The Atlus USA Youtube channel released a trailer last week and the title hyped me up within seconds. The Phantom Thieves Are Ready to Roll on April 4th. After three years of delays and waiting and crazy anticipation this last trailer was somehow assuring me that this time finally, Atlus was ready to give North America and Europe what it’s home country Japan has enjoyed since September of last year.
When Atlus revealed the official PS5 website and it dawned on me that the reality of playing it before the year 2020 was actually conceivable, I was beyond ecstatic. Persona 4 was one of my all-time favorite titles besides classics such as The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time and Final Fantasy VII (among many other installments in the series). I replayed Persona 4 when the Golden edition was released and talked to every gamer I knew about it. There were so many aspects of that game I loved, from the unique battle style to the murder crime solving plot and personable characters.
Now Persona 5 will be releasing next month on April 4th and it’s looking like what I loved in PS4 will be reflected in the newest installment. Atlus kept the fans in mind in terms of what differentiated the Persona series and made it special when placed alongside other JRPG’s. Persona was the standout because of the character connections you made in the game (cough cough! Social links…) the choices you made everyday in-game, the humor and complexity of the characters and how distinguished it all was in the art design and dialogue.
Rather than Zelda’s Breath of the Wild or Horizon Dawn or any of the other amazing open world, pretty games that have made the year before 2017 even started — I’m far more excited about Persona 5 destroying my life for the month or so it will take to complete it.
My excitement can be split into the 5 main points below, from top to bottom. Take a look and see what upcoming Persona 5 highlights earn it best game of the year award in Tech Gurl’s world.
If you’ve ever played any of the previous Persona games you know too well how deliciously complex and lengthy the stories tend to be. It might just be me, but one of the reasons I pick up an RPG is the expectation that I’ll be playing it for a while. I can only really speak for Persona 4, but it delivered a memorable tale with an outcome heavily influenced by the player’s choices. I’m an avid mystery-crime fan and will consume practically any book, film or video game with a suspect involved, so it’s no wonder Persona 4’s plot involving mysterious small-town murders had me instantly captivated. It was one of the best mysteries I had the fortune of solving, because it gave me everything I could want from the genre: a well-written and organized plot, characters I constantly second guessed and an all-important sense of urgency and suspicion as I progressed further into the story. All these things pulled me into the Persona 4 world and kept me there until the end.
The Persona 5 plot will undoubtedly share the same lure Persona 4 possessed for me. You can tell it has the same feel of the young overcoming some greater evil with double lives. We see in earlier trailers Atlus has released — that the protagonist as a student with a group of friends enter a different world for the good of their own. I wanted Persona 5 to share the basic story similarities as Persona 4, as a fan I almost demanded it. The high school setting, the troupe of teenagers fighting in dungeons, the time progressing aspect, the freedom to advance certain relationships or skills over others. It’s not dull, it’s exciting to know that Atlus is passing those aspects on to Persona 5. Not that Persona 5 will be a complete copy of it’s predecessor in terms of the content and gaming style. We can expect additions such as the Hold Up mechanic in battle, allowing you to question an enemy after dropping all foes to critical condition as well as a similar but revamped social link system that will be known as communication. I’m looking forward to starting on the new storyline with the three main characters and discovering all the other additions Persona 5 has to share.
The characters in Persona games are the best things about them alongside the story because they make the story. I remember meeting Yusuke the dork/pervert, Chie the kung-fu fanatic and Yukiko the not-just-a-pretty-girl at the beginning of Persona 4 and absolutely loving them for being so personable but complicated at the same time. The cast of characters grew as I progressed through the game and each one was distinct and memorable. I wished they were my real friends! (Without the introduction of them being kidnapped and thrown in another dimension to die…) We have sneak peeks into the new characters in Persona 5 and
Now I love all the Persona 4 characters, but anyone who’s played it understands they have a incredibly important and decisive choice to make when it comes to women in this game. Since the protagonist is male maxing social link’s with certain females allowed you to become “intimate” and have them confess to you. I’ll admit, though you’re never forced to date any of the girls in Persona 4 I ended up choosing (not telling!) one and reaching level 10 on our social link. Any true fan will have a favorite (or several) females in the game that they swear by as best in appeal, personality and overall character. It will be no different in Persona 5 with multiple women to choose from both inside and outside the main phantom thieves group, which I might mention is mostly comprised of women…
Just from the character descriptions on the site megamitensei, Ann Takamaki is beautiful and headstrong but also seems vulgar despite her appearance. Kids at school misunderstand her and she is hard to make friends with but once you gain her trust she’s extremely loyal. I connect with Futaba Sakura on such a deep level! (More than I care to admit…) She communicates mainly through the internet and has a fear of being outside, often wearing masks and hiding behind the protagonist. Being so isolated causes Sakura to feel hopeless and it leads to dark, suicidal thoughts. I just want to give her a big hug and show her how lovable the world can be! Haru Okumura is this adorable, pink-wearing rich kid who has trouble picking out good friend from bad friend on account of her family’s wealth. She finds true friendship and an outlet for self-expression when she joins the Phantom Thieves. Last but not least, my personal favorite, Makoto Nijima is both ideal in personality and appearance, with her serious demeanor that’s offset by the occasional peek into her softer, more childish side. She’s terrified of all things horror but is so mature on the outside you would never have guessed it. She’ll most likely be the female I would choose to date in-game.
The Art Style/Design
It’s clear that Persona 5 has a very distinct art style that was chosen for it to match the phantom thief/drama theme. Not unlike Persona 4 with it’s yellow, green and white color scheme — Persona 5 has red, more red and some white and black. Which contrast fantastically with one another, providing a very dramatic and stylish feel to the overall design and feel of the game. It comes off as a bit gothic but I love how to brings the game together and may even be the main appeal for new fans to try the Persona series.
The Soundtrack/Background Music
Tata ta ta, ta ta ta taaaaa ta ta ta taaaa ta ta…. oh sorry about that, you were expecting me to talk about why I have a category just for music in Persona 5 right? Well….
I can sing, hum, whistle and tongue clack all the theme songs in Persona 4. I’ve already started on Persona 5’s soundtrack, ever since the first E3 trailer came out and I heard the main theme Get Up, Get Out There. I was hooked. There’s something about Persona soundtracks that make my heart just… happy! And no, it did not matter in the least that the English lyrics were humorously inaccurate. What mattered was the infectious tune and how well it matched the game and set the mood each time I launched it. I can say even before playing Persona 5 personally and experiencing the music firsthand that it’s an exciting set that gears me up for the thrills of the theatrical and opera-like battle settings that will be introduced in the new installment. There’s some jazzy elements as well as a rocky feel that leaves you feeling empowered, especially with the singer Lyn’s high vocals in Life Will Change. If you haven’t listened to the soundtrack yet I strongly recommend you do and share your favorite tracks below.
In the end, falling in love with new tracks is a wonderful feeling, but I’ll forever appreciate the familiar melody that plays in the Velvet Room. When I first heard it on the Persona 5 soundtrack there was an immediate sense of nostalgic — oh there it is… back to haunt me again with such high pitched moans and sighs… I will admit, it fits the image of being at a sort-of softer opera performance well for this game.
Social Links or “Cooperation”
In previous Persona series installments the social link system meshed harmoniously with the “other world, dungeon-y” aspect in the game. If you leveled certain links in the normal world, you had an advantage in battle by strengthening the persona type that corresponded with the social link. In my case that was Yusuke all day in Persona 4, but I’m curious (and excited!) to find out what Persona 5’s similar Cooperation system will exactly entail. From what we’ve heard from Atlus and seen in the Japanese version, the Cooperation system will enable you to gain specific abilities in battle as well as items or discounts by interacting with characters. A familiar advantage I’ve noticed between game systems is the ability for a teammate to shield you from attacks in battle, which signals to me that I should start building my level with the teammates I start out with, to reap the benefits of triggering in-battle special attacks that are prompted only by a certain level of relationship between characters.
I’m ready for April 4th, are you ready? Let’s roll phantoms!
But before rolling off, don’t forget to share what you’re most excited about in Persona 5 in the comment section below.