Persona 5 Royal Review | Tom’s Guide

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Persona 5 Royal adds even more content to one of the genre’s longest-running Japanese role-playing games (JRPGs), but fans of the series probably won’t mind. First released as Persona 5 in 2016, Persona 5 Royal is an updated version of the original game, which adds new characters, battle system tweaks, quality of life improvements, and a semester. extra, with its own palace. What sets this new release apart is that Persona 5 Royal is no longer a PlayStation exclusive. Players can now experience this game on Xbox Series X/S, PC and Nintendo Switch.

Persona 5 Royal review: Specifications

Platforms: Nintendo Switch (tested) PS4, PS5, Xbox Series X/S, PC

Price: $60

Release date: October 21, 2022

Gender:JRPG

Although an improved version of the fifth Persona game, Persona 5 Royal is a great starting point for players new to the series. Throughout the game’s 100+ hour story, players explore dungeons, battle increasingly difficult enemies, and capture new Personas to expand their arsenal. In between destroying palaces, you attend high school in Tokyo and engage in activities to improve your social stats.

Even all these years after its initial release, Persona 5 Royal has something for everyone, with a diverse cast of characters, engaging combat, and a story full of mystery. Our Persona 5 Royal review will help you decide if it’s one of the best nintendo switch gamesor if you’re better off playing it on a next-gen console instead.

Persona 5 Royal review: Gameplay

character 5 royal

(Image credit: Atlus)

Persona 5 Royal’s gameplay is split between exploring palaces, which serve as the game’s dungeons, and experiencing daily life as a high school student.

In Palaces, the heroes, called the Phantom Thieves, battle enemies known as Shadows. During battle, four party members take on increasingly difficult enemies using their Personas, which are a manifestation of each character’s personality. While the rest of the team only have one Persona each, the protagonist is able to wield multiple Personas simultaneously. He can also recruit Shadows defeated in battle to fight alongside him as Personas.

In addition to physical attacks, each character can use elemental skills to quickly take down enemies. By paying close attention to an enemy’s weaknesses, players can neutralize enemies with the right attacks. When the Phantom Thieves knock down all enemies, the party can team up and launch an all-out attack for stacks of damage. Similarly, once a character hits an enemy’s weakness, they can hand the rest of their turn over to another party member in a move called Baton Pass. Unlike the original game, Persona 5 Royal lets you chain these Baton Passes together for even more damage.

Discovering each enemy’s weakness and exploiting it properly is what makes Persona 5 Royal’s battles fun. Instead of just attacking your enemies until their health is depleted, you need to strategize accordingly to pull off an all-out attack. It’s also very rewarding when you see the custom animations that follow these attacks.

Going to school is just as important as tearing down palaces, as answering questions correctly during class will help you improve your knowledge. There are even mid-sessions, as well as a final exam. These sections of the game serve to break up the action, though I also liked how they give you additional insight into each character’s personality.

Persona 5 Royal review: Social activities

character 5 royal

(Image credit: Atlus)

When the course is over for the day, you have the afternoon and evening to participate in different activities. Whether it’s reading books, playing retro games, watching DVDs, going to the movies, or working part-time, there’s always something to do in Persona 5 Royal. Even if you only have a few minutes to play each day, you can still do a lot in the game. Increasing your social stats is as rewarding as leveling up your team.

Apart from the activities, you can also hang out with your friends and the other characters you meet in Tokyo. By building stronger relationships with them, you will be able to create powerful new Personas to aid you in battle. All of the disparate parts of Persona 5 Royal feed off each other, which helped keep me going, even at times when I wanted to stop and play something else instead.

When you’re doing activities or socializing with your friends, time flies and there’s only so much you can do in a day. You need to spend your time wisely, though, if you want to master each of the game’s five skills (Knowledge, Courage, Skill, Kindness, and Charm). Increasing these skills can become addictive, and you may find yourself playing just one more day in the game, much the same way Civilization players tell themselves they’ll play just one more round. .

Persona 5 Royal Review: Story

character 5 royal

(Image credit: Atlus)

Persona 5 Royal tells the story of a group of high school students who gain the ability to enter a cognitive world formed by the collective unconscious of humanity. This world is called the Metaverse. The teenagers dub themselves The Phantom Thieves, and they work together to bring down the Metaverse Palaces, which manifest the twisted desires of corrupt adults.

The story starts strong. The Phantom Thieves pull off a heist inside a casino, which actually takes place later in the game. This opening section introduces you to the protagonist, whom the police arrest shortly after learning the basics of the game. exploration and combat. After a brief interrogation by prosecutor Sae Niijima, the story returns to the beginning of the school year, when the protagonist arrives in Tokyo.

This is not the only time jump, as the game uses them often. This mechanic works well, as the sections set in the future show just how powerful The Phantom Thieves are becoming, while also adding a bit of mystery to the plot. These time jumps even give players a glimpse of which corrupt adult The Phantom Thieves will target next.

While the protagonist exudes an air of mystery, his best friend and former track star Ryuji Sakamoto is more outspoken and brash. Meanwhile, aspiring model Ann Takamaki is thoughtful and often serves as the voice of reason for The Phantom Thieves. Along with being their guide to the Metaverse, the cat-like Morgana provides some much-needed comic relief. They’re the first characters you meet, but the rest of the cast all have interesting traits and personalities, encouraging players to get to know them better.

For the most part, Persona 5 Royal tells its story through cutscenes and dialogue, but party chats on your phone also convey important information or story points. Sometimes the game almost feels more like a virtual novel. If the plot resonates with you, its presentation probably won’t bother you. But if you just want to keep the action going, you might be bored by the amount of story Persona 5 Royal has to tell.

Persona 5 Royal’s story is not without its downsides, however, including some pacing issues towards the middle of the game. New players can also easily miss the third semester of classes, which is a rewarding new addition to Persona 5 Royal. The third half is worth living, especially since it gives the game’s story a more compelling conclusion. However, if you don’t plan accordingly, you may not be able to play at all.

Persona 5 Royal review: Visuals and sound

character 5 royal

(Image credit: Atlus)

Despite the limitations of Nintendo’s hybrid console, Persona 5 Royal looks and works well on the Nintendo Switch, in both TV and handheld modes. There are some slight slowdowns when enemy hoards appear on screen, but nothing groundbreaking. Load times are fast and I didn’t notice any lag in the hours I spent playing the game.

By opting for a stylized design as opposed to a more realistic design, Atlus has allowed Persona 5 Royal to still look great on the Switch, even with its less powerful hardware. Persona 5 Royal’s red, black, and white color scheme is prominent throughout the game in menus, battles, and even when checking your smartphone for incoming messages. At the same time, menu animations run smoothly. The game’s sound effects mimic the way the protagonist moves when sneaking into a palace, which helps you feel like a phantom thief.

The soundtrack is another strong point of Persona 5, and it’s hard not to have the catchy songs stuck in your head. As you explore Tokyo’s different neighborhoods, you’ll often hear slower, heartier songs, and even a few instrumental tracks. However, as you head into the Metaverse, the tempo of the music kicks up a notch to match the action unfolding onscreen.

Persona 5 Royal review: Verdict

character 5 royal

(Image credit: Atlus)

Persona 5 Royal puts a fresh coat of polish on what was already a successful modern take on the traditional JRPG. From new characters and dialogue to an extra semester of optional gameplay, there’s more than enough content here to justify the price of the game, even if you’ve played Persona 5 before. feel right at home, Persona 5 Royal also makes the game more accessible for newcomers, with tweaks to its combat system and quality of life improvements, like Morgana not nagging you repeatedly to go to bed .

If you like a good mystery and have the patience to get through the slower parts in the middle of Persona 5 Royal, The Phantom Thieves might steal your heart too. Now that the game is available on all major consoles, there’s never been a better time to give it a shot. Just be sure to clear your calendar first, because once Persona 5 Royal hooks you, the actual days go by just as quickly as the in-game ones.

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