Why I Think Persona 5 Royal Sets a New Standard for JRPGs

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Who needs grinding when you've got style?

Story Highlights
  • Persona 5 Royal is a critically acclaimed JRPG known for its flashy visuals, captivating story, and satisfying combat.
  • Players uncover crime in a supernatural world, facing complex themes while balancing the life of a Tokyo high school student.
  • The game adds new characters, an expanded story, and gameplay improvements.
  • The game’s success and ongoing support indicate a bright future for the Persona franchise.

Japanese Role-Playing Games (JRPGs) are a distinct and unique breed of games. From intense turn-based battles to intricate stories and characters you can deeply feel for, they have a charm that can hook you for hundreds of hours. 

Some franchises are authentic milestones in this genre, most notably The Persona franchise. They have sold a staggering 17 million copies! If that isn’t impressive, I don’t know what it is. A staple in the Persona Franchise is the Persona 5 Royal. 

The game didn’t just make waves when launched; it practically set off a tsunami. It became the highest-rated game on Metacritic, and with definitive reason. Here’s why I believe Persona 5 Royal has raised the bar for JRPGs.

Why It Matters: Persona 5 Royal demonstrates the power of JRPGs to combine immersive storytelling, engaging gameplay, and artistic visuals, setting a high bar for the genre and leaving a lasting impact on players.

Looks and Styling Done Correctly

Let’s talk visuals and presentation. This is where Persona 5 Royal truly shines for most people. Every menu, transition, battle sequence, everything emits style. If JRPGs were a concert, Persona 5 Royal would be the star that brings the whole stadium to its feet. 

It’s bold, striking, and stylishly charismatic. The developers perfectly blended elements of sleek user interfaces and anime-inspired visuals, creating something unique and incredibly appealing.

persona 5 royal main menu
The Main Menu Dripping in Style!

A Story That Sticks With You

The style is excellent, but a JRPG needs an appealing storyline. Persona 5 Royal delivers on that front, too. You play as a high school student wrongly accused of assault and sent to Tokyo on probation. There, you discover the Metaverse, a supernatural reality where the twisted desires of corrupt adults are displayed as fictitious dungeons called Palaces

Here, you and a band of outcasts, the Phantom Thieves of Hearts, gain the power to infiltrate these Palaces and deal with their owners. You’ll confront a predatory volleyball teacher, an exploitative artist, and even a dishonest politician, all while fighting their monstrous inner selves. 

Persona 5 Royal doesn’t shy away from abuse, societal pressure, and corruption, tackling these complex themes in a mature and thought-provoking manner. You’ll genuinely connect with the characters and their struggles, ultimately questioning your views on justice and rebellion. It’s a game that stays with you long after the credits roll.

Combat That Doesn’t Feel Repetitive

JRPGs can sometimes fall into the trap of repetition with combat. It feels like a never-ending grind, and you just want to get to the next part of the story. But Persona 5 Royal absolutely smashes that out of the park. Its turn-based battle system is incredibly well-designed and engaging. 

The key is to figure out your enemies’ weaknesses. Exploiting them leads to satisfying all-out attacks. You constantly feel strategic, engaged, and like you’re a significant part of your team’s success. And that’s not all! You can even talk to the Shadows (Personas) that you meet and negotiate with them. It’s a whole other level of strategic depth!

More Than Just a Game: A Lifestyle

Persona 5 Royal makes everyday life enjoyable. You go to school, build friendships, take part-time jobs, explore the vibrant city of Tokyo, and teleport into these unimaginable dungeons. This sense of a double life, the everyday routine, and the supernatural hero is incredibly addicting.

Persona 5 Royal Normal Life
The Everyday Life in Persona 5 Royal – Image By Polygon

I found myself getting invested in improving my character’s stats, like knowledge and charm, as much as his combat abilities. You don’t just play Persona 5 Royal for a while; you become engaged in its world.

The Royal Treatment: Elevating a Classic

Persona 5 Royal isn’t just a copy of the original; it expands on an already incredible experience. Two major story additions await a new playable character, Sumire Yoshizawa, a mysterious gymnast, and a whole extra semester filled with a fresh Palace and a compelling new antagonist, Dr. Maruki

Exploring deeper layers of the existing characters, facing remixed challenges in overhauled boss fights, and discovering new areas to hang out in during downtime. This isn’t just a rerelease. It’s the definitive way to experience the game.

The Future is Bright for Persona

The success of Persona 5 Royal has spurred further developments for the series. The game’s release on Xbox Game Pass has expanded its reach to a broader audience. Upcoming projects include the highly anticipated Persona 6, which is confirmed for release on Xbox Series S/X

Additionally, developers have expressed interest in potential remakes of Persona 1 and 2, offering the possibility of revisiting those classic titles with updated experiences.

Final Words

Persona 5 Royal offers a distinctive experience within the JRPG genre. Its bold visual style, focus on social themes, and addictive gameplay loop have engaged many players. The Royal edition’s refinements, including expanded story and gameplay, add further depth. 

If you enjoy immersive JRPGs and appreciate a focus on themes of societal change, Persona 5 Royal may offer a memorable experience that leaves a lasting impression.

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