Persona 5: The Royal review


Ellen Heitmann, Copy Editor


Released on March 31, 2020, Persona 5: The Royal was one of the first major games to come out after quarantine started. P5R is basically a remaster of the original Persona 5, containing plenty of new characters, story events, mechanics, locations, and even an entire new epilogue and ending. It expands very heavily upon the original, while not taking anything away from the previous game, save for a few changes to boss fights. 



Persona 5 Royal takes place in Japan, following a group known as the Phantom Thieves. Alongside reality, an alternate reality exists known as the Metaverse. The Metaverse is a cognitive version of the world where people’s thoughts are visualized, particularly bad thoughts. The Phantom Thieves then go into this world and use it to change the hearts of criminals and bad people to make them own up their actions and change for the better. Each key villain has his or her own palace in the Metaverse, and the Phantom Thieves go through a total of eight palaces throughout the game, each a bigger target than the last. It makes for a very interesting and unique story, while also presenting the moral dilemma of if it is really right to forcibly change someone’s heart.



P5R has a turn-based combat system with four party members. Party members have their  own personas, which they can use to cast powerful spells or unleash strong physical attacks. Magical attacks can be cast at the expense of skill points, while using physical attacks will drain your health. All attacks are elemental based, so you can have fire moves, ice moves, wind moves, electric moves, etc. Different enemies are weak to different elements, and exploiting them gives you another turn. Your health and skill points are not reset outside of battle, so the game also challenges you to manage your resources well enough to get through the palaces without running out. Palaces themselves consist of various puzzles you can solve in order to get through, along with lots of sneaking around enemies, climbing up walls, and maneuvering around with your grappling hook. 

Each time there is a new palace, you will have around twenty in-game days to do it, and your deadline to finish will remain on the top right of the screen. Normally palaces will take one to three days to complete, and the rest of the time can be spent in the overworld hanging out with characters, working at part time jobs, being at school, and many other various activities.



What is Different?

The biggest difference from the original is the addition of a third semester. In the original game, it would end right as the second semester of school would. It basically serves as an epilogue for the game, focusing on a new palace and some of the previously introduced new characters. The epilogue in my opinion was one of, if not the most, interesting parts of the game in terms of story and characters, and most would agree it was a very good addition. Outside of that, the game generally had a lot of convenience changes. For example, you can teleport directly to the characters you hang out with in the overworld, and some tedious portions of palaces were fixed to be more fluid. Boss fights were also changed up a bit to keep them interesting. Overall it is a massive step up from the original, though my one complaint is that they redesigned one of the previous boss fights to be extremely unfair.


Should You Play It?

Personally, I think the story could appeal to almost anyone as it combines relatable characters and realistic world design while still having lots of fantasy elements to keep things interesting. However, it is an extremely long game, often taking well over ninety hours to beat. If someone is interested in good stories and characters and is willing to spend that much time, I could definitely see this game appealing to them. I would rate this game a 10/10.