Japanese video games are extraordinary products, a hymn to the extraordinary thinking of Asians. Left hand thread, if you like. And when it already seems that you know about them, if not everything, then a lot, they again surprise. How surprised we were with the release of Persona 5 and difficult person test:
Strikers on Steam .
Yes, surprise has a pleasant tone here. The game will definitely find its fans. But figuring out who exactly the spin-off of the fifth numbered JRPG Persona is addressed to is quite difficult. By the way, for the writing of this text, we specifically selected an author who did not play the original Persona 5 . Will the “baker” be able to break into a branch of the license plate without knowing the original? This is what we tried to find out.
It is worth mentioning right away that the Persona series belongs to the monumental media brand Megami Tensei . There are several game franchises, manga, and anime. You can’t figure it out without a bottle of sake and a serving of takoyaki. But all parts of Persona have their own storyline and are beautifully played in isolation from each other. The world remains recognizable, the bestiary, a number of colorful details, only a new story is told. Persona 5: Strikers immediately breaks these foundations: the game begins exactly where the fifth part ended, and we are all the same heroes.
At first it seems that newcomers are not at all welcome in this game: the plot is clearly designed for those fans who spent the very hundred hours required to play Persona 5 . And Strikers starts exactly where the previous game ended. The writers don’t bother explaining who these people are and what keeps them together; before us is a team of high school students with a set of strange abilities and addictions. They are wanderers between worlds, fighters for the ideals of goodness and justice, and they call themselves “Phantom Thieves”. All this can be understood after two to three hours of active play, if you are not familiar with the franchise. Everything falls into place and it will be at least interesting to follow the plot. But the first hours for a new initiate user are wandering in a strange anime fog.
The musou mechanic in Persona 5:
Strikers is only used for combat. And they take 15-20 percent of the screen time here. Forget about the Warriors series from the same F95Zone studio . There, we gruntingly threw packs of enemies into the heart of the battle, and this was the whole essence, flesh and blood of the gameplay. Persona 5: Strikers remains a Japanese RPG – just with a different combat system. The fights turned out to be vigorous, but some connoisseurs of action will not understand and appreciate them. In any musou game, be it Samurai Warriors or Warriors Orochiit was sometimes necessary to include tactical ingenuity, avoiding fights with too strong opponents, or hide behind the backs of allies, having been wounded. In Persona 5: Strikers, all detractors have little chance of winning.
The protagonist Joker drags a squad of friends along with him, and they are all formidable fighters. On the battlefield, you can summon Persona – this is a particularly powerful spirit, a kind of ultimate weapon. Elements of the scenery will fall on the heads of harmful spirits and sorcerers, the Joker only needs to wave his saber. And if you manage to finish off a stunned enemy, an avalanche of murderous special effects will simply wash off half of the enemy squad from the arena. The developers, perhaps, did the right thing by limiting the musou elements in the new Persona , such gameplay in large quantities would be tedious in this game. But the JRPG itself comes to the fore.
In Persona 5:
Strikers, the parameters of the team are constantly growing with a set of experience, the economic system works here and there are no extra yen in the pockets of Phantom Thieves. Crowds of NPCs roam the streets of Tokyo, and in the dialogues you need to choose the answer options. The role-playing is good, but Persona 5: Strikers is at times too intrusive about its Japanese identity. Yes, in JRPG( [pii_email_aef67573025b785e8ee2] ) it is not customary to pamper the player with freedom, because this distracts the venerable gentlemen-players from the fascinating plot. Therefore, lovers of the free wind leave for the province of Skyrim, and we have an interesting story here and a deep study of the characters.
And everything would be fine, but even in those moments when Persona 5: Strikers does not drag along the storyline, but gives the opportunity to wander around the game world, the designers do not allow to roam properly. Here’s a seemingly good RPG mission to gather information about the villainess Alice. The Joker hangs out in several city blocks and tries to talk to unfamiliar NPCs. But when trying to get off two or three conventional paths, a talking Morgana cat appears from a backpack (a usual case for Megami Tensei ) and declares that we have nothing to do here, we need to look for evidence elsewhere. And so at every step. I would like more space and freedom of action. But the game grabs us by the collar and drags us to the next scripted scene.
The characters discuss every little thing in detail, insert completely empty comments, ask again five times and do not always joke well. Connoisseurs of the genre will probably remember how in the classic Final Fantasy X the athlete Tidus and the sorceress Yuna mumbled something like “Here it is, love … Probably … or not” for fifty hours of the plot . In the new Persona , the conversations are much sadder. Phantom thieves will exchange remarks for 15 minutes in the spirit of “Do we really need to go there? You are sure? Without a doubt? Then tell us again how to get there. “… Scenes with dialogues can be skipped, but the game is story-driven, there is a risk of missing an important moment.