Persona 5 Strikers: A refreshing return to Persona 5 and the Phantom Thieves.
Persona 5 Strikers
While I can’t deny Persona 5 Royal was a little disappointing in that there was no female protagonist as with Persona 3 FES, P5S is a nice change of pace. It’s great to see old friends again, as we quickly discover, a year after the events of P5. Despite the time that passed, the IM feature hasn’t changed much, and there’s still a calendar to remind you of that looming sense of importance. It feels comfortable to be back in Yongen-Jaya again, even though you know something is brewing in the background.
Now the scores are pretty comprehensive, 83% on Metacritic, ⅘ from common sense media 8/10 on IGN, and 4.6/5 from Google. To break down my recommendation on this, I’d like to cover things bit by bit. Starting with the music, you have three options, original to the game, Persona 5, or Persona 5 Royal. For those familiar with the series, the music is as divine as ever. It does the job whether it’s to evoke certain feelings or just to vibe through the day to day. On the music, I’d give it a 4.5/5, it’s good.
Characters haven’t changed from Persona 5 except for being a year older. It’s still just like visiting an old friend in that there’s enough deviation to tell time has passed but not enough to feel like you don’t know them anymore. I’d give that a ⅘ on the basis that it’s believable and comfortable, but not far from that.
The combat has changed considerably, in that while P5 got you used to group fights, sometimes 3+, the tutorial alone starts you out with dozens or more, it’s manageable and fun, not a tedious grind fest like some RPGs and JRPGs can get. It changes from the typical turn-based to more hack + slash and doesn’t necessarily suffer for it. he changes breathe new life into P5, and for that, I say 4.5/5
The plot isn’t too far out of the realm of P5 or P5R, the addition of an AI that changes based on how you interact is intriguing and evocative of similar genre tropes, but fun. In exchange for social links, you get bond skills, which are quite a change from the usual experience. It’s also shorter than P5 which is to be expected. Considering everything, you might not expect to be as invested as a numbered Persona entry, however, it’s easy to jump in and enjoy. I think if you ignore not knowing the backstory of the characters, even a new player could easily enjoy it. 5/5 honestly.
Overall? I’d agree with the scoring. It’s a solid game. I’d recommend it for people who like RPGs, but don’t mind a bit of hack and slash rather than turn-based. Additionally, you also get the option for either Japanese voicing or English, reminding you that both casts knocked it out of the park.
To conclude, Persona 5 Strikers is great to play. For those with PlayStation Plus, it’s free currently, and that’s a price you can’t beat. One more time, let the Phantom Thieves steal your heart!
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