you may already know I loved the persona 3 game (you can read the review here!). Basically pick Persona 3 and improve it by 1000 and you get Persona 5.
Let’s start with the Concept:
As in all personas you will also have a slice of life aspect to the game. You know from the beginning that you have a limited amount of days in the game and that you have to spend them wisely. There are 3 main things you can do with your time: Leveling up your lvl, doing it in a palace or the mementos, living up your social skills (there are 5: knowledge, charm, kindness, proficiency and guts), or leveling your confidants lvl. You can even use your time to enter the hamburguer contest.
What is this about confidants? If you ever played a persona game you already know, if not I’ll explain it to you. First, personas all have a type, while in pokemon is water, fire, yadda yadda yadda, in persona are tarot cards such as death, strength and so on. Your confidants will also be linked to one of the cards, being their characteristics and life normally matching the card description (go see in the internet the explanation of the major arcanas xD). Now, you can fusion personas to get a new one, when you do that the persona you get will receive experience based on the lvl of your relationship with the confidant belonging at the same arcana. That’s why lvling up your arcanas is important in all persona games. However, Persona 5 went even further, when you lvl your confidants lvl you also receive special skills that will greatly help with your visits at the palaces and mementos. For example, one of the confidants is a doctor, if you get to lvl your relationship with her you are going to have a higher variety of restorative items for purchase in her clinic.
One thing they improved was the time you have. In persona 3 and 4 if you don’t follow a ste-by-step guide you will not be able to master all of your confidants in one playthrough. In persona 5 I was able to master all my social skills and master all my confidants without a guide. The only thing I did was, when answering to the confidant answers I would to go see if I made the right choices, if not I would go back and try again. In the other personas, even if you do this you will not be able to master all of them.
Other thing I liked a lot was the changes for getting new personas. In persona 3 and 4 you would have the opportunity to play a mini-game after a battle where you did well. In persona 5 you have to put the personas vulnerable and then start a negotitation. They will ask you some questions and you have to answer them the way they want, or they will just give you an item and leave. This made the catching personas really challenging and personal. You need to understand what kind of personality each type has and aftewards answer their questions accordingly.
Now the story:
You start in a casino dressed with some nice clothes and it does not take you more than a second that you are infiltrated there and something went wrong. You can hear from your communicator that you need to run away, but at the end you are caught by the police, you are forced to sign a confession paper and then you start being interrogated by Sae Nijima and you start telling your story from the start.
The protagonist just moved to Tokyo because in his hometown trying to save a girl from being assaulted he punched a guy with power and influence. This guy sues him and he is prosecuted with aggression and starts living in probation. He starts living in the attic of a coffee shop called “Cafe Leblanc” and starst going to a new school. In that night, before going to sleep he realizes that there is an app on your phone that was already deleted it, thinking it’s a virus he deletes it again. In the first day of school, the protagonist happens to meet Ryuji, one guy who goes to the same school who is considered a delinquent for attacking a professor. While walking to school, without knowing, Riujji by badmouthing the volleyball couch activates this strange app that doesn’t go away from the protagonist’s mobile phone. When you get to school, instead of the school building you have a castle.
When they enter the castle they are attacked by monsters and held captive by someone who looks exactly as the volleyball couch Ryuji was talking about. The protagonist is able to call his persona, Arsene, and able to destroy the shadows and run away. While looking for a way out, they find a cat called Morgana who seems to know his way in the palaces (that’s what he calls to the castle). He helps you run away and explains to what is a palace. A palace is a place that takes form based on the cognitive of a person, in other words, the palace is what the person who created it thinks of himself and the others around it. In this palace you see that the students are seen as slaves and they are always getting tortured. Morgana also says that if you are able to steal his treasure the person in real life will have a change of heart and stop with their misbehaves.
The protagonit and Ryuji talk about it afterwards and both decide to learn more about what is happening in the volleyball team. Along the way a girl from the volleyball team tries to kill herself and Ann, her best friend knowing the couch and knowing that the hero and Ryuji are digging up about him asks to join in. This way you get a party of 4 and start looking for the treasure. If you do your work right you are able to steal his treasure and the couch has a change of heart and confesses all of his crimes.
From here you will be going to a lot of palaces and even though the cases seem to be completely random, they have some strings connecting them.
I’m going to stop here, so I don’t give you spoilers. The story is just really well made. All of the stories behind each palace are really good stories and all revolve around a thing. Powerful people thinking they are better than anyone and that they can treat anyone as they please (more or less). Seems familiar? Well, it is a really good picture of the reality if you ask me. Most people are just living their lives and don’t care about anyone but themselves. I know some people that don’t think twice to push someone down so they can go up… I loved this paralel and it really made me think about the world we live in. Of course, in Persona is a little exagerated and everyone that is an adult in the game seems to be self-centered… Well, it could also be me being my usual naive.
One thing they really improved a lot were the confidant’s stories. They all have really nice stories and there was not even one that I didn’t get into it. Each one could make a perfect anime if exploited to the maximum. All the confidant characters are likeable and ALL of them have a complex personality, even though they tend to be on certain way for you to know more or less what is expected for you to answer it’s really subtle. They almost seem like real people.
The main characters are also really likeable! There is a lot of conversation time so you will be able to get attached to each one of them. Everyone in your team will have to fight their own personality and fears so their persona ends up appearing, so expect character development. Morgana will always be with you and he is really funny! He will be making some commentaries at the perfect time to make you laugh.
You will have a lot more to explore in this persona than the others in the part of the slice of life. There are 4 or 5 places where you can move and play it like RPG, but then you will have a lot of “dating” places for you to go out with your confidants and some shops.
Inside the palaces you will be a thief, so you will need to act like one. Being in the shadows, jumping one place to another, attacking the shadows by surprise, all of that. The mechanics are just flawless and fluid. Really, you are playing and you feel pleasure by how smooth the game is.
In battle, the game has the same concept as other personas. You have to exploit your enemies weaknesses so you can do an all-out attack, the only person who has multiple personas is the protagonist and I think that’s all. Now, you can choose the difficulty when you start the game (or change it in the menu every time you want), I played it on hard, I think it’s the highest unless you download the nightmare difficulty and… Oh boy! Put challenging in that. Basically if you play hard you have a small margin for error. Even normal shadows can kill you in a glimpse if they end up surprising you. The bosses are also difficult and they need different strategies to pass. If you like a challenge (as me) go with the hard mode! 😀
Well, it is a PS4 game that came out this year, so of course the graphics are really good! Basically you will feel that you are inside an anime, period. (in 3D xD). No, that is not really I want to talk about, since the good graphics are a give at this point, I want to talk you about the art itself.
I never played a game so original. First the design of the menus… Nothing in there is square or aligned, but it really works and it’s pleasant to the eye. Second, the personas are completely well made and represent 100% their user personality. Third the bosses, well… The bosses are just “owo”. I never saw bosses so well done as in Persona. Not because they are giants with the enormous detailed teeth and claws, no… That is for Final Fantasy XV. Here you will have bosses that are completely in accord with the bad guy desires/cognitive thinking. I’ll give you the boss of the volleyball couch:
You can see the slaves, you can see the glass with wine where a girl is inside which means his lust, you have a crown because he thinks he is the king of the school, you have a trophy which is about him being a olympical medalist and the volleyball team wining competitions and last, but not the least, you have a big tongue because he lets out every secret he is supposed to keep, one example is you being a criminal in probation which he told to the students when he wasn’t supposed to.
I played it with the japanese dub, so I don’t know how it is in the english dub. The voice acting is also perfect. Probably you will recognize some of the voices because the voice acting is made by famous anime voice actors which gave voice to famous anime characters. Some examples:
- Ann voiced by Nana Mizuki – gave voice to Hinata from Naruto
- Ryuji by Mamory Miyano – gave voice to Light/Kira from Death Note
- Morgana by Ikue Otani – gave “voice” to Pikachu
The music is what you expect from a Persona game. Instead of a more classical music you normally have in rpgs such as Final Fantasy you have a more pop-ish ost, but really well done and it really translates the vibe of the game! 😀
I think I’m not forgetting anything. If you have a PS3 or PS4 I highly recommend you to play Persona 5! It has been ages since a game made me so excited to play it and made me love it so much! Comment down below what do you think about Persona 5 and which game should win the game of the year award! Mine is 100% this one! 😀