Before we get going, let’s make one thing clear: Persona 5 Strikers is a direct sequel to Persona 5. It is not the kind of action game spin-off that we’ve concerned anticipate from Omega Force– the Koei Tecmo studio behind the Dynasty Warriors series and the lots of, lots of’ musou ‘adaptations that have been launched over the last few years. Strikers has far more in typical with its JRPG predecessor than it does the hack and slashers that surround it.
Having said that, Strikers is a streamlined Persona experience. In regards to structure, it eliminates the idea of leisure time and social links– however the simplification of the Persona formula works within the context of the story. Certainly, this is everything about the return of the Phantom Thieves– the mangy group of teenagers who forged solid bonds with one another throughout Persona 5. The gang return together several months after the events of the previous game, with the promise of a relaxing summer getaway on their minds.
Naturally things don’t rather go to strategy, and it’s not long prior to the Phantom Thieves find themselves tangled up in another crazy conspiracy. The plot itself involves a smattering of fresh faces, all of whom are well written and placed into the story with care. It’s another interesting storyline that you’ll wish to see through to the end, but eventually, Strikers plays it safe. There was a chance here to attempt something strange or new, however in a lot of ways– thematically, especially– Strikers walks a roadway already well travelled by Persona 5.
As such, it goes without saying that if you have not played Persona 5, you’re going to lose out on so much of what makes Strikers’ story tick. There are no prolonged character intros here; it’s presumed that you’re currently familiar with Joker and his friends, along with their previous exploits.
What’s more, Strikers goes to surprising lengths in order to further develop its currently developed cast. Minutes of thought about character advancement are dotted all throughout the adventure, and it’s terrific to see these strong characters end up being even better realised as the journey advances. And it actually is a journey; the Phantom Thieves get to take a trip all throughout Japan as they track down yet more disruptions in the horrible Metaverse. The game’s got a cosy journey vibe that truly helps set it apart from the intentional day-to-day repeating of Persona 5.
There is a sameness to the first couple of chapters of Strikers, nevertheless, prior to the overarching plotlines actually start to begin. Go to a new city, investigate odd happenings, dominate the Metaverse, repeat. This rather rigid structure is broken up by long discussion scenes and enjoyable gatherings where the gang visit regional destinations, but once again, this is very much a structured variation of Persona.
The only real liberty that you have takes the kind of exploration within dungeons. Strikers’ ‘prisons’ are basically the exact same sort of twisted mindscapes that you needed to browse in Persona 5, other than they’re generally larger and more vibrant. Some prisons are much better created than others, but overall, there are a variety of cool concepts at play, with platforming sections and light puzzle resolving including welcome variation from time to time.
But the real draw of these prisons is the combat– the action battle. In case you do not already understand, Strikers does away with Persona 5’s turn based battle system in favour of real-time action. It’s clearly quite the change, but by the end of our playthrough, we absolutely loved it. Now, we’re not saying that one is much better than the other, however Strikers’ mix of hectic, acrobatic action and essential tactical subtlety offers it an unique identity. It’s a battle system that works brilliantly when it’s at its finest, and as an action-based adjustment of Persona 5’s rulebook, it’s an outstanding achievement.
And by that, we suggest that you’ll still have to exploit opponent weak points and switchin between party members at the correct time if you desire to take success. In a method, it reminds us of the stop-start battle system in Final Fantasy VII Remake. It’s constructed on a structure of quick combination attacks, evading, and special moves, however you can pause the action at any time, target an opponent, and after that choose a specific skill in a quote to deal big damage. Simply like in Persona 5, striking a weakness leaves your foe defenceless, which can lead to both full-blown assaults and extra attacks.
There’s likewise depth to be found in the way that each Phantom Thief fights; everyone has their own unique moveset and special abilities. Joker can, of course, switch persona mid-fight in order to cover different weak points. Ryuji can brace himself, permitting him to charge directly through inbound blows, and Ann can set her whip ablaze, maximising her elemental damage. Being able to switch in between characters whenever you like avoids the hacking and slashing from becoming stagnant, and when everything clicks– the combinations, the skill use, the baton pass– a really fulfilling rhythm emerges from the mayhem.
This rhythm is especially prevalent during some of the video game’s fantastic employer fights, which are a definite highlight. Our only problem with the game’s tougher enemies is that sometimes, you will not be packing the elements that you require in order to strike a weak point. You can only take 4 celebration members into fight, and if you do not take place to have the right abilities for the job, then you’re in for a far harder(and
far more laborious )time. With just informed guesswork to go on before an important encounter, it can feel a bit unfair to stumble throughout a boss halfway through a prison, only to understand that you can’t strike at its vulnerable point because you’ve left nuclear specialist Makoto, or wind professional Morgana on the bench. This is where Joker’s ability to wield a variety of personalities is expected to come into play– however relying on Joker alone will sap your currently limited SP (your skill resource) far too rapidly. These scenarios are thankfully rare, finding yourself stonewalled by the odd manager feels like an unneeded annoyance. Having the ability to replace a non-active celebration member– as you can in Persona 5– would be an instantaneous fix.
Other, more minor niggles include a bit of a wonky electronic camera when you’re battling in smaller sized spaces, and the absence of general commands for your AI-driven party members. Again, smaller sized issues, however they’re bound to sneak up at some point. Now we understand what some of you may be believing: you’re a fan of Persona 5, but you’re not that into action battle. Our suggestions is honestly not to fret about it. Strikers isn’t the type of button masher that wreaks havoc on your joints– and it’s certainly not the sort of hardcore action game that’ll tie your fingers in knots. As discussed, it is fast, however the truth that you can stop briefly time by summoning personalities gives combat a manageable ups and downs. Plus, there is an ‘simple’ mode that can be allowed at any time. It makes the game more flexible across the board, and it’s the best location to begin if you wish to relieve yourself into the experience.
Moving on, Strikers inherits that tremendous sense of style that helped make Persona 5 so memorable. Menus and other components of the user interface are immaculately created, and the game just oozes elegant design. It’s an embarassment, then, that the in-game graphics can look extremely rough. Strikers runs at a strong 60 frames-per-second, but the quality of character models and environments have actually taken an apparent dive– presumably so that the frame-rate does not dip during larger encounters. It’s not a deal-breaker, but all of the jagged edges and blurred possessions are extremely obvious on a big TV.
The title’s exceptional soundtrack is on hand to sidetrack you from the irregular graphics. Strikers reuses a variety of songs from Persona 5, but a choice of brand-new music and a variety of spectacular rock remixes make it all worthwhile. Iconic fight style ‘Last Surprise’ has been given a magnificent makeover, for example. An instantaneous hit.
Naturally things don’t quite go to plan, and it’s not long prior to the Phantom Thieves find themselves tangled up in another insane conspiracy. It goes without saying that if you have not played Persona 5, you’re going to miss out on out on so much of what makes Strikers’ story tick. There is a sameness to the very first couple of chapters of Strikers, however, before the overarching plotlines really begin to kick in. This rhythm is especially common during some of the video game’s great employer fights, which are a definite emphasize. Moving on, Strikers acquires that immense sense of style that assisted make Persona 5 so unforgettable.