Persona 5 spoiler free review


I’m currently writing another post about my impressions on the story as this is a spoiler free review. There may be gameplay ideas spoilers though.

It was really fun, one of the best games I played. When I played Persona 4, I thought it was one of the best game I ever played, and this is much better than 4 on all points. Similarly to Pretty Rhythm, Persona 5 made me hit the maximum amount of happiness I can be regarding my hobbies. I also think Persona 5 is one of the coolest game ever, and it doesn’t even have mechs. Imagine if there was some. I hope Persona 6 has mechas.

If I take into account the time I spent using various saves, it took me around 180 hours to finish the game with all coops maxed. I read slowly, and I had to savesscam a lot to optimize time or take the right choices during coop dialogues. I also wanted to see every event’s variation as I tend to not replay games for this, and I don’t really want to replay the game now in case Persona 5+XX Reloaded gets released. And even then, there’s still a few events’ variations which I haven’t tested. I made saves specifically a few days before each big fun event, so I have the time to max a different coop to see the event with them.

Obviously, the 1st spectacular aspect of the game which everyone noticed is the GUI. Experienced game makers like Sakurai praised it as well.  I still remember how excited I was when the first PV was out. I think that Persona 5 is to GUI what Super Robot Taisen is to attack animations. I never ever got tired of it.  After 180h with the game, opening and navigating the menu still felt cool. This is important as I recently realized that the SRT series spoiled my eyes. Not every developer can get the right formula to make something look awesome or over the top while not trying too hard. Be it relatively cheap things like Compile Heart or Gust productions which are full of bland looking opaque dome shaped explosions, to bigger more mainstream things like squeenix games, there’s barely any special attack animation I genuinely find cool these days.


What will be really interesting to see now is if future RPGs and games will try to inspire themselves from Persona 5 to do an unique GUI. Basically if Persona 5 will become to GUIs what Goldeneye 64 or more recently Dark Souls 1 was to game design. The first screenshots for Sen no Kiseki 3 were released recently and it seems it may really be happening. Unlike the previous two Sen no Kiseki, they switched to a one button one action battle GUI like in Persona 5. Of course Persona 5 didn’t invent this. Companies like Tri Ace already did relatively similar things before, with the one button one character system. But I think it’s the 1st time a game found the right formula and made it work so perfectly on all aspects.

Just for Atlus themselves, I’m curious how they’ll top Persona 5’s GUI with Persona 6. The phantom thief theme being incorporated so well is also what makes Persona 5’s GUI so cool, so if they want to do something similar again, they’ll probably have to center the next game on a cool and strong theme as well.

Dungeon exploration & Battle

This time, dungeons aren’t randomly generated long hallways and are really interesting. Each dungeon has really good level design and gimmicks, and each dungeon is funnier than the previous one. Every time a dungeon with really great which makes you think it can’t get any better, the next dungeon actually manages to top it.

There’s actual puzzles and tricks to solve. There’s no Biohazard style “pick up a key in front of a locked door and unlock the door with it” things. Most puzzles require you to get a pen and paper, at least if you want to solve it fast without backtracking to reconfirm hints. There are a lot of codes to solve, which again fits the “phantom thief solving codes to steal things” theme. You need to think a minimum.
The next objective prompt at top right is really well done, and is updated whenever the tiniest change happens in a dungeon, during a boss battle and during daily life segments too. When there’s a puzzle to solve, instead of giving you the solution or the method on how to solve it, it’ll summarize what the characters said as hints. I think it’s really good for people who who bought the game but aren’t accustomed to RPGs or games in general. If you’re used to games you won’t even pay attention to it most of the time, or just read it for fun.

You can dash now. The movement speed when dashing is fast enough to never make exploring a chore. Then there’s the Autorecover function, which  automatically makes a PT member use healing spells to fully heal the whole party, including members in the reserve. It’s convenient. However, most of the time I never used it and used items to recover instead, to save SP, and just because I wanted to open the menu. Because the menu is cool.

The randomly generated Mementos dungeon is fun as each area is never too long. Gameplay spoilers, highlight to see: Futaba’s coop also gives you a skill which randomly reveals a Mementos floor’s map, if it’s a floor you already visited. This allows you to go straight to the upper/lower floor. It’s very convenient when you’re farming a particular floor, so you can immediately check where the treasure chests are located. And if you’re hunting a target for a mission, you can traverse floors rapidly.  The skill activates randomly but fairly often.  
When in Mementos, there’s also dozens of random voiced lines the PT members will say as you drive the Morgana van. The discussions are short and only two lines each, but each line a PT member says, every other PT member has an answer for it. So even if a discussion starts with a line you already heard, the PT member answering can be different.

The way you can hide and surprise attack shadows in dungeons is really cool and fits the Lupin theme. If they want to keep these kinds of ideas for Persona 6, and they should, they’ll definitely need another strong theme to center the game around, for the hide&seek system with the shadows to be natural and not out of place.

The war council like discussions you can have at Safe Rooms (save points) changes with each big objective attained in a dungeon, so if you’re a meticulous person who wants to see every dialogue in the game like me, it’s important to trigger them every time you can. Both in dungeons and in Mementos, save points are spaced well enough to make exploration not too easy or hard. Gameplay spoilers, highlight to see: However, one dungeon near the end of the game can be particularly annoying. In that dungeon, there are 4 extremely long areas without savepoints, with dozens of locked doors and Shadows. It’s definitely not that extreme, but you could jokingly compare it to that City Hunter game on PC engine with ultra long corridors, or other older games who used to do that. These 4 areas are so long that sometimes I’d do play sessions of 1h, and I was forced to stop early as I knew I wouldn’t be able to clear one of those 4 areas in less than an hour. There are also enemies using non attribute instadeath skills, so if you’re not careful you’ll have to restart the area from the start. Without spoiling the story, basically in these 4 areas, there are multiple switches to activate and deactivate, which requires a lot of backtracking. Juggling these switches correctly allows you to circumvent the locked doors, and open them from the other side. It’s a really fun but quite tiring dungeon. My playtime was around 150h when I did that dungeon, and it was the first time in all that time of playing that I started to feel a bit tired of the game. But keep in mind that it’s one of the final dungeons, so it’s hard and annoying on purpose. Whenever you unlock yet another door, a PT member chosen randomly will actually say how they’re tired of this and how tedious the dungeon’s design is. So it’s not a game design miss and it’s not like the staff wasn’t aware of it.

Just running inside dungeons is really fun. They made it so party members are visible and run with you, which is a pretty nice thing and reminds me of some older RPGs. Of course, they don’t block your movements and you pass through them. There was a lot of older games which had this problem of party members blocking you, like that Akazukin Chacha RPG on snes. The party members running along with you always hide in blind spots and corners as well.


If you take cover in someplace already occupied by a PT member, they actually adapt their posture so you can both realistically look over the corner. The game is full of fun details like that. Each party member also have multiple different lines for when taking cover and spotting shadows from afar, and multiple lines indicating when you can sneak attack a shadow. I must have intentionally missed the timing to sneak attack shadows a hundred times so I could listen to the PT members lines, as Joker’s own spoken line will overwrite it if you launch the sneak attack.
The PT members even have different lines from when you can sneak attack a shadow from above ground, they will specifically say how you can “mount” the shadow directly. Sadly, from what I tested, it doesn’t seem like they did a special animation for it. Joker will first jump to the ground and then on the shadow, instead of jumping on the shadow directly from above. This brings us to the battles, which are really cool as well, starting from the field–>battle transition.


I don’t understand Japanese developers’ recent obsession with “smooth transition from field to battle” in RPGs. You see this in every interview about an upcoming RPGs these days. I don’t think it is something they should put so much effort into. But I guess they do because gamers in Japan have wrote about it in surveys. Sure in Persona 5, it looks very cool and helps with the immersion, and again shows how much they thought up how to fit the phantom thieves theme. But in every other game it’s not as cool as Persona 5. I don’t think it’s important whether it’s the oldschool screen breaking thing or a “smooth transition”, as long as there’s no long loading. Most of the time, by “smooth transition” the game developers mean no loading, but sometimes they make it beautiful without serving any purpose, or just to hide the loading. It’s a bit like Japanese developers obsession with “open world”. But that’s another story and I’m trying to write a post about that as well.

Battles in Persona 5 are always really fun. Even if you’re overpowered you’ll still have fun. I think there’s 2 things that contribute to the fun: the one button one action GUI, and how well organized and choreographed battles are. The battle system is the usual Megaten system: turn based + weaknesses+ bonus turns. But everything wrapped around the system is so cool you just never get tired of it. They’re fun to play and watch. There’s always something happening, so it results in something very pleasant to see unfold. You’ve got the support gunning/attacks, Baton Touch, Futaba’s supports etc. Every single action from the normal attack animations to how a character switches from one action to another, drawing their gun or summoning their Persona is ultra cool looking. Again, I’d say they managed to make the coolness equivalent of the best of Super Robot Taisen’s animation.
Even if the game sucked, just the battles alone are enough to make you feel like a cool phantom thief with your cool team accomplishing cool things and being constantly cool.


There are very small intricate details too. Unless I’m wrong, from what I tested, each character has a small animation when an event like Hold Up or All Out Attack happens, but only when that event wasn’t triggered on their turn. For example, if someone else than Makoto triggers an Hold Up, Makoto will do a “come on” hand gesture provocation before pointing her gun toward the enemy, as seen above. If someone else than Makoto triggers an AOA, Makoto does a little spin before she jumps and the portraits appears for the AOA. But if the AOA was initiated by Makoto, she doesn’t do it and just immediately jumps. Or maybe you just don’t see her do it because the camera doesn’t switch fast enough.

My notes tells me it took me 7 hours in average to clear a dungeon. Except for Safety mode, regardless of what difficulty mode you play in, the game is relatively well balanced. On Hard mode, enemies have more HPs and deal more damage, but I didn’t think they were that smarter. I stopped playing on Hard after clearing the 1st dungeon as it’s pretty much a waste of time. For the 1st dungeons, as in before you’re getting overpowered if you play the game well, it’s either down every enemy and wipe them out in one turn, or get downed yourself. And you get less EXP and money, so in the end it just makes you farm longer. I would explore dungeons on normal or hard, and switched to hard when about to fight sub bosses and bosses to enjoy the challenges. I was always underleveled when compared to the “everyone’s level” network info, and by the end of the game I was more than ten levels below the average, I think it’s mostly because a lot of people played on Safety, which gives you billions of EXP. Despite being underleveled I had no trouble defeating the last bosses and never died in the last dungeon, so if you know what you’re doing, the game isn’t hard at all.

I wasn’t planning on maxing every coop, and only decided to do so starting the 3rd dungeon, as every single coop greatly interested me and I wanted to know what happens in all of them. I also didn’t want to miss the true ending in case it needed all coops maxed, (I didn’t check any guide or advice on the net to avoid spoiling myself) along with any possible coop related bonus events once I hit the final chapters of the story. So starting the third dungeon, I needed a lot of money to max all coops, so I’d often switch the difficulty to easy to farm money in less amounts of time. I also minimized the ingame days I spent in dungeons, and always cleared them in the minimum amount of days necessary, gameplay spoilers: which is two days most of the time. In almost every dungeon there’s an event which requires you to first return to the real world before you can progress further. Most of the time it’s when a new character awakens their Persona.


Coop and substories

One great thing about Persona 5 which they should definitely keep in Persona 6, is how you get skills from doing the social links/commu/coop/confident/whatever you call it. Even some very basic gameplay things like Baton Touch needs you to do coop events. Even if a particular character’s story doesn’t look appealing to you at first, you’ll be forced to do their coop events anyway to get new skills, and that way you’ll be able to see more of their story and get interested. This is exactly what happened to me. Thankfully, some coop characters’ stories are already interesting from the start, but some only start to get extremely interesting after a few events. So this is a very good system.

It’s also impressive how this time they managed to write the story and side stories together. Characters you got at rank max will also react when important main story event happens, most of the time by sending you SNS messages. Coop characters don’t feel completely oblivious to the main story anymore.

Every coop character is fun and original. Some characters are peculiar too. Just acting like a nice person isn’t enough to get affection points. During coop events, which choice is the best choice is much less obvious than in previous games. It’s not “be nice” or “be the worst piece of scum” choices. You need to actually consider the coop character’s personality. Some of the stories aren’t that original, but are all told in a nice way, and they all fit the global themes of the game.

Unlike Persona 4, I loved every side character, they’re all very well written. Like in previous games you can date some of them once the coop rank hits a certain level. Gameplay spoilers: This time, instead of the character automatically confessing to you at rank 10, you actually decide whether you’ll date them or not at the end of the rank 9 event. The game prompts you with a message saying “Choose your words carefully. Depending of how you answer, your relationship with this person could change”. Then, the rank 10 event is slightly different whether you date them or not. Most of the time it’ll be the same discussion but it’ll take place in a different place, and if you date them the event will be slightly longer. I loved all characters but I think Kawakami sensei‘s story the one who touched me the most and she’s the one I chose to get in a “special relationship” with, like the game calls it. 

I think maxing all coops is much more easier in Persona 5 than previous games. Or it may just be that when I played Persona 4 I didn’t know what I was doing. In P5 even though I decided late to try and max every coop, I still had the time to do it, without using any guide or advice. It was very complicated, but I managed to do it by one day before the endgame timelimit. So I imagine if I didn’t waste so much time during the first two chapters/dungeons, it would have been easy.

One complaint I have with the coops is that sadly, again, only the rank 1 and rank 10 events are voiced. Along with some of the date events. I imagined they would put more effort toward this for Persona 5, I was disappointed. I wasn’t expecting them to voice every coop event, but at least a bit more than this. I think Atlus USA said they will dub more events in English.


Seiyuus and voice acting:

When PV3 got released, unlike the first two PVs it didn’t amaze me at all. Mainly because it revealed the cast which was full of popular seiyuu and they all said stereotypical boring lines. (Some of the predictions for the game I had when watching this PV actually came true too.) Because of that I was quite disappointed about the cast list, not because they’re bad, but because they’re all too popular seiyuus you hear everywhere. I wish they gave more chance to newcomers instead of betting on sure odds. But then again, probably only those talented seiyuus could do the job. Afaik, most of the time in games like that, dubbing is done very early in development and with very few visual reference, and yet all characters are voiced splendidly. This is especially easy to see in Persona 5’s case, as Matsuki Miyu passed away almost a year before the game’s release, and yet still had her role in the game as Chihaya perfectly done.


Joker: Fukujun sounds like Lelouch as expected. While games aren’t made overnight, and its possible the staff had ideas they used in Perosna 5 lurking in their brains for more than ten years ago, Joker would’ve probably turned out different if Code Geass didn’t exist. Fukuyama Jun can do some other voices too so it’s a bit disappointing he does his Lelouch voice 90% of productions he’s in. I think it would have been better if he did his Touga(Gravion) voice for Joker. I think the only time I heard him do that particular voice is as Touga, and Jonouchi Yasuki/that guy Gloria likes in the Hikari to Mizu no Daphne OVAs.

(Hikari to Mizu no Daphne is a fun sci-fi show, more people should watch it. You shouldn’t judge a book by it’s cover. It’s part of the shows I classify as “the chara design makes it look like hentai but it’s actually good”. Among the shows in that category, it’s not a masterpiece like Divergence Eve, but it’s still above average. It got tons of fun or dumb moments but also a very touching story and twists. It’s actually realistic too, as the more into the future we’ll get, the more women will wear nothing and everyone will think it’s normal.)

Back to Joker, I think Touga’s voice would have suited him perfectly since he seems so docile in normal times and fierce during battle. But then again Joker rarely speaks anyway. I guess that was one thing I was disappointed about back when PV 1 was released at that one concert event. Lelouch’s speech announcing PV1 was really hype, but it also made me think ”oh no, since he’ll be the MC, he won’t speak much so it’s almost like they’re wasting a good seiyuu”. At least there’s a bit more lines this time, like whenever you sneak attack a shadow, and in battle in general. Then there’s every Persona’s name voiced as usual. There’s also the very frequent “YOSH!” and the rare but really cool “SHOWTIME!”(If the notes I took while playing are correct, he says it two times in the whole game). Joker doesn’t really have voiced lines. And rarely speaks in general, besides your dialogue choices. Speaking of which, I forgot if that was the case in Persona 4, but the other characters actually mention Joker is a person of few words.

persona 5 portrait ryuji

Ryuji: Miyano Mamoru did a very good job. This is the performance that surprised me the most. He doesn’t sound like any other roles I know of him. It’s a very different voice than Flynn in Vesperia, Takuto in Star Driver,  Setsuna F Say Yeah, Tusk in Cross Ange or Atsuki Saijo, the hero of Lux-Pain.

(You should definitely play Lux-Pain if you never have, don’t let the bad English translation stop you. Just play it in Japanese if you understand the language, or listen to the dub instead of reading. Whenever the text translation is incorrect, the dubbing is correct. Story wise, and without counting remakes like Masoukishin 1, Lux-Pain is my favorite game on DS along with Infinite Space. I think the story is even better than Radiant Historia’s. This is actually relevant to this post as Lux-Pain was made by Killaware, which was founded by former Atlus people. Too bad Killaware went bankrupt. I hope they do a sequel to Lux-Pain one day, even as a novel or something)

There’s a few times Miyano sounds like previous roles, but overall it’s more manly than usual. Sometimes I would even forgot it was him voicing Ryuji. Come to think of it, he’s also glasses guy in Final Fantasy 15. With Persona 5 and this he sure got a lot of money in 2016, considering video games roles are some of the things that pay the most for a seiyuu afaik. (Well technically, Persona 5 and Final Fantasy 15’s recording was done long before the game’s releases, so he probably got payed long ago and not in 2016)

persona 5 morgana portrait

Morgana: Typical Pikachu as expected. While she did a splendid job, this is the one casting choice which I find the most disheartening. It’s like she’s the only person on Earth who can voice a mascot-like character. It’s always always her. I’m very tired of her voice. It also represents Japan’s culture inability to move on or make things different, endlessly copying itself. I have a policy to try and not remember seiyuu’s names too much, because I don’t want to give them a big place in my brain and heart, but I think even if I wanted to remember hers I wouldn’t be able to, and always just think of Pikachu or Candy or Chopper or Yunicorn(PriPara). Anyway, in many times Morgana is very fun as a tsukkomi and very well voiced.

persona 5 portrait anne

Anne: Water Tree 7. Sounds like her usual strong willed girl voice. She sounds exactly like Ange if you saw Cross Ange. (And you should as it’s a very good show). She can do a lot of other voices though so it’s a bit disappointing she didn’t develop an unique voice for Anne. A voice that would sound similar to her usual but with tones or quirks unique to the character. Like Tomatsu Haruka did for Haru. See later below. Maybe she didn’t have the time to do it, seeing she’s probably the seiyuu in the cast with the busiest schedule.

persona 5 portrait yusuke

Yusuke: Sounds like the usual for Sugita. Excellent and fun. Nothing else to add.

persona 5 portrait makoto

Makoto: I don’t think I know Satou Rina enough to comment besides that she did an excellent job like the others. I didn’t watch a lot of anime with her, and for those I watched I don’t remember her voice well. I only remember well her as Ange (Umineko) and Jenny senpai in Mouretsu Pirates. She sounds similar to Ange but I know she can do other voices too, like Velvet in Berseria. I liked all of the characters’s acting but Makoto’s voice acting is particularly well done. She’s one the characters with the most voiced lines, I’d even say she is the character with the most voiced lines. Gameplay spoilers:  There’s also how she’s the one who does the enemy analysis, once she joins you.

persona 5 portrait futaba

Futaba: Yaoi. Like everyone else she did a very good job. I don’t know a lot of Yaoi roles but I’m again surprised she managed to do an unique voice for Futaba instead of sounding like another role I know. She sounds different than Kaname Madoka, Jyubei in Hyakka Ryouran, Kirara in GBF, Yuuki in SAO, Noel in Soranowoto or Sunako in Shiki. All these roles sound relatively different from each other as well.

While Yaoi debuted more than ten years ago, I think she only started to get popular starting 2009-2010. Since then, her popularity and number of main roles kept increasing, but in a slow and steady manner. Not in an exponential manner. Taking this into consideration, I don’t think she got hit by the secret society promo system I suspect the existence of, like Hanazawa Kana in her time or M.A.O right now. Both Hanazawa Kana and M.A.O are definitely talented, but the fact that they suddenly got billions of roles in a very short amount of time is what propelled them.

Yaoi can do a lot of voices and doesn’t get typecasted a lot, so she’s given the opportunity to do these voices. In a sense, she’s one of the most talented and luckiest seiyuu among the young popular ones right now. Back when PV4 was released and they first introduced Futaba, I used to do a lot of jokes on how she’s a ripoff of Akira in Valvrave, but even in PV4 she didn’t sound like her at all. Maybe at times when Futaba does snarky remarks in a very low voice, can you hear Akira’s voice or Aika’s from the Persona 4 anime.

Now that I actually took the time to analyse her, I’m starting to understand why Sugita likes Yaoi so much.

persona 5 portrait haru

Haru: Tomato Haruka’s performance is the biggest surprise I had along with Miyano Mamoru’s. She doesn’t sound like usual Tomato roles at all and I sometimes forgot it’s her. Similar to what she did with Bell in Pretty Rhythm Rainbow Live, she developed an unique voice for Haru. Something that sounds similar to her usual but with tones or quirks unique to the character And unlike with Bell, even her tone is different than usual, you really can’t tell it’s her at times.

persona 5 portrait goro

Goro: Just like Sugita, Soichiro Hoshi sounds like the usual. Typical Kira(Gundam Seed). I guess sometimes he sounds a bit less docile and more rough like Kazuma(Scryed) or Lygatto(Break Blade).
(You should watch Scyred if you never did, it’s one of the best shows there is and probably my favorite Hirai charadesigned show. Read Break Blade’s manga as well. Along the manga you can also watch the anime TV version, but stop after episode 10 if you haven’t caught up to that point with the manga.)

More random things:

I could say that in a sense, they did a poor job at advertising the characters. They’re all a hundred times more interesting than what their official descriptions or CMs makes you think. Same with the coop characters. The opening animation is guilty of this as well. When I first saw it in PV1, I thought it was really awesome, and I still think it is. The skating thing was a great idea and is one of the things that sums up how cool the game is.
I also especially love the scene with Yusuke painting in the streets and I’ve been quite marked by it ever since I saw it in PV2. I mean, he’s painting in red, while wearing a white shirt. When I first saw it, I thought “this guy’s got real guts”.  It’s pure dare. Or like how kids on the internet would say it these days, HE ACTUALLY DID IT THE ABSOLUTE MADMAN.
However, I think the animation sequence is too short. It should have been a bit longer and included the other girls more. They should have shown Futaba Makoto Haru and Goro skate as well. I really wish I could see Makoto skate.
Not only that, but the Futaba+Makoro+Haru computer scene doesn’t do them justice either. It only shows what Futaba can do. It makes Haru looks like a lazy bum oujosama who leaves bothersome things to other, while she’s the complete opposite of that. As for Makoto, while it shows her diligent, intelligent and organized side, it doesn’t show at all her Seikimatsu Kyuuseishu Densetsu spirit and how she will TEKKEN SEISAI any evil who stands on her way.

The game is long, it should take you at least 70H if you only do the main story and do the true ending. Thank God Atlus isn’t using the excuse of people having less free time these days to make shorter games. That’s completely stupid. A few game developers do this these days and it’s sad. If for some reason your game is short, or if you want to make a short game, just say so. But don’t use excuses. I think a high budget RPG from a popular long running series should have a main story lasting 50hours minimum. Saying “I made my game shorter because people these days don’t have time to play games anyway” is completely stupid. I’d rather take one year to finish a game because I don’t have a lot of free time, than finish it in 3 weeks because it’s 30H long. It’s as stupid as those parents who buy crustless bread to their kids instead of teaching them to eat the crust and not waste food. Or as stupid as those who say “there’s Khawarij dogs who call themselves Muslims and kill people so it means actual Muslims are the same”. Like how kids on the net would say these days, this heavily triggers me.
(Khawarij is how we muslims call groups like Al Qaeda or Infinite Stratos, instead of words who doesn’t mean anything like “islamist”, or words which were twisted from their original meaning like “jihadist”. Khawarij basically means people who left Islam, who call actual Muslims apostles and kill anyone who doesn’t share their opinions. Muslims have been fighting these people for centuries unlike what some medias or politicians want you to think.
Infinite Stratos is how I call isil/daesh, because “Islamic State” isn’t an islamic state and because it makes me laugh as I disliked that show.)

Maybe they should have recorded more provocation lines from enemy persona besides than “stupid thief cosplayers lol don’t you feel ashamed dressing like that”. There are a lot of different voiced lines for negotiation though. Enemies also have specific lines when under a specific status effect.

The coops characters don’t have that much voiced lines in the game, compared to the main characters.

Daily life is really well done. I definitely like it more when games do small towns and areas full of small things and activities and tons of NPCs with their own stories, instead of “open world” full of areas with nothing to do. Persona 5 is already well “open world” enough. I like when things are concentrated. Persona 5’s areas to explore in daily life feels a lot like Shenmue’s.


The game isn’t as dark or depressive as some of the promo materials imply. There’s hundreds of hilarious moments in the game, and it’s one of the funniest games I played. There’s even dumb humor and puns. Of course there are some genuinely disturbing scenes, but it’s always justified by the plot and there’s nothing there only for shock value.

All the NPCs in the game are interesting. There’s some who appear and disappear as the chapters of the main story progress, and will talk to you about things relevant to your current objectives in the main story. However there’s also NPCs who are constantly there thorough the game, and you can see their stories unfold over a year. Some are genuinely interesting, it’s always fun to talk or listen to NPCs, and some of their stories are among the ones who touched me the most in the game.

Sadly, I think a lot of the baitou and activities you can do like batting or fishing are cool but useless. Gameplay spoiler: Afaik the equipment you can get by fishing isn’t that good At least, if you optimize your run to max every coop like I did. I think training is also a complete waste of time, the stats boosts aren’t worth it. Maybe if you do a new game + and spend all your free time training, you could hit the max limit for HP and SP. But it’s useless because it doesn’t carry over. I think they should have tried to make it so these activities are more rewarding. For example, for the various baitou, they should have made the persons you work with into actual NPCs you can chat with and see their stories unfold like the others NPCs. Besides doing each baito at least once because it’s necessary to do all side quests, I didn’t really do them and farmed money from my dungeon runs instead. For example, I think I only did the ramen baitou twice in my whole run. And I only visited the maid café once, very late in the game, when I had maxed all the coops available at night so I had nothing else to do. It was pointless to visit it more as I already had all the personal stats maxed.

One of my few disappointments with the game is how sadly how there’s absolutely no sound options. Among the demo impressions I read back when the demos happened in August 2016, a lot of people said there was sound control, and only one person said there wasn’t, so I’m disappointed that turned out to be the latter. I even asked a Japanese person who played the demo on their blog if there was sound controls, and they told me they don’t remember well but that there probably was.
Then again, I already knew people on 2ch can say very wrong things, since I’m used to it with how I used to follow Pretty Rhythm 2ch threads when it aired, and how all the people there didn’t even keep track of what the director was tweeting about the show. I was disappointed as for a few years now, I have a habit of playing games with BGM off, and played all of Vesperia like that and quite liked it. There are also times in Persona 5 when the BGM is too loud and prevents you from hearing voiced lines. Thankfully, the dialogue log function is very well done and allows you to replay voiced lines anytime you want. However, they’re rare, but there are some voiced events in the game where the log function isn’t available for some reason, probably because the discussion the characters are having isn’t very important. So if you didn’t hear the line you can’t replay it. This is the same for voiced events during boss fights, there’s no log. As someone who tried to see and hear every dialogue in the game, that was a bit irritating. There’s also some SFX that are way too loud like the gunshots sounds for the Random Shoot skill.

There’s no “sort items” function in the menu. Items in the item menus are always listed on the same order. The order they’re listed in is convenient and logical, however it would have been nice if there was submenus: “HP recovery items”, “SP recovery items” “Abmnormal status recovery items” etc. It would have made finding what item you want to use during battles much easier. They’re always ordered the same, so after a while you remember where each item is, but submenus would have been very handy.
There’s no “see latest obtained items” function either, and whenever you get an item from a battle or treasure box, you need to go through the list yourself and search it, in order to read its description and check what it does. Seeing how much effort they put into the menus and GUI in general, it’s weird they did such a mistake. Maybe instead of an overlook, it’s something they couldn’t implement beacuse of technical issues? It’s probably the same with the lack of sound options. iirc Persona 4 doesn’t have items sorting or sound options either.

You can invite coop characters to various places. However you can’t invite them for a specific activity like going fishing together, going to the cinema together, or coming to your house to play games together. There are various instances throughout the game when a character will invite you to do those things, but you can’t invite them yourself.
That’s probably my biggest disappointment with the game.


Compared to the 1st PV, they changed Joker’s portrait during All Out Attacks. Left pic is Pv1, right pic is the actual game. I really liked the one in PV 1 as he had a very Lupin mouth and seemed more fun in general, not sure why they changed it.

In any case, Persona 5 is definitely a masterpiece and I hope a lot of people will buy it when it’s out of Japan.

I have other qualms about the game but they spoil things. I’m currently writing another post to include them along my impressions on the main and substories.

1 thought on “Persona 5 spoiler free review

  1. Pingback: [Spoilers] Persona 5 story impressions | Nekketsu Nikki

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