Review of Persona 5 (PS4)


Huzzah! After seventy hours of play I have finally beaten Persona 5. These days I try to avoid lengthy titles, as my leisure time is at a premium, but when a game of this quality comes out you have to make an effort to experience it. Sleep was sacrificed and I opted to play on easy to reduce the amount of grinding. Screw challenge. I am a filthy casual who is only concerned about the story. Let the masochist crowd, who can beat Dark Souls with a guitar controller, tackle hard mode in my stead.


In this Shin Megami spin-off players assume the role of a hapless teenager who has been framed for assault. As punishment our semi-silent protagonist is whisked away to Tokyo and ordered to behave until the scandal subsides back home. Hopes of an uneventful yearlong probation in the capital are however dashed when he procures a mysterious app that teleports him into an alternate dimension infested with shadow creatures. Wow, these days there really is an app for everything.

Just like in Persona 4 the key to success is efficient time management. Dungeon crawling in the Metaverse is only a small part of the game. Aside from saving the world players have more mundane tasks to fulfil such as passing mid-term exams and fraternizing with a cast of twenty confidants. Boosting social stats is also important. There are numerous ways of enhancing your attributes. Some examples include bathing with naked men, stuffing your mouth with burgers and forgiving the maid cafe waitresses whenever they fumble your order.


One of the best features about this latest Persona is that Atlus’ lazy level designers actually took the time to craft proper dungeons. Gone are the days of procedurally generated mazes were you stroll about searching for an exit. Every palace you explore has a distinct theme and is packed with puzzles/traps, which is a vast improvement over past titles. Navigating the stages was a joy, although I could have done without the stealth mechanics. Sneaking behind enemies is not a play style I enjoy. No tears were shed in my household when it was recently revealed that Hitman’s future is in jeopardy.

Combat for the most part remains unchanged. Encounters are resolved via turn-based battles, which are both tactical and snappy. Strategy boils down to exploiting a foe’s magical vulnerabilities. Hitting enemies with an element they are weak against rewards the player with an extra action. The types of spell that can be cast are determined by the demons under your command. In a sense, Persona feels like an edgier version of Pokémon. There are almost two hundred minions you can catch, ranging from cute snowmen to giant penis monsters.


Presentation wise Persona 5 oozes style. In fact it was initially too vibrant for my palate, as I prefer cleaner looking UIs. After a few hours I did however become accustomed to the slick visuals and appreciated how they meshed well with the jazzy soundtrack. Apart from the graphics I also liked the cut scenes, which are animated by Production I.G. On the audio side I have no complaints about the English language dub. Even the feline mascot’s voice is tolerable, although I wish he wouldn’t nag me so much about going to bed. Cats love naps almost as much as they enjoy vandalizing Christmas trees.

My rating for Persona 5 is five stars. JRPGs rarely get attention in the west, but Persona 5’s excellence has managed to buck that trend. The game has received universal acclaim from reviewers everywhere and it even managed to top the sales charts over here in Europe. We haven’t even hit June yet and I already suspect that 2017’s game of the year has been discovered. Huh, what’s that? Breath of the Wild is a contender for that honour too? Nah, I disagree. Zelda sucks. Okay, it’s time for me to leave. I suspect livid Nintendo fans are about to descend upon my blog with the ferocity of a miffed Cucco flock.

19 thoughts on “Review of Persona 5 (PS4)

  1. Nice review! While I can’t agree with your closing statement, between this, Horizon, Nier, Zelda, and WH40k Dawn of War III – it’s going to be a really tough year for me choosing my favorite. Persona is definitely at the top of the list – and while I haven’t finished any of these titles yet (for the same reason you avoid lengthy games in general) – I’ve spent the most time on Persona to date.

    These days I tend to judge how good a game is by how much time I spent playing it – because I still ‘play’ almost every game that’s supposedly worth checking out, but rarely do they get more than an hour or two before they’re tossed in the backlog. My short list above there have all passed the 10 hour mark, with a couple well past 40. It’s a good year for gaming!

    • The Zelda remark was made in jest. Whenever I get round to buying a Switch I expect that Breath of the Wild will be the first game I play on the system. From the titles you mentioned I own Nier, but I have only sunk an hour into it. My pals have also recommended Horizon so I’ll have to check that out some day.

      Your gaming habits sound similar to mine. I either get hooked on a title and play it non-stop until completion or I give lose interest after a couple of hours and give up on it. There are so many new releases coming out that it’s tough to force yourself to keep playing something that is mediocre just to see if it improvements. The backlog continues to grow. At the time of writing I still have Resident Evil and Final Fantasy in the shrink wrapper.

  2. I figured! You’ll dig it. I also have RE7 and FFXV and ‘World Of’ in the backlog! I need to just stop buying for a while and give myself time to catch up!

    • I have no idea why I keep buying stuff on day one just to leave it sitting there. By the time I get round to playing those games they probably will be dirt cheap on a sale. I have no willpower when it comes to resisting new releases.

  3. Great review! Honestly, the Persona games didn’t seem like something I would like, but a lot of people speak highly of them so I should give it a shot. You said Zelda sucks!? *gasps* Good luck fleeing from the angry Nintendo fan mob.

    • Persona 5 is a must play for anyone who likes JRPGs. Heck even people who don’t like that type of game seem to be enjoying it. I would also recommend Golden and P3P, but they are sadly on handhelds that most people don’t own.

      The Zelda remark was a joke. I don’t want to get on the bad side of Nintendo fans. I have seen how vicious they can get whenever people vote for anyone other than Link is the GameFAQs character contests.

      • Oh I know your Zelda remark was a joke, but I doubt the rapid Nintendo fans you just aggro’d do. Run!! 🙂

  4. I haven’t managed to put in the time to beat it yet, but I’m loving my time there. It’s a great game. And for the first time in the SMT series, they have good dungeon design! Pulling up all the stops here. Of course, I don’t think I’m ever going to be able to look at it objectively. Series got me too close to heart.

    • Yeah, it’s nice how some thought was put into dungeon design this time round. I do wish that some of the palaces were shorter though because I like to clear stages ASAP, but that can be tough when SP starts to run out. The game offers the best of both worlds because Mementos basically is like the old games by being proceduraly generated floors.

  5. I wouldn’t have expected anything else but for this to be a great game. I can only hope for a Vita version next year or so. Loved your opening remark, I would have done the same. No use to spend all the time leveling up, when it’s the story that in most curious about!

    • You can play all the other Persona games on Vita, but I am not optimistic about seeing P5 on the system as developers are starting to abandon the handheld. I think there is more chance on seeing this game on the Switch sadly.

      • Well, I guess you’re right. But the Switch would be fine by me too, I’ve been playing Zelda Breath of the Wild on handheld only, and it works just fine. I’d love Persona 5 on there!

  6. This is one of the games I’d like to play but got overwhelmed with all the releases earlier this year so I did not buy it. The game seems long. I guess have to add this game on my list of games to play. Since Halloween is next month, I am thinking of playing Resident Evil 7 because I am feeling festive. Then buy Nonary games in December as my birthday/Christmas present. I have to discipline myself with games.

    Dark Souls crowd is masochist? I literally had to double check the meaning using a dictionary. I don’t think I am… Anyway, great reviews as always. 🙂

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