Quality In Overabundance; Persona 5 Royal
I wish I had my Game Pass lasting much longer, really like, I played halfway through the game already, and I miss it so much. But now I know really why this game is considered to be in the position of being called the best JRPG game ever. Final Fantasy 7 be damned.
Persona 5's main draw is how you manage the limited in-game time to do activities, to fighting against shadows in the realm made of the collective conscience of society, as well as growing your character. A number of these seem tedious, whereas other RPG games would constantly have you doing something like slashing enemies or farming for XP, and currency. But here, the main character gets the ability to tap into society's subconscious.
There's something about having style that comes into function in the game, anybody would be remiss to think the novelty aspects don't mean much, until the game really shows you. But imagine already making a perfect game, and you add so much cherry on top with this new re-release. A month ago, it came out finally for both Xbox, and PC, just tells you how serious Sega is about it right now. With P4, and P3 releasing as well pretty soon.
Trouble in paradise comes to the protagonist (by default, he's named Ren Amamiya) when he tries to do the right thing, but it fires back at him with a lawsuit and juvenile record. Having to live with no choice, but to go move elsewhere to a school that doesn't want him either, trouble finds him again when he sees a teacher standing taller than the rest, and having his way with them. Things get weirder when him and Ryuji, gets dragged into a warped, distorted version of their school that is built like a castle.
High jinks ensues when they see an anthropomorphic cat that helps them get out, and from there, the journey to becoming the Phantom Thieves is paved. And within the first few hours, with the addition of Ann as a new member, Persona 5 is properly introduced before everything else is by taking down the bad teacher.
A lot of social aspects are integrated within the RPG mechanics, I have to be careful about skipping dialogues even if there are loads of these, playing out like an elongated visual novel. The interactions with people act as an extension of the protagonist's ability to influence both the real world and the shadow world.
Mentioned before that the game merges style, with personality, each of the characters have guns, melee weapons, and their own persona to use. All, except Joker, who can command multiple personas, as well as capture some of them in battle.
Each of these Personas have elemental strengths and weaknesses. Some they can deflect back, and others actually heal them or provide boosts. But, ones they're weak to, can be used to take em down.
Personas can level up, or fused together to hold other Persona abilities. But, all this involves complex level equations to get the results needed. Same thing with battles, as picking up to 3 characters can make and break, since enemy varieties have all kinds of affinities. With the saving grace of Joker having to hold multiple Personas.
Social aspects mostly pertain to increasing your relationship with other NPC characters, that also hold their own Personas, doing so allows you to boost up the collection of Personas I've collected and registered. As well as increasing social attributes like Knowledge, Guts, Proficiency, Kindness, and Charm.
Having more guts unlocks access to more activities and dialogue options, Proficiency increases quantity in item creation, etc. Within the monthly schedule, I have to do certain activities to unlock them. Or, farm for money, items, and XP in the Mementos castle to fight against story based bosses.
But one of the most amazing things this new version does is change the game from the middle to the end. With the addition of new content, it changes; by creating different endings with the addition of two new confidants, added gameplay mechanics that substantially changes each battle, game modes to grind on, a new added semester, a new town location to visit that's bigger than all the others, and a whole plethora of newer items to earn and unlock.
I did manage to play the original, but my playtime lasted to 20hrs. Here, Royal has me close to 50hrs. I wasn't really enthused to play from the first 20hrs, that's because of how anemic it felt, once it started giving me access to more things to do, after beating Kamoshida, I couldn't stop playing. So much to do, it was encumbering.
The original had a serious tone, with some light comedy here and there. The re-release is bonkers with the new stuff. I didn't see any reason to complain about the inconsistency, is because the game had no problems being flexible about how the character express themselves. The special Showtime attacks I unlock works best for specific duos. Which shows off facets of the teammates relationships, expressed as a way to dish out a lot of damage.
I mean, it took them 5 games to get here, making an RPG this grand in scope and magnificent in depth. The stories it tells, all centers around Japan's fascination with demons, and how it ties with human nature, as well as the anthropological intricacies of Japan's societal state currently.
There was that musou-ish game called Strikers that also came out, but am not sure if I am touching that even. If I had to choose between playing that, I would rather put more hours into playing this. I played Yakuza games longer than 100hrs, I think I could pull a real stretch with this one.
There are mini-games that bolsters the effects of the tag attack, such as this dart game. Only possible in Kichijoji, which is the new town location added. Although, not possible to always do so, with the game's limited time schedule. I guess that's why they added an extra semester on top of the new stuff, just to ease up. I find the reason to start a new game+ unlikely after this, since well, that's a lot of hours for a game.
Once I've managed to renew my Game Pass subscription, I will immediately go back into P5R. Then take a good time off from games to focus on my studies overall. But then there's P4, and P3 coming out this month. Oww, man.
I will always say that P5 Royal is one of the wonders of the genre. Persona games are always good, but with this one, God, they took the classic formula and gave it a plus of spectacularity and style that you get through the eyes. I love how they capture the importance of the bond with your companions, adding powerful combinations or simply showing you the evolution of their 'Persona'.
I really think this game topped out, kind of makes you realize how much Atlus has grown in the years since the first Shin Megami Tensei.
@tipu curate 10
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The best thing about the Persona saga is its visuals.🤌🏻