Video game

Video games: ‘Persona 5 Royal’ a must-play for JRPG fans – Loveland Reporter-Herald


It seems impossible to escape COVID-19 right now. It is everywhere in the news and will affect every aspect of our lives for the next month or more.

At times like this, it’s important to escape however you can, and as it just so happens, a couple of perfect games are hitting right now that are sure to do the trick.

Those who enjoy Japanese RPGs cannot miss “Persona 5 Royal.”

In “Persona 5 Royal,” the player’s protagonist enters into the Metaverse to fight shadows and change hearts. (Courtesy photo)

Two-and-a-half years ago, the original “Persona 5” elevated Altus Games’ revered series to new heights. The game presents a mature tale that explored the sociological and psychological relationships between adults and teenagers. It delicately balanced living an everyday life with fantastical, otherworldly dungeon crawling, and did so with panache.

“Persona 5 Royal,” represents a director’s cut, of sorts. It contains all the content of the vanilla “Persona 5,” and oh so much more.

Fans of RPGs in general, and JRPGs specifically, must play “Persona 5 Royal.” Courtesy photo

For those unfamiliar, the game tells the story of the Phantom Thieves, a group of teens with the ability to control a Persona, a type of ethereal creature that only exists in the Metaverse.

With the help of a phone app (yes, they have one for everything these days) these kids, led by the player’s protagonist, enter into this Metaverse to fight shadows and change hearts.

It’s a lofty concept: Being able to enter into another realm constructed of a person’s twisted desires, to beat back the warped shadows protecting this realm and ultimately steal that person’s “treasure” — the distorted desire he/she holds dearest — in order to change their heart and make them repent.

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The protagonist (code name Joker) is a boy on probation for doing the right thing to the wrong person, must lead a halfway normal life. As each day passes Joker must go to school, study, juggle social relationships, hold a part-time job, please his new guardian, shop, relax, craft stuff and delve into another dimension to free people from corrupt, oppressive adults.

You can’t do it all, so it’s important to prioritize and make sure you use your precious free time in a way that will make you the best Phantom Thief you can be.

The rich story and relatable characters find a home in this anime world. Everything comes off a bit hyperbolic, but only in the most satisfying way.

As the narrative twists and turns about it manages to hold a bit a humor, tackle some very serious subjects and show how our perception of people is often skewed by the masks they wear.

“Persona 5 Royal” adds content at every turn. This isn’t just some re-release bent to cash in on the series’ popularity.

“Persona 5 Royal” follows a rich story with relatable characters. (Courtesy photo)

Developer and publisher Atlus added characters, side stories, new abilities and more.

The game’s Palaces (its version of dungeons) have been tweaked to allow for new navigation tools. A side Palace — known as Mementos — features all new tasks and a major new character.

There is a new playable character, as well as a couple new confidants (those who help the Phantom Thieves on their journey) to help spice things up.

There’s even a whole new area of Tokyo and a brand-new Palace to explore, expanding the already sprawling map.

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Players will need some extra time to take this all in, so — if you play your cards right — the school year now consists of three terms instead of two. And trust me, you’re gonna need that extra term.

None of this extra content is tacked on.

Everything integrates seamlessly into the narrative, changing things where necessary and making the whole thing feel fresh, even if you have already sunk more than 100 hours into the original.

Yes, this game is more than 100 hours long, even if playing it at a good pace. Immerse yourself into everything it has to offer and you may find yourself hitting 175 hours or more. All-in-all, a bargain for a $60 game.

If you are a fan of RPGs in general, and JRPGs specifically, you must play this game. Along with games like “The Witcher 3,” “Dragon Quest XI” and “Divinity Original Sin 2,” “Persona 5 Royal” is a singular experience standing well above the crowd.


Persona 5 Royal

‘Persona 5 Royal’

Publisher: Atlus Games

Rated: M

Who it’s for: Anyone looking for an epic RPG to escape into

Platform: PS4

Grade: A+



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