With more than 3 million copies of Persona 5 sold worldwide, it was clear that Atlus would exploit the vein to the end. Thus, after Persona 5 Dancing Star Night and Persona 5 Royal, the publisher has decided to go further by offering a real sequel to its cult RPG, but through a genre that changes in favor of the "Warriors" style of Omega Force, the situation is totally explosive for the fans as the game has to live up to its illustrious prequel.
What about the European version on PC?
Atlus promised us and the publisher kept his word. Persona 5 Strikers offers French subtitles, as the "Royal" reissue of the previous episode, which makes it easier for French-speaking players to understand the plot. Fans and even neophytes of the Persona 5 series can thus discover the rest of the adventures of the Phantom Thieves in the best conditions. Also, English dubbing, in addition to the Japanese one, completes a very good localization job. No major translation errors or even a "typo" were found during our reunion with Joker and his comrades.
Being able to play Persona 5 outside of the PlayStation ecosystem is a dream come true for many gamers eager to experience a colorful world and characters. The spin-off “Strikers” benefits from optimal gaming comfort on PC, and we expected nothing less from this Beat'em UP which displays 60 frames per second, all in 4K (3840 * 2160 to be exact) on modest configurations such as the i7-8700 3.70GHz, 16 GB RAM, GTX 1080 Ti). Whether it's 3D models, textures, visual effects, or menus, nothing has been left to chance by the developers. However, very few 2D in-game interface (or HUD) assets sometimes lack definition. These few imperfections in no way spoil the work carried out on the artistic direction of "Japanese anime", hailed by the press and the public, which still today proves to be extremely effective.
It is a very beautiful month of July in Tokyo. Yaldabaoth is defeated, society is appeased and Joker spends peaceful days at the family home ... You will understand, not for long. Strange cases shake the political sphere: rigging public accounts revealed in broad daylight, municipal councilors of Sapporo who confess fraud, a novelist who gives up his prize ... The police are again on the teeth and the suspect does not There is no doubt: the Phantom Thieves have returned to service and public security intends to set the record straight this time.
Far from yet knowing the suspicions that weigh on him, Joker, passing through Tokyo, is quickly caught up by the parallel worlds, however, supposed to have completely disappeared. While attending an event by a local starlet called Alice, he and Ryûji find themselves transported to a gothic Shadow-infested Shibuya. It is there that they are joined by Sophie, a strange inhabitant of this parallel world that she calls Jail. Much like the Palaces in Persona 5, the Jail is rotting the lives of the people of Shibuya. The Phantom Thieves, also, decide to resume service to restore peace to the neighborhood. But of course, this is just the beginning of the investigation that will lead them to larger plots.
Quite similar to the dungeons of Persona 5, the Jails nevertheless show some major differences. Firstly, time is not limited in Persona 5 Scramble: whereas in Persona 5 you had to complete each dungeon in two or three weeks in the game, here the player can take all his time, going back and forth in the level so much. that he wants. The date only changes when a primary goal is completed. We can also access any unlocked dungeon afterward since unlike the Palaces of the previous title, the Jails never disappear. We can safely put side quests aside and complete them later. Last novelty and not least, we can now control any character in the dungeons, and not just Joker. Also note that all are available from the start, except for a new member who arrives much later. The last difference, the Jails are all outdoor environments, which gives a new approach to progression and lots of new cool animations for all team members. In other words, Persona 5 Scramble is a cooler Persona, in the sense that the player has fewer constraints… which doesn't mean it's easy!
So let's come to the gameplay, which is undoubtedly the big question mark when we go from a turn-based of such quality to an action-RPG. Let's reassure fans right away by saying that despite the big leap in the Warriors formula, Persona 5 Scramble retains all the great principles of the original and doesn't lose either the spirit or the richness of Persona 5's fights. An Omega Force game, this sequel retains the stealth side of the original. The Shadows roam the dungeons exactly like in Persona 5, and the player has hiding places to avoid or surprise them. There are even more since we can now stand high. It is only when the player is spotted or decides to attack a Shadow that the latter reveals one or more dozen opponents, as is the tradition of the genre.
Like other Warriors-like, the SQUARE and TRIANGLE keys offer a variety of appreciable combos to hit the waves of Shadows with gusto. More particular moves or finishes are obtained as Master Arts by using the desired character to the maximum. It probably makes sense, but Persona 5 Scramble includes Personae, and also magic that is added to the above possibilities. The many elements of Persona 5 Royal bring back the game of strengths and weaknesses, annoying random states, as well as the principle of one more. In this way, the character can lengthen the action in progress when he hits the enemy's weak point, or even call the whole team to clean the area. Note that as in the previous one, Joker has several Personae, although the choice is not as wide as before. Finally, our big-hearted thieves all have a personalized Showtime (it is no longer done in pairs) to inflict big damage with class.
But then, what does that change? Everything, because the rhythm of the fighting is excessively fast. Imagine that you are playing Persona 5 Royal and you have to make all the decisions within half a second. Well Persona 5 Scramble, it's a bit like that: electric battles where the action happens at full speed despite the variety of possible controls. Even though Persona's menu on R1 stops time much like the great compromise found in Final Fantasy VII Remake, it's singularly intense from start to finish. Added to this is a particularly high challenge, with heroes who can be knocked out in two or three moves in normal mode. The player's dexterity is sometimes severely tested, so calling him "Dark Souls of the Warriors games" was tempting.
But I won't use those big words, in part because Persona 5 Scramble turns out, weirdly, to be a lot harder at the start than at the end. The bosses (and even the semi-bosses) of the first three Jails are nightmarish as the slightest mistake of inattention leads to a general knockout. That said, you gradually get used to the peculiarities of the combat system and you resist better. The Phantom Move, for example, allows you to jump in a flash on an element of the decor. Not only does this movement speed avoid many attacks, but the element in question can also be used in an offensive way! Blow up a car, knock down a candlestick, throw blades or activate a huge laser cannon, again the title Atlus has no shortage of ideas to entertain the player.
BAND OF BROTHERS
The Band system also helps a lot throughout the adventure. It represents the level of "camaraderie" between the Phantom Thieves and increases either in the important stages of the adventure or in side quests, especially those issued by the friends of Joker. The points thus awarded are used to improve, among other things, the team's statistics. Who says more strength, more defense, and especially who says more SP says much more affordable fights. In Shibuya, at the very beginning, there is just enough to heal once or twice before you have to return! At the end of the game, Sophie, Makoto, and Joker all have powerful healing spells, and the player has a lot more money and items. But the palette goes much further since you can add ammunition for firearms (not often used but which often sometimes life), resist abnormal states, or multiply the promotions at the store. Maximizing the Band requires tens of hours, if not two parts.
The best part is that Persona 5 Scramble is not just a Warriors game to which we would have stupidly applied a Persona 5 skin. It is a real Persona game that takes over, improving it a lot. , the principle proposed by Koei Tecmo. It's a straightforward sequel with what that implies in terms of humor and storytelling, though some might find the overall tone much more (if not too?) Light. Each Jail has a "king" who can be compared to the masters of the palaces of Persona 5, thus leading to the famous scenes of confession. On the other hand, there is not really a super-villain in Persona 5 Scramble: all the antagonists are "excusable" and the scenario takes less overall. The conclusion, moreover, is strangely exactly the same as that of Persona 5, namely the criticism in the background of a company that has given up its will to power and that revel in the spectacle.
Persona 5 Scramble still offers a lot of admirable passages and we sympathize with the new characters, all very successful in their story as in their personality. Despite a less cleverly constructed plot, the Persona 5 spirit is there: an ultra-tight team, where however each individuality is well highlighted throughout the story. The awakening of Personas is once again an unforgettable moment, even if there is bound to be much less. I also find fascinating writing in the clash of ideals that the heroes have with certain antagonists, especially towards the end: perhaps even more than in the previous one, Atlus pushes the border between good and evil to challenge the player on the dimension ethics of very real debates. I marvel once again at the design of the dungeons, very pushed in an always ingenious allegory of the moral imposture of the boss. The latter are themselves always so crazy and, as said above, very strong. Still expect some crazy scenes.
THE VAN OF THIEVES
Persona 5 Scramble always includes this simply magical humor: vacations oblige, no lessons, but on the other hand Joker and his gang will borrow a motorhome for a delicious road trip throughout Japan (because the Jails are not only Tokyo). From Sendai to Osaka, the Phantom Thieves visit some trendy corners of the archipelago, such as Sapporo Tower Park. So admittedly, it's not super big, but when you've already had the chance to visit these cities, it's pretty great to come back with Joker. The prism of travel is very original and brings a host of good ideas to the point that it commands admiration. For example, when you are in Osaka, Sophie (who runs an online store) says ookini instead of arigatô in the Kansai dialect. I do not count the number of hilarious passages in Persona 5 Scramble, which has absolutely nothing to envy its predecessor in the matter!
As principle, I will note a few caveats, such as the astonishing slump in the middle of the game. The dungeons are much smaller, the bosses much less elaborate ... it is particularly disappointing in Kyoto because the old capital is not has only its keep ... and no "city" part. But damn it, if there is a city where I would have liked to wander, it is this one! The dumbfounded fan sees his dreams of Kiyomizudera, Kinkakuji, Fushimi Inari in video games collapse. Do not expect a lifespan to match Persona 5 Royal either: Persona 5 Scramble buckles in 30-40 hours and the additional content is very reduced.
A point on the technique is also required because Persona 5 Scramble is really lagging behind in terms of graphics. Despite its still exceptional artistic qualities, the game still feels like PlayStation 3, with the character modeling sometimes being downright mediocre when you look closely (but with the game coming out on Nintendo Switch as well, you can understand this potential generational gap). If some outlines have obviously been refined, I am still far from the account and Persona 5 Scramble may make the owner of PlayStation 4 wince, especially if he has played Final Fantasy VII Remake. All this to say that Atlus is now a globally successful developer and that opting for the lowest technological bid is no longer his level. If he wants to stay among the greats, Atlus must make the most of, if not the power of the PlayStation 5, at least that of the PS4. The countless Persona 5 fans and their unwavering support deserve excellence at every level.
Persona 5 Strikers Review, the conclusion
What can I say except that fans of the planetary hit of Atlus will be delighted to find in Persona 5 Scramble the real sequel they were waiting for, and that even perhaps, they did not expect. Even in a different genre, the title entrusted to Koei Tecmo prolongs the enjoyment of Persona 5 Royal in a remarkable way, making good use of the mechanics of the "Warriors" games. It perfectly retains the spirit of the original, in the mood as in the gameplay. These qualities largely compensate for an achievement that is far below current standards, hoping that Atlus will make progress in this area in the years to come.
For more information about this game, I invite you to visit the Persona 5 Strikers official website for more details. If you ever played the game and want to leave a comment, please feel free to do so.