With greater than a whole console technology between Persona 4 and Persona 5, the fanbase was subsided for a few years by means of a variety of spin-off video games. Many of those had been co-developed by completely different groups at ATLUS or exterior builders, from the Etrian Odyssey workforce with Persona Q to Arc System Works with Persona Four Enviornment. With 2020’s Persona 5 Royal launched on consoles final yr, we’ve got entered that ready interval till info on Persona 6 is rolled out, at any time when that’s. Till then, we lastly get to see what this subsequent wave of spin-off video games has to supply, beginning with Persona 5 Strikers for the PlayStation 4, Nintendo Swap and PC.
ATLUS is without doubt one of the newest in a rising line of online game corporations who’ve partnered with Koei Tecmo’s Omega Drive studio to carry their 1 vs 1000 fashion of hack’n’slash gameplay to a franchise. Now we have seen it with collection akin to Dragon Quest and The Legend of Zelda as of late, however how does Persona 5 Strikers evaluate? Frankly, it leads to not solely among the finest video games delivered by Omega Drive so far, however one of the vital wonderful Persona collection spin-offs!
One of the best ways of taking a look at Persona 5 Strikers is that’s strikes that steadiness between the core methods that made Persona 5 nice and the addictive instant-satisfaction that comes from a Warriors recreation. This in the end signifies that you don’t get some core mechanics akin to social hyperlinks, time administration or stat administration to cope with, and others akin to Persona fusion are restricted. In return, you obtain fast-paced fight and expansive open environments to discover.
Persona 5 Strikers takes place a number of months after Persona 5, with the self-named protagonist “Joker” returning to Tokyo to spend the summer season faculty holidays along with his fellow Phantom Thieves. This was attributable to be a interval of rest for the group, with preliminary plans to go tenting, away from town’s hustle and bustle. However circumstances change when Joker, Ryuji and Morgana exit to buy provides, the place they discover themselves drawn into the metaverse as soon as extra. Encountering the mysterious “companion of humanity” Sophia, and discovering the hyperlink between these new “Jails” and a preferred new app named EMMA, the Phantom Thieves begin a cross-Japan journey as they search out the existence of those unusual jails, change hearts and rescue the wishes of residents.
Whereas Persona 5 was a 100-hour epic with twists, turns, and a plentiful bounty of character growth – Persona 5 Strikers is significantly scaled again in its narrative, coming in at roughly 20-25 hours and a extra linear development. Which means that the storyline isn’t as satisfying or as packed in as its predecessor, but it surely includes a good mixture of returning and new characters, a story that matches the chronology with out feeling prefer it must tack on additional baggage (akin to characters from earlier video games) and seems like a becoming successor to the principle recreation. Shifting from the confines of Tokyo and travelling throughout Japan is a selected spotlight, giving a brand new little bit of surroundings to get pleasure from each few hours – carried throughout into the jail designs that make every distinctive.
By way of gameplay, Persona 5 Strikers presents an impressive steadiness between the star mechanics of every Persona collection and Omega Drive’s Warriors franchise. A primary for the Phantom Thieves, gamers can choose to play as any character they need, making up a celebration of 4 as they enter the jails (P5S’s model of Palaces). Every jail is made up of a collection of areas, which are sometimes blocked till a selected goal is reached, usually some “Defeat X” or “Accumulate Key Merchandise Y” to clear objective. As jails resemble town they’re shaped in, they’re giant in scale and supply a degree of epicness to them that Palaces beforehand couldn’t accomplish to the identical diploma. Every zone is crawling with shadows, which, when provoked, spawn waves of enemies – a majority of that are weak and some that are stronger. It’s oh so satisfying ploughing down wave after wave after wave of enemy whereas factoring in mob weaknesses (with all Persona 5 ability sorts returning), Personas to make use of in battle and making the most of environmental hazards.
Relying on which difficultly you play Persona 5 Strikers on, given the fast-paced nature of fight, you do lose a level of problem and trial-and-error that you just do in mainline video games. Even when you have no celebration members aligned with a bosses weak point, it may be very troublesome to get a Sport Over. In actual fact, the one time I noticed a recreation over throughout my playthrough was in the course of the primary dungeon, the place I used to be all of the sudden left with no backup towards swarms of enemies. The problem can be dissipated by means of how time is managed within the recreation. The dates introduced to gamers are purely meant to symbolise development by means of the story, subsequently gamers can depart and (re)enter jails anytime they wish to freely refresh their HP/SP and fill up on further provides.
Whereas Futaba stays an unplayable character because the Phantom Thieves’ Navi, she does present one of many extra vital challenges in every jail. At particular factors, gamers will want Futaba to hack by means of a door or different barrier and defend her towards a relentless barrage of enemies out to assault her. This additionally signifies that for the primary time, you possibly can equip armour to Futaba! Apart from this, fight won’t be probably the most revolutionary, however is oh, a lot enjoyable to play by means of.
By way of audiovisual high quality, the very fact it is a spin-off recreation doesn’t imply ATLUS has dropped the ball when it got here to the graphical, musical or voice appearing components, making the collection nice to play. Essentially the most appreciable threat with Persona 5 Strikers was whether or not or not the jails can be amply designed, given the necessity to favour giant areas throughout battle sequences. In any case, while you have a look at most Warriors video games, the locales are reasonably forgettable.
Maybe lower than the exact degree of element of the cities or palaces in the principle recreation, every of the jails, and in flip cities, had been of a excessive customary. Each part of the world created completely for Persona 5 Strikers was nicely designed, providing clear landmarks to help you in not getting misplaced. Plus, because the Phantom Thieves are travelling throughout Japan, you don’t keep on the place too lengthy, so it helps mitigate the sensation of boredom generally discovered going from Level A to Level B. I might argue the world building was higher within the first few dungeons, however they had been of a greater-than-expected high quality throughout the board. That is very true while you evaluate it towards different spin-off Warriors video games up to now – it seems like you might be preventing by means of warped variations of every metropolis reasonably than simply locales vaguely themed round a metropolis.
Music was additionally top-notch, with a brand new opening sequence titled “You might be Stronger” carried out by long-time Persona 5 Lyn Inaizumi, and some dozen new instrumental and lyrical songs, which assist get you pumped up for what lies forward. This features a nice remix of Rivers within the Desert, one among my favorite songs from the unique recreation. Not like the final spin-off recreation ATLUS West revealed (Persona Q2), dual-language help is included – with all the sport’s authentic voice forged returning, each the Phantom Thieves and supporting characters (even those that solely seem for a few strains). Megan Taylor Harvey and Tom Taylorson be a part of the lead forged as Sophia and Zenkichi Hasegawa, respectively, shining of their roles. The truth that Zenkichi is voiced by the identical man who portrayed Octodad, amazes me – such a distinction between blub blubs and badass but eccentric cop.
I’m considerably biased in my assessment of Persona 5 Strikers as I’m a large fan of the approachable and simple but satisfying 1-vs-1000 gameplay that Omega Drive has grow to be identified for delivering for nicely over a decade now. However whereas it’s no different for enjoying the good genre-defining Persona 5 (or higher but, Persona 5 Royal), there’s a lot enjoyable to get out of this newest spin-off recreation, and it ought to stay a becoming extension and continuation of the broader Persona 5 chronology. And once more… it’s so satisfying to mow down 100s of shadows a minute, reasonably than two or three!
If Persona 5 Strikers is the usual we will anticipate from future Persona 5 spin-offs, the look ahead to Persona 6 shall be way more tolerable.
Persona 5 Strikers shall be launched exterior Japan from 23 February 2021 on the PlayStation 4, Nintendo Swap and Home windows PC. Buying its Digital Deluxe Version on any digital distribution platform will grant you entry to it from proper now!