Persona 5

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Persona 5

Nyla Baker, Contributor

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     Persona 5 is a JRPG (Japanese Role Playing Game) and when going in chronological order the 6th installment of the popular franchise developed by Atlus and is made for the Playstation 3 and Playstation 4 (P3, P4), not including the many filler games that were released during prior to Persona 5’s release on September 15th, 2016. The game is set in a modern Tokyo, but recently there has been a strange phenomenon of mental shutdowns that have been killing seemingly unconnected people spanning from train conductors to leaders of major corporations. You play as the main protagonist (mp) whom you name at the start of the game, who has just transferred to a new school a considerable distance from your hometown due to the confrontation you had with the businessman you saw harassing a woman (you have a flashback at the beginning of the game.) and resulted in the man falling and getting hurt then you are falsely accused for attacking him, you end up getting expelled from your school and put on probation for a year. So you go to live with a man named Sojiro Sakura while on probation. During your time in the guardianship of Sojiro you learn how hard it is to fit in and how fast rumors spread, but your not alone because as you progress along in the game which goes by a day to day, you will gain many different friends.

           What makes this game different from the other Person games is the it is an obvious contrast to the long cutscenes that make up the majority of the game runtime while in Persona 5 the time you really play is much higher than they amount of time you spend in the cutscenes, the second reason is the introductions of the very different battle style which is turn based and if you attack the Shadow then your team goes first and if the enemy attacks you first then their side goes first. The last thing that sets Persona 5 away from the other games is instead of being the much appreciated young detectives that fight fairly for justice and always win, you and your team are known as the Phantom Thieves that do what is right even if the whole world is against them The Phantom Thieves don’t always win either as the game progresses you are brought to the top then before you know it you are brought down and berated by the very people you are trying to save. That is what makes this game so appealing because you don’t always stand at the top forever and are replaced you see how fast everything can come tumbling down and it’s wonderful refreshing take on the Persona games.

         The developers did keep some the past elements of persona games (if they hadn’t I wouldn’t call it a true persona game and just another teaser filler game.)When you sleep you are transported into a place called the velvet room where you are told your life will end in a year if you don’t start your rehabilitation soon. Your rehabilitation involves traveling into the palaces of corrupted adults and stealing their treasure which is the source of their corruption. You are what is called a ‘Wild Card’ meaning unlike your friends you can hold more than 1 persona (the sources of your power) within yourself. Your first Palace will be of the former Olympian PE teacher who pushes the sports teams too hard and blackmails them to make them stay on the teams and not to tell anyone about what is happening to them. You enter the palaces by giving 3 keywords 1. Their Desire, 2. Their Name, 3. What they picture a place they feel they have power in  as, to an app on your phone that only appears for Persona users the ‘Nav app’. Your first Persona is Arsene of the ‘Fool’ arcana, which you awaken to in they first Palace. When you and other persona users ‘awaken’ to their Persona (or alternate self) they have to be in danger or someone close to them in imminent danger, and the Persona will say something encouraging them to awaken to their full power, when you awaken to your power (because your only friend for now Ryuji is about to die.) Arsene says

       “What’s the matter…? Are you simply going to watch? Are you forsaking him to save yourself? Death awaits him if you do nothing. Was your previous decision a mistake then? Very well…I have heeded your resolve. Vow to me. I am thou, thou art I…Thou who art willing to perform all sacrilegious acts for thine own justice! Call upon my name, and release thy rage! Show the strength of thy will to ascertain all on thine own, though thou be chained to Hell itself!

          All Personas have a different arcanas (category) that they are in which only affects the movesets they have and help you come closer with a confidant of the same arcana. Personas also have different levels but you may only make or take a persona of you level. A ‘confidant’ is the vow between you and your friends and acquaintances not all of your friends are persona users only some but you can create a ‘confidant’ with almost anyone and the more you hangout with them with raise your social stats throughout the game which is very important due to blocks with story development if you don’t have a high level social stat. Creating and developing new ‘confidants’ is also very important to the game due to the unique choice to have a good ending or a bad ending. The things you say do and don’t do will all greatly affect how your character and you friends behave toward each other in the real world and in battle with ‘Shadows’ in the various Palaces.

           Shadows are the enemies that dwell in the Palaces (when you battle them if you take them they can become your Persona), their forms will vary between different Palaces, same with the people in the Palaces because it is the owners cognition so everything is in their point of view.  Progression through the game is a long but worthwhile process, you absolutely cannot speed run through this game, if you try to you will not only miss major turning point in the game but the enjoyment as well, in a game where all of the actions you take, attitude, how close your confidants with your friends are all determine what and when your end game will be. Persona 5 is filled with unpredictable surprises and will keep you engaged while you are either hanging out or helping your friends overcome their boundaries and let go of the heavy guilt they carry as they will also help you, to fighting Palace  bosses. Your first play through will at least take you 100-120 hours if you take your time while you advance in the game.  

          In conclusion Persona 5 is a well crafted, breathtaking game that you can really connect with and is by far has the best story compared to previous Persona games, and with at least 100 hours of game play for you to explore the many different people you can bond with, places you can explore and take your friends, and the problems you can help them overcome throughout your  single year of being away from your hometown. Unlike most games after your first play  through your done but with Persona 5 you can always play again and explore the one city you never really went to or find another person to create a confidant with. Persona 5 is by far the best in the generation of Persona games and you should most definitely consider playing it.    

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