Finally, Persona HAS RETURNED TO THE PLAYSTATION.
Right off the bat, the game is exceptionally gorgeous; from the cell shading to the animated cutscenes. Everything is bright and vibrant while the soundtrack is a lovely mix of fusion music and acid jazz.
Visually, Persona 5 has a very Japanese-y manga or anime feel to it. So for those that don’t quite enjoy that kind of art style, this game might not be for you. Looking past that, the dungeons, characters and menus have a wonderful mix of colours. Plus, the cutscenes are wonderfully drawn and the transitions into cell shaded gameplay are very well done.
Combat is simple to grasp yet difficult to master and uses an old school turned-based system, bringing back a feeling of nostalgia. Every enemy has a weakness and it can be any of 10 possibilities (physical, gun, fire, ice, wind, lightning, nuclear, psi, curse and bless). Upon stunning your enemy, you can choose to either eliminate everyone with an all out attack or talk to them for items or you can decide to recruit them. Basing your options on the personality of each shadow can result in a successful recruitment or you might end up angering them.
The story starts with you getting a feeling for the character and challenges you with the ambiguity of whether doing the right thing is actually the appropriate course of action. Persona has always made use of the way players respond to people and pits it against the narrow line between right and wrong. While the initial exposition is slow, once the story kicks in it really gets the game going. Imagine a high school simulator but with lots of kick ass action and storyline.
The soundtrack is really one of the best. The music is masterfully done and there were several times when I had to take a couple of moments during my play-through to just enjoy the music.
All in all, the game is truly a masterpiece. I really loved it and it should definitely be a candidate for the Game of the Year awards.