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Persona 5 Royal

Posted by GG Goblin On March - 19 - 2020

A right royal upgrade to Persona 5.

We live in a time of remakes and re-releases. While the relaunch of an older game on a new platform is not necessarily a bad thing, and “Game of the Year” editions are always a good idea for players who missed out on the original release, sometimes it can feel a little like a cash grab as the developers offer very little by way of additional content or improvement. Atlus have been around for a while now, and seem to go above and beyond when they re-release their Persona games. Persona 4 was well received, but Persona 4 Golden, which launched for the Vita, was considered a masterful remaster. The Persona games already have a cult following, so it would come as no surprise for Atlus to offer a “Game of the Year” style edition of the more recent Persona 5. But Persona 5 Royal is so much more than a simple cash grab, perhaps even exceeding Persona 4 Golden as a true master class in releasing an enhanced version of a much loved game.


Fans and those who have already played Persona 5 may be questioning the sense in buying and playing the game again. Persona 5 was as outstanding as it was massive. But equally, they are the players that will have already heard about the plentiful new additions in the game and likely have already reached a frenzy of excitement. Of course it makes sense to double dip, Persona 5 Royal has so many additions and tweaks that it becomes almost an entirely new game.

The newcomers though, they are in for a real treat. Persona 5 Royal is a JRPG that is quite unique in that it is set in the modern world, although not quite how we see it from day to day. Set in Tokyo, Persona 5 follows a group of students who have to work their way through the everyday teenage troubles of building relationships with their friends and getting on with school, while also dealing with corrupt adults. It is here that things get a little bit more fantastical, and Persona 5 is quite adult in its themes and the situations the player has to face. This is depicted right from the very beginning as the main character defends a woman from a sexual predator and then finds himself with a criminal record, and having to move to a new school and a new life. Despite the relative youth of the main cast, Persona 5 is a game with adult ideas.


So, when it comes to dealing with these corrupted adults, things do get strange. Basically, the player will enter the person’s ‘palace’, which is essentially a dungeon, in order to find the treasure. These palaces take the form of the persons warped desires, and so can be really quite interesting to explore. Outside of dealing with these palaces, the player will also be exploring ‘Mementos’, which is like the overall palace of the general population. Both of these places will see the player engaging in some of Persona 5’s excellent, flashy turn-based combat. Beyond these areas hidden from the rest of the world, the player will also be doing much more mundane stuff such as building relationships with other characters, hanging out in a variety of different places that can be visited, and even playing some mini games. While the player has only a limited time to actually complete their mission in game time, Persona 5 Royal will likely keep the invested players going for ages.

The great thing about Persona 5 Royal is that there are barely any places in the game where it has not been improved. There are some big, important additions that players will have already noticed, but the developers have really taken note of any and all ways to improve the game. Improved visuals are maybe expected, but including new audio tracks is a nice bonus. New combat moves are always welcome, but small tweaks to boss battles to make them feel different, and more important, this time around is both exciting and unexpected. Anyone who previously played Persona 5 will be noticing changes with alarming regularity, which is simply why it is worth paying for the game again.

But of the big things, there are a couple that really stand out. The first is the new grapple hook. This handy tool allows the player to zip around palaces with ease and reach new areas. While this will give the player a new view of the Palace, they will also be able to find another new addition in the form of Will Seeds. There are three of these new collectible items in each palace and finding them all will give access to a new skill accessory.


Combat has not been overlooked, with the improved boss battles and new enemies to face, along with the new Showtime moves. The combat was already very enjoyable in Persona 5, and the little additions that have been made only go to improve what was already great.

But, let’s face it, for the fans the real excitement comes with the addition of two new confidants, and one of them being playable. The new school counsellor Maruki is an interesting new character, but transfer student Kasumi joining the Phantom Thieves is an exciting prospect. The really impressive thing is how these two new characters have been embedded in the overall story almost seamlessly, and only changing the story for the better. It is likely that these two will be the main reason for players to come back.

Throw in a whole new area to explore, Kichijoji, which includes a number of cool distractions such as darts or meditation. This area is fairly large for a new addition, and has loads of different places to visit, many of which will give the player ways to improve their character. There is also the Thieves Den where players can check out things like art work or cut scenes, while listening to unlocked music, and even play a card game.


Persona 5 was a great game, and Persona 5 Royal improves on that in almost every single way. For the returning players, it really is a no-brainer. However, for newcomers I would say that the game can seem somewhat overwhelming. It is a massive undertaking that could put some of the new players off. I would advise sticking with it, as Persona 5 Royal really is one of the best JRPGs available. Newcomers and returning Phantom Thieves will not be disappointed.




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