The last three main Persona games have all followed similar themes and structure. You go to high school, make some friends, date some people, work a part time job, and casually save the world from some kind of bored or pissed of deity on the weekends. While the core materials that construct a Persona game have been extremely consistent, the presentation of these elements is where we see the most change from game to game. One element of a Persona game that largely changes from each entry to the next is the color pallet. For me, Personas color pallets are substantially effective in altering my overall mood while playing these games and Persona 5 is no exception to that.
The murky greens accent the cool blues in Persona 3 in a chilling way. Blue is predominant through out Persona 3 during the day to day life but switches to green when the dark hour strikes. These two colors work well together and the combination of the two creates an eerie and almost longing feeling for me. Persona 3 largely deals with apocalyptic themes as well as death and the acceptance of loss. The decay like shade of the green in the dark hour is in contrast to what regular shades of green normally represent (life, greed, nature). Instead, the green comes off as more of sickness within the world and a representation of the forces behind the dark hour as they become more malevolent and gain momentum towards their apocalyptic goals. Overall the blues and greens of Persona 3 feel good in a calming yet chilling way, I never felt overly stressed while playing. The mood and color pallet of Persona 3 might be my favorite overall, it just has a real cool kinda vibe.
Ah, good old P4. Remembering my time with Persona 4 invokes similar feelings of remembering past vacations from my childhood. The all encompassing yellow of Persona 4 initially may seem like a strange choice. Yellow is usually great as an accent or trim color but very rarely is the color used predominantly. In P4, it was the perfect color to use. Persona 4 focuses largely on introspective and what it means to truly understand and accept yourself. The weather is almost constantly raining or foggy in the town of Inaba as you play through Persona 4. The predominant yellow is a nice contrast from the constant rain and bleak nature of the weather. Yellow can also be see as an obvious representation of The Sun, it pairs well with the dawning or re-awaking characters like Chie and Yukiko face after tackling their inner demons. I always had such a warm feeling Persona 4, no other game has really made feel quite this way. Persona 4 feels like eating a warm cookie your grandma just made while riding your bike outside on a perfect day. Whenever it is raining or a little gloomy outside, I always feel an urge to hop back into the world of Persona 4 and just hangout for a bit.
Persona 5 amps up the series fascination with Western European Religion. The deadly sins play a large role in Persona 5 as well as the way our inner psyche is capable of shaping the real world around us. The color pallet is also pretty hard not to notice...It is a very obvious theme what with the game focusing around "stealing peoples hearts" who are sinful in nature. What is really effective at is being EXTREMELY STRESSFUL to look at. It is no obvious fact that color red is an alarming color that triggers stress-like feelings emotionally. Especially given how a lot of people are feeling overly stressed while playing, it isn't crazy to assume that large amounts of red in this game are not helping. While I really enjoyed my play through of Persona 5, I also felt stressed out almost the entire time playing. For me, the stress largely came from me wanting to max out all confidants and seeing everything I could. But this is how I felt playing Persona 3 and 4 as well. I never felt so increasingly anxious the way I did while playing Persona 5.
The other two predominant colors seen through out Persona 5 are black and white which really doesn't help down play all the redness in the game. The dark and light shades only further draw attention to all the red throughout this game and there is A LOT of red. Persona 5 more so than its predecessors really digs into its style and color pallets, it does so both at its benefit and cost. Persona 5 is the most stylish game I have played for sure and the style goes a long way to make sitting down to play for 100 hours or so worth it. I just wonder if a different color pallet would have soothed my stress during the time I spent with Persona 5.