Saturday, October 22, 2016

Persona 5 review

Finally finished Persona 5 in 165 hours! I feel like a big weight has finally been lifted off my shoulders! Persona 5 is a dungeon crawling RPG about a group of high schoolers who can enter this parallel world and reform people whose desires have become warped. If I had to compare Persona 5 to any game, it would be Ryu ga Gotoku. RGG is an adult/Japan night life sim while Persona 5 is a high school simulation.

Let's get the good out of the way. The art style is great and the music is jamming, especially when they add lyrics to the main themes at the end. The relationship stories and dialogue are not far removed and do not contradict the main story like in Fire Emblem Fates. Its a huge pitfall of having an RPG where you can romance many characters.

The main story is actually pretty good. There are two very nice twists in the story and something unexpected happens near the end which says something interesting about society. The ending is really good. Morgana really grew and Ryuji is probably the most interesting among all the members because he actually behaves like teenager. With that said, Persona 5 has a huge Achilles's heel, namely pacing.

This game is super unnecessarily long. It just takes too long to progress through the co-operations/relationships and most of them are very straightforward and boring with tons and tons of text. There are some well written ones like Soujiro and Futaba most of them are just dry and not funny. I almost gave up on the game many times but as a Japanese study tool, Persona 5 has a lot more useful words and phrases compared to something like RGG so I persevered.

Don't get me started on Mementos which is this long side story dungeon that looks the same and just rehashes enemies to fight. Persona 5's greatest sin is that not one of the side stories are interesting nor funny. Most of them end up being similar to RGG in that its all about some scam. While RGG has many memorable side stories such as Be My Baby from RGG2, Persona 5 makes you sit through a mountain of dialogue to reach a predictable end fot the side stories. The writers did push themselves in a corner with the fact that you need to know someone's name in order to reform them which removes any potential who is the bad guy mysteries.

Its not all bad. The writing is a step above Sen no Kiseki series and its the first anime RPG in a long time I didn't feel like everyone was the same nice cardboard anime character with no personality.

Persona 5 is such a mixed bag for me. There are something I like and there are parts of it I really hated. If I could suggest a fix it would be to shorten and combine a lot of the co-operation stories and just and reduce the barriers for furthering co-operations. I think there's plenty of fat to cut to make it a lean and mean 100 hour game.

I should have played Tokyo Mirage Sessions (which is a similar game on the Wii U) instead because I've read that it's shorter and funnier. Persona fans will love the game and they know what they're getting into which is losing 4 weeks of your life to one game. If you value pacing like I do, I am Setsuna is a much better game.

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