This maybe a little late for most gamers, but because of the 90 plus hour story, and my daily life of working to pay the bills, I was finally able to beat this game and publish my full review. This game is perfect for a long three day weekend where no work on Monday means staying up late and not realizing that it’s already two in the morning.
Persona 5 is the first persona game that I ever played in the series. Unfortunately, I had never had a desire to play Persona 4 when it came out on the PlayStation 3 and never even heard of the Persona series until talk of Persona 5 started coming out. Knowing I was going to try out Persona 5, I went back and attempted to figure out if there are important plot points that I would need to know in order to enjoy this game and not be lost. Though Persona 5 does take place in the same overall universe as the other Persona games, you will be relieved to know that this game is it’s own story with a new cast of characters.
Persona 5 is a turn based RPG sent in modern day Japan. You play as a high school student who gets placed in a new school and a new environment after certain events that transpire. (If that sounds overly broad, that’s because the game is very story heavy and I want you to be able to experience everything without the typical game reviewing spoilers.) Your journey will take you to elaborate dungeons that feel alive and creatively designed; Each one feeling more special and more curious then the last.
The game has a calendar system that will progress as the game goes on. By day, you will live your life as a normal high school student. You will attend class at this new school, you will attempt to make friends, go out to the movies, go shopping, play games, and or meet with different people and learn what makes them special in this world.
By night, you will take on a different role as a Phantom Thief and begin the adventure of pacing through dungeons, fighting a slew of enemies, and collecting various treasures along the way. Fighting never seemed to be as taxing or tedious like most turn based RPGs. Each area offered new enemies that have different weaknesses and will require you to change up your tactics on the fly.
Persona also offers you the ability to capture your enemies in an event called Hold-up. In this, you surround your opponent, guns drawn, and begin negotiating his or her surrender and ultimately gain them as an ally to fight along side you. This process can be difficult due to the often “roll of the dice” tactic when trying to guess which speech option this enemy would prefer you to use. The enemy will ask two different questions, and it will require you to answer correctly both times in order for it to join your team. Answering one question correctly will end the battle and it will either give you an item or money while failing both questions will resume the battle, often times resulting in a new enemy appearing that you must now beat. This system can get very frustrating, especially when you want to take control of a really powerful enemy.
The game will tug at your heart strings and really place a mirror in the face of society as you progress through the 90 plus hour story line. You will be faced with tough choices and even tougher circumstances that often times left me laying in my bed and asking, “WTF.” It took me that long to beat the game, and that was completing the main story and most of the side quests. In order to see everything that this games offers, it gives you a “New Game Plus” mode which maintains all stats and social accomplishments that you have made. This is helpful because some cut scenes and missions will only be available when you have increases your social stats, which can require a lot of precious in game days.
The game is pretty long and will take some commitment on your part, but it’s a great way spend a weekend afternoon. Though it will be some time before I pick it up and play through it again, I do feel like it will become my desert island game