Persona 5: Cat got your tongue?

This isn’t your standard, bread-and-butter RPG. No, this is much better. This is slicker and cooler and more colourful and more intense. This is about being a kid, rebelling against modernity’s dreary routines. This is about subversion, stealing sticking upa long stylish finger to ‘the man’. This is Persona 5, and it’s fascinating. If you’ve not discovered this series yet, you need to get on this.

Following on from Persona 4 Golden’s impactful critical and commercial Western release, Atlus’ in-house P-2 Studio has been hard at work, deconstructing what made its biggest hit work, and what didn’t. The result is the sharpest, coolest game to come out of Japan in years a true shot of life into the arm of the JRPG. We might have Final Fantasy XV giving the genre a Nolan-esque gritty reboot, but Persona continues to take the genre in its original direction, and doing it seemingly without effort. Here’s what we’ve learnt from the game via its debut trailer…
 Strange powers grant a group of youths the ability to call upon their individual and
personalised id to fight for them… with spectacular results
The game, like the others in the series, will be set in Japan. To begin with, we’re shown Igor the long-nosed master of demons who gives power to your Persona. Rather than one blonde bellhop lady, this time he’s employed twins as his attendants.

After being introduced to our cast the nameless androgynous protagonist, a girl with bunches, a guy that looks like Naruto and a cat (!) - we’re shown the group in school. So the day-to-day social navigation returns. Our protagonist seems more rebellious than we’ve seen so far.

Where the other games in the series see you visiting ‘Shadow Worlds’ to confront the evils that lie within them, Persona 5 looks like it centres more around reality it seems most of the action takes place in Tokyo. How the demons get there will be interesting…

Doesn’t this bar look exactly like the one from Atlus’ sadistic puzzler, Catherine? We think it might mean the broader Atlus world is finally going to show some interconnectivity. Outside of that, we’ve learnt the team is actually a group of heist-pulling thieves. Excellent news.

Now comes a heist after the dastardly group of kids jump into a dungeon we see the effort Atlus has put into redesigning the worst parts of the past games. Gone are the boring old grid-based affairs; now we have plaforming sections, cover-dashing and dynamic landscapes.

The trailer gives us glimpses of the UI; slick, animated and smart this is how you simplify the top-heavy menus RPGs are known for. But what is a menu without a place to test it? We get thrown into a battle and see our heros take on familiar enemies Pyro Jacks and Sandmen.

At the end of the trailer, we either see our main character transform into his Persona or we see his Shadow (read: evil self), begin his transformation into a boss. Either way, it looks great the gorgeous anime style has been retained for cutscenes.

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