Review Roundup: Persona 5

Review Roundup: Persona 5

Persona 5 is out in Europe today, and going by the glowing reviews you might want to pick this one up immediately.                     

04-04-2017  -  by Iris Wijers

Persona 5 has been out in Japan since 2016, but in Europe we've had to wait a bit before we could get our hands on this unique JRPG title. Now the reviews are in and it certainly seems like Persona 5 was worth the wait: it's raining praise. Time for another roundup!

Persona 5

Persona 5 is the sixth (yep!) main installment in the Persona series, a series of JRPG developed by Altus. Trademark of the Persona series is the high school setting with a group of students being the protagonists of each game. In Persona 5 you play as a silent protagonist leading the 'Phantom Thieves of Hearts', a vigilante group set on changing the hearts of adults by stealing away their ill intent. At the core of the series are 'Personas', manifestations of the inner psyche of the high schoolers that can be recruited and used to fight dark forces in turn-based battles. Turn-based battling is only a part of the game, however, as a big part of the game is building friendships with your fellow high schoolers and other people around Tokyo. During the day, you meet up with friends and build repertoire with them to strengthen your bonds and by extension; their personas. It's this alternation between living a regular high schooler life by day and fighting hostile forces by night that makes Persona a truly unique series of games. 


Review roundup

If the unique proposition of Person 5 did not get you excited, the glowing reviews might. Persona 5 currently boasts a metascore of 94, based on 43 critics. Curious what warrants these high scores? We've selected a few reviews for you. 

God is a Geek -- 10/10
God is a Geek rewards Persona 5 with a perfect 10/10, calling it a 'JRPG masterpiece'. As one would expect from a review with a perfect score, it's raining praise for the game's style, story, characters and gameplay. The only issues with the game, according to God is a Geek, are that some items will appear in low-resolution and the cluttering of some dialogue boxes. To recap: Persona 5 is a fantastic video game. It’s pacing is amazing and it never bogs you down with filler content. You can start with this one as a newcomer who is probably impressed with the menus and returning fans will enjoy everything from the slight nods to things from previous games or to the end game section that will please older fans of the franchise. Now is the best time to jump into the Persona franchise and there’s no better JRPG than this one right now. I’ve beaten Persona 5 nearly a month ago and haven’t stopped thinking about it ever since. I keep reloading old save files to revisit different areas. This one is really special. [Full Review] 

Gamesradar+ - 10/10
Another perfect score for Persona 5 is awarded by Gamesradar. According to the reviewer, Persona 5 managed to do the almost impossible; best Persona 4 for the title of 'Best modern JRPG'. The reviewer discusses the combat (pleasantly complex) the story (exceptional) and the characters (varied and genuine). The reviewer does find issue with the pacing towards the end, calling the final dungeons a slog. Additionally, the game only features heterosexual romances, which may be a disappointment for some players. The reviewer also warns that the first few hours might feel slow for Persona veterans, as the game explains the game to newcomers extensively. These are minor complaints, however, because as the critic states: Other than that, Persona 5 is simply phenomenal. The voice acting is outstanding, the music is genius, the art style is so slick it'll raise your personal coolness level just from being in close proximity to it. Playing Persona 5 will make your hair glossier, increase your vocal range by an octave and add 7.32 years to your overall life expectancy. Play it enough times and you'll likely not only be able to levitate but also make a perfect omelette while in midair. It's that good. [Full Review] 

IGN - 9.7/10
IGN joins the choir of praise with a score of 9.7/10, calling the game the culimation of everything the previous games have brought to the table. The reviewer calls the story the best one of any Persona game and praises the hanc-crafted dungeons ('palaces') and the puzzles they contain. Like the reviewers before him, the critic praises the combat, story, gameplay, music.... everything, really. The verdict of 9.7/10 is hardly a suprising conclusion, as the reviewer states: Persona 5 is a massive, gorgeous JRPG with well over 100 hours of gameplay for completionists. With more to do than ever and the series’ strongest story to date, it stands out as an extraordinary, memorable experience and easily one of the deepest JRPGs of the last decade. Its sprawling dungeon design and stylish, fully realized world are an absolute joy to explore, and even after three playthroughs and the Platinum trophy, I find myself itching to go back to try different dialogue options with Confidants or revisit particularly fun puzzles. This is a new gold standard for Japanese RPGs and by far the best entry in the series yet. [Full Review] 

GameSpot -- 9/10
GameSpot calls Persona 5 a 'game overflowing with style', but quickly reiterates that the game is more than just a pretty face. The reviewer praises the combat and exploration systems, citing many improvements over the earlier games in the series. Furthermore, the reviewer praises the story and characterisation that Persona 5 brings. As indicated by the 9/10 rating, Gamespot finds very few issues with the game, citing some pacing issues, frustrating moments and uncooperative cameras as the few drawbacks of the game. To quote: Within Persona 5 is a complex set of interconnected gameplay mechanics, and in almost every aspect Atlus has executed on its vision exceptionally, barring the pacing issues towards the end. At every turn, it presents something to marvel at, whether it's the fluid combat, vibrant world, or the many memorable characters. It's a game I could talk about for hours. [...] Persona 5 is a game that shouldn't be missed. It's stuffed to bursting point with gameplay ideas and presentation flourishes--there's an overwhelming level of artistry in every part of Persona 5, making it a truly standout entry in the series. It's a refined, effortlessly stylish RPG that will be talked about for years to come. [Full review] 
 
The Jimquisition- 8.5/10
You know that a game is loved if a score of 8.5 attracts a flow of commenters complaining that the score too low. The Jimquisition grants Persona 5 a comparably low rating of 8.5. This is the lowest critic review we could find. A 8.5 is still a very good score, as is shown by the reviewer's general love for the game. The reviewer does find issue with the recruiting (persuasion) system of the game, calling the dialogue system 'convoluted'. She also calls the pacing 'glacial', but concedes that that is only an issue for the more impatient gamer longing to get into the action. The biggest (and most controversial) gripe the critic has is that Persona 5 is not available on the PS vita. This is a minor, maybe even unfair, one. To quote the critic herself: The fact that’s my biggest complaint in 120 hours of JRPG says a lot. I was damn impressed by Persona 5, and will certainly be returning to it once I’ve had a few months to decompress from this super concise playthrough. I played 120 hours in just a couple of weeks and damn it was a lot of fun. [Full review]

Persona 5 is out today for PS4. You can get your digital copy at PlayStation store and get playing immediately. Need more PSN credit? We’ve got you covered at Startselect.  

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