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Persona 5 Royal - Review


It seems this is the limit of humanity


After years of wanting to play Persona 5 Royal (P5R), Atlus finally made the game available for PC and it’s by far the longest turn-based JRPG I have played. There is so much content for me to cover, and I don’t think this review will do this game justice on how much there is available.



Pros and Cons

Pros

- A fantastic story that will teach you the meaning of freedom

- Great characters that have impressive development and personality

- Fun turn-based combat with many unique abilities

- Lots of stuff to do in the overworld

- Awesome soundtrack that is just nice to listen to

- Beautiful graphics and unique style to the visuals


Cons

- The dialog is a bit weird during the cutscenes

- Getting the best ending in the game is a bit cumbersome



Story

The story starts out with Ren Amamiya (you can change his name) who was falsely accused of assault one night when trying to defend a woman. He is then labeled a criminal and is now on probation as well as sent to Sujin Academy where he will continue his second year of High School. He moves into the attic at Cafe Leblanc thanks to the help of Sojiro Sakura who is taking care of him for his probation period. He also gets his first new friend at his new high school who goes by the name of Ryuji Sakamoto.


That is all I will go into for the story of P5R, there is a lot for me to talk about and it would take at least half of this review to even talk about the beginning portion of the game. The story is just outright fantastic, and the characters shined greatly. They made the story just outright fun, with my three favorites being Ryuji Sakamoto, Yusuke Kitagawa, and Goro Akechi. I liked their personalities and how they all go along. There are other characters I liked as well but those three shined to me the most. I could make an entire review on the characters alone for the game, as there is just so much to talk about with them and the story.


The only issue I had with the story is how some of the dialog is presented in the game. This mainly stems from the English dub. There are times when characters will say "this means in English" while speaking English; I know they are in Japan but it just sounds awkward. I don’t mind if the dialog is changed in English dubs a tad bit and this is coming from someone who does prefer their subs over dubs. I was just too used to playing the Persona games in English when I started with P4G. This is, of course, my opinion only and you can play the game in whatever language you prefer.



Gameplay

The gameplay for P5R is probably one of the hardest things for me to explain in this review as there is so much to talk about. However, I will go over combat first as that is the main gameplay feature of the game. In combat, you and your party members will have a certain Persona with their own abilities, as well as a weakness to another ability. This also applies to the enemies that you will encounter as well. If you, a party member, enemy, or boss exploit a weakness, they will get an extra turn to do whatever they want.

However, new to P5 (as this feature was in the original version) is the Baton Pass feature, which allows a party member who exploited a weakness to allow a different party member to attack. This can be useful in some battles if different enemies have different weaknesses, so if one enemy is weak to ice and the other to wind and you have two party members or if Joker (who is Ren Amamiya} has a Persona who can cover those weaknesses and already had his turn. The Baton Pass mechanic is a handy feature that I recommend you take advantage of. You can also get some extra benefits from Baton Passing as well, like restoring some HP, SP, and doing extra damage. However, you do need to hang out with your party members to get these benefits.


During combat, Joker’s Personas will stop learning moves, what you can do then is go to Igor, who will then fuse your unwanted Personas into new and more powerful ones. You can get new Personas after battle but the method of getting them is different. Shuffle Time has been removed and now you need to try and talk your way to understand the enemy and if both of your responses go along with what the enemy is feeling, you get a new Persona.


If you knock all the enemies down in combat, then you can do these All-Out Attacks. These attacks will damage all enemies while doing physical damage, this will bypass physical immunity or resistance if the enemy has it.


However, there is lots of stuff for you to do outside of combat, you can spend time together with your party members or other friends. This will increase your social links, which can be used for helping give the Personas you fuse extra levels and experience, which will make them stronger than usual and they may learn a few extra useful moves as well. Your party members will also learn new abilities in combat that will help you out in certain situations, so I highly recommend you go out and hang out with everyone as much as you can.



You will also get requests to help other people out in Mementos, this is another area of the game that you can use to farm your Personas and party members. I also recommend doing these as you can get some nice rewards when exploring the place which can be very useful in combat. Your party members will also have some conversations sometimes with each other that add to their character altogether.


Although, I do have one issue with the game and that is the method of getting the true ending of the game, which is entirely unique to P5R. To get this ending, you need to max out three social links in the game and to add to this Goro Akechi’s social does not progress in the story like in the original P5, you must hang out with him. All of these have a time limit, but the game gives you more than enough time to get all three of them maxed out, so there is that. It’s still cumbersome to do though, as you can’t really miss a day to hang out with at least two of them. One of the social links you can max out with no issue as it’s small and that character is also unique to P5R but the other two you must hang out with when they call you. This is not a big issue but something that still annoyed me, nonetheless.



Soundtrack

The soundtrack for P5R is honestly one of the best things of the game, every song I listened to was just fantastic and I loved them all. My favorites have to be Life Will Change, Rivers In The Desert, Take Over, Last Surprise, and Ark. As you can tell, that is a long list of my favorite songs in the game, they are all honesty great.



Graphics and Performance

P5R is a beautiful game both in its 2D and 3D art style, I loved looking at all of the games areas it has to offer. I tested the game on an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 3GB, AMD Ryzen 5 1500X Quad-Core Processor 3.50 and 16 GB of RAM. I experienced no issues while playing which ran at a smooth 60 FPS.




Final Verdict

If you are looking for a great turn-based JRPG with a lot of depth and obvious care from the developer, then I highly recommend Persona 5 Royal. There is a lot to do in the title and this review does not do the game justice, at best, I have only talked about at least 10% of the game itself and it’s only because I can only fit so much into a review without risk of spoiling the story. If you want to uncover what this game has to offer, the only thing I recommend is to play the game yourself.



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