Game: Persona 5 Strikers
Genre: Action RPG
System: Steam (Also available on Nintendo Switch and PS4/PS5 through Backwards Compatibility)
Developer | Publisher: Koei Tecmo, Omega Force, P-Studio| Atlus
Age Rating: US M | EU 16+
Price: US $59.99 | UK £54.99 | EU €59.99
Release Date: February 23rd 2021
Review code used with many thanks to Atlus West and Koch Media Benelux!
Persona 5 Strikers is an Action JRPG developed by Omega Force in collaboration with P-Studio and published by Atlus. The game is a spin-off sequel to Persona 5 that aims to combine it’s very unique style and gameplay elements with the action-oriented gameplay of Koei Tecmo’s flagship Warriors franchise. Is this collaboration worth your time? Let’s find out!
A Striking Style!
Much like its predecessor Persona 5 Strikers has a very striking art style and aesthetic and it isn’t afraid to flaunt it! From the character design to the menus there is a lot of style and flair that makes the game brim with personality because of it!
Performance-wise the PC Port runs at 60FPS with an option to have it run at 30FPS and the port is really well optimized in my opinion. The game has been playable and smooth on my gaming laptop with an Nvidia GTX 950M graphics card on the lower settings. However, you can tweak and fine-tune the graphics settings to your preferences and PC/laptop specs accordingly.
The Soundtrack of the game is also really amazing including a few of the songs from the original game. There are also amazing new tracks and even remixed tracks from both the composer of the various Warriors franchise games and the composer of Persona 5‘s amazing soundtrack. It makes for an amazing mix of P5’s jazzy tunes and Warriors’ guitar-shredding rock!
The voice acting, which is available in both English and Japanese, is also really top-notch and well done!
An Exciting Road Trip!
The story of Persona 5 Strikers takes place four months after the original games’ ending. The Protagonist, known by his codename Joker, and Morgana return to Tokyo to have a reunion with their friends and fellow phantom thieves and spend time with each other for the summer vacation on a camping and road trip.
At the same time, there have been some strange incidents occurring. These incidents involve the hearts of people being changed resulting in strange or rather violent events happening with the authorities suspecting Joker and the Phantom Thieves as the number one suspect in this scenario.
While preparing for their camping trip the protagonist and his friends find themselves involved in this mystery. It’s up to them to solve the mystery behind these strange incidents that happen all across Japan to clear their name on this wild road trip!
In my opinion, the story of this game is really entertaining and it also manages to capture the themes of exposing the darker parts of the human mind and standing up to corrupt individuals who abuse people for their own benefit and twisted desires of the original. It also has lighthearted and fun moments to balance things out.
The narrative and character development is surprisingly well done despite the linear and condensed approach.
I also have to say that I enjoyed a good few of the new characters in this game! Like the mysterious AI known as Sophia and the easy-going cop known as Zenkichi Hasegawa to name a few. They also get a decent amount of screentime and attention during the course of the game!
I definitely feel that fans will enjoy this game’s story a lot and seeing the Phantom Thieves back in action. But I also feel that newcomers to the series may have a hard time getting into the story.
It’s not impossible to enjoy it without playing the original game but it is something I do recommend since the story is a direct continuation of Persona 5.
Striking the Jails!
Gameplay-wise Persona 5 Strikers has the player explore the real world along with exploring the various Jails within the Metaverse. It takes a good amount of elements from its predecessor but it also changes things up in a way. The calendar in this game is there for show and you don’t have any deadlines so you can take your time.
The confidant system from the original also isn’t present in this game being replaced by the BOND System. You can increase your BOND Level through winning battles but it also increases during certain story segments and events with your party members. As you level that up you gain points that you can use to gain various passive skills and buffs. These will benefit you a lot during your trips into the various Jails!
Aside from these much of what made Persona 5 stand out from other games in the JRPG genre is here. Such as being able to fuse various Personas that you will get for your protagonist and strengthen them in the Velvet Room and swap between those on the fly during combat, so you can exploit your enemies weaknesses during it. You can also swap between your active party members that have their own Persona and their own set of special skills that you can utilize along with flashy All-Out attacks that also have an awesome cut-in animation when it is used on stronger enemies and bosses. Your characters also learn various Master Arts that add to their move-list as combos that allow you to do follow up attacks.
The combat system of the game follows the Musou formula so you have light and heavy attack combos that you can perform and over the top and flashy attacks known as Showtime Attacks. Though if you think this is going to be a mindless button-masher due to the fact it uses this formula you couldn’t be more wrong!
This game can be pretty challenging and enemies will steam-roll you if you approach it from that perspective. You will need to keep a close eye on your HP and SP while you explore the Jails, especially during the first one where SP restoring items are pretty scarce to come by.
You also get to explore the real world which offers you many stores to shop for healing items and ingredients you can use to cook meals that also have various positive effects. You also spend time in the real world to investigate your targets that rule their respective Jails which requires you to talk to various NPCs and listen in on their conversations. Sophia also offers a lot of items and equipment through her shop at the Phantom Thieves’ Hideout.
While I do enjoy the Musou-style gameplay a lot I do feel that mid-bosses and bosses take a long while to beat as you have to whittle down their defenses and they can tank hits like a pro even on the Normal Difficulty. However, I enjoyed the fights I had with the main jail bosses as they have their own attacks and gimmicks. I do feel that you need to grind a good bit if you want to deal a lot more damage to them.
Persona 5 Strikers is a game I really enjoyed playing and definitely one of the best Action-RPG collaborations I have seen come out of Koei Tecmo’s Omega Force studio!
The trademark bombastic style of the original is still present and it’s elements shine through! The gameplay is really simple but also fun. I definitely will call this a worthy follow up to the original!
I recommend this game 100% especially to those that have played Persona 5 or Persona 5 Royal.
Final Verdict: Two Thumbs Up!