How was your first weekend with Persona 5 Royal? Proper now, I, for one, am fairly comfortable about having a brand new model of a recreation that isn’t solely one in every of my favourite ever but additionally occurs to be greater than 100 hours lengthy. If nothing else, it’s good to have the ability to journey the Tokyo subway once more, even when I’m technically not leaving my sofa.
For all its tweaks and timeliness, although, Persona 5 Royal is basically simply Persona 5 yet again. I’m not saying I’m mad about taking part in by way of the sport a second time, however that is kind of what I’m doing. Thankfully, right here in Japan, there’s one other new Persona 5 recreation I’ve additionally been spending time with — and this one is wildly totally different.
Persona 5 Scramble: The Phantom Strikers got here out for the PS4 and Nintendo Swap in Japan about six weeks in the past. It’s co-developed by Koei Tecmo’s Omega Power, the studio behind the Dynasty Warriors sequence and different “musou” video games about taking up dozens or lots of of enemies directly. Omega Power has utilized that formulation to a lot of spinoffs through the years — video games like Fireplace Emblem Warriors and Dragon Quest Heroes are basically simply Dynasty Warriors in several franchise wrappers.
That’s what I anticipated from Persona 5 Scramble, which is to say that my expectations weren’t tremendous excessive. I like some musou video games simply positive, however the repetitive fight and shallow storytelling usually are not what I affiliate with Persona. It seems that Scramble comprises most of what I like about Persona — simply with musou-style fight.
Scramble can also be a direct continuation of Persona 5’s story. Set in the summertime after Persona 5 ends, the story sees Joker return to Tokyo to hang around together with his phantom thief buddies on trip. The plan is to go on a tenting journey, however this rapidly will get derailed after they get plunged into one other alternate universe the place they’re as soon as once more tasked with altering its ruler’s coronary heart. This time across the mysterious worlds are known as jails, not palaces, however the setup is broadly the identical.
Scramble actually is a direct sequel to Persona 5 in nearly each means. Lots of the places are the identical, the RPG mechanics are acquainted, and even the distinctive menu programs stay. The sport’s impeccable sense of fashion hasn’t modified a bit, with all-new jazz-funk jams and sharply drawn characters. The one large distinction is the diminished concentrate on social bonding and time administration, however even then, the story performs out similarly by way of discrete days on the calendar.
The fight is totally totally different, shifting from turn-based RPG battles towards a number of enemies to real-time motion involving big crowds. Omega Power and Atlus have performed a great job of fusing trademark Persona parts to the musou formulation, nevertheless. You may maintain down a shoulder button to invoke your particular persona assaults throughout a marked space of the battlefield, for instance, whereas new talents like zipping onto lampposts really feel consistent with Persona 5’s snappy circulate. There’s clearly an inherent lack of technique within the transfer to large-scale motion fight, nevertheless it doesn’t really feel as senseless as different musou video games generally can.
I’ve been taking part in Persona 5 Scramble on the Swap, and whereas I’m a bit of baffled that Atlus nonetheless hasn’t seen match to launch Persona 5 on Nintendo’s system, it is a cheap substitute. Persona used to really feel like a conveyable sequence to me — I first performed 3 on PSP and 4 on Vita — and the motion fight of Scramble is simply nearly as good a match for a handheld system in the present day. Apart from a complete lack of anti-aliasing, the sport appears and runs nice on the Swap.
It sounds glorious, too, due to a clean new soundtrack totally consistent with Persona 5’s unmistakable jams. I’ve to confess that I haven’t been listening to the brand new stuff as a lot as I may have attributable to a characteristic that unlocks varied traditional Persona battle themes in case you have prior save information in your system (Tremendous Smash Bros. Final for Swap, Persona 5 for PS4). It’s fairly uncommon that I cross up a possibility to listen to “Mass Destruction” from Persona 3.
Don’t take this as a full assessment of Persona 5 Scramble. I’ve solely performed by way of the primary a number of hours, and at this busy time after I’ve in any other case been occupied with the likes of Doom Everlasting, Half-Life: Alyx, and Animal Crossing: New Horizons — to not point out Persona 5 Royal — I’m comfortable to attend for the English launch. The one drawback there’s that Atlus hasn’t introduced when that’ll truly occur. Nonetheless, I’ve seen sufficient of Scramble to know that it’s a surprisingly cool recreation that anybody who’s into Persona 5 ought to try each time they’ll, and I can’t think about that’ll be too far off.