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    Persona 5 Tactica

    Game » consists of 2 releases. Released Nov 17, 2023

    Persona 5 Tactica is a tactical RPG spin-off from Atlus' long-running franchise.

    My 2023 "Bounce Off Game" Is Persona 5 Tactica Because I'm Just Done With These Characters And World

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    ZombiePie

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    Edited By ZombiePie  Staff

    Preamble

    New look; same character gimmicks.
    New look; same character gimmicks.

    Despite me inching ever so closely to writing four blogsabout my thoughts about Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3 and its future, I have been relatively mum about my impressions about the rest of the series. As I laid out in my essay on the difficulty of returning to Portable via its Game Pass release, I maintain everyone's favorite Persona game is the first one they end up sinking in over fifty hours. For some of you, it is Persona 3; for many of you, it is Persona 4, largely thanks to Giant Bomb's Endurance Run feature; for millions more, it is Persona 5. To each their own, but I think it is safe to say there's no "correct" answer in this regard. Likewise, almost everyone with a definitive favorite game in the series can also explain how it caught them at the right moment of their socio-emotional upbringing, wherein its cast and world especially felt prescient. Despite its evolving storytelling aspirations and aesthetical choices, it's as if the series always manages to throttle people through the same loops and banks on its emotional rollercoaster rides. It is odd, but the Persona series has become a collective social experience for anyone who plays even a single entry, with its weird blend of visual novel dating sim elements with JRPG gameplay standbys.

    For the two to three of you who have seen me talk about my thoughts related to Persona 5, I have slightly criticized the game and have some pointed issues with its storytelling and direction. I will maintain to my deathbed that the original game's utilization of Momentos slows the story to a painful crawl. While its narrative peaks are commendable, its herky-jerky final act, wherein it ends three to four times and yet keeps going, is excessive to a fault. Likewise, with age, many series hallmarks I considered acceptable in the past do not pass muster today. I get on my hands and knees and beg that we NEVER need to stomach another game wherein Atlus thinks it is acceptable to depict a teen-adult relationship as no big deal. They also should stop getting excused by their vocal and die-hard fans about their inability to reflect on their depictions of LGBTQ+ people. Finally, I don't think it would hurt if the actual dungeon-crawling portion of a Persona game did not suck eggs during its back half, as TO THIS DAY, Atlus still seems to derive a sense of glee in kicking your teeth in when you least expect it.

    And yet, I still played Royal and Strikers and had a fine enough time with both. So, when Atlus announced Persona 5 Tactica, I was all on board with what they offered. I love turn-based tactics games and thought the art style was popping. Also, in Strikers' case, Atlus was starting to perfect their craft in creating adult characters that felt as relatable and believable as the teens we usually control. Zenkichi Hasegawa is possibly one of the most underrated characters in the Persona 5 mythos, and HOT DAMN is the ending of Persona 5 Strikers, something worth getting misty about. It's weird to say, but my opinion of Persona 5 has improved over time thanks to its supporting spin-offs and expansions adding new perspectives and characters that resonated with me as strongly as the starting slate of characters the first game introduced. All this hopefully clarifies that I went into Tactica in high spirits. I did not go into it wanting to end up with an essay bound to rub some Persona fans the wrong way. To the game's credit, it starts well enough. However, about twelve hours in, I threw in the towel and wanted to discuss my reasons for doing so.

    I'm Not Going To Sit Here And Say Persona 5 Tactica Is Bad

    The way this game plays with depth of field is more annoying than cool.
    The way this game plays with depth of field is more annoying than cool.

    Persona 5 Tactica is a breezy tactics experience that fits with what it attempts from a purely narrative perspective. For the most part, Tactica feels like a lore bible with character portraits acting out lines of world-building-focused dialogue for as much time as they fight goons on the battlefield. Unfortunately, Tactica is too much of a cakewalk. Still, with its design and storytelling aspirations set in dolling out what feels like reams of dialogue, the design and programming team knew their audience wasn't looking for something mechanically challenging. That said, the stages rewarding you with incentives should you complete missions within a determinate number of moves was a pleasant surprise. Because the game motivates you to beat each of its battles at a breakneck speed, you rarely go a turn without one of its flashier special moves or animations playing at least two times per turn. This is an essential point because seeing those special attacks and synergies differentiates your battles, as there sure are a lot of the same monotonous red box-like battle arenas in Tactica. The game has an uptempo pace, and using the Persona elements and status effects is equally seamless, but it is a mechanically "safe" tactics game. It only adds a few novelties to the genre, but it does make a series with none of those genre hallmarks work with its own unshakable tropes and idioms.

    Atlus wanted this game to be a storytelling vehicle while also trying to build their SRPG chops on new hardware. Also, they are cognizant that a new generation of Persona fans, thanks to Persona 5, likely don't have a frame of reference on what a tactics RPG is outside of the modern Fire Emblem games and maybe the Firaxis-era XCOM series. As a result, they made Tactica's difficulty curve gradual and limited the number of mechanics you need to grapple to a minimum. My favorite was Tactica giving you bonus attacks for free whenever you knocked enemies out of cover. There's a satisfying snowballing effect when you can chain these knockbacks one after another. The fusion mechanic also fits the game perfectly, as it helps fill gaps in your roster without too much fuss. However, being limited to three playable characters during battles is far too limiting. Because you have so few usable slots, and the battles themselves are so small in scope and scale, you don't feel as motivated to try out some of the game's more support-oriented characters or unit types, even if they have plenty of uses.

    This is one of the cooler things they did with Tactica and it is day one DLC you need to pay $20 to experience.
    This is one of the cooler things they did with Tactica and it is day one DLC you need to pay $20 to experience.

    And for a game series that revolves around characters and their self-actualizing journeys, the game mostly delivers on that front. Due to how late Haru is introduced and how half-baked her characterization felt the first time around, Persona 5 Tactica is the first time Haru feels like a worthy member of the Phantom Thieves. The best character work in the game involves a three to four-hour mini-campaign with Sumire and Akechi, and I think it is DOWNRIGHT CRIMINAL that this storyline is locked behind day one DLC. If, unlike me, you play Tactica and fully commit to finishing it, I strongly recommend you check that thing out, as it is NOT a simple cosmetic unit package as it appears on digital marketplaces. Tactica also largely avoids an issue I have with previous Persona spin-off games. With most Persona spin-offs, the character arcs in the original game are largely resolved, and the spin-off storytelling relies on one-off characters that sometimes feel completely shoehorned. Likewise, with the main characters no longer undergoing stages of introspection, they instead devolve into wisecrackers or become victims of I'm not saying that is NOT the case in Tactica, but it could have been worse.

    Persona 5 Tactica is NOT my 2023 "bounce-off game" because it is terrible. Persona 5 Tactica is my bounce-off game because I am thoroughly done with these characters. I'm done with this world and messing around in Cafe LeBlanc. I'm done with Momentos. I'm done with the Persona 5 font. I'm done with the royalty motif with the enemies. I'm done with the color red. I'm done, and I want the franchise to move on now. I know that's not happening for a while, but this fourth or fifth rodeo feels TIRED! What was once novel or new is now starting to get old. Every numbered Persona game presents a unique style and even a theme for character exploration. Persona 3 is about personal traumas; Persona 4 is about confronting shadows; Persona 5 is about understanding the person you want to be and accepting the person you can't be via momentos. To do the same shit in the same format for the seventh year is exhausting, and I'm done. And the fact that the game is unwilling to rock the boat with a genre already inundated with quality titles doesn't help, either. With Tactica, it seems like Atlus thinks they can employ the same tricks and storytelling mechanisms they have used for seven years straight but with even more side dish-like characters, which is disappointing. I don't know how much more of this I can take, and I wonder if I will even bother to finish Tactica, which breaks my heart.

    That Unmistakable Feeling of "Here We Go Again"

    It's totally not suspicious everyone is back to hanging out in the cafe but this time with a future Prime Minister!
    It's totally not suspicious everyone is back to hanging out in the cafe but this time with a future Prime Minister!

    Part of my issue is that I have seen the main cast from Persona 5 take a step back to allow new one-off characters to assume the front stage of a game before. Seeing Makoto, Futuba, and Yusuke take a back seat for yet another batch of one-offs is something I wasn't excited about the first time, and it feels even worse now. Worse, the new character additions feel even less daring or memorable this time than in previous games. Toshiro Kasukabe is a worse version of Zenkichi in almost every single regard, and it is ridiculous how much of his character development feels like Atlus going through the motions rather than trying something new. The writing staff for Tactica feels like they pulled notes from a character reference sheet because there's nothing attempted with Toshiro's character arc that feels refreshing. Playing Tactica reminds me that each numbered Persona isn't simply the introduction of a new visual filter. Each generation of the Persona series also has its own unique mechanism for unlocking character pieces through the veneer of Jungian psychology. Despite the genre shift, the steps and style of unlocking backstories are the same from the first game, and it doesn't have the same impact it did even one game ago. Would it surprise you that one of the new characters summons their Persona via a mental breakdown during a battle? I get that's a bit of a series trope, but trust me when I say that I was getting flashbacks to the character set pieces for Ann and Yusuke when it happened here.

    There was something comforting seeing the main Persona 5 cast using their previous experiences to help new characters undergo the phases of recognizing their true selves. But shit, having the villainous fulcrum be ANOTHER tyrannical monarch that wants to establish a new world order? After we had done this four times prior, with these exact characters, it made everything in Tactica feel like piddly shit. I liked how this game had the Phantom Thieves working with resistance fighters and how that manifested in the game's tactical parts. Nonetheless, the fact it creatively isn't doing much makes the fact that almost every single battle map is a moderate-sized red box with your characters starting on one side and the enemies spawning on the other all the more obvious. I don't hate the toy horse look of the game, but with its chibi-inspired art being all it is doing to mix up the Persona 5 aesthetic, Tactica feels like an example of the sub-series reaching its Peak Oil moment artistically. If this low-fi chibi art is the best idea Atlus's B-Team has with a full-priced title, then it is time to hunker down and assess how many more spin-offs this sub-series can justify further. I know a lot of people burned out on Fire Emblem Engage because its story is a mess when it tries, and rote anime horseshit when it doesn't. However, at least that game mixes things up occasionally with some missions depicting ambushes or covert ops. Despite these characters being "Phantom Thieves," they sure do burst into the scene with all the grace of the United States Marine Corps.

    The in-game character models are kind of rough around the edges.
    The in-game character models are kind of rough around the edges.

    And GODDAMN is the balance between the dialogue sequences and tactics missions entirely out of whack. The game makes way for you to get that Toshiro Kasukabe is a young and up-and-coming politician who could be the one to break Japan from its corrupt cycle. The Persona games haven't exactly been deep about their metaphors, which makes the great lengths at which its characters explain things to Toshiro all the more groan-inducing. Yet again, we need to have the whole cast explain how the world of Persona 5 works, and yet again, the fish out of water character asks the same questions the previous ones asked. That's part of why I sped through more text in this game than I ever have before in a Persona 5 game, but it also did not grab me for other reasons. Narratively, the game is as unconfrontational as its combat. Because the stakes are largely held in the hands of everyone but the prominent party members, no one you care about feels like they are ever at risk. And worse, with everyone from the first game entirely satisfied with their current state and position in the world, they are above evolving or changing in any significant ways. You're not exploring new relationships or discovering new ways these characters have bonded with one another. They just stand there in the war room and spew funny jokes from time to time.

    "Tactics Fatigue" Is Real But Not The Entire Reason I Bounced Off

    I'm willing to go so far as to say that I don't think this game is a looker.
    I'm willing to go so far as to say that I don't think this game is a looker.

    Playing Tactica less than two months after I wrapped up Shadow Gambit: The Cursed Crew was a significant mistake on my part. I get that's an unfair comparison, given that each game is going for entirely different demographics, but I can't help it. This game is vanilla to a fault, and seeing long-standing characters pantomime emotions when I know they are far better than that makes it tough to stomach. This complaint leads me to one way Tactica fails to merge one of the core characteristics of the main games with a strategy RPG. While there is some downtime between battles, the world exploration and dating-sim aspects of the Persona franchise take a massive backseat, and how they are represented here feels inauthentic. The story develops with little agency on your part, and the extended dialogue sequences rarely require you to do much beyond sitting back and listening. Sure, that's been a complaint with the series for a while, but when you know there's nothing around the corner other than more bland-ass box-like battle arenas that you sometimes blow through south of ten minutes, that issue stings even more.

    But here's the deal: Persona 5 Tactica being in a crowded tactics market is only part of the problem. If you were to swap Tactica's story with Strikers' but kept their respective gameplay intact, this conversation would completely change. The genre in question has a more negligible impact on my enjoyment than others have expressed in their reviews. As someone who has never been especially enthused by the Persona franchise's approach to dungeon crawling, I ignore those issues because I know there are in-depth life-sim gameplay hooks and sweeping character arcs that take months of in-game time to unlock waiting for me. Because the main characters take an even greater back seat compared to previous games, the protagonist is no longer an empowering cipher and more an absent-minded dweeb. Lacking the in-depth social link mechanics of yesteryear, which most of the spin-offs cut out, admittedly, your character barely feels like an active participant in what the game desperately wants you to believe is a revolution you are enacting. And yet, most of the dialogue sequences involve them passively sitting in the background while others have long, uninterrupted soliloquies.

    One of my other main issues with Tactica, in particular, stems from how clunky its cast feels. Part of this problem is a natural result of needing an army of recruitable soldiers with duplicates of every possible job or unit type. However, the game sometimes doesn't know what to do with its massive cast. When you enter a dialogue or story sequence, it drags in part because so many characters are in line, ready to chime in with a sentence or two. The Persona 5 cast has ballooned to the point where, in Tactica, it feels like characters pop off two or three lines to remind you they exist. And the game's priorities regarding when to give characters more speaking time are all over the place and bound to piss some people off. Many of the characters I care about had nothing new to add besides a few witticisms here and there. And this problem isn't breaking news. As much as I appreciated Royal's twist and unique contributions to the world of Persona 5, there's something incredibly cheap about how nothing about its twist came from the original cast of characters. And because this series no longer wants to rely on the characters they have sold to us in multiple fifty to seventy-hour epics, it is hitching its post on surface-level one-offs that get half that love and attention.

    How Many Times Is Atlus Honestly Going To Have These Characters Speak About Leading "A Revolution?"

    Some people have been calling this a swansong for Persona 5 and I do hope that's the case.
    Some people have been calling this a swansong for Persona 5 and I do hope that's the case.

    To me, this point of order is "the big one." I get that the characters calling on a "revolution" to shake modern Japan to its core is mainly symbolic, but it feels incredibly empty now. As I contemplated dropping Tactica, I reviewed a handful of reviews for the game and was shocked to see several mention the game's overt themes of rebelling against oppression as the best part. I find myself on the opposite side of this spectrum. As I said before, seeing the forces of the "rebellion" manifested as units on a map that you can recruit is quaint. Similarly, seeing your resistance force go from being a scrappy rag-tag group to a looming professional army is one of the few times the game's narrative themes coherently connect with its gameplay. It's a mechanical representation of an overarching theme, and it works. That said, we are now four spin-offs deep, and this series still hasn't given us a clear idea of what these minor conflicts or rebellions are building toward, which makes Tactica feel incredibly vacuous. Likewise, with so many games in the Persona 5 sub-series revolving around the concept of a more significant conflict looming in the background, the scope and sequence of that conflict still being a giant question mark is a massive detracting point impacting the narrative accomplishments of previous games.

    With Tactica, things are even worse because it doles out these long speeches that get us no closer to what this series is lurching toward. When interacting with the rebel forces, you get Spark Notes-esque summations about why authoritarianism is terrible and why empowering everyday people is good. These are admirable lessons to impart to your audience. Still, it feels incredibly inauthentic considering the characters Atlus have had us follow for nearly seven years have been teaching us this EXACT LESSON ad infinitum. I felt so bad seeing characters like Futaba say lines of dialogue that felt like retreads of things they heart-wrenchingly brought to the table two games ago. Worse, it does not seem like the Persona 5 characters are heading towards any actionable or tangible conclusions other than they are getting older. So, Tactica feels like a side quest from top to bottom, and similar to the arrow on the FedEx logo, I don't know if this is a problem I can unsee moving forward. To Atlus's defense, what more is there to do with these characters? Until a Persona version of Thanos arrives and forces all of these disparate one-off adventures to congeal into something corporeal, what more is there to do with characters like Ann and Ryuji? They've been through Hell and back again more than once and have spilled their hearts out just as many times. This well is dry.The udders on this cow are spouting SAND!

    The sad reality is that this phenomenon is familiar to Atlus. The modern Persona 3 universe has been teasing the prospect of returning its protagonist from the dead. Yet, instead of getting it over with, Atlus keeps doing half-measured steps that delay what we all know is what they really want. The fact remains that Atlus is gun-shy about delivering on big post-game climaxes, even though they love building them up. There was a moment while I was playing my sixteenth mission in Tactica and I was listening to Toshiro Kasukabe talk to the Persona 5 cast about what he thought their next steps should be, while they just stood there in the background as if they don't know how to handle their shit already. It sucked, but I realized something. Beyond the initial novelty of the cascading cover-based attack system, the chibi art is all this game has going for it that feels unique from everything we have seen in previous Persona 5-based outings. And I have to be honest, while I don't hate it, it isn't enough to carry the entire game when the dialogue feels flat and often saccharine, and the gameplay quickly becomes repetitious. I have to emphasize that this title is being sold at $59.99, and as charming as it might look, it's flat, lacks depth, and, worse, feels like a "Best Hits" compilation pack. With the enemies, environments, UI, and characters just being moderate changes of what we have seen before, it is incredible to say this, but Persona 5's style is old shit. It's time to move on to a new color or vision before I can return to being excited about a Persona game.

    Again, I don't want my pessimism to be interpreted as "anti-spin-off" propaganda. The pieces are here for Tactica to shine, given that it has a welcoming difficulty curve and has all of the characters you want to see in a new Persona 5-based game. If Tactica was more fully committed to its art style or took as many creative risks with its unique characters as Strikers, this blog is probably about Final Fantasy XVI instead. What? Did I say something even more controversial than the title of this blog?

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    Ben_H

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    #1 Ben_H  Online

    I 100% agree. I installed this one through Game Pass but then didn't even start it. On paper I should love this game. I love tactics games. I am a big fan of Persona games. I've even played many of the various Persona spinoffs and enjoyed them (shout out to Persona Q. I enjoyed that one a lot in particular). But when it came time to actually sit down and play this one I just couldn't get myself to do it. I played P5R earlier this year and played some of Strikers after it was put up on PS+. That's on top of playing the original Persona 5. Between all of that I've spent hundreds of hours with these characters and this whole aesthetic. That's more than enough time, especially if they have nothing new to say and no actual development with these characters occurs. I'm good.

    I'm good on Persona 5 in general. I think my experience with the original version of the game soured me on everything related to it but obviously I've given it further chances given I've played Royal and Strikers. I remember finishing Persona 5 and hoping that the sixth game would be better but here we are more than half a decade later with Persona 6 nowhere in sight and instead we're getting spinoff after spinoff of what I viewed as the weakest Persona game.

    Also yeah, I had sticker shock at the price. As a Game Pass game it's fine but when I saw it was full price to buy (I wanted it for my Steam Deck) I was taken aback. This game has the appearance and apparent scale of a game made on a smaller budget, and I was expecting it to be $40 USD at the most. Sega has even put out other smaller scale games in the cheaper price range recently (See that recent Like A Dragon game) so to see this one priced at $60 honestly made me think that it was a cash grab. Once they get all of the sales from the people who buy anything day one with Persona in the name, they'll drop the price down to something more reasonable.

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    AV_Gamer

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    #2  Edited By AV_Gamer

    I haven't played this game yet, despite it being on Game Pass. But I will, as I still like the characters and the universe the game takes place in. But overall, I agree that Atlus is running the well dry with the Phantom Thieves and need to move on to Persona 6 already. The problem is, like with GTA Online, once something starts making a lot of money, it's hard for these developers to let that go and take another chance, even if it's just a sequel to their own successful series. Love it or hate it, Persona 5 has done more for Atlus than Persona's 3 and 4 have ever done. Hence, why we are getting all of these spinoffs.

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    Efesell

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    I just kind of hate how this game looks which I find more egregious than I might otherwise when it’s Persona 5 related.

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    brian_

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    They should've just made a new Devil Survivor instead.

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    AtheistPreacher

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    As a rule I'm generally just not that interested in spinoff games in which the gameplay is something wildly different from the original. I did end up downloading and trying Strikers only because it was a free PS+ game, but I played it for about ten minutes and then had to put it down because the core action gameplay just felt bad to me--and I say this as someone who has purchased about a half-dozen of the Koei Warriors games. And I dismissed Tactica as something I knew I'd have no real interest in; I've been known to like tactics games like FFT and the original X-Com, but this one looked too half-assed gameplay-wise.

    All that said, yeah, I don't feel like I need any more with these characters, either. I did play Royal again this past year and really enjoyed myself, but that doesn't mean they need to keep bringing back the same characters for new games.

    One wonders how many spin-off titles we'll get with the P3 characters after Reload. I suspect I shall continue to ignore them.

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    theonewhoplays

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    I'm happy to see someone acknowledging the teen/adult relationships Atlus love putting into their games, even when the game is otherwise tackling issues like student abuse. That so many reviewers seem to completely ignore that and the LGBTQ issues while praising them for their 'socially conscious' writing has always been wild to me. Doesn't really matter if most of the fundue is good if there's a big smelly poo in the center.

    It's not just that - the writers at least since 3 have always given me the impression of being conservative 40+ year-olds attempting to write teen stories. When every single major character in 4 ended up doing/being what was expected of them (taking over the inn, staying an idol, being not gay, being more girly etc) while passionately arguing why this is what they actually wanted I was done with the series. Catherine (while I loved the gameplay) was the final nail in the Atlus coffin because that game is just nasty wrt its trans character. It's not even trying to be humorous about it, just nasty.

    Nowadays I'm glad I jumped ship even if the games weren't full of these issues. I've never seen another JRPG series trying to fleece its fans like this, with the full-price special editions, expensive DLC and shitty-looking spin-offs people feel obligated to buy because they like the characters.

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    infantpipoc

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    #7  Edited By infantpipoc

    I beat Tactica as my first game with "Persona 5" in its title. Liked it enough to go back to Royal finally. Now about 70 hours into Royal, eye ball deep in the Mijima Palace, I'm mentally in a similar place of fatigue. I am going to beat Royal by hook or crook, but after that Altus is on my black list of company not to conduct business with. Oh, how things are repeated in their titles.

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    ZombiePie

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    #9 ZombiePie  Staff

    Now that notifications appear to be generally working, it is time for me to return to some of the comments posted in older blogs that I avoided for fear they would be send to crickets. So, here we go!

    I beat Tactica as my first game with "Persona 5" in its title. Liked it enough to go back to Royal finally. Now about 70 hours into Royal, eye ball deep in the Mijima Palace, I'm mentally in a similar place of fatigue. I am going to beat Royal by hook or crook, but after that Altus is on my black list of company not to conduct business with. Oh, how things are repeated in their titles.

    There's something about Royal that feels special that is just completely lacking here. Maybe it is the genre with this spin-off and the fact that I think we are all getting "tactics fatigue." Nonetheless, I don't know how much more you can do with these characters after this. Maybe, you have the cast of Persona 5 do a dancing game or a contextless dungeon crawler. However, beyond that... how many more people can they keep bolting on to the core cast and thinking that's all you need to do?

    I'm happy to see someone acknowledging the teen/adult relationships Atlus love putting into their games, even when the game is otherwise tackling issues like student abuse. That so many reviewers seem to completely ignore that and the LGBTQ issues while praising them for their 'socially conscious' writing has always been wild to me. Doesn't really matter if most of the fundue is good if there's a big smelly poo in the center.

    It's not just that - the writers at least since 3 have always given me the impression of being conservative 40+ year-olds attempting to write teen stories. When every single major character in 4 ended up doing/being what was expected of them (taking over the inn, staying an idol, being not gay, being more girly etc) while passionately arguing why this is what they actually wanted I was done with the series. Catherine (while I loved the gameplay) was the final nail in the Atlus coffin because that game is just nasty wrt its trans character. It's not even trying to be humorous about it, just nasty.

    With the old Persona director that was not at all interested in tackling LGBTQ characters and stories... IT'S TIME TO GET GAY IN PERSONA, AGAIN! The guy who thought there was absolutely nothing wrong with Catherine is gone. Seriously, The people coming into the franchise thanks to Persona 5 are far more open and clamoring for this than maybe we give them credit for. But yeah, characters being gay is a far better alternative to seeing adult wontly go on dates with teens again. Hopefully they understand at this point that they can't do that again.

    As a rule I'm generally just not that interested in spinoff games in which the gameplay is something wildly different from the original. I did end up downloading and trying Strikers only because it was a free PS+ game, but I played it for about ten minutes and then had to put it down because the core action gameplay just felt bad to me--and I say this as someone who has purchased about a half-dozen of the Koei Warriors games. And I dismissed Tactica as something I knew I'd have no real interest in; I've been known to like tactics games like FFT and the original X-Com, but this one looked too half-assed gameplay-wise.

    All that said, yeah, I don't feel like I need any more with these characters, either. I did play Royal again this past year and really enjoyed myself, but that doesn't mean they need to keep bringing back the same characters for new games.

    One wonders how many spin-off titles we'll get with the P3 characters after Reload. I suspect I shall continue to ignore them.

    With Reload, all signs point to them doing a bunch of post-game DLC that bolts on new experiences to the core game. A few weeks back a leaker suggested that a version of The Answer is on the way with you controlling Aegis in a post-game dungeon of sorts with a modified version of The Answer's story.

    All this points to your theory that this is just a countdown to DLC that sells you the Portable storyline, social links, and female protag spearately looking better and better every day.

    @brian_ said:

    They should've just made a new Devil Survivor instead.

    Honestly, I have never been a fan of any of Atlus' tactics games. I do like the music in the old school Majin Tensei games, though. But they are no fucking fun to play.

    @efesell said:

    I just kind of hate how this game looks which I find more egregious than I might otherwise when it’s Persona 5 related.

    It's not great! The fact the game started off at $60 and has been perpetually on sale ever since its release says a lot about how much they misjudged the market as well. And I haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaate the chibi visual novel cutout portraits. The normal visual novel portrait style is so much better and because it is more cartoony, the animated and expressive nature of the portraits is so much worse.

    @ben_h said:

    I 100% agree. I installed this one through Game Pass but then didn't even start it. On paper I should love this game. I love tactics games. I am a big fan of Persona games. I've even played many of the various Persona spinoffs and enjoyed them (shout out to Persona Q. I enjoyed that one a lot in particular). But when it came time to actually sit down and play this one I just couldn't get myself to do it. I played P5R earlier this year and played some of Strikers after it was put up on PS+. That's on top of playing the original Persona 5. Between all of that I've spent hundreds of hours with these characters and this whole aesthetic. That's more than enough time, especially if they have nothing new to say and no actual development with these characters occurs. I'm good.

    I'm good on Persona 5 in general. I think my experience with the original version of the game soured me on everything related to it but obviously I've given it further chances given I've played Royal and Strikers. I remember finishing Persona 5 and hoping that the sixth game would be better but here we are more than half a decade later with Persona 6 nowhere in sight and instead we're getting spinoff after spinoff of what I viewed as the weakest Persona game.

    Also yeah, I had sticker shock at the price. As a Game Pass game it's fine but when I saw it was full price to buy (I wanted it for my Steam Deck) I was taken aback. This game has the appearance and apparent scale of a game made on a smaller budget, and I was expecting it to be $40 USD at the most. Sega has even put out other smaller scale games in the cheaper price range recently (See that recent Like A Dragon game) so to see this one priced at $60 honestly made me think that it was a cash grab. Once they get all of the sales from the people who buy anything day one with Persona in the name, they'll drop the price down to something more reasonable.

    It seems like almost one month after release, this game constantly is discounted at $45 to $35 which seems a lot more fair, but there's no telling if the game needed its starting premium price tag to cover costs. While I don't think it is an especially great looking game, it still has some interesting production values. But it still might be the worst the world of Persona 5 has ever looked and that's even including the cool DLC which is the best example of the cartoony art style done well in this game.

    @av_gamer said:

    I haven't played this game yet, despite it being on Game Pass. But I will, as I still like the characters and the universe the game takes place in. But overall, I agree that Atlus is running the well dry with the Phantom Thieves and need to move on to Persona 6 already. The problem is, like with GTA Online, once something starts making a lot of money, it's hard for these developers to let that go and take another chance, even if it's just a sequel to their own successful series. Love it or hate it, Persona 5 has done more for Atlus than Persona's 3 and 4 have ever done. Hence, why we are getting all of these spinoffs.

    I think Reload is going to end up being a way longer commitment than what fans think it is. I am going to even go so far as to say I think Atlus will treat it as if they released a mainline numbered game in the series, and tack on micro-expansions and cross-over attention to extend its lifespan as they have with every other mainline game release in the series. All of that is to say, it might be another console generation before we see another numbered Persona game.

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