Our Rating: 9/10
The long-awaited day has finally arrived. All fans of Persona 5 can now continue following the Phantom Thieves after the wonderful Persona 5 Royal.
Persona 5 Strikers follows the events of 2016’s Persona 5, making it a direct sequel. Developed by Koei Tecmo and Atlus, the game was originally released as Persona 5 Scramble: The Phantom Strikers in Japan last year. Now we have it worldwide for all fans to enjoy.
In recent years, we are seeing how Sega is betting more and more to take its games out of Japan. Translating them into more languages, as expected, after the success of Persona 5 Royal.
The story takes place shortly after the events of Persona 5, specifically in the summer months. Joker returns to Tokyo to spend his vacation with the Phantom Thieves, and of course, strange events will occur.
We leave behind the already known Palaces for new Jail dungeons. An interesting new app called EMMA has also been a success among the entire population. Does this new app have something to do with the appearance of the Jails? Our Phantom Thieves will soon be on their way and investigating it.
While exploring the events and figuring out if they have any connection with each other, your team will discover strange new alliances.
You will meet Sophia, the ally of humanity. She is an AI who will join your team. Together with Futaba, they will be in charge of your techniques, only then will Sophia be able to enter the battle with the rest of the characters.
This time you will not be just in Tokyo. You will continuously travel with your caravan through different cities in Japan. Enjoying its paradisiacal landscapes. Let’s not forget that although we have a mission to fulfill, we are also on summer vacation.
The former turn-based combat style is now modified to raw action, frenzy, and many enemies on screen. The actions that you can do in combat have not changed. You can summon your Persona and even choose between the entire cast that your protagonist has. At all times, you can carry up to four characters in the team.
At the beginning of each combat, you are able to attack the enemy from behind. This gives you an advantage in combat, something that is already typical in the saga. You can also use the elements distributed throughout the map. You can get on them and be able to attack from a more advantageous position or simply reach hidden areas.
Another new combat feature is the hacking battles. Futaba will hack a computer while hordes of enemies attack you. Your duty will be to protect her while she works until time runs out.
It feels great to be able to control each of the characters with their different characteristics. Attacking the enemy’s weaknesses and finally carrying out a combined attack that will devastate everything is very satisfying.
The Group Link
Another change is the links. Before, we had the meter at the group level and then an individual one for each character; If you raised it to the maximum, you could choose whether to have a relationship with that person. Now you have the group link meter that will go up automatically as you advance in the story. This meter also goes up when carrying out orders (secondary missions). The points you get may be used to unlock improvements.
Not only will you have to take care of your bond, but you must also worry about your Persona. By entering the Velvet Room where Lavenza awaits, you can improve the level or attributes of the Personas that you acquired after a fight. Keep in mind that you can still merge two Persons to create a new one.
Let’s head over the other “great” change. We left the Palaces behind to enter the Jail, and as we saw in the Palaces, each one of them has a different theme depending on its boss.
The Jails are governed by the monarchs who in turn have guardians to protect their “cage”. To reach your target, you will have to look for the parts called nuclei. This will help you discover how to enter the most advanced areas of these dungeons. Previously, every time you left the Palace, the days pass. Now, the time is not changing, you do not have a maximum day. You can go out as many times as you want to the real world and recover your life.
To discover the way to enter these jails, first, you will have to carry out a survey exercise of the area. Collect relevant information about the monarch you are investigating to help you to take your first steps through the new cities.
It helps that the characters will become more and more powerful based on leveling up. Learning more combination attacks and different types of abilities helps you immensely.
It is recommended to start the combat yourself. In most cases, the protagonists will unleash a combined attack that is strong enough to kill everyone in a few seconds.
On the contrary, if it is the enemies who discover you, apart from setting off the Jail alarm and increasing their alert level, it is they who will stun you and there will even be times when a mini-boss will appear to complicate the situation – putting you in serious trouble. That said, sometimes it’s better to take a few seconds off and think hard about when to attack than to go crazy. The alert level will also cause the secret chests to close and you will not have the chance to open them.
The size of the Jails is enormous and you will spend hours locked in them until you complete them.
Sophia’s Online Store
As mentioned, we are in the summer season so consequently, many shops are closed. Our beloved gun shop and our trusted doctor are not available but don’t worry, your Thieves find solutions to everything. Through the new character Sophia, you can buy everything you need through her online store and if you improve a skill, you will have great discounts.
While you explore the new cities, you will acquire recipes inspired by the restaurants in the area. Later, Joker can replicate the dishes for his friends and enjoy their benefits.
The GOOD, the BAD, and the OVERALL GAMING EXPERIENCE
Firstly, it should be noted that Persona 5 Strikers is on PS4, Nintendo Switch, and PC. It is impossible to get any inconvenience from the graphics because it has the same artistic section that already characterized the previous installment, with that fantastic animated touch. It was so attractive during the fighting! The animated sequences have completely conquered us and especially those who have played Persona 5 will feel at home at all times.
If there was a problem, it is the camera. If you do not use the lens fixation, the camera will very possibly go away and point the other way, even if you are fighting with an enemy in the opposite direction.
The soundtrack has a good number of songs that will delight your ears. You will never get tired of listening to them over and over again. Note that they are not identical, because a good part of them are remixes, with excellent melodies and the magnificent work of the composers must be applauded.
If you’ve played Persona 5, you probably don’t need too much convincing to give Persona 5 Strikers a shot. By putting yourself back into the shoes of the Phantom Thieves, you will once again have an epic journey from start to finish. On the contrary, if you are new to the saga, you are going to discover a sensational action RPG with touches of Musou with which the hours will fly by and you will have the entertainment to give and take.
Although the initial difficulty and new concepts can be frustrating, everything becomes more bearable after a few minutes. You will then start to fully enjoy the benefits and characteristics that make this chapter of the saga special.
In short, Persona 5 Strikers does not disappoint, it is an essential game for fans of the saga. The details that must be taken into account when acquiring this sequel, apart from the new combat style moving away from turn-based combat, is that if you expect a long duration like its prequel, I am sorry to tell you that it is not like that, the game can be 100% completed in about 40 hours.
Is this a bad thing? It depends on who’s playing. The game will still manage to dazzle you without the need to put all the parts that lengthened the life of the game.
Is it necessary to go over Persona 5 or Persona 5 Royal before? Not necessarily. But it’s important to realize that the game is enjoyed a thousand times more knowing the characters. Their relationships, their past, and their motivations for why they help the new characters make the story more compelling.
The new characters are a success that they match like a glove in the new story, so much so that they have earned a place with the Phantom Thieves.