At my ancient age, a new Persona game is something I look forward to with both a sense of awe and dread. Awe because the very expansive Megami Tensei and Shin Megami Tensei titles and their assorted spin-offs on a few platforms are one of the best and has been for decades, and dread because well, there’s so much to do in each game that it’s easy to lose track of time when playing them. The series is well known for some intensively lengthy games even back on the Famicom and Super Famicom systems up to today on the PS4, especially if you’re playing more than one game for just journalistic purposes. Heck, it took me almost three months to play Persona 4 way back on the PS2 and I’m here to report that I’ve been taking my time with the brilliant Persona 5 because of so many other games in my backlog to cover.
Well, that and the game is pretty and spectacularly dense in terms of depth and story and well, I bought it somewhat late (I think it was early last year when I made the plunge for a retail PS4 version). Even if I were to concentrate solely on the game, that’s about 60 or so hours without any shortcuts and that’s probably the basic story elements and a bit of leveling up for good measure.
Anyway, so now we have Persona 5 Royal to contend with, an expanded version of the last game that’s thankfully coming to gamers in physical as well as digital formats on the PS4 on March 31, 2020. Unlike Persona 4 Golden, which was limited to what’s now an expensive release to track down on as a PlayStation Vita exclusive, Royal’s clearly going to be more accessible to fans here and Atlus is planning to get two physical variants out (including retailers with special extras such as GameStop’s exclusive pin bonus):
As for Persona 5 Scramble: The Phantom Strikers? Well, it’s an entirely new and different game, taking place after the story in Persona 5 and being co-developed by P-Studio and Omega Force. From what I’ve seen, It’s more or less a sequel and combines the wonderful art and story elements from P5 with tried and true Dynasty Warriors/Shin Sangokumusou gameplay, but with a few very cool RPG elements that make it quite a follow up. It’s also coming to PS4 and Nintendo Switch in Japan on February 20, 2020, but no news yet has been released about a US version (yet). If you own a Switch and don’t mind a little account wrangling, the demo is available on the eShop in Japan, but it’s entirely in Japanese with no English options. On the PS4, it’s a little trickier to get a Japanese account set up, but it can be done.
Personally, I’m choosing to wait for a US demo to try out whenever the game makes the move to the States but here are two trailers to look at:
So far, so good… here’s another:
It’s clear from these ads that the game will be a good deal more than a simple Dynasty Warriors re-skin, but for me, ever since Koei’s underrated Trinity: Souls of Zill O’ll on the PS3 back in 2011, Omega Force has been been doing more with the tried and true mob-packed beat ’em up across many franchises ever since. As noted above, I don’t mind holding out for a US demo if one’s to come (it’s practically a given the the popularity of he series here), so I’m avoiding any and all news items of videos of the import so I can go in totally cold. I’m about absolute zero here save for the trailers, so all is good.