Persona 5 Royal

A short post about one of the best games I’ve played to date.

⚠️ Warning, this post may contain story spoilers, though I’ve tried to leave things as vauge as possible.

Out of all the games I’ve played, Nothing comes close the experience I felt with my first entry into the Persona series. I randomly stumbled upon this game with RTGame on YouTube playing it. At the time I had no idea what it was about but it looked good. After watching one or two battles and a bit of the story I immediately stopped watching and bought the game to play it myself.

What proceeded was me playing the game for about two months, with it taking up most of my free time over the Christmas break from work. Now when I’m into a game I play it, not madly and to the detriment of my health. I don’t stay up late or anything. But I was certainly excited and playing this as often as I got time and not many games have managed to do that to me. That should say something to how much fun I had playing this.

If your not sure what the persona games are like, they are essentially a life-sim/turn based battler style of game. with you going about you day to day life with friends, making the most of your time to up your stats and strengthen your bonds. While the battling takes place in a alternative world of sorts connected to the real world in someway with deadlines to keep you on track or face a game over. Most of the games take place over a school year starting in April as they do in Japan and ending around March the following year in the story. This both makes the game long and makes you feel like your actually living through the time.

Each of the “main” persona games are themed differently. I say “main” as most consider the series to really find its mark with Persona 3 onwards, while there is love for the earlier titles, Persona 3 is where it really went global and is the formula the games have followed since with the exception of the spin offs like the dancing games and in P5’s case strikers. In Persona 5’s case its themed around injustice and correcting wrongs in society by making people have a change of heart, with red as its main theme colour.

The story and characters in the game are really well done. Having now played parts of P3 & the whole of P4G I can say that P4’s story is slightly better in terms of the friendship group feeling like friends. But P5R still does a good job. The opening palace is a glorified tutorial, but in itself is a great arch based around a bad teacher at the school you attend. As a transfer student with a criminal record for doing nothing bad you already have a bad rep. But you soon meet your first party members and a talking cat. The cat you’ll learn to hate, mostly due to said cat forcing you to stay home when you want to go out later in the game. The first part of the game also does a great job introducing all the mechanics of the battle system to a new player. I never really felt overwhelmed, rare for a game this complex. After the first palace you find more and each one revolves around a new party member or event in the story. Without going into detail or spoiling it, they are all well themed though some play better than others.

At this point I can’t help but mention the intro’s and stellar soundtrack. Its not often that I play the same music on and on, but I’ve been listening to this soundtrack for well over a year now and it doesn’t get old. The opening the Persona 5 Royal is really lively and energic, while some prefer the original Persona 5 intro over it, I personally prefer royal’s take. Though the original’s theme is a really banger in its own right. The royal intro below if you’ve never seen it before:

That’s just the intro, the battle themes in Persona 5 Royal are also outstanding. Pretty much all of them are great as well as the day to day soundtrack you hear while doing more tame things. A few of my favourites below:

  • Rivers in the Desert
  • Life Will Change
  • Phantom
  • Tokyo Daylight
  • Last Surprise
  • Take Over
  • I Believe

The ending to this game is by far one was the best finale I’ve played through. I say this a lot about this game, I mean it. It really feels like the final battle. Now I’m talking about the Royal ending specifically here. The original’s ending is also really good and on equal scale to the royal ending, but royal certainly completes the story with a really deep final semester and final battle. The song “I Believe” really hits when you get to it, like really really hits. As if this is the final battle with really high stakes. The ending hits home even more by the tragic fact that the English voice actor for the antagonist in this part passed away not long after royal came out. Making his point feel even more prevalent. Even if it is just a game at the end of the day. I won’t ever forget how that moment made me feel. You’ll get why when you play it.

I finished my first playthrough with roughly 119 hours played. Yea you read that right. Its a long game, but its certainly worth it. You can get through it quicker than that if your trying, but I never really got bored of it. At the end I way sitting there watching the credits all the way through, as I always do where I can as I know how much it takes to make a game being a game developer myself. The credits song “Our Light” really setting the tone for my next thought, now what……. The post game depression hit as that was it for Persona 5 Royal. While it’ll never be the same playing it again, I do plan to at some point with new game plus.

One final thing, this game both got me into the persona franchise as a whole, having played the earielr Persona 4 Golden and Persona 5 Strikers at this point. I did start Persona 3 Portable, but the later true rumours of a remake of Persona 3 made me want to hold off. With Persona 3 Reload around the corner I’m super excited to play it when it comes out. The game also got me interested in the language. Now I’ve been historically terrible at forgein languages at school, but I felt like giving Japanese a go. So far its going okay, but I’m taking it slow with the aim to be able to speak and read a bit of the language and maybe visit the county some day if I ever get the courage to go.