Persona 5 is not a new title in the gaming and especially JRPG gaming world. Whether you are into JRPGs or not, you are bound to have come across this title at some point in your gaming life. Initially released on September 15th 2017, Persona 5 took the gaming world by storm and garnered critical acclaim and a very high hit rate with fans of the genre alike. Persona 5 Royal is sure to strike some of those exact same notes and possibly resonate even better for those returning once again. The world has been expanded in a very meaningful way with some new characters added and a refreshed role for some others, but that’s all I’ll let on about that(sorry no spoilers here).
Having said all of that, I have to caveat it all with this… If you are not particularly into JRPGs (Japanese role-playing games) and are not particularly fond of turn-based combat systems, linear gameplay and a predetermined story, this one may very well not be for you.
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The story in Persona 5 Royal is without a doubt the star here. It is easily the biggest point of focus and everything is driven by the story with some rich character development and plot points as you go on your way. There are of course quite a few battles and though they may seem a bit slow and laboured and monotonous, to begin with, they too flourish into some bombastically flamboyant affairs later on, but more on that anon.
There are a couple of new characters added as mentioned before and, thankfully, they have been integrated in a rather seamless, non-jarring manner, especially Kasumi and Doctor Murami. It’s not an easy thing to add new characters to a story with a stellar and already much-loved cast, so hats off for pulling it off so well here.
The pacing of the story in general can be a bit dragged out in parts especially later on, but even that doesn’t do much to damper down the enjoyment of Persona 5 Royal.
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Persona 5 Royal Gameplay
The gameplay has some smaller changes as well, including being able to run, making social interactions and them calling or texting you and earning some social link points and having the option to either go out or do some other little things around Le Blanc.
Momentos haven’t changed much aside from adding Jose, who sells you items and also grants bonuses etc.
Joker has a fun new grappling hook added which opens up a bit of vertical play and, of course, means some expansion to the palaces as well. A great addition in my estimation.
The reinvention of gunplay and ammo economy in Persona 5 Royal is also a welcome change and brings a fun new element to combat as this was definitely a subpar area in the previous release.
The bosses’ combat scenes have also changed a bit with new phases added. Additionally, new demons have been added(new and returning.
Persona traits and skill accessories are a fantastic new addition which opens up exciting new and previously inaccessible combos. Be sure to build into this and play around to figure out some favourite combos moving forward.
There is definitely more to discover within the gameplay and story but I’ll leave all that for you to enjoy discovering.
I’m not entirely sure how you will find this aspect of the game but it did play out a little bit too easy at times for me. This is largely due to all the new additions and improvements that make you extremely overpowered early on. That being said, this too adds to the fun of the game and if you are so inclined, you can try hard mode, especially challenge mode, which is super fun and challenging.
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The entire look of Royal is definitely an improvement on Persona 5 and adds to the overall new freshness to an old story. There is new dynamic music added on top of that which just serves to enhance and top it all off.
Persona 5 Royal Verdict
Persona 5 Royal is a fun story-driven game that feels a lot like watching an interactive anime, where you get to control and direct dialogue through your response choices, but also be the decision-making in how your entire team approaches its combat. A fantastic story with some great characters and character arcs, fun combat and a whole lot more. Persona 5 Royal is a great follow-up and, dare I say, an improvement on the already well-loved and critically acclaimed, Persona 5.
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Persona 5 Royal