Just when you thought their story was done, a new adventure for the Phantom Thieves is unfurled! Persona 5 Strikers is the latest adventure in the Persona series. What makes this game different from other Persona stories is the way the game tells it. Rather than the traditional simulator turn-based RPG Persona games are known for, Strikers dives into the musou genre for the very first time. This involved removing some of the iconic systems that normally make a Persona game, well, a Persona game. Personally, when they announced that the spinoff was going to be a musou, I automatically thought that this would be the same common Dynasty Warrior / Samurai Warrior clone that they normally are. I am glad to say that famed studio Omega Force proved me wrong. Persona 5 Strikers is just as content-filled and story-driven as Persona 5 and Persona 5 Royal. The big question that looms is how good it is? Here is our review.
Persona 5 Strikers pick up 6 months later from where the original Persona 5 finishes. It’s summertime and the Phantom Thieves come together once again to take a vacation from school and their normal responsibilities. When the gang finally decides what they want to do, they start shopping to get the necessary items for their trip. Unfortunately, things cannot be so simple for Joker and the crew. While they were shopping, they get transported again into a different world similar to the Metaverse. Inside this strange world, they find that strong forces are harvesting people’s desires, causing them to be manipulated drones in the real world. What are the Phantom Thieves to do? Of course, set it right and figure out what is causing this strange phenomenon.
Rather than being a turned-based RPG, Persona 5 Strikers tells its story through a musou-based system. Meaning it is hack-and-slash fun against waves of underpowered enemies. Still, the game likes to throw a wrench in these waves by releasing abnormally strong characters from time to time. People who are not fans of the traditional turned-based system may accept this version of Persona due to the lower skill curve it provides. You get to choose 4 of the 9 phantom thieves to fight each stage. The battle system is straightforward, with 2 attack buttons, a weak and a strong/persona attack. Depending on how many times you consecutively tap the weak attack button, your strong attack can vary between either a phantom thieves’ attack or your own Persona attack. Depending on what you are fighting, it very important to keep an eye on what attributes the enemy is weak against. Persona 5 Strikers battle system relies heavily on these attributes. Certain enemies may be weak against fire so, and you would probably want Ann to torch them, for instance. Strikers‘ battle system stands out from other musou-based games. Instead of the repetitive attacking enemies, Strikers adds a new dimension by focusing on enemies’ weak points.
What makes Strikers fun is it gives you a road trip feel while not stepping away too much from the fun Persona mechanics. It is true that the game reduced things like extracurricular activities and scheduling your paid jobs, or going to arcades for a school year. With the type of fast-paced action Strikers provides, it is not missed. Instead, the game provides a level-up bond bar that allows you to unlock extra attributes to make your adventure simpler. The bonds can be as simple as leveling up your base character attributes like health and magic or enhance abilities like lock picking or extra money from fights. Certain attributes are incredible lifesavers when you are on the brink of death, and you get it right in the nick of time. With the action Persona 5 Strikers provides, it doesn’t need the extra activities its predecessor has. There is surprisingly so much going on in just attacking enemies that your focus is easily doing just that.
Rather than staying in Tokyo, Persona 5 Strikers takes the show on the road all over Japan. New levels are new locations completely spread out in the country. By doing this, it makes the game truly feel like a summer vacation for the Phantom Thieves. Strikers implemented a new online storefront while moving town to town. It is a one-stop-shop that allows you to improve your characters rather than going to individual specialty stores. By traveling to new locations, all of the stages that you encounter is a new breath of fresh air with some interesting mechanics.
As always, the music in Persona 5 Strikers does not disappoint. It still sets the mood exactly like its predecessors, and it’s just straight-up banging. Most of the music that I have come across playing were remixes of Persona 5 tracks, but some original ones fit the game perfectly.
It is not fair for me to say that Persona 5 Strikers is just a cookie-cutter musou with a Persona skin. It is a whole lot more. This game could easily be the immediate sequel story to Persona 5. With over 40 hours of magnificent gameplay. Persona 5 Strikers is a fully-fledged adventure only that a Persona game could tell. It was a match made in heaven with its one-of-a-kind battle system mixed with the general musou lane clearing. Although, you may still experience a level of fight fatigue when battling against massive amounts of underwhelming soldiers. That’s a small price to pay for all of the amazing things Persona 5 Strikers introduces. I would strongly recommend this game. I would also keep in mind that since this game is a continuation of a previous story, I think it would be good to play Persona 5 first. Many things may go over your head if Strikers is the first game you play. It’s unfortunate for Switch and PC owners that are still waiting for a Persona 5 port. Overall, Persona 5 Strikers is a game that is just plain fun, and everyone should try it. For more details check out the game’s official website!