I just finished this game yesterday so I just want to talk about it a lot okay? Don’t worry, I’ll stay away from spoilers and all that spooky stuff.
Persona 5 is something I waited for years. I was first introduced to the games around 2010 and Persona 4 is like the game that finally got me more into gaming, so Persona games are pretty close to my heart. I mean I had played games before, but I none of them had really had stories that made me care enough to stick with them until the end. Persona 4 basically had me crying over some of the things in it so I had no choice but to finish it even though things got ridiculously difficult towards the end. Persona 5 turned out to be no different and I didn’t even feel bad about completely dropping Mass Effect: Andromeda after only two weeks when Persona 5 came out.
In the game you are a 16-year-old boy who gets sent to live in Tokyo on a grumpy man’s attic because he’s on probation for a crime he supposedly committed. Later he discovers he has supernatural powers and he can enter a world called the Metaverse where he and his friends can change people’s hearts by stealing their Treasure. Basically they can make criminals feel bad about their crimes and confess. Their little Phantom Thief group gets really popular, so they keep doing their heart changing thing while also going to school and hanging out with friends and making other connections that could potentially help the Phantom Thief work. You also get to date cute girls of course! Or, you know, your doctor or teacher. Because that’s what you do.
Aaanyway, all the years they spent on making the game were clearly worth it, because I really can’t say I ran into any weird bugs and they had improved so many things compared to the older games. They had tried to make the dungeons less boring to go through by adding puzzle elements and sneaking to them instead of just running through randomly generated floors. At one point I actually had to get pen and paper to write some stuff down so I could proceed in the game. They still had a random dungeon too though, Mementos, which was similar to Tartarus in Persona 3 in that you could just explore it at your own pace rather than being tied to a time limit like the main plot dungeons. They had also added guns to combat, and brought back a fun thing from the older Shin Megami Tensei games: negotiating with the monsters you meet. Instead of just picking up random cards like in Persona 3 and 4 you need to talk the Personas into joining you, or you can tell them to give you money or items. This made battles a lot more interesting since you weren’t just doing it for exp, and sometimes the conversations were actually pretty hilarious.
One thing I had a lot of trouble with in the game was time management, but I don’t know how much of that is just me being a mess rather than the game being difficult. On your free time you can hang out with your friends (Confidants) or level up skills like Knowledge or Kindness that also help you proceed with your Confidant relationships and you really need to work to find some kind of balance with all that stuff to make sure you can get as many friendships to max level as possible, especially on your first playthrough. New Game+ will most likely be easier since the skill stats from your old save carry over there, so you don’t need to focus on those anymore. I built my relationships so badly! I think I only managed to max out 4 Confidants that weren’t automatic and it makes me sad. Especially the fact that I failed to get a romance scene with the character I had made my girlfriend because her Confidant rank was one level away from max and I ran out of time. Well, next time I’ll know better.
By the way, if anyone was wondering, I played Persona 5 on PS3 instead of PS4 and as far as I know there is barely any difference between the two version and the game looked great to me. If I can ever get my hands on a PS4 though I’m definitely buying the game again for it, this time as a physical copy.
Have I mentioned how much I loved this game? Despite all the frustratingly difficult dungeons and my cat constantly telling me to go to sleep instead of doing useful things, it was an amazing 120 hours. Definitely my personal game of the year.