Persona 5 Royal Makes a Great JRPG Even Better

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With a running time of at least 100 hours, Persona 5 was a bit of a slog for some when it released on PS4 in 2017.

It was a slog that was worth it overall, though. For JRPG fans, Persona 5 was the gift that just kept on giving. By day you went to school and engaged in the mundane things that we now only wish we could do, like socialising and working. And by night? Well, you were exploring the supernatural Metaverse, trying to right the world’s wrongs. It was compelling, fun and engrossing.

In our review of Persona 5, Kyle stated that it’s “undoubtedly one of the best RPGs of all time”, and most wouldn’t disagree. But the game’s gargantuan length was undoubtedly a barrier. Not everyone can find a consistent 100 hours of spare time in their life, and like any RPG, a week, or even a just few days without playing can abruptly break your momentum. In these trying times where we’re locked up indoors, only leaving to get the essentials, however, Persona 5 is perfect. You can settle down with it, get really stuck in, and not care that the hours are flying by.

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Only, you shouldn’t play Persona 5 anymore. It’s old and outdated. It’s been superseded. Instead you should play Persona 5 Royal.

Available now, Persona 5 Royal is the ultimate version of Persona 5. If you’ve already played and completed Persona 5 and can’t stomach the thought of doing it all over again, you can probably give it a miss. But for those yet to take the plunge, it’s something very special indeed. And honestly, there are enough changes and additions included in Persona 5 Royal to satiate fans who would gladly spend some more time with its protagonists, too.

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Perhaps the biggest and most encompassing change in Persona 5 Royal is the revised localisation. Persona 5‘s dialogue wasn’t the best at times, with some lines that were just plain wrong. That’s not the case in Persona 5 Royal. The dialogue has been gone through with fine-tooth comb, and so the story now shines like never before. Where necessary, dialogue has even been re-recorded, and some unsavoury scenes have been revised to make them less offensive.

New characters also appear in Persona 5 Royal, including one which you can add to your party. You’ll first meet Kasumi Yoshizawa in Persona 5 Royal‘s revised prologue, which you’ll quickly discover means that you can’t add her to your party until much later in the game. It’s worth doing so when you can though, and you can even romance her if you wish.

In terms of gameplay, Personal 5 Royal makes changes that lead to a more enjoyable experience overall. Combat is dramatically improved, for example, with new Showtime attacks stealing the limelight. The ammo for your guns is now also automatically refilled at the start of each battle, saving you valuable resources, and you can now Baton Pass between party members from the outset, allowing you to exploit enemy weaknesses more easily. On top of all that, many of the game’s bosses have been tweaked to make their fights more entertaining.

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Outside of combat, the new grappling hook ability means that Palaces now have revised layouts and more routes for you to explore. It’s just a shame that you can’t use it freely; you’ll need to keep an eye out for pre-determined grapple points. There are simply more things to see and do, too, including more ways to spend your free time, and the Thieves Den which is essentially an interactive gallery.

One of the biggest new additions to Persona 5 Royal, however, and one that is most likely to draw in those that loved the standard version of Persona 5, is the new third semester. Essentially extending the length of the game, it adds a considerable amount of new story content, including a new Palace and ending. Players will have to fulfil certain conditions to access it though, which we won’t spoil here.

So, Persona 5 Royal takes a brilliant game and makes it even better. It packs in additional content, is more enjoyable to play, and its story is now free of pesky localisation issues. Needless to say, if you’ve suddenly found yourself with a bucket-load of free time on your hands and have a penchant for JRPGs, you’d be mad to not get lost in its world. Offering over 100 hours of gameplay, it’s the perfect game to play in a lockdown. And that time is now, unfortunately. You may as well make the best of it.

Persona 5 Royal is available now on PS4.


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