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A good persona, perhaps a great PS4 entry, but not a great RPG

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    Persona 5

    Rating: 2.5 – Playable

    A good persona, perhaps a great PS4 entry, but not a great RPG

    Longtime smt/persona player, jrpg fan first and foremost. have played every localized smt, persona 1-5 and even many of the atlus sting titles. my favorite persona is persona 3, and my favorite smt is nocturne.

    Let me preface this by saying: this game is a great dating sim, a great life sim, and mechanically improved on P4G in literally every way, minus a few subjective changes.However, it is not a good jrpg, has a mediocre story and dialogue choices that may have been decent 20 years ago.

    If you love the persona format, you will probably love this game too – this review isn’t for those people, its for people who are jrpg fans first and foremost and enjoy the linear styled progressive format of a typical jrpg. SMT Fans, FF fans, Tales Fans, etc – this is for you.

    The narrative is bogged down and poorly paced by tons of life sim elements, from dating your school teacher, to going to school, to failing tests, reading homework – all sorts of busy work trash that has no place in a jrpg narrative unless you feel like a roleplaying a prepubescent delinquent and dating high school girls. Power Fantasy Life Sim that rivals the mediocrity of sword art online. Its that overbearing.

    It takes over 10 hours to get out of the prologue / intro events before you even get a taste of freedom, and even then your hand is held and limited beyond belief; from limiting your general activities on a nightly basis to condensing the plot progression to a snails pace because of all the day-by-day limitations.

    Romance is entirely superficial and relegated to " hmm which girl do i want to f***". The endgame dialogue choices in your relationships pose no influence on mainline story events, and interactions you experience don’t even carryover into the mainline story interactions – essentially , the illusion of choice is quite apparent, and rampant throughout this piece.

    Lets talk about the dialogue; once again, illusion of choice. There will be many times you’ll be presented with two dialogue options – which are simply two of the same dialogue options reworded to fit the same result, or the game will simply force you into one choice by negating the invalid choice. On top of this, there’s perfect dialogue choices in your one on ones with your friends which improve your stats, the other choices don’t – so it essentially locks you into one choice, the "correct" choice.

    Coming off of Dragon Age and Bethesda games, it makes you really wonder who’s getting paid under the table to give this game 95+ across the board for the poor level of detail in the plot and dialogue. WRPG’s simply blow away this game in terms of dialogue depth — even games like trails in the sky / trails in cold steel have much more succinct and meatier dialogue here than we see in P5. NPC’s are a joke in comparison.

    This game really just shined what they already had in P4G, but really didn’t make many advancements to open up this franchise to non-fanboys/ non-dating-sim/highschool-sim enthusiasts.

    The combat – while its new and improved, the new demon recruitment system brings back the negotiation system from SMT which really (and this is preference) was something I was not fond of in SMT, and was hoping would be left behind. This is the one area combat wise I preferred P3/P4, however everything else feels vastly improved.

    Demon fusing feels stale and frankly the comparison feels worse than what pokemon does. At least they revise and add new options to the scheme, but its still not enough to save the mold if you’ve grown tired of it. There is simply not enough diversity in the format here – especially being someone who’s experienced all the games. For newcomers, if you like fusing creatures (somewhat like digimon) and carrying over abilities and traits, you may get into this, but it really does not compliment the format well. As a whole, the complete package feels like homework. Excessive time limitations, dungeons loaded with too many fodder enemies, tediously over-sized, and excessive segments in between plot.

    The music also feels somewhat uninspired, especially with how many notable soundtracks P4 and P3 had. Its not bad persay, but nothing sticks with the level of impact from its predecessors. I even found SMT 4 and its sequel to have a much more immersive ost. Perhaps it had to do with world design and the handheld +headphone combo, cant say for sure. What I can say is that P5’s OST didn’t wow me like many of the other titles in this series. Even Radiant Historia, which had like 20 songs destroyed this OST.

    All in all, mechanically sound, pretty aesthetics and menus, and flashy combat, yet there’s minimal substance here. Characters feel like rehashes of older characters from the series, tropes are brought back in full force, and the limitations and handholding here are at an all time high.

    This game is not bad by any means, especially if you’re a die-hard persona fan, however it is severely, severely overrated ,and most certainly is not a quality experience in all phases. As a die-hard fan myself, I simply cannot find any further enjoyment in the plots and dialogue of these series’ if this is the level of quality we’re going to receive.

    A good persona, perhaps a great PS4 game, but not a great JRPG.

    I suppose with the rise of the otaku audience in japan, dating sims and life sims have become the new face of rpgs. Such a shame how far the quality of games has fallen.

    5/10 Overrated

    Wait for the enhanced version, or pass on it if you’re not a fan of dating sims.

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