I wasn’t sure what to think when Persona 5 Strikers was first announced, a Persona 5 sequel in the form of a Dynasty Warriors style spin-off.
The more we learned about it, though, the more interested I became.
Now that I’ve finished it, I’m happy to say that despite the different genre of gameplay, Persona 5 Strikers really does feel like a sequel.
Set after the events of Persona 5, the main cast of characters gets back together for summer vacation, only to discover that people’s hearts are being changed.
Instead of Palaces, strange areas known as Jails are appearing in the Metaverse across Japan and changing people’s behavior in the real world, and so the Phantom Thieves set off on a journey to stop the phenomenon and learn the truth of what is happening.
A couple of new characters are also introduced as part of the main plot, and they’re great (especially Zenikichi).
Gameplay-wise, it’s technically a Musou (Dynasty Warriors), but really it ends up feeling like a regular action JRPG. In fact, it does an impressive job of incorporating Persona 5’s gameplay elements into the new combat to really make me think, “Yes, if Persona was an action RPG, this is what it would feel like.”
You’ll hack-and-slash your way through groups of enemies, but also make use of summoning Personas, exploiting enemy weaknesses, and triggering follow-up moves and all-out attacks. It gets pretty challenging at times, too.
Oh, and I have to mention that the music is fantastic. My favorite is “Daredevil,” which plays at a key point in each Jail, and whenever it started playing, my only regret was that progressing in the story meant it would stop playing.
There’s a lot of great music, but that one especially stands out to me.
The one thing it’s missing from the Persona gameplay loop is the social aspect, since the calendar only moves based on story progress and you don’t have separate stories to progress with the other characters. There are still points where you can talk to your party members and see short scenes with them, as well as earning “Bond Points” to spend on special bonuses, but there’s nothing really like the confidant system.
With that said, it still feels very much like Persona 5 in tone. The story, the character interactions, the fun scenes with the characters hanging out at various places – it’s all there, and it’s as Persona as it can be.
I really enjoyed playing Persona 5 Strikers, and I can’t get over how much it felt like a proper sequel instead of just a quick spin-off. If you liked Persona 5 and aren’t wholly opposed to action JRPGs, I definitely recommend you give Persona 5 Strikers a try!---
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