Have you ever just wanted to play an anime?
What is there to say about Persona 5 that hasn’t already been said? While not graphically the best game on the PlayStation 4, mainly because it was developed for the PlayStation 3, it still stands out as one of PlayStation’s best games of this console generation. It takes on the JRPG style with flair and panache. This by no means is a perfect game, there were some things that I thought I would hate but ended up loving, and there were some things I thought I was going to love but ended up feeling indifferent about at best. That being said though, I am totally in love with this game.
The story of this game is incredibly long, I had originally thought that a 100 hour playtime meant that included side quests, developing everything in the game to its max level… it wasn’t. This game provides 100 hours of story driven content that entertains throughout. While it can be a little over the top at times, overall the plot points are very well executed. The characters are extremely unique and very memorable, which is an incredibly hard thing to do with a cast this large. You spend so much time with these people and the developers did an amazing job of giving every character their time to develop and grow and mature from who they were before. This doesn’t just affect party members either. The confidant system, the invaluable way to gain new skills and perks as you go through the game, gives you more perks the more you strengthened a bond with a particular character. This puts a whole new emphasis on conversations and puts a unique weight behind talking to someone, because you want to hear their story, but you also know you have a bunch of other confidants to spend time with, even though you only have a finite amount of time.
The calendar system in Persona 5 made me really nervous in the beginning, being on a ticking clock personally puts me off from a game. However, the more you play the more you understand why it is designed that way, if there were no limit on how long you could play this game you could easily spend over 100 more hours doing all of the side quests aside from the main story. It also makes you prioritize what is important to you. I only managed to max out about 5 more confidants than the base minimum due to poor planning on my end, however, in the end it didn’t lessen my experience at all. In all honesty, I hope more teams develop a calendar-like system to implement into their games. So many games in this category trade agency for open worlds and lots of traveling. Persona 5 strikes a near perfect balance between keeping the game going but allowing time for the player to take their time and enjoy the ride.
Palaces and Battles
The palaces, or dungeons, are almost all amazing as well. One or two got pretty annoying, however, these are small prices to pay for the overwhelmingly fantastic content packed in this game. Overall the Palace design is very solid and only small parts of the actual palaces I found annoying. The game lends itself to flashy, over the top dungeons with huge creative twists and boy does it deliver. A castle, a Casino, and even a Space Station are all locations that you’ll be dungeon crawling in this game. Aesthetically every palace nails what it was trying to go for and the overall feel of the level. The over the top palaces also provide a stark, yet needed contrast from the otherwise mundane physical world of the game. Breaking the game up into sections like these really pays off in the end because of the choice the player is given every day as to whether or not they want to tackle the palace. Personally I preferred to race through the palace and then spend the remaining time boosting my stats and preparing for the next palace. While boring at times it totally felt right for how I wanted to play and how I wanted to tackle the next objective.
The battle system is incredibly intuitive and flows together perfectly. Creating (I know there were other Persona games before this, this is is speaking about the series as a whole) a more mature version of the Pokemon formula in capturing monsters that range from overtly sexy women to ginormous penis monsters that ride around in wheelbarrows. Yeah, that’s a real enemy that it took a solid 2 or 3 battles with it for me to realize what it actually was. It all fits naturally into the world of the game and it fits with the overall theme of desire and people’s most devious fantasies. Being able to capture, fuse, strengthen your persona feels great and gives the decision to the player of how they wanted to manage their party and how they wanted to build their overall team, giving the player the tools to play the game they want.
Music and Aesthetic
If you are going to make a game where the story is over 100 hours your music had better be good, because you will learn every note of every song as you go through the game. Luckily this game has one of the best soundtracks in video game history. Every single song with the exception of one or two really set the mood perfectly and are amazing to listen to on repeat. I already did a Top 5 Persona 5 Songs That We Need In Smash Ultimate and luckily those 5 songs are pretty much my favorite five songs in the entire game, they are in a different order but overall I would put the same 5 songs on either list. However it was pretty difficult narrowing it down to just 5, easily there could have been another 5 at least to round out a top 10 list. What I am trying to say is that this soundtrack will be stuck in your head forever. The entire soundtrack just goes hand in hand with the overall feel of the game and adds a whole new layer of immersion into this incredible game.
I mentioned it briefly at the top but this game essentially has the same feel as a South Park game. Where, you feel more like you are playing a TV show rather than a video game. It so perfectly captures the look and feel of an anime that it could easily be mistaken for one. It has all the same tropes, follows many of the same character arcs, and if it would be broken up into chunks, follows many of the same story beats of a regular anime. The in game graphics do hold it back a little bit but for being originally developed for PlayStation 3 it is understandable.
Overall this is a game I truly regret not playing sooner, I waited and waited for this game to go on sale and when I finally got the chance to get it for a good price I made sure to get it. If you haven’t played this game yet you need to. It is a game that will be modeled after and you will see elements of this game all over the place in the future. I cannot recommend this game enough. It is a game that I wish i could have the chance to play it again for the first time all over again. Playing this game for the first time is special, and it definitely is not 100 hours of your life that you can complain about. Now all we need is a version on the switch with a few touch ups and this game is an automatic 10. I am a huge fan of the Persona series after this and can’t wait to see what Persona 6 brings. Now, if you’ll excuse me I need to go max out my confidant stats in my new game plus.
What do you think? Are you as big of a fan of Persona 5 as I am? Are you excited to see Joker in Smash? Let me know in the comments down below, and don’t forget to subscribe for more Bring Your Own Games.