First things first, Persona 5 R, or Persona 5 Royal, plays a lot like it’s original Persona 5 brethren but adds on roughly 30-40 more hours of play time with an extra story chapter, brand new puzzles for palaces, improved dialogue, and much more. Persona 5 Royal is more of a complete package than a mere expansion allowing players who are both new and old to the popular franchise jump in and enjoy every minute of the experience.
Sure, hardcore players may have somewhat of a better understanding of the general ebb and flow of P5R, but the game moves at such a brilliant pace that new players can feel comfortable with progression.
What to Expect
Persona 5 R is really like a totally refreshing experience, allowing players to revisit the Carl Jung inspired world, and battle against familiar enemies, with some added bonuses thrown in for good measure.
While some fans may not be entirely enthused about the idea that P5R is essentially the same game as the original, we’d like to state that the extra additions mentioned earlier, especially the added story elements, make P5R feel like a breath of fresh air. Battles feel more engaging, the dialogue feels more fine-tuned, puzzles are more satisfyingly challenging, and the end result is that the game is very fun.
P5R has revamped the visuals of the original to give the game more polish, especially in the character models and environments. Of course, the Persona series has always placed a lot of its attention on visual flair and P5R is as impressive as it needs to be. The team didn’t really need to make too many major adjustments but it’s very clear that once you boot up the game and start running around, the world just looks much cleaner.
Brand new cutscenes in the game also look incredible as they should, and really help to convey the powerful underlying message which players will get to see towards the end of their adventure.
This area should come as a no-brainer ordeal, as Persona 5 Royal lives up to expectations with an astoundingly breathtaking soundtrack, that treats your eardrums to some of the best video game music out there. You simply can’t argue at the sheer quality of the music in P5R as it’s what defines the game. Without the powerful vocals of Lyn Inaizumi to back up the dialogue between characters, or adding intensity to fierce battles, the game would surely feel somewhat bland in comparison.
So in this department P5R wins by a long shot.
So this is perhaps where much of the attention will be placed in this review, as it’s where most of you reading this will turn their attention to. Is P5R worth the buy? Isn’t the same as the original? Well hopefully if you’ve read the other sections above these two questions will have likely been answered, but to reiterate, Persona 5 Royal is an absolutely refreshing experience. There should be no reason why fans of the series should opt-out of the game because the additional 30-40 hours of gameplay create a lot more depth, and help to bring the story together more seamlessly.
The brand new character Kasumi Yoshizawa is quite the intriguing one as well, and serves as a great companion to Joker along with the rest of the cast. Her easy-going personality serves as a balance to the more aggressive tones that Ryuji exudes, compliments Ann’s compassionate side, and that’s as far as we’ll go without spoiling. Her competitive ways, however, do get the best of her at times, sometimes coming off a bit pretentious but we love Kasumi a lot and favor her more than the other cast members.
The new grappling hook ability given to Joker when exploring really adds more thrill to the gameplay as well, since it allows for more discovery of hidden items as well as create a new dynamic overall.
Speaking of new dynamics, the battles that you grew comfortable within Persona 5 have slight alterations to them in Persona 5 Royal, with bosses utilizing new attacks to throw you off. Any specific strategy you had in mind beforehand, we recommend throwing it out the window because you’ll need something more creative to win this time around. We played on hard mode and it definitely more challenging than before which is a positive.
Another cool addition are Disaster Shadows, which show up at random times in battle, and they act as ways to accumulate more damage through defeating them. They’ll only attack if you attack them but if you defeat them, they’ll explode, spreading whatever damage accumulated onto the other shadows around them. It’s a cool feature that works well and we encourage players to take advantage of them when you encounter them.
Honey's Gameplay Consensus:
Another cool feature is known as the Thieves Den, a special area where you’ll be able to cherish your trophies, enjoy some very fun mini-games, and take a gander at some of the in-game photos taken. The additional semester at Shujin Academy, in-game enemy perks, along with the awesome Thieves Den make Persona 5 R feel more like a complete package and give players more depth to play around with.
An extra 30-40 hours of in-depth gameplay is way more than enough to satisfy your cravings.
Visually the game looks a lot more polished than its original counterpart, with animations looking more fluid, backgrounds more fleshed out, etc.
The additional features like the Thieves Den along with more challenging puzzles, is another plus!
Let's be honest, the game is very much the same as Persona 5, albeit the additional features so some fans may be turned off by that.
Honey's Final Verdict:
Why sleep on an extra 30-40 hours of gameplay? This game is worth every pretty penny and we hope that fans around the world pick up Persona 5 Royal to truly bask in this wonderful experience. You’re now able to give gifts to all confidants, not just females, adding way more to relationship building. Maruki, the non-playable Confidant will have some intriguing things for you to find out more about, plus José is back with some extra little perks as well! The list keeps going and going but we’ll save the surprises for when you dive in.
Author: Rob "NualphaJPN" B.
A passionate fan of gaming, writing, journalism, anime, and philosophy. I've lived in Japan for many years and consider this place to be my permanent home. I love to travel around Japan and learn about the history and culture! Leave a comment if you enjoy my articles and watch me play on twitch.tv/honeysgaming ! Take care!