Ever since I first gave it a try back in 2017 I’ve been a pretty big fan of Persona 5. I love it’s stylish presentation, its rockin’ soundtrack and thoughtful gameplay. The story has some decent twists and turns to, but the real stars of the show are definitely the characters. I genuinely enjoyed my time with the Phantom Thieves and ended the game wanting more. Well, it turns out Atlus, in fact, had more planned all along. After teasing the game for what felt like a year, Persona 5 Royal is here and man does it feel good to be back!
It might be an overstatement to say that this trailer captures the actual feel of this game, but for me it actually comes pretty close. I don’t mean that Persona 5 Royal is as action-packed as this sizzle real implies, but rather that it’s just an exciting game to play. For someone like myself, who’s played the original all the way through, it’s been fun just seeing what Atlus has done to shake things up in this version. I was expecting a lot, but I got even more!
Just about everything has been tweaked in some way in Persona 5 Royal. Combat is a little more technical, party member builds matter more, and underdeveloped mechanics like “technicals” and “baton passes” have been polished and made more relevant. Party members are a little more fleshed-out with a touch more dialog and new events towards the end of the game. There’s more end-game stuff, a new character, remixed dungeons and boss fights, and…I could keep going, but suffice it to say that Persona 5 Royal is a massive expansion upon the original.
It’s all familiar, yet new at the same time. I’ve been enjoying seeing the differences, but I almost wish I could have had this as my first experience with the game. I was very impressed with the original version, so I’m sure this would have been my Game of the Year for 2017. Going back to that trailer though; I think it captures the spirit of the game rather than the moment-to-moment experience.
Persona 5 Royal is a long game, taking around 90 to 100 hours to finish. Its gameplay is a mix of skill mini-games, combat, exploration and conversations with various characters. It takes time to do everything, which is why I think moments like the ones shown in the trailer shine all the brighter in context. Seeing those scenes and developments is something earned. They’re something that feels like a natural development from all the work put into developing the main character and his friendships. They stand out as a reward in the moment, and they’re what linger after the game is done.
Persona 5 Royal is more of what made Persona 5 fun in the first place. It’s more chances to learn more about the characters; more mini-games to enjoy, more spectacle to marvel at, If you didn’t like the game the first time around, then this won’t change your mind. However, if you did like Persona 5 or were interested and just didn’t pull the trigger on it, then this’ll be right up your alley. Give it a shot; you won’t regret it!
Have you been playing Persona 5 Royal? What do you think of it? If you didn’t, play the first time around, what kept you from trying it?
Lede image from PSN Store page