Lets get into Edge-lord Pokemon… Wait… That’s not right is it? Well it sorta is… Persona 5 is a collect em’ all challenge with a twist. What if all Pokemon were into dark eye liner and had a raging skull fetish? YOU’D GET PERSONAS… I’m gonna be really mean in this review, and give it a fair score, because all of the other video game reviewers have suddenly forgotten that not everyone in the world is into anime.
Art Style Atmosphere and Ambiance(includes music score): 1.5/2.5
The art is good, save that most of the textures are last gen, and just have the shiny new sheen of the modern gen console, so it lost a point, the music is good at first but when you realize the game only has a few themes and they don’t vary from zone to zone the repetition begins to kill you. The anime cut-scenes are a strong point if you enjoy the art form, but they’re certainly nothing impressive, and don’t even compare to this years graphical releases.
Combat, Collectibles, Armor and Weapons: 1.5/2.5
The rock paper scissors RPG combat is strong in this one, it’s actually one of my favorite parts of the game as once you figure it out. (should take roughly 15 minutes of combat) but you won’t see any of the combat for a bit, you get a few “you can’t lose fights” during the intro, but it takes roughly an hour to see any more of it… The collectibles are fun to find, even though they’re mostly gonna get sold at the air-soft shop which is your private armory. You get two weapon choices per chapter which is actually really low, but you’re collecting personas the entire game, and they vary in aesthetics quite a bit, which is more than you can say for the cast members actual weapons which change minimally from upgrade to upgrade.
Exploration and Mechanics: 1.8/2.5
Exploring the “Palaces” and the “meMentos” is the highlight of the game for me. Adapting stealth mechanics to RPG combat actually works really well, because the classic Final Fantasy move of “your party got ambushed, hope you’re high enough level to not get a game over” is only caused by you stinking at sneaking. Don’t worry if you’re not a pro stealth gamer, Persona 5 will hold your hand so hard it’s painful to get caught at sneaking. Unfortunately you spend more time outside of the fun dungeons than you do in them as meaningful stat gains, experience boosts, better abilities are all gated behind you getting involved in the hyperbolic lives of these Tokyo Teenagers… If you enjoy the tell tale franchise of linear story movies that disguise themselves as video games than you’re gonna love these mechanics. Mostly I skipped the dialogue and then used the Log feature to skip back and gain context for the skill point checks(saves you roughly 40 hours of gameplay… not a hyperbole)
The games narrative is where it’s supposed to stand out, and if I were an angsty teenager aching to be the prom king I’d probably eat the story right up. Seeing how I’m in my mid 20’s and married, that’s not really something I yearn to go back to. The story is complete with illicit student-teacher relationships, an inappropriate doctor patient relationship, two teenage knock-outs, a painter who is into dudes(you play as a dude so yeah romance option). Oh and the obligatory anime trope of the obnoxious does-nothing-right best friend. Ack. It’s not poorly written or even poorly acted it’s just angst ridden and childish.