This week a demo for the upcoming Persona 5 sequel-spinoff released on the Japanese e-shop (and Playstation store). Made with Koei Tecmo it takes the setting, characters and systems of Persona 5. Then mixes it with Warriors style combat to create an action rpg.
Since it’s in Japanese I can’t quite pick up the story but I can feel the gist. Along with information I’ve garnered from promotional sources. It is set a few months after the original Persona 5’s ending. It definitely spoils the game (one thing in the demo was visual so you don’t need the language to be spoiled). So unless you don’t care about being spoiled for a 60+hr game, don’t play this demo. In this game a new AI app has arrived that’s all the rage.
When you and Ryuiji receive a promotional card from an idol to use with the AI, it ends up transporting you to a palace. Something that after the events of the original game, shouldn’t be accessible to them anymore. In here you find the ruler of the palace and a strange girl with whom you try to find the exit. That is where the demo ends.
Not A Warriors Game
You do have masses of enemies that can be cleaned up with combos, and a big finishing move that builds up over time. Other than that though, combat has a few more features, and the structure of levels appear to be entirely different than a Warriors (Musou) game. Taking from Persona 5 you have your gun which can be shot (especially to take down flying enemies), and your Persona. As you progress you’ll gain new Personas which like the main game have different elements and spells. These spells can be used in combat and if striking the weaknesses you can do something similar to an all-out-attack, which conveniently hits all enemies nearby it. I assume there might be some story reason why you don’t have your old Personas. There’s also environmental actions, as you can leap up on and swing around lamp posts to take out enemies.
The SP is finite per area just like Palaces but you can buy and earn items to restore it. In this demo you get to explore the area around LeBlanc (but can only interact with the vending machine). From what I’ve seen of promotional material you go on a road trip around Japan and will be able to interact with these new areas like the ones in Persona 5. These changes to combat, and the fact (as far as I can tell from the demo) that you aren’t clearing up the map to take it over makes a welcome change. While I enjoy cross-over Warriors games this feels much more fleshed out. Enough to make me want to play it given it’s a single player experience only.
I played Persona 5 on the Playstation 3 last year. From memory, this Switch sequel seems to be not too far off those visuals. At least with this game I haven’t seen any screen tearing yet. The only thing that looks worse is Ryuji’s hair. Of course the UI and that take from Persona 5’s style with some nice new menus that are colour coded and feature other Phantom Thieves. It also has some nice animated cutscenes like the original game did.
The music is remixed I especially loved the Last Surprise mix. It’s a bit rock-style. Of course having played Hyrule Warriors I knew that the music was going to be great. Especially in comparison to the dancing spin-off.
Later Than Sooner
This releases in Japan on February 20th. I’m really hoping we get a release date for outside Japan soon. Though it’s likely we don’t hear anything until after Persona 5: The Royal (March 31st). I’m not sure whether to get it on PlayStation or Switch. I’m sure it’ll look prettier on PlayStation. I also don’t have to worry about missing out on any bonuses. As you get some extra soundtracks if you have P5/P5R data on your PS4 or for Switch any Super Smash Bros Ultimate save data.
So far the only DLC that has been announced is a pre-order bonus of more music. Since this is a single player RPG it might not have the same DLC releases as a normal Warriors game. Though if it does have any non-story modes I hope for more characters. Surely cosmetics may come eventually (the PQ2 style costumes that are in The Royal would be cool!). They better fix the character limit for your name in English. It’s only two lots of three in the Japanese version!
If you’re interested in some Persona the protagonist of this and Persona 5/R is a DLC character for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. Another crossover game for the Persona series is Persona Q and Q2 which are on the 3DS and have a more dungeon crawl style. Persona 3 Portable and Persona 4 Golden are available on the Playstation Vita. If you’re into Rhythm games and don’t mind being spoiled on Persona 4, you can get Persona 4: Dancing All Night on the Vita. Persona itself is a spin-off series of Shin Megami Tensei games, some of which are available on 3DS. Plus another spin-off now containing a Joker costume, has been ported to Switch that being Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE Encore.