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Persona 5 Royal Review: What’s After Masterpiece? Perfection?

On April 17, 2017, Atlus released Persona 5 worldwide for the PlayStation 3 and 4 – a JRPG about juvenile vigilantes with supernatural powers residing in Japan. Now, in 2020 we have an enhanced edition: Persona 5 Royal, an enhancement that addresses the original’s problems, with new gameplay tweaks and characters. With its excellent progression, a noticeably and polished improved version of an already fantastic game.

The essence of Persona 5 Royal remains intact: a new kid arrives in a new city after a run-in with the law. He tries his best to lay low and live a normal life, but that has been disrupted as he and various of his fellow students, learn that they have the ability to change the hearts of wicked individuals by entering palaces – a physical manifestation of distorted desires. In between all the heroic action, the player also spends a chunk of time making new friends, doing ordinary tasks like cleaning or laundry, and developing themselves by raising social stats like knowledge and charm.

Now Playing: Persona 5 Royal – Accolades Trailer | Video: PlayStation (YouTube)

Although the new story content you get in Persona 5 Royal doesn’t appear until much later in the game with a new semester and palace, which is pretty much like past enhanced Persona games. The big appeal of this enhanced edition is the quality-of-life tweaks it adds, from new bosses, party attacks, altered dungeons and extra Personas, to how the game guides you with more tips and the number of places you can visit. Mementos, an ever-expanding dungeon where players need to explore frequently throughout the game, now features a new character named Jose, who will randomly appear. You can trade in-dungeon collectibles for improvements that raise money, experience, and more or special items if you happen to come across Jose. I’ve always felt that Mementos is a place where you have to rush through, now it feels like an area you can enjoy exploring.

Mementos Entrance | Screenshot: Atlus

This enhanced edition introduces a handful of new confidants; characters players can create relationships with and expands on others in significant ways. Players can now spend more quality time with Goro Akechi, a party member from the original game, which has a pretty lacklustre relationship, Royal gives you a choice if you want to spend real and substantial time with him. Persona 5 Royal also presents a new party member named Kasumi; a gymnast whos story entangles with the hero’s as well as a school counsellor.

Gymnast, Kasumi | Screenshot: Atlus

We are also treated with extra time at night and new activities to partake in, Persona 5 infamously gated players’ time with a cat who’d scold you into going to bed early. Now, the game makes it easier for you to spend free time with friends or at home, making tools or reading. Royal also introduces new activities like billiards and darts, great ways to raise both stats with party members, and kill time with minigames. The addition of the Thieves Den, a place where you can add photos, statues, and more, it also allows a quiet place for you to admire your accomplishments.

Screenshot: Atlus

The original game was already a masterpiece, defiantly one of the best JRPGs ever made. This new enhanced version, Persona 5 Royal, got me thinking what else can even compete? The game has an excellent story with lovable characters. The challenging, tactical combat are all refined and back for another round with new friends in town and new surprises. The new areas you get to explore are great and new twists to leave your jaw on the floor.

Persona 5 Royal gets ….

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Masterpiece 5/5

Game Profile
Developer: P-Studio
Publishers: Atlus USA
Platform: PlayStation 4
Genre: Role-playing, social simulation
Modes: Single-Player
Release Date: WW: March 31, 2020
Buy Now: Standard Edition

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