Persona 5 Strikers Impressions - Perfection Continued

CriticalGaming

Elite Member
Legacy
Apr 3, 2020
4,400
804
118
Persona 5 was probably one of the best RPG's I've ever played. Last year's Royal version only reinforced how great it was. Persona 5 was also the first persona game I played and it led me back to playing P3 and P4Golden both great games in their own rights but Persona 5 was clearly the full culmination of the persona vision I feel. From characters and music to story and raw style that the game had, Persona 5 just pushed all my buttons.

From the moment I booted up Persona 5 Strikers all those wonderful characters and moments returned in an instant. Strikers is a direct sequel to Persona 5 (not Royal though), and returns the loveable cast back together for a summer vacation. What's great about Strikers unlike other Persona games, is that because the game is a sequel they don't need to spend a couple of hours of building up to the "gameplay" moment. In the other Persona games a lot of introductory time is spent introducing you to the normal version of the world, usually this means your school, your living situation, and some of the support cast. But Strikers doesn't need to do any of that, because all of it was set up in the first game. This means the game starts quickly, you have a quick meeting with your friends to decide what the plan for summer vacation is, then you encounter the main baddie, and boom you are in the game back to your phantom thievery. Though things are quite a bit different this time around.

First off the story is brilliant and the only way I can think of showcasing this is to talk about the first 20 minutes of the game, so if you DONT WANT ANY SPOILERS DO NOT READ THE FOLLOWING!!!!!

You return to Cafe Lablanc to reunite with your friends for summer vacation. During this meeting everyone debates on what the group should do over the summer. Many activities are discussed and most of the normal character banter returns (Ryuji and Ann still aren't getting the best grades and Yuske still is obessed with artistic beauty). The set up here is great, because it's like you are putting on a favorite pair of shoes, comfortable and reliable. All the voice actors have returned so there is nothing to take you out of this continuation of the story as if you never left in P5. During this group meeting Futaba uses a SIRI-like app on her phone called EMMA, which promptly finds a store and shopping list for the groups aforementioned camping trip. Futaba explains that EMMA is a hot new AI that has become insanely popular (there is even a brief news annoucement regarding the company on the train ride here during the intro), and people everywhere are using it on their phones. She prompts the whole group to download the app which they do.

In the morning you meet up with Ryuji to do some of the shopping required for the camping trip, but Ryuji forgets where the store is. Morgana suggests asking EMMA which he does and the AI tells Joker and Ryuji where to go. But it also points out that there is a local event happening in the area in which some new Pop-Idol will be attending. Ryuji flips out with excitement and you go off to get a look at this crazy new popstar. Turns out the pop star is named Alice Hiiragi, and she's opening a store where people can enter "her world of desire". From a mile away you already know she's the first bad guy, the foreshadowing couldn't be any thicker. During this event Alice hands out a few welcome cards to offer fans special deals in her "world", of course Jokeris randomly handed one of these cards and the game is quick to show you what's on the card.

The card is in Japanese, except for the word "Keyword". Again if you are familiar with P5 you know that the group had to use Keywords to navigate to the various palaces in the metaverse. Strange....because the meta-nav is gone, removed after you save the world in the first game. Oh but wait, the card says the "keyword" is to add friends via that new EMMA AI. Ryuji is hyped and urges Joker to enter the keyword into EMMA and wouldn't you know it? METAVERSE TIME!!!

What's great about this introduction is that even though the build up is quick, you already see everything coming because of the first game. But even though it's obvious to the player what's happening, you still feel that rush of excitement, because you are excited to be on a new adventure with these characters again. In much the same way I felt about playing the Final Fantasy 7 Remake, I didn't care that I mostly new the story, I was happy to be doing something new with characters I already know and love.

Anyway back to a little more spoiler...

Joker, Morgana, and Ryuji notice that they are in their Thieving outfits, and in the distance is a large palace designed much like Alice's outfit in the real world. It's very Alice in Wonderland themed which is a fun theme and fits with the games style. The group watches as a couple of other people who got cards from the crowd are also in the metaverse and are approached by shadows who walk up and rip out their "desires/hearts". A large group of shadows decends upon our heroes and combat begins.

Okay so combat is much more like a typical Mushu-game or Dynasty Warriors-type game than I expected upon hearing the reviews. There are some gimmicks, but it's still very much a kill-1000 mooks and a couple of mini-bosses type of thing. Attacks are very responsive, but defense is kind of a pain in the ass because the dodge button is R2 for some fucking reason and i hate it. I have take too many hits because I'm trying to use circle to dodge like a normal person but nope, dodge is Rfucking2.

Anyway some of the extra things that Strikers does to add the Persona flair to the game is.....well using your persona. By holding R1 you can pause the action and bring out a persona to use some sort of spell, like healing or a type-damage based attack much like from the first game. These attacks cost your mp so you can't spam them, but they do pretty much what they did in P5. If you use an attack that an enemy is weak to, it will knock them down and you can do an "all-out attack", again like P5, however these attacks are just AOE attacks that brings the whole group together. They do good damage and I think you're invulnerable during them so these will end up being the bread and butter of the game later on most likely.

Though i have mutiple characters in the group for this first intro sequence, I couldn't seem to swap away from controlling Joker. I don't know if I'm just stupid and coudln't figure the button out, or if they simply aren't letting me do that yet, or if you actually are stuck only controlling Joker (but I doubt it).

The combat arena's also have environmental objects that can be used. You can jump on a light pole, for example, to briefly escape the action and to also launch a special attack using the pole.

Exploration is mostly the same as well, chests, hidden spots to jump into for secrets....also in chests, and much the same that the palaces had in the first game. It's not expanded exploration or anything and I'm fine with that because I thought the level of exploration fit with that Persona was and it still fits here.

All in all, I think this is going to very much end up as a great highlight for 2021 and if you are Persona fan I would still get this even if you aren't a Warriors fan, because there is enough of the Persona-ness to it that I think does overcome the Warriors part enough to distract.
 
  • Like
Reactions: ObsidianJones

Catfood220

Elite Member
Legacy
Apr 3, 2020
179
111
48
What's great about this introduction is that even though the build up is quick, you already see everything coming because of the first game.
You mean to say this song lied to me? I'm disappointed:).


I was hoping to be the first to post something about this game, my copy came today when its supposed to turn up on Tuesday. So, going to give it a look tonight (my attempted playthrough of Cyberpunk will have to wait) and give my impressions later.
 

CriticalGaming

Elite Member
Legacy
Apr 3, 2020
4,400
804
118
After a few more hours with the game I can say that the story went somewhere I didn't expect. Not a bad thing at all, it's actually really enjoyable, though it does kind of hold itself to same Persona formula as the previous games. If you've played Persona games before, you know what that formula is. However it is a lot of fun hanging with your P5 crew again and everyone is on their A-game when it comes to acting.

I expected the combat to get boring as it kinda of feels button mashy at times, however it hasn't. Unlocking new moves with each character and actually trying to use them how the game intends is surprising hard to do and it makes getting a feel for the combat as the combat ramps up feels fun.
 
  • Like
Reactions: BrawlMan

Inazuma1

Professional Asshole
Legacy
Apr 18, 2020
22
18
13
Hell
The presence of this game on Steam hurts me because it's not the Persona I want. I wanted a P5 Royal Steam release and Atlus hasn't delivered yet. Of course, I also want a SMT3 Remaster on Steam as well, and we all know the Japanese developers are scared of PC development because Japan hasn't had a PC centric dev scene since the 80s and the MSX2.
 

ObsidianJones

Elite Member
Legacy
Apr 29, 2020
962
1,133
98
Country
United States
Persona 5 was probably one of the best RPG's I've ever played. Last year's Royal version only reinforced how great it was. Persona 5 was also the first persona game I played and it led me back to playing P3 and P4Golden both great games in their own rights but Persona 5 was clearly the full culmination of the persona vision I feel. From characters and music to story and raw style that the game had, Persona 5 just pushed all my buttons.

From the moment I booted up Persona 5 Strikers all those wonderful characters and moments returned in an instant. Strikers is a direct sequel to Persona 5 (not Royal though), and returns the loveable cast back together for a summer vacation. What's great about Strikers unlike other Persona games, is that because the game is a sequel they don't need to spend a couple of hours of building up to the "gameplay" moment. In the other Persona games a lot of introductory time is spent introducing you to the normal version of the world, usually this means your school, your living situation, and some of the support cast. But Strikers doesn't need to do any of that, because all of it was set up in the first game. This means the game starts quickly, you have a quick meeting with your friends to decide what the plan for summer vacation is, then you encounter the main baddie, and boom you are in the game back to your phantom thievery. Though things are quite a bit different this time around.

First off the story is brilliant and the only way I can think of showcasing this is to talk about the first 20 minutes of the game, so if you DONT WANT ANY SPOILERS DO NOT READ THE FOLLOWING!!!!!

You return to Cafe Lablanc to reunite with your friends for summer vacation. During this meeting everyone debates on what the group should do over the summer. Many activities are discussed and most of the normal character banter returns (Ryuji and Ann still aren't getting the best grades and Yuske still is obessed with artistic beauty). The set up here is great, because it's like you are putting on a favorite pair of shoes, comfortable and reliable. All the voice actors have returned so there is nothing to take you out of this continuation of the story as if you never left in P5. During this group meeting Futaba uses a SIRI-like app on her phone called EMMA, which promptly finds a store and shopping list for the groups aforementioned camping trip. Futaba explains that EMMA is a hot new AI that has become insanely popular (there is even a brief news annoucement regarding the company on the train ride here during the intro), and people everywhere are using it on their phones. She prompts the whole group to download the app which they do.

In the morning you meet up with Ryuji to do some of the shopping required for the camping trip, but Ryuji forgets where the store is. Morgana suggests asking EMMA which he does and the AI tells Joker and Ryuji where to go. But it also points out that there is a local event happening in the area in which some new Pop-Idol will be attending. Ryuji flips out with excitement and you go off to get a look at this crazy new popstar. Turns out the pop star is named Alice Hiiragi, and she's opening a store where people can enter "her world of desire". From a mile away you already know she's the first bad guy, the foreshadowing couldn't be any thicker. During this event Alice hands out a few welcome cards to offer fans special deals in her "world", of course Jokeris randomly handed one of these cards and the game is quick to show you what's on the card.

The card is in Japanese, except for the word "Keyword". Again if you are familiar with P5 you know that the group had to use Keywords to navigate to the various palaces in the metaverse. Strange....because the meta-nav is gone, removed after you save the world in the first game. Oh but wait, the card says the "keyword" is to add friends via that new EMMA AI. Ryuji is hyped and urges Joker to enter the keyword into EMMA and wouldn't you know it? METAVERSE TIME!!!

What's great about this introduction is that even though the build up is quick, you already see everything coming because of the first game. But even though it's obvious to the player what's happening, you still feel that rush of excitement, because you are excited to be on a new adventure with these characters again. In much the same way I felt about playing the Final Fantasy 7 Remake, I didn't care that I mostly new the story, I was happy to be doing something new with characters I already know and love.

Anyway back to a little more spoiler...

Joker, Morgana, and Ryuji notice that they are in their Thieving outfits, and in the distance is a large palace designed much like Alice's outfit in the real world. It's very Alice in Wonderland themed which is a fun theme and fits with the games style. The group watches as a couple of other people who got cards from the crowd are also in the metaverse and are approached by shadows who walk up and rip out their "desires/hearts". A large group of shadows decends upon our heroes and combat begins.

Okay so combat is much more like a typical Mushu-game or Dynasty Warriors-type game than I expected upon hearing the reviews. There are some gimmicks, but it's still very much a kill-1000 mooks and a couple of mini-bosses type of thing. Attacks are very responsive, but defense is kind of a pain in the ass because the dodge button is R2 for some fucking reason and i hate it. I have take too many hits because I'm trying to use circle to dodge like a normal person but nope, dodge is Rfucking2.

Anyway some of the extra things that Strikers does to add the Persona flair to the game is.....well using your persona. By holding R1 you can pause the action and bring out a persona to use some sort of spell, like healing or a type-damage based attack much like from the first game. These attacks cost your mp so you can't spam them, but they do pretty much what they did in P5. If you use an attack that an enemy is weak to, it will knock them down and you can do an "all-out attack", again like P5, however these attacks are just AOE attacks that brings the whole group together. They do good damage and I think you're invulnerable during them so these will end up being the bread and butter of the game later on most likely.

Though i have mutiple characters in the group for this first intro sequence, I couldn't seem to swap away from controlling Joker. I don't know if I'm just stupid and coudln't figure the button out, or if they simply aren't letting me do that yet, or if you actually are stuck only controlling Joker (but I doubt it).

The combat arena's also have environmental objects that can be used. You can jump on a light pole, for example, to briefly escape the action and to also launch a special attack using the pole.

Exploration is mostly the same as well, chests, hidden spots to jump into for secrets....also in chests, and much the same that the palaces had in the first game. It's not expanded exploration or anything and I'm fine with that because I thought the level of exploration fit with that Persona was and it still fits here.

All in all, I think this is going to very much end up as a great highlight for 2021 and if you are Persona fan I would still get this even if you aren't a Warriors fan, because there is enough of the Persona-ness to it that I think does overcome the Warriors part enough to distract.
Great impressions as always.

Even though I cut my teeth on RPGs as a kid, I need more of a kinetic style of game play nowadays. The most I can do nowadays turn based is Civ 6, and that's only in short spurts. So I never got into Persona.

The Musou spin off meant to me that I could finally try to get into this series, but I'm actually at the opposed end of your recommendation. The "Get it if you're a Persona fan" part. I'm a Musou fan, and curious about Persona and wondering if it will fit me. Because I'd hate to get into Persona but not be able to stand the rest of the series or games coming out in the future.

I'm still going to wait for a sale. Who knows what the future will hold?

I was hoping to be the first to post something about this game, my copy came today when its supposed to turn up on Tuesday. So, going to give it a look tonight (my attempted playthrough of Cyberpunk will have to wait) and give my impressions later.
Hey, is there a download for a physical copy? I go strict to the eShop if physical copies have downloads. I don't see the point.
 
  • Like
Reactions: CriticalGaming

CriticalGaming

Elite Member
Legacy
Apr 3, 2020
4,400
804
118
The Musou spin off meant to me that I could finally try to get into this series, but I'm actually at the opposed end of your recommendation. The "Get it if you're a Persona fan" part. I'm a Musou fan, and curious about Persona and wondering if it will fit me. Because I'd hate to get into Persona but not be able to stand the rest of the series or games coming out in the future.
I mean do what you want. But be warned the game is a direct sequel to Persona 5, and the story assumes you are knowledgeable of the events from P5. Maybe the gameplay is enough for you to not care about that and fair enough, but the game's story does play out like an rpg and has very long story moments all which feeds off from the first game.

At very least watch a story summary video or something from Persona 5 so you at least are somewhat on the same page of the events of this game.
 
  • Like
Reactions: BrawlMan

Catfood220

Elite Member
Legacy
Apr 3, 2020
179
111
48
Ok, time for some actual impressions. I'm actually really enjoying this game, which is not a surprise as I love Persona 5. Its nice to be back with the Phantom Thieves, the ending to Royal was bittersweet with everyone going their own separate ways, I prefer the happier ending of the vanilla game. Which this game follows so sadly there is no Kasume.

The game is not as button mashy as I thought, the battles for the most part are quite small and can be over in a matter of seconds when dealing with regular mooks. The game does throw large groups of mooks at you at points, when Futaba has to do some hacking. These are great fun and because they happen so rarely that it stops the combat getting boring. These so far are my favourite bits of the game. Of course the game also throws tougher enemies at you which take some beating, you having to exploit their weaknesses to set up more powerful attacks to take them down. And I'm guessing that the Dire Shadows are best left for New Game+. Unlike the first game, you can use up all your SP in a few moves, which means you have to swap your party member regularly and when they are all completely drained, you can leave the Jail (oh yeah, its Jails now, not Palaces) atone of the very generous checkpoints and almost immediately jump back in. Its a bit jarring coming from the original game where you can only go in once a day and even then, you can't do anything else without a special massage. Exploring the Metaverse is obviously not as exhausting this time around.

I do have gripes, but they are pretty minor, this game so far is great. The first being that the game starts slowly, but at the same time feels a bit rushed. I think this is because the game is shorter and we already know the characters. In battle, your Phantom Thief buddies are a bit too good at what they do. Often I get into a battle, I take out a couple of enemies, turn around to take out the others and the rest of my party are kicking arse up and down the street. Not a bad thing that the AI can take care of itself but it does feel like I'm not contributing very much. Some of Ryuji's dialogue seems to be very quiet for some reason, I'm not sure if this is deliberate or not. But if its not, I'm not sure how it got past the quality testing. Maybe there is a patch coming on the actual launch day.

All in all, I'm having fun with Strikers, lets see where it goes.

Hey, is there a download for a physical copy? I go strict to the eShop if physical copies have downloads. I don't see the point.
I'm not sure what you are asking. Are you talking about dlc codes in the box. There is one, but its for the soundtrack and a making of video, all very exciting.
 

ObsidianJones

Elite Member
Legacy
Apr 29, 2020
962
1,133
98
Country
United States
I'm not sure what you are asking. Are you talking about dlc codes in the box. There is one, but its for the soundtrack and a making of video, all very exciting.
Is the entire game on the physical copy, or do you have to download more of the game once you put the cart into the Switch?
 

Dirty Hipsters

This is how we praise the sun!
Legacy
Apr 18, 2020
927
747
98
Country
'Merica
Gender
3 children in a trench coat
My thoughts on this:

Hey this looks really cool.

Oh...it's a musou...ew.
 

Dirty Hipsters

This is how we praise the sun!
Legacy
Apr 18, 2020
927
747
98
Country
'Merica
Gender
3 children in a trench coat
I was hoping to be the first to post something about this game, my copy came today when its supposed to turn up on Tuesday. So, going to give it a look tonight (my attempted playthrough of Cyberpunk will have to wait) and give my impressions later.
As someone who finished Cyberpunk and all of the side missions, give that one a year. Shit ain't ready for consumption yet.
 

Catfood220

Elite Member
Legacy
Apr 3, 2020
179
111
48
Is the entire game on the physical copy, or do you have to download more of the game once you put the cart into the Switch?
Ah, I see. I'm playing on PS4 so I don't know about the Switch. But as far as I'm aware, the whole game is on the disk like the original Persona 5 game was. I've not had a patch yet, but that might be because I've received the game early.

As someone who finished Cyberpunk and all of the side missions, give that one a year. Shit ain't ready for consumption yet.
Yeah, I started playing it the other day and everything feels off in a way I can't quite put my finger on. Credit to CDPR though, the big patch they recently put out has at least made the game run on PS4 now.
 

Dirty Hipsters

This is how we praise the sun!
Legacy
Apr 18, 2020
927
747
98
Country
'Merica
Gender
3 children in a trench coat
Yeah, I started playing it the other day and everything feels off in a way I can't quite put my finger on. Credit to CDPR though, the big patch they recently put out has at least made the game run on PS4 now.
You're trying to play it on the PS4? Yay, definitely wait at least a year if not more. I played it on PC, and while I didn't have any really gamebreaking bugs there were still crashes a plenty and some bugged out quests were I had to roll back saves. It's a hell of a lot worse on PS4.
 

CriticalGaming

Elite Member
Legacy
Apr 3, 2020
4,400
804
118

This is cool. I didn't know that, but Siri's OG voice actor is the voice of the AI in Persona Strikers. That's just cool.
 

BrawlMan

Lover of beat'em ups.
Legacy
Apr 3, 2020
4,534
1,595
118
Detroit, Michigan
Country
United States of America
Gender
Male
@CriticalGaming, this game is now on the Stylish Action games tropes list. Congrats!

 
Last edited:

CriticalGaming

Elite Member
Legacy
Apr 3, 2020
4,400
804
118
@CriticalGaming, this game is now the Stylish Action games tropes list. Congrats!

Uh.....thanks?
 
  • Like
Reactions: BrawlMan

BrawlMan

Lover of beat'em ups.
Legacy
Apr 3, 2020
4,534
1,595
118
Detroit, Michigan
Country
United States of America
Gender
Male
You havent tried the game yet have you? I forget if you like Musou games or not.
It varies. Some I like and most I don't care. I might give Strikers a shot, but I am going to have to look at a playthrough to get the whole story and context. The Musou or Musou style games I have enjoyed are:

  • Hyrule Warriors
  • Age of Calamity
  • Samurai Warriors 4
  • Dynasty Warriors 8 Xtreme Legends
  • Sengoku Basara 3
Here something extra for you.


 
  • Like
Reactions: CriticalGaming

CriticalGaming

Elite Member
Legacy
Apr 3, 2020
4,400
804
118
It varies. Some I like and most I don't care. I might give Strikers a shot, but I am going to have to look at a playthrough to get the whole story and context. The Musou or Musou style games I have enjoyed are:

  • Hyrule Warriors
  • Age of Calamity
  • Samurai Warriors 4
  • Dynasty Warriors 8 Xtreme Legends
  • Sengoku Basara 3
Here something extra for you.


Oh you didn't play Persona 5, yeah that might be a barrier to entry storywise for you. Otherwise it's a pretty fun beat -em up game. Not your typical Musou game for sure, it's not at all like the Warriors games really, as the game is very progress based. It's more about getting through your objectives, than it is fighting endless minions. Though you can do that if you want.

It's much more interesting take on the Musou game. If you are on the fence or unsure, maybe wait for a sale, but i still think you would enjoy it if you got it.
 

Catfood220

Elite Member
Legacy
Apr 3, 2020
179
111
48
I've been playing this some more and I really like this game. Its not as good as Persona 5 as a lot of things have been stripped away. But I still like this game, but I also have a couple of extra little gripes that doesn't ruin anything but...

The first being Jokers run cycle, he has his bag slung over his shoulder with Morgana in it. And the way he runs, that bag is being swung around so much that there is no way that Morgana is getting a gentle ride in there. Its probably the same animation as in Persona 5 and I've not noticed before. But you'd of thought Morgana might of complained about the ride he's getting in that bag.

The second thing is that The Phantom Thieves never change their clothes. This is such a tiny gripe, but one of the tiny details I loved about Persona 5 is that the clothing changed on a daily basis. In this game, the clothes never change. And yeah, I was a teenager once, I've been to music festivals where I've worn the same thing every day. But this annoyed me more than I realized. That tiny little camper van their in is going to stink after a couple of days.

Oh, I've thought of another gripe. If this game follows on from the end of Persona 5, why is no ones Personas in an evolved state? Are we to assume that the cannon is that Joker never socialised with anyone outside of missions?

Am I asking for too much from a spin off created by a different studio?