I wasn’t overly enthused about Persona 5 when it first launched on the PS4 again in 2017. 2019’s Persona 5 Royal was a step up from the unique and I referred to as it the sport that Persona 5 ought to’ve been within the first place, however nonetheless felt it suffered from pacing points. Now that Royal is getting re-released on the Swap, that is formally my third go along with this recreation, and the whole lot is lastly falling into place.
You see, on the floor, Persona 5 Royal appears to have the whole lot going proper for it. The UI is smooth, and for a turn-based RPG, fight is fast-paced and very partaking. The soundtrack is top-tier and the character designs look wonderful, however the total pacing of the story is form of a multitude. Persona 5 Royal begins off sturdy by having a corrupt and abusive trainer be the introductory boss, and this primary arc provides you an actual grasp of how the gameplay works and what your relationship with the primary few characters goes to be like.
From there, nonetheless, issues begin going steadily downhill. The reality is, Kamoshida was and continues to be the strongest antagonist of Persona 5 Royal, and the villains that observe him simply pale as compared. Not solely that, when you attain the third or fourth dungeon of the sport, the story appears to essentially meander with no clear finish purpose in sight. The Phantom Thieves are right here to alter the hearts of “shitty adults”, sure, however Persona 3 and 4 did a terrific job of creating some form of finish purpose that the occasion needed to try in the direction of, whereas 5 simply appears aimless as compared. By the point you get to the midpoint, it takes one other 10 hours or so earlier than the story lastly begins to take form, and your objectives develop into a lot clearer.
However these are all outdated and long-standing complaints I’ve had with Persona 5 since day one. I nonetheless suppose the pacing takes a nosedive in the course of the sport, however having performed by way of it once more on Swap, it’s as if my mindset has completely shifted when it comes to how I’m approaching it.
Let’s speak in regards to the technical stuff first. Persona 5 Royal runs like a dream on the Swap. The load occasions are nearly non-existent when you load up the sport, the menu transitions are nonetheless clear as at all times, the whole lot simply appears to be like crisp. The one draw back right here is that the 3D character fashions do look slightly muddier than their PlayStation counterparts, however actually, you’ll spend a lot time trying on the 2D character portraits throughout cutscenes as an alternative that you simply’ll barely discover it.
When docked, the 3D fashions look significantly better, however the handheld expertise is definitely no slouch. In truth, after having performed it on the OLED Swap and seeing how good it appears to be like, I’d say that Persona 5 Royal is finest skilled on a conveyable gadget.
With the ability to choose up and put down the sport every time I would like has additionally undoubtedly helped with assuaging these aforementioned pacing points. It would sound foolish, however having besides up the PS4 or PS5 to play Persona and sit by way of hours of cutscenes, dungeon puzzles (which I nonetheless really feel are unnecessarily bloated), and watching these characters meander by way of highschool life felt like an enormous time dedication. I discover myself feeling much more lenient with these complaints when enjoying on the Swap, just because I can disengage every time I would like by placing the Swap to sleep and simply selecting it again up an hour later if the temper strikes me.
There’s much less burnout from enjoying this manner, and getting by way of Persona 5 Royal’s robust center dungeons and story felt much more digestible. I also needs to be aware that my experiences with the primary 4 Persona video games had been additionally on handhelds, with 1, 2, and three on the PSP, and 4 on the Vita. The Persona video games –3, 4, and 5 specifically– have at all times been higher suited to the transportable format due to the way in which they’re structured. It’s simple to select up the sport and simply play by way of one faculty day earlier than placing it down, or comfortably binging a bunch of story materials by bringing the Swap with you to mattress.
When it comes to battery consumption, I discovered that the OLED Swap held up fairly nicely even for lengthy play classes. At full cost, the Swap lasted about eight hours earlier than I lastly put it down, and the battery was solely all the way down to round 24%.
The Royal model of the sport additionally introduces two new characters, Kasumi Yoshizawa and Takuto Maruki, who’re wonderful additions to the story, and probably even the perfect characters within the entirety of Persona 5. All of that is to say, it took about 5 years, however I’m lastly beginning to come round on this recreation.
Regardless of its narrative flaws and sometimes tiresome dungeon design, there’s no denying that Persona 5 Royal is an absolute dream to play on the Swap. That is nonetheless the definitive model of the sport, and having the ability to take it on the go is undoubtedly one of the best ways to play. In the event you’ve but to dive into the world of Persona 5, it is a nice time to take action. And in the event you’ve already performed it on consoles and, like me, you didn’t actually benefit from the pacing of the sport however appreciated virtually the whole lot else about it, this might very nicely change your thoughts.