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I am by no means a completionist.
That said, I appreciate games that persona h game me want to dig deeper into their respective universes and their lore, explore a variety of side stories, better acquaint myself with their array of characters and travel across the various terrains on offer. The events of Persona 5 Strikers referred to henceforth as Strikers — the English version of which released worldwide last month — take place right after Persona 5 ends, and in doing so, leave out the story of Royal.
Very briefly, Persona 5 and Royal tell the story of the Phantom Thieves, a bunch of schoolkids led by protagonist Joker, who learn to resolve the problems of the real world by crossing over into the Metaverse — a realm abuzz with all sorts of supernatural goings-on that is constructed by subconscious fears, desires, anger persona h game — and fighting manifestations of personal theirs and those of others demons. If you've never played Persona 5 or Royalthen you need to turn around right now. Strikers doesn't so much reward familiarity with its predecessor as much as demand it.
Playing the latest offering before the games that came before it will be the ultimate exercise in wasting time. Mark my words. Having balanced schoolwork, socialising and all the headaches of being a teen with battling supernatural forces in the Metaverse in Persona 5Strikers finds the gang readying for a well-earned summer vacation. This new quest for Jails, instead of Palaces from the last time out, sees the Phantom Thieves persona h game on a picturesque jaunt across Japan, taking in such destinations as Kyoto, Osaka and Sapporo.
A lot like the Palaces, once again, each Jail presents a different challenge and a different formula to unlocking it. From characters passionately discussing local delicacies and side missions where you have to procure those to a new crafting component that entails collecting recipes and then cooking them, this game takes its food extremely seriously. The ward of Shibuya in Tokyo feels less densely packed than before with far less to do and far fewer people to meet.
The game seems to be giving you less space and time to explore and instead, appears to be pushing you along from one checkpoint to another. A break from the routine — in this instance, turn-based combat — within the same setting is always welcome in gaming. In a rather less drastic departure than dance or puzzles, Strikers trades in the turn-based combat of its predecessor for a more hack-and-slash or Musou a genre of games popularised by the Dynasty Warriors series of games that sees you hammer an attack button to scythe down walls and walls of enemies approach.
This is more than I can say for Strikers and there are a handful of reasons why. The first is undoubtedly the story, the characters, the setting and the treatment. Persona 5 was blessed with a diverse set of characters, complete with their own strengths, weaknesses, pathos, quirks and charm. Getting to know them better was one of the most compelling aspects of the game.
Persona 5 also gave you the opportunity to apportion your in-game time on improving relationships with certain characters rather than others, which aside from adding to the story, granted you special boosts and buffs when those favoured characters were in your party. The latter aspect remains thankfully untouched. However, with Strikersrelationships with your old pals are pretty much set in stone and the only improvement possible is in terms of combat and armour upgrades.
New characters Sophia and Zenkichi Hasegawa are useful additions and their stories and motivations are reasonably well fleshed-out.
Unfortunately, all of the relationship-building exercises and side missions are gone this time, and replaced by extremely basic fetch or kill quests collect x of A or kill y of B types in the Metaverse. Furthermore, while Sophia and Zenkichi enjoy some character development, your old buddies are granted very little of it over the course of the game.
The second is the combat. While the quest for new Personas is still present in some form, it feels less deliberate and more an outcome of luck or random generation. The combat, however, is where things take a real turn for the worse. Outwitting and outmanoeuvring bosses or mini-bosses in Persona 5 was an intriguing challenge.
Identifying the right element with which to attack an enemy and then stringing together a series of optimal attack soon turned into an art — something I often found myself marvelling about for hours afterwards. The hack-and-slash combat of Strikers employs a bit of strategy in terms of when to use special moves, which teammate to include in your party and the choice of Personas with which to equip your character.
But comparing the level of strategy in Strikers with that of Persona 5 or Royal is like comparing Ludo with chess.
From a visual standpoint, the Musou style coupled with the sort of animation employed in Persona 5 games makes for a very messy and cluttered onscreen experience, particularly when taking on particularly large hoards. The third crucial element of what made Persona 5 and Royal so memorable was that it was a time management sim half the time. Tethered to a tight school timetable, you were tasked with making the most of each day in terms of whether you should spend time with a particular teammate or improve a particular skill or tackle side quests.
There was enough time to do a lot, but not nearly enough to do it all. This, in any case, is cosmetic and has no effect whatsoever on what happens next. While it was the characters and story that got me hooked, it was the time management aspect of Royal that was most addictive. The fourth and final of these reasons is the writing and dialogue. The game was blighted by far too much exposition and repetition. I got it the first time, Atlus! In that regard, Strikers feels crisper and snappier with the level of exposition and repetition greatly stripped down.
Dialogue feels a bit stilted at times and at others, it feels like a few parts of the discussion have been edited out as characters draw conclusions without the necessary evidence. Unless, of course, this evidence was gathered off camera, which would make no sense considering the random small talk that came before the conclusion.
When I first heard about Persona 5 Persona h gamea part of me hoped it might be a carrom-based game —which still sounds like an awesome idea. What Strikers provided was a great opportunity to go in a new direction with an extremely accomplished game as background. I have to mention that Strikers is by no stretch a bad game, and I say that after having played through it twice before putting down my thoughts.
Very little changed apart from me skipping cutscenes because I knew what was coming next. The story suffers from the same issue, with tedium creeping in all too frequently. Additionally, the overall plot feels very limited compared to that of Persona 5 story and more often than not, I found myself wanting segments to wrap up just so we could move on, rather than because I wanted to know what would happen next. All in all, Strikers will represent, for me, an interesting crossover of styles, but an ingloriously missed persona h game to take a great game in a new direction.
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