Persona is one of the oldest current game series but outside of Japan, not all that many people know about it. It originally launched in 1996 with Revelations: Persona on the Playstation (it was later re-released in 2009 on the PSP). The latest game in the series, Persona 5 is technically the sixth game.
I understand that the look of the game might put a lot of people off but for anyone who, like me, enjoys anime styling; you will probably find it to be a breath of fresh air compared with other games that are currently on the market. It’s simplistic yet really effective and although it may look simple, the level of detail is really quite something. Personally, I find it to be drawn in a more caricature way than most anime, think of it as half way between anime and a Telltale games title (Wolf among us, walking dead etc.)
The main protagonist is the strong, silent type. When he isn’t defeating monsters he just lives a regular teenage life. Players are able to attend school, work a job, watch a movie, play Baseball etc. during the day and then at night they can break into museums and cathedrals to slay monsters and steal their persona’s. It’s a really interesting dynamic that is made even more enticing by the time aspect in the game. When you perform a daytime task, time advances. This means that you can only do so much during the game. If you choose to earn extra money by working so that you can buy weapons, you will miss out on improving certain skills which would also help you during the game. This can be frustrating to some people who just want to be good at everything but it means that you can replay the game in a completely different way.
As with most JRPG’s the combat system is completely turn-based. This can put players off but not me who has been a Final Fantasy fanboy since my childhood. It runs really smoothly and makes for some really strategic encounters where players have to plan out their battles rather than just jump in and button bash. There is also a large puzzle solving element to Persona 5 where no two puzzles are the same. In parts, it’s a game that require real thought and doesn’t treat players like they are stupid, which is something that a smart-ass like me really enjoys.
Another of the interesting elements (which is throughout the whole series) is that when you slay monsters you can acquire their persona, which allow you to completely change your play style when it comes to battling. You can apply and combine different persona’s to create play-styles that have never been seen before.
Persona 5 is an amazingly refreshing game to play. It’s half teen simulator, half bad ass hero dynamic was brilliantly pulled off and it is thoroughly interesting to play both halves. The only thing that irritated me was the occasional moments where textures clip through each other.