Persona 5 Strikers is a condensed version of Persona 5 and Persona 5 Royal, and it lacks some of the complexity required to lift it to the level of brilliance seen in the mainline series. Nonetheless, we went into the last match as Strikers fans. Because the parallels and distinctions between Strikers and the Persona 5 story contextualize everything we love about the series. But it’s the way Persona 5 Strikers blends family bonds with friends with the metaphysical war for free will and justice that makes it so appealing. In this article, we present to you an in-depth review of the Persona 5 Strikers game. Read on!
About the game
Persona 5 Strikers is an action role-playing game released by Atlus that was developed by Omega Force and P-Studio. The game is a collaboration between Koei Tecmo’s Dynasty Warriors brand and Atlus’ 2016 role-playing game Persona 5, and it takes place half a year after the events of Persona 5. It follows the Joker and the other Phantom Thieves of Hearts as they investigate a series of unexplained incidents affecting people from all throughout Japan.
Persona 5 Strikers was published in Japan in February 2020 for Nintendo Switch and PlayStation 4, with a global release for those systems and Microsoft Windows following in February 2021. The game garnered mostly positive reviews from critics and sold more than 1.5 million copies by June 2021.
With Persona 5 Strikers about to be released in just a few days, fans and beginners alike may be curious about this latest entry in the Persona series. The Persona series, and the Shin Megami Tensei brand as a whole, have a long history that helps to contextualize the release of Persona 5 Strikers.
The most crucial question, though, is how Persona 5 Strikers fits within the universe of Persona 5. The original game was launched in 2017, and the improved edition, Persona 5 Royal, will be available globally in 2020. What should gamers know about Strikers before plunging into the original game?
What are the worlds these youngsters are entering? It’s never actually explained in this game because everyone should be familiar with it from the first adventure.
To refresh your memory, this other space is constructed by the mind of a powerful human with profound ambitions. These aspirations showed themselves in the form of Palaces, which were similar to jails. And, like Strikers, the kids arrived via applications.
Personas are essentially manifestations of one’s actual hidden strength. It’s a Final Fantasy-style magic Summon, and practically every party member only possesses one.
Two exceptions exist. Joker is a wild card, capable of convincing Shadows, the monsters they battle, to become Personas for him. This function may also be used by Goro Akechi, allowing the game to depict a narrative of polar opposites. As it were, two sides of the same coin.
When Joker and crew realize they need gear to battle again at the start of Strikers, they return to their customary haunts. Takemi was a doctor who prescribed medication, while Iwai managed a pawnshop where they used to acquire firearms and other things. Strikers do not have either character.
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After everything was finished up, Joker took the blame for his involvement in everything and spent some time in a penitentiary facility. He was ultimately allowed to leave before being relocated back to his home location, where he said his goodbyes to everyone.
That’s why the return of Joker was such a huge thing in Strikers. In addition, his visit to a jail of some kind ties him to one of the game’s most vexing unsolved riddles.
Persona 5 began with one of the game’s last Palaces, depicting Joker being apprehended. The game is narrated via flashbacks, which are provoked by Makoto’s sister, Sae, who is interviewing Joker for a job as a lawyer. She plays a significant role in the game, which is why the Joker received a low sentence.
While she does appear in Strikers as a voice, she is never seen. In fact, when she saves Zenkichi from prison, she does so in first person. If not to conceal something about her, why was that camera angle chosen? Maybe I’m leaping to conclusions, but it’s odd.
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We parted ways with a fantastic cast of characters we grew to love over the course of a 100-hour adventure at the end of Persona 5. Last year’s Persona 5 Royal provided us a reason to return the same experience with fresh material, but many wished for a whole new adventure. Six months later, Persona 5 Strikers reunites the original game’s characters for an all-new journey throughout Japan. Despite the fact that it radically alters a few major components of the experience, it still feels like a legitimate, compelling continuation of the game that captured the hearts of RPG fans over four years ago.
Many aspects of the Persona 5 experience are carried over into Strikers; after hearing rumors of people abusing their power, you control the Phantom Thieves as you investigate the allegations before jumping to the cognitive world of the Metaverse to infiltrate their dungeon (which are now called “jails”) and change their hearts. You battle through a slew of Shadows as you make your way toward the dungeon’s commander for a final encounter. While understanding the plot of the original game enriches the experience, it is not required to play Strikers. The familiarity of this system is like a nice welcome home for those who played Persona 5, but as you start beating up adversaries, it’s clear this is a different beast than the typically turn-based titles.
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When it comes time to fight, Persona 5 Strikers transforms from a painstaking dungeon crawler to a full-fledged action game. The hack-and-slash combat system popularised by Musou games such as Dynasty Warriors is used in small-scale engagements; each Phantom Thief has light and heavy strikes that may be combined in various ways to produce special attacks with status effects. I enjoyed the furious and straightforward action of cutting through crowds of foes and witnessing them fly off the edge of Joker’s dagger or Panther’s whip, but the combat adds an additional dimension by utilizing the characters’ Personas.
You can call a character’s Persona at any time during a battle; the action will halt while you select a spell to cast and the region it will affect. When you assault an enemy’s weak point, you open the door for a follow-up attack. If you strike them hard enough, you will trigger a tremendous All-Out Attack in which your entire squad will descend on the opponents at once. When paired with the fast-paced fighting and other ambient interactions, the summoning system provides a fluid experience that allows you to take down adversaries in a stylish and effective manner. Switching between characters, reeling off different combinations, exposing weaknesses with Personas, detonating explosive devices, toppling chandeliers, and delivering devastating last strikes to shut out the show were some of my favorite encounters. Persona 5 Strikers does a decent job of timing the confrontations out inside the prisons, so a continual stream of this activity would be taxing.
The aspect of Persona 5 Strikers that I was most looking forward to was catching up with various members of the Phantom Thieves, and it mostly delivers. I enjoyed finding out what they’ve been up to since the previous game and seeing how they’ve progressed during this voyage. I was, however, dismayed by the lack of social-simulation options. Strikers lacks the social-linking mechanisms. You have a bond system instead, which allows you to enhance the party. You may chat to the people as you walk around the city and request a friend to join you in specific activities, but the talks are usually insignificant and unimpressive.
While not every dissimilar piece comes together as beautifully as it did in Persona 5, I was delighted to embark on another adventure with the people with whom I had formed such strong ties in 2017. The action may unfold in a different way, but the series’ core stays intact.
Persona 5 Strikers is a terrific sequel to a famous JRPG, forging its own identity with an amazing action-based battle system. It’s the perfect reason to spend one final time with the Phantom Thieves, and it does an excellent job of expanding on the established characters and ideas of its predecessor. While we doubt Strikers will be remembered as warmly as Persona 5, the game goes above and beyond to deliver a lovely companion piece. For existing fans, this is a must-have.