The Greatest Game I have ever Played!
The above tagline isn’t just me trying to click-bait you into reading this review all for the purpose of views or attention. No, this is no typo or misspelling, Persona 5 is not only the best JRPG that I have ever played, it is THE best game I have ever played. Period. Everything about it, in my eyes, is absolute perfection, which is why Persona 5 gets a perfect score from me. Before I carry on with my review, I want to say a big thank you to Atlus and Deep Silver in creating and delivering a true masterpiece.
There are a lot of reasons why Persona 5 is fantastic, great, perfection, amazing… Yeah, you get the point! But first and foremost, it is the story that surrounds the game. We tend to never spoil a good story here at Game Hype and it’ll be no different here with Persona 5. Just to give you a little idea of what to expect, the story basically surrounds itself around corruption and the ability to call on spirits within yourselves, or Persona’s as they are called in this. If you are a veteran of the series (I played over 100 hours of Persona 4: Golden) then you’ll understand the Persona term. I’ve got to say, I have played a hell of a lot of JRPGs in my time, from multiple Final Fantasy games to almost every single game in the Tales of series. However, Persona 5 now sets the bar in terms of story. It is fantastic in every way.
The characters are narrated superbly, with the overall pace of the story second to none. If you only just play Persona 5 just for the story, you will not be disappointed on what is waiting for you from Atlus’ latest JPRG. Apologies for the vague comments on what the story entails, but you’ll understand me just wanting you to go in with a clean slate, knowing next to nothing.
As the main protagonist, you live out the life as a student. Aside from the main story, you can do whatever you please, and there is a hell of a lot to do. You can get yourself a part-time job, or two, in order to save up some extra Yen in order to afford a new weapon/accessory for you or one of your party members. You can choose to go see a movie, take in some food with your classmates, listen in to a speech, go buy a lottery ticket, do some TV shopping…. Yup, that’s only some of the activities that you can do. Persona 5 works through a day-to-day, month-to-month calendar based system. Some of these activities will progress the day further, not forgetting you have school 6 days a week. Be careful and useful on what you do with your free time, and make sure you even it out wisely in order to grow your character’s skills along the way.
Growth is a key part of success in Persona 5. Of course, you’ll level up, get better Persona’s (more on that soon) etc. However, one of the key components in Persona 5 is how you grow your relationship with the key characters in your life throughout the game. These characters are known as confidant’s. As you intake more activities and do more stuff with these characters, your relationship with them will grow and grow. The better relationship you have with these characters is crucial. A higher rank will result in bonuses for your Persona such as bonus EXP, meaning your Persona can level up faster in order to be strong in battle.
Battles are one of the fundamental things in any JRPG, and Persona 5 is no different in that respect. If you follow me, you’ll know that Final Fantasy X is one of my favourite games because of the turn-based, strategic battle systems it offered players. The battle system there reminds me of the one found in Persona 5, which in all honesty will only get high praise from me. Active battle systems are OK, but for me you cannot beat the turned-based nature of battles, allowing you to properly plan your attacks throughout the battle.
As you progress through the battle, HP and SP are the two main bars you want to focus on. Your Persona skills will be strong, but will require an amount of SP or HP in order to execute the move. You’ll need to make sure your characters have enough HP/SP available, not letting yourself get too low to the point that you are killed in battle. If he main protagonist is killed in battle, the game will end automatically, regardless of if other characters are still active. When you fight different enemies often, you’ll also find out their main weak and strength points, in order for you to pick the right Persona and/or skill in order to weaken then, Weakening a enemy is something that opens up more options to you. You can call on that enemy to become a Persona, ask for money or an item, or do an all-out attack which most of the time kills the opponent. Battles are limited to 4 characters on screen at one time, any extra characters will need to be on the sideline but they will still get EXP and level-up just as much as your main characters in battle.
On to the Personas, if you haven’t played a Persona game before, these are basically like Aeons or Summons that you would see in Final Fantasy. However, Personas come from within a person’s soul, with each character apart from yourself having the ability to draw on their Persona. However, you as the main protagonist are special and can draw help from multiple Personas, which you wear as masks in the game. Although you can only wear one mask at a time, you can have a back-up of Personas for which you can turn to if the situation/battle calls for their set of skills. As you go through the game, you go to a special Velvet room. This special room will let you fuse Personas together, in order to create an even stronger Persona. Make sure you try and collect as many Personas (there is a limit though on what you can carry) in order to fuse them together to create stronger ones for you. However, it must be noted that you can only create a Persona that matches the level that you are at, at that time.
I do have to mention the graphics and sound that Persona 5 offers, because they again are absolutely faultless. The art-anime style you get with Persona 5 is sublime. It’s the little details however, like seeing a classmate on a packed train playing his PSP on the way to school. It’s really nice to look at, with the map being very clear and precise on where you are heading. The voice acting is also brilliant, with each character bringing over the emotive trades fantastically well. Ryuji is my personal favorite in terms of being voiced, but all characters are great.
A PlayStation 4 Review code was provided by Deep Silver