The Persona series has prospered for several years now.
Its quirky mix of a high school simulator and dungeon crawling RPG mechanics has endeared itself well to JRPG fans here in the States and beyond. Japanese fans have spent an ample amount of time working through the 5th official installment of the long-running franchise. 2017 has arrived with a surprising number of quality games in its first few months. Persona 5 is among that group of quality releases. This PS4 exclusive brings with a new cast of young heroes, Personas, casual daytime activities, locales and everything else that makes the series so beloved.
We’re ready for Persona 5 and we’re sure plenty of other US/UK gamers are as well. Before April 4 hits, let’s break down the finer aspects of this new JRPG.
1. The Persona Sub-Series Was Birthed in 1996
The Persona line of games owes its creation to the Shin Megami Tensei franchise. That aforementioned series managed to garner a huge fan following in Japan thanks to a flood of mainline releases and spin-off’s (the 1st game in the main series was 1987’s Digital Devil Story: Megami Tensei). The spin-off series’ introduced via Shin Megami Tensei were both Persona and Devil Summoner. The Persona games have spanned across a few genres – JRPG’s, fighters and even a rhythm game.
Refer to the list posted below to see all of the Persona titles that came before the 5th main entry. And you can check out the video above to see how the sub-series has developed over time:
– Megami Ibunroku Persona (1996)
– Persona 2: Innocent Sin (1999)
– Persona 2: Eternal Punishment (2000)
– Persona 3 (2006)
– Persona 3 FES (2007)
– Persona 4 (2008)
– Persona 3 Portable (2009)
– Persona 4 Arena (2012)
– Persona 4 Golden (2012)
– Persona 4 Arena Ultimax (2013)
– Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth (2014)
– Persona 4: Dancing All Night (2015)
2. Persona 5’s Storyline Follows the Exploits of a Silent Protagonist Who Leads the “Phantom Thieves of Hearts”
Persona 5’s plot revolves around a young man who’s forced to transfer to Shujin High School after being put on a year-long probation. This legal trouble comes his way due to him assaulting a major politician who was close to molesting a woman. He arrives in Tokyo to stay with close family and friends while he gets used to his new school surroundings. Things take a strange turn when the main protagonist and his allies discover their inner Persona powers and become a group of masked vigilantes. As the “Phantom Thieves of Hearts,” this collective of young heroes explore the supernatural Palace realm. They set out to steal the source of a person’s darkness within their heart, thereby ridding them of their emotional corruption.
Along with the main hero and leader of the Phantom Thieves of Hearts, Persona 5 features a whole other cast of characters. Most of these side heroes will aid you in battle and produce their own powerful Persona. Check out the video above to view a summary of the silent protagonist, then check out the list below to see he who he’ll align himself with (click on their names to see them in action, too):
3. Gamers Will Explore Tokyo During the Daytime and Explore the Palace Realm After School
The main character lives out his life as a high school student during the daytime. His daily activities that you can play out includes going to school, working part-time jobs, craft items, hang out with friends and develop stronger bonds with the people around him. By conversing with certain “Confidants,” you’ll begin to gain their trust and get even closer to them. This activity plays a part during battle as well since it grants extra skills/boosts to the Phantom Thieves of Hearts.
Check out the list below to see each Confidant and click on their name to see how you’ll interact with them:
When the time comes to take a trip to the Palace realm, the fun truly begins. The main heroine and his fellow thieves will hop into a variety of environments that are set up as dungeons. These dungeons are filled with evil Shadows, which are the physical embodiment of a person’s suppressed psyche. You can choose to take the stealth route to avoid these enemies or take them head during turn-based battles. These battles play out like the ones featured in past Persona games – you can strike enemies’ weak points, pull off huge damage dealing All-Out Attacks, Negotiate with Shadows to turn them into a Persona etc. You’ll spend hours traversing main story/”Memento” side dungeons, solve puzzles and get to the root of people’s mental anguish.
4. The Soundtrack’s Been Composed by Longtime Composer Shoji Meguro
Video game publisher Atlus’ own Shoji Meguro has made his career as a video game director, music composer and guitarist. His musical contributions to the Shin Megami Tensei, Devil Summoner and Persona games have stuck to genres such as rock, jazz, electronica, hip-hop etc. It should come as no surprise that he’s been assigned composer duties for Persona 5 alongside Toshiki Konishi and Atsushi Kitajoh. A few of Persona 5’s catchiest tracks include “Life Will Change” (posted in the video above), “Rivers in the Desert” and “Beneath the Mask.”
5. Persona 5 is Being Offered Within Three Different Editions; A Ton of DLC is on the Way
Persona 5 is releasing worldwide on April 4 in three different editions – Standard, SteelBook and Premium. The Standard Edition comes with a special DualShock 4 controller skin fashioned after the game itself (check it out here). The SteelBook Edition packages the physical game in a steel case with beautiful game art. The appropriately named “Take Your Heart” Premium Edition is the biggest edition of all. It comes with a physical copy of the game, the SteelBook case, a school bag, a Morgana plush doll, the game’s soundtrack and a hardcover art book. All of these collector’s items come inside a huge Collector’s Box.
A steady mix of paid DLC has already been announced as a part of the game’s post-launch plans. These DLC packages offer up character costumes, Personas and song selections. Longtime fans of the series will be happy to see past games and other Atlus titles reflected by all this DLC. Persona 5’s official website offered up descriptions and prices for each upcoming DLC set. We went ahead and listed the titles and release dates for each set down below:
– Orpheus and Orpheus Picaro Set (releases April 11)
– Izanagi and Izanagi Picaro Set (releases April 11)
– Persona 3 Costume and BGM Special Set (releases April 11)
– Persona 4 Costume and BGM Special Set (releases April 11)
– Kaguya and Kaguya Picaro Set (releases April 18)
– Thanatos and Thanatos Picaro Set (releases April 18)
– Shin Megami Tensei: Persona Costume and BGM Special Set (releases April 18)
– Persona 2 Costume and BGM Special Set (releases April 18)
– Shin Megami Tensei IV Costume and BGM Special Set (releases April 25)
– Persona 5 Swimsuit (releases April 25)
– Persona 4: Dancing All Night Costume and BGM Special Set (releases April 25)
– Catherine Costume and BGM Special Set (releases May 2; pictured in the screenshot posted above)
– Devil Summoner Raidou Kuzunoha Costume and BGM Special Set (releases May 2)