I’ve had the chance to get my hands on Persona 5 Royal ahead of its launch on March 31, and I’m happy to report that this is the best way to play the game. There are plenty of quality of life changes that really enhance the experience and make it easily worth your while. Read on for our Persona 5 Royal review!
Reviewed for Base PS4 (30fps)
While this isn’t a massively in-depth review, due to the fact this is a re-release, I still wanted to write a shorter review on the new features within Persona 5 Royal. I really do have no complaints about this re-release, and it’s crammed full of great new additions that take what is already a superb JRPG to even higher heights.
A lot of people have suggested that the only new content you’ll see in Royal is at the end of the base game, in the new semester. This is simply not true. Whilst the new semester and dungeon of course adds a bulk of gameplay, there are plenty of changes throughout the entire experience which make it feel like a brand new game.
New characters are dotted throughout the story, even as early as the first set-piece. I actually REALLY like Kasumi, I think she’s a great addition to the gang, and I’m having to reconsider my Makoto best girl policy. Not only are we introduced to new characters throughout, the game is freshened up by a host of changes and new features. The grappling hook opens up new routes in dungeons, and gives you an alternate approach to problems that you wouldn’t necessarily have been able to do in base Persona 5.
The changes to dungeons don’t stop with the hook though, there are a plethora of new persona’s within the dungeons, so if you’d caught them all in Persona 5, you just got a National Dex… As you progress through the dungeons, you’ll notice more and more changes. This is especially true when it comes to the boss battles, they have been tweaked in a way that make them challenging again for those who had worked out the strategy in previous playthroughs.
Outside of dungeons, you have a whole new district to explore, with new activities – plenty of new story beats and interactions, and new things to level up, including an upgrade to the Baton Pass mechanic. If you have played the base game, you may feel like some of the newer characters are shoe-horned in to certain parts of the game, but I think this is unavoidable.
This is meant to be experienced as a complete game, and anybody new to Persona 5 should absolutely pay the higher entry fee to jump into Royal. The new features certainly don’t feel like a DLC add-on, and it’s clear a lot of thought went into the changes, and how they would combine with the game as a whole.
Not often spoken about in previews is the improved localisation. Persona 5 had a few janky moments of translation, especially from Ryuji, which have now been cleaned up and feel a lot more natural, and like something he would say. The Thieves Den is also often overlooked, it’s just a place to hang out and recap your adventure so far, it’s not mind-blowing, but it’s a welcome addition to the game. My only nitpick, and trust me, it’s a nitpick, is that Atlus seem to have changed the font of text in speech bubbles, and I preferred the older font – but that is genuinely the only criticism I have of this re-release.
Read our original in-depth review of Persona 5 here! It still applies!
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You can get the game here!
Persona 5 Royal Review Verdict
Persona 5 Royal is a great opportunity for a replay, it adds enough meat to the already full bones of Persona 5, and will give you an extra 30+ hours at least of main content. I would recommend Royal if you haven’t played the original game in a while, and you’re looking for a fresh experience. If you’re a Persona stan, you’re probably already on board, but I’m pleased to say it lives up to the hype. Finally, if you haven’t played Persona 5 before, unless you can get a copy of the base game for under £10, I have no reservations in recommending Persona 5 Royal as the ultimate experience.