Back in the second year of college, I had just got into playing with my older sister’s PS Vita. Through this, I had learnt of the different types of video game genres that I would continue to play until this day. One of these genres would come to be my favourite which is JPRG (Japanese role-playing game). However even before this, I would have to give the first credit to the Persona 4 anime for getting me fully interested into the series itself. Something stood out about the anime at the time that made me realise this would be a series I would hold onto for a very long time. The main concept of a “Persona” is very deep and can relate to real life. The persona is essentially a “mask” that the main protagonist of the game series uses to face real world problems.
The mask also represents the character’s personality, which with this idea made the connection between me at the main characters of the game more personal and interactive. Personas themselves are also based off real people or religious figures like angels and demons. There are also “shadows”, these are the evil manifestations of one’s heart and are the main villains you fight in the game. I would like to think that my own persona would be based on the real life “Aisha” who was known for her scholarly intellect and is still an important influence to many Muslim women in the world today.
Looking back at my time playing both Persona 3 and 4, these game shaped me into the person that I am today. I actually decided to get into doing illustration and graphic design from being inspired by Shigenori Soejima’s work. With Persona 5 released since April, I can confidently say it is one of the best games I have played this year (along with Nier Automata of course). I honestly expected Persona 5 to be completely different from the previous game with some new name changes in the game. Speaking of these changes, here is a few that you need to know of if you are a returning player to the series:
The word “Social Links” has changed to “Commandments”, however it is still the same system. I will also say that it was VERY hard for me to pick best waifu in the game as I kept choosing between Ann and Makoto. Update: I am still choosing!
Stealth is key. It took me a while to get used to this as the old games would require me to either just run around a shadow over and over to attack it. It is still possible in this game, however if caught the owner of the palace will be aware and security level will go up. If it goes to 99% you are pretty much in danger. This may become a pain for people who don’t particularly like stealth like myself, I had to involve my older sister a few times since I know hiding and trying to act like a thief is my weakest skill in the game. For people like me, I would advise to focus on taking your time through palaces and don’t rush into fighting enemies. Follow and understand their walking paths as they repeat, this gives you an idea of what the shadow will do next which only leaves you to do the rest of the work. Negotiations with shadows from Persona 2 are back and makes it easier for you to gain higher level personas throughout the game. Gaining new persona would usually occur at the end of fighting shadows in Persona 3 and 4, having negotiations adds the extra personality feature to the new persona you gain.
I am only just half way through the game and still waiting for two more people to join our team. Serious credit needs to be given to the creators for making the characters some of the best I have seen in a Persona game for a long time. They represent the people and struggles that we face in our everyday lives. I may not be a teenager anymore, but when seeing how some of the evil adults behave as some of the worst liars and more, I can totally relate to the young Phantom Thieves purpose of exposing the bad that they do. The Phantom Thieves themselves are seriously amazing, I found to like my whole current team more quickly than my friends in Persona 4. Ryuji is your typical hot headed male type, however he can be caring and has a hilarious personality. Ann and Makoto are seriously the best mature female characters I have come across. Yusuke is the strange artist of the group, however when you get to know him through conversation there is more to his unique personality. Lastly I can finally say that Morgana, the hilarious and cute main pet mascot is 100000% better than Teddie from Persona 4!
The Persona series will always be something that I can go back to playing in the future as I have grown to love the games so much over these past years. I hope that in the next few years, Atlus will continue to produce games that I will definitely come to love and always support for years to come.
Now, it’s time for me to finally summon my own Persona!!!!