Persona 5 Royal Review: The Royal Polish
Persona 5 Royal is the definitive version of Persona 5, with new characters and confidants, plot and gameplay finishes, a script that continues for a third long semester not included in the original game, and which introduces new combat mechanics and a myriad of changes that go to (re) touch every single aspect of the already extraordinary Atlus adventure. There is also a second question that often pops up when discussing Persona 5 Royal, and it is equally interesting: "Couldn't they have made a DLC directly, instead of creating a new game sold at full price?". The answer, in this case, is more complex: yes, distributing this version of the game through a DLC would have been technically possible, as it would have been possible to propose a digital, cheaper version, dedicated to those who have always digitally already purchased a copy of the original game. It is Atlus who chose not to, using the same strategy put into practice with the FES and Golden versions, conceptually similar to this Royal, for the third and fourth chapters of Persona. But this is not just a mere commercial choice. For Atlus,
After finishing Persona 5 in 2017, we didn't think going back to the Shijin Academy benches could be as fun and exciting, almost like it was the first time. The replayability of Persona is naturally part of his gameplay, which allows choices totally different from those made in the first instance, but it is not only this that has given us the strength to retrace the game once again with the same original resourcefulness.
The differences larger between Persona 5 and this new Royal version can be read on any wiki, they are all on display among lists and planks drawn up over time by fans, but somehow they are all additions that one expects in a relaunch like this; It is, therefore, no coincidence that for us who have already completed the adventure at the time of its original release, at the end of the great upheavals, the many, many small improvements implemented practically everywhere have proved more precious, and that have made this different which is basically not different. For example, the beginning of the game in Persona 5 Royal is very similar to that of the original, but the myriad of microscopic tricks make the experience much more friendly than in the past, something useful especially for beginners, as well as much better rhythmic.
Persona 5 Royal flows much better from the narrative point of view but not only, given that the dungeons too now they can count on some new gameplay superstructures that help make exploration, and annexed fights, more varied and fun than ever. For example, new shadows appear which, if hit in the right way, can cause an explosion that will involve all the monsters present in combat, and new secret objects to be identified and collected. Soon, the grappling hook will also be introduced, a new tool that will prove immediately very useful, both to explore the different dungeons and to catch the most difficult opponents by surprise. Changes that also involve some of the bosses, which now include new moves to dodge and new weaknesses to flush out, for a much more tactical gaming experience than previously.
Essential in making the game even more structured and full-bodied are the unpublished extras and the three new characters added: Kasumi Yoshizawa, Takuto Maruki and Jose. Kasumi is a very pretty girl who will join the Phantom Thieves as an active member, therefore also in battle; Takuto, on the other hand, is a psychologist who will come to the Shinji Academy to help students after some traumatic events, and will prove to be a rather important confidant to attend in his spare time; the last character of some weight to debut in Persona 5 Royal is Jose, a very particular child from the world of shadows, to whom we will be able to sell some special items to receive equally important ones. Royal also introduces new locations to attend alone or with friends, while others already present have undergone changes in order to host new events.
Other pastimes also come with Royal, like darts and billiards: the former will increase the effectiveness of a new group choral move, while the latter will increase the possibility of inflicting critical attacks on enemies. Even in this situation, there is no need to reveal all the new features, in part because we are sure that the veterans of the game will prefer to discover them for themselves, and then because the list would be completely useless to those who have never tried the original version. , and for this reason, they could not make comparisons.
Two words on the third new semester of school instead we want to spend them, even just to warn you that it will be necessary to maximize a confidant in order to unlock him; if this does not happen, the game will end exactly where it ends in the classic Persona 5, and you will not be able to face the new unpublished dungeon included in Royal, let alone learn all the background on the genesis of Joker, the fighting version of our character that remains in the base game actually largely in the shade. Facing the third semester, it will also be possible to unlock two new endings: one negative and one positive, the latter a real "true ending".
In Persona 5, Phantom Thieves could gather to talk about their future plans in different places, such as the roof of the school or the attic of the LeBlanc cafeteria; in Persona 5 Royal they will soon also be given a place in the world of shadows, or metaverse, to be customized with paintings, music, and statues related to our adventures, all to be unlocked through a new currency linked to the collectibles to be found in the dungeons and to be delivered to Jose. This currency can also be used to play with the other Phantom Thieves in a fun card game that has all the qualities to load another abundant dozen hours into a game that is already very long.
Among many new features, a subtle but consistent graphic upgrade could not be missing. Persona 5 was born as a cross-generation game, while Royal makes the most of the power of PlayStation 4 through a generous texture upgrade. On PS4 Pro it is possible to raise the resolution up to 4K (30fps ...) and the difference will appear immediately clear, overwhelming, thanks to truly impressive image sharpness and that, combined with new animations and another small but effective trick, make this Persona 5 Royal truly a marvel, far more than it already was originally. It seems more and more to find yourself in front of an interactive anime, at least until an anime really becomes one: the Atlus series very often uses cut-scenes of extraordinary quality and Persona 5 makes no difference, Persona 5 Royal also adds some new.
What remains to be said is all that has already been written in the original Persona 5 review. We are talking about a game that is already beautiful, the improvement of a formula born with Persona 3 and which in this fifth game reaches absolute qualitative heights. There are those who will continue to prefer Persona 3, or Persona 4, but they are preferences also dictated (above all?) By the attachment that everyone will build towards the different cast.
Analyzing the last three games in depth (the first two Persona are more canonical JRPG), there can be no doubts: Persona 5 is the one designed and created better, a gap that widens further with the Royale edition. One of Atlus' winning moves was to take advantage of public advice to add, rather than replace, so as not to create any type of discontent. A perfect example of this philosophy can be found in the dungeons, which previously were only procedural and consequently sinned in characterization, but which are now divided into Castelli and Memento: the Castelli is built around the main enemies and have a structure designed to the millimeter, while the Memento it has a procedural structure, and is used to level at will and to "steal" the heart of secondary enemies.
But Persona is not just fighting: its great strength is made up of social links and various activities that our character will be able to carry out every day to improve his empathic characteristics: it is necessary to study but it is an activity that leads to double the results when it rains, it is essential to go out with friends but it is much better to do it thinking also of the feedback that a character you can give in battle, you can spend the evening watching TV series rented in a Shibuya shop and you can organize Sunday trips with the group of closest friends. Each action has repercussions on the growth and the different specializations that our alter-ego can aim for, and which can also be distorted and detached from the winning math of a FAQ to bend to our natural affinities, in order to attend only those we like, so we can do whatever we feel like doing.
There is this old diatribe, between fans of western and oriental role-playing games, on how correct it is to catalog the latter just as role-playing games, because actually "role-playing" very little is played. Here, Persona 5 is one of the few JRPGs in which role-playing is not only possible, but it is also an essential element in the development of the character and the strategies he can adopt in battle. In this game, enjoy the rain that slips on the window panes, sip the best coffee we have managed to do, visit seasonal fairs with friends, choose which film to go to the cinema to see or whether to spend the evening in a completely different way, are never unimportant choices; as it is not, in fact, choosing in real life who to attend, or how to spend one's free time, a pity that we almost always notice it too late.