It took nine years wait for Persona fans to receive a new sequel of the most original and well-constructed RPG series ever. In all that time, Atlus has been able to entertain us with different spin-offs from the fourth installment and with other titles of Shin Megami Tensei, Although our desire to play a brand new Persona was hard to be satisfied with any other title.
Luckily, and after a torturous wait of several months after the Japanese launch, we finally have Person 5 in our hands, a game so good and polished in so many ways that it is really hard to find any downfalls. Not only is it one of the strongest candidates to become the best game of the year, but also one of the best JRPG in history. One of those games destined to become an instant classic from its very first moments. Would you like to know more? Then keep on reading.
As you can guess, one of the great strengths of this game is its narrative , so to tell almost anything about it would be spoilers, which is why we will simply say that this time we will play a young Japanese student who is accused of a crime that he did not commit, situation that forces him to move to Tokyo . Once in our new home, things will soon start to twist, and we will discover a world created from the consciousness of humanity, where we will awaken a great power, and become a white glove robbers who are dedicated to stealing the distorted hearts and desires of the wicked. We will live a double life combining our adventures in this magical, supernatural world along with the daily chores of every student: going to class, studying for exams, going out with friends, investing our leisure time in different activities like going to the movies Or read a book, etcetera.
Important to note that we liked the main plot, because of the interesting result and the huge number of surprises and the delicate subjects regarding adults and humans controversially treated, and in a very good taste, which shows a narrative maturity that, fortunately, is increasingly seen in the industry thanks to titles like this.
Another point and aside would be its characters, despite sometimes presenting certain clichés, that is very usual for this type of productions and animes, count on depth, evolution and a huge work of art. Even the most simple of them has a multitude of nuances and a story as elaborate as complex, so they know how to capture our interest with great ease, and it is extremely easy to empathize with them.
The life of a student
On a playable level we are again faced with the same formula that we are familiar from Persona 3 and Persona 4, so we will live a school year day by day having to choose what to do. It will be up to us to make many decisions during this time. It is up to us to decide who we want to stay and relate to, what activities to practice to improve our social skills (necessary to access certain types of content), when to go shopping, decide if we want to work to get some money or which is the best Moment to delve into the supernatural world of consciousness to explore dungeons, fulfill secondary missions and train ourselves.
Many of the days are marked by the history of the game and in them, we will not be able to make such decisions, but much of the adventure will be spent doing exactly what we have described. This time management is very entertaining since there is an enormous amount of activities to perform each day, including several mini-games, something which also helps the fact that it is easy to self-set certain goals to get the things we want, Which makes this part of the game a real vice.
One of the things that we liked most about this Persona is Confidants system, which would be an evolution of the Social Links of the third and fourth installments. As we have said, throughout the adventure we can establish friendships with many different characters and by staying with them we will have the opportunity to unravel their personal plots and earn their trust.
Doing this is imperative since the social part of the game is closely linked with the role so that we can access a lot of different advantages by just raising our friendship level with them. The best thing is that now there are almost no generic rewards and each of them will allow us to unlock skills and services of the most interesting, so that all Confidants have their importance and attractiveness, thus falling on us the responsibility to select who is more Interesting to us, whether for their stories or for their improvements.
For example, our combat partners will acquire new ways of supporting us during battles, while a politician could help us improve our negotiating skills or an expert shogi player might end up teaching us new tactics to put into practice during a fight, such as Possibility of changing the active characters for the reserve in the middle of a scuffle, to cite just a couple of examples of the many there.
Another improvement of this system we have in the well integrated that these Confidants in the narrative of the game. That our character decides to make friends with them is not the result of pure chance, since they are always people who, consciously or even unconsciously, can help our cause, either by performing specific activities such as managing a website that gives us knowledge or teach us something that we can then carry out to the supernatural world.
The inner strength
Entering the dungeons and fights, the first thing we have to emphasize is that now the dungeons are not a succession of floors with designs generated in a random way anymore. Instead, this time we have gigantic dungeons with pre-established designs, which we will have to solve puzzles of all kinds, explore every corner in search of secrets and the way to exit, and so on.
This is a huge advance over their predecessors since it is something that is used to bring a lot of narrative content in our progress for them. In addition, as each is the reflection of someone’s distorted heart, the tests that await us in each are very different, something that adds a variety of scenarios and situations completely unpublished in the series. In fact, this is something that applies even within the same dungeon, since they are so large that they are formed by very different zones.
In the same way, we have also loved the way we will have to move through them since it is far from what we are accustomed to seeing in other JRPG. As we said at the outset, here we are a group of thieves, so our incursions into the dungeons are actually infiltration jobs where we have to advance without triggering alarms and avoid being detected. We will have to start fighting against our rivals in a secretive way and without giving them time to react, something that is usually done by surprising them by the back. We can use coverages so that they do not see us and move from one to another at high speed and ambush.
Although it may seem that we are facing a game with a large component of stealth, the truth is that for games that have been achieved is that the scenarios themselves are small puzzles where we will analyze each element to catch our enemies unprepared, instead of advancing And throw ourselves against them in bare chest, which makes the progression for them is tremendously entertaining and satisfying, since we will feel like real thieves with a white glove.
Once we enter combat, note that these are developed in turn and at the level of mechanics do not differ much from what has been seen in the series so far. As expected, everything revolves around a system of weaknesses and resistances that we will have to exploit to get extra turns and thus overwhelm the opponent without allowing time to react.
When attacking an enemy with an element or property to which he is weak, this will not only receive a large amount of damage, but will be stunned on the ground (preventing you from dodging) and give us an extra turn to be able to act again , Although if we repeat the same we will not get that additional action.
This gives great importance to the spells and special techniques of our characters, since we will have to make use of them constantly, so you will not use the attack command much instead, you will suffer to manage your resources to survive as long as possible.
Obviously, try to avoid being attacked when your characters are weak so that enemies do not gain extra turns and destroy you in a stroke, either by changing your training or by using skills and techniques for that matter. As you can see, the battles are very classic, although small improvements and novelties have been added to make them something deeper and more interesting than they already were. For example, when we reach a certain level of friendship with our teammates we will be able to give them the extra turns we get by exploiting enemy weaknesses, something that will greatly increase the power of their next action, allowing us to make some really devastating chains.
Firearms with limited ammunition have also been added that we can use as an alternative to our melee weapons, and the number of available items has been expanded, making the system of elemental weaknesses more complex. Even we can be victims of a kidnapping, which will lead us to negotiate with the enemy to release us.
Another one of the novelties we have it in the moment is to stun to all our targets, the moment in which they will give us to choose between several options. On the one hand, we can unleash our All-Out Attack, a powerful attack in which the whole group participates and that usually ends with all the dead opponents, although we can also choose to talk to them.
If we choose the diplomatic route, we can ask for money, objects or, most interestingly, to join us as People, although to get this first we will have to answer a couple of questions that will make us. If we choose the answers according to the personality of the enemy in question, this will end up joining our protagonist.
In general, fighting is a hilarious experience where a very classic formula with unique and modern details is successfully combined. In addition, the battles have an ingeniously adjusted difficulty (there is a selector) to know always offer a good challenge without needing to frustrate the player, at least in Normal.
We can not forget to point out how fantastic the final bosses are, all of them completely unique, with spectacular designs and where we will have to implement exclusive actions of their battles to shoot them down. They are very interesting matches, with surprising mechanics and where we will have to adapt our strategies and form of play to be victorious, assuming these moments the most important points of the game.
As for the people that we mentioned a couple of paragraphs ago, say that they are one of the great keys of the system of progression and customization of the game. At the argumental level are beings that represent, in physical form, the personality and the heart of someone, and are those that give our protagonists their powers.
Although our partners will only have a single Person that defines their weaknesses, resistances, and abilities (these are learned by rising level), our protagonist may take several to the battle. In each turn you can change only once between each other, which gives you a lot of versatility to modify your weaknesses and resistances to pleasure, as well as access to a large number of skills, multiplying both our offensive and defensive options.
The interesting thing about this is not only the fact that we can recruit other people during battles, but also we can merge them to create more powerful ones and that these inherent abilities of the previous ones, which gives rise to a very deep system and with many Possibilities until we want to create the perfect Person.
In total, completing the main adventure with its authentic end is a task that will take us without much effort an average of 100 hours, so you can get an idea of the amount and volume of content offered. It is a very long game and with many things to do if we want to see everything, and the most surprising thing is that it does not stop to improve as we go forward, so we do not feel that it has an elongated duration artificially, but quite the opposite, already That every time the argument gets more complicated, the fighting becomes more challenging and the dungeons are increasingly elaborate.
Unmatched style and taste
If there is something that we have to recognize Persona 5, in addition to all the innumerable virtues that we have described, it is irresistible that results at a visual level, even though it is a title developed for PlayStation 3 as the base console. No, technically it is not a portent, but what the artists of Atlus have achieved is something that has left us with our mouths open with every step we took.
It will seem silly that we start talking about this section mentioning its menu design and interface, but is that we have never seen in a video game something so well designed and with style as shown here. It is very difficult to do justice with words to the work that has been done here, but things like the surprising interface of the battles, the screens of victory, the way of modifying of the main menu or the personalized menus of each store with own animations are things that We have managed to conquer and help to enhance the staging to very high levels, especially when we realize how brilliantly integrated they are in the game. A real pass.
Moreover, the modeling of both characters and enemies are quite good, as well as their designs , and the stages are full of details and feel very alive, in addition to having a top-level artistic direction able to surprise us Every step we take, especially as far as the Palaces are concerned. Of course, its origins as a PS3 game is noticeable in the fragmented Tokyo is divided into many small areas separated by screens load, including interiors, and the animations during many conversations are too rigid, although during the fighting and certain Videos are really good.
Finally, the sound is another of the sections of ten of this delivery , with a spectacular and extensive soundtrack strongly inspired by jazz that does not stop to give us a song after another, both vocal and instrumental, that adapt as a glove to everything What happens on the screen, achieving a perfect combination of image and unmatched sound. The effects follow the same tone, since there are many of them, are varied, recognizable and sound with great quality.
Of the dubbing, to say that we have only been able to listen to its English version, since the Japanese voices will arrive us in form of free downloadable update, which is not available yet, although the interpretations we have liked a lot and it is very careful. Of course, we can not finish this analysis without regretting the decision of Atlus to continue without giving his arm to twist when trying to translate a game of this saga to our language , since we can not think of a better opportunity than this, now That the series enjoys fame and popularity, daring with a translation.
Although the level is not too high, it is a real shame that many will stay without enjoying such a huge game like this either because they can not understand it or because they do not want to spend a hundred hours reading in English , the only language In which his texts arrive to us. And considering that the game boasts an enormous amount of dialogue and that one of its great attractions lies in its history, this can become a great barrier for those who are not too familiar with the language of Shakespeare.
Let’s repeat it: Persona 5 is a game. If his two previous installments already conquered us and made us think that the saga had hit the ceiling, Atlus wanted to show us how wrong we were taking the same formula but improving it at every imaginable level.
A long adventure, an interesting story that does not stop to improve with its dark and adult tone, a lot of activities to do, an exceptional combat system, an exemplary dungeon design, a breathtaking audiovisual section and unforgettable characters make this Delivers one of the best games we have had the pleasure of playing to date in any console . If you like the genre and the English do not suppose you any impediment, do yourself a favor and point the new Team Persona within your list of essential purchases. A new masterpiece.