Persona 5 Royal Impressions Thread

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nateandrews

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It’s hard to believe just how tremendous of a time I’ve been having with Persona 5 Royal. I enjoyed the original release of P5 but had some pretty significant issues with it, enough that I never actually finished it. This new release fixes a lot of the issues I had with repetition and boring fights by introducing a ton of surprising new mechanics and redesigning the dungeons and boss fights to be a bit more engaging. And there’s a ton of new character interactions which is always nice. Still wish the translation was better... that’s still just as glaring as ever.

How’s everyone else feeling about the game? Did you enjoy the original release, or is this your first time playing?

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Humanity

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I loved the origina P5 - it was the first JRPG I played in ages and had a blast. The dungeons were fairly fun (although some of the later ones were real stinkers) and I loved the social interaction aspect of it. Also, needless to say, the game was stylish as all heck.

I would love to play Royal but the original took me about 100 hours to beat and I hear with the new storylines and changes Royal is about 120-130. I just can't dedicate that much time to replay the same game again for the new content. If this was an upgrade and I could do a NG+ with the Royal additions I might consider it. Very curious what others think.

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Efesell

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#3  Edited By Efesell

It's a nice improvement across the board but in mostly small ways that makes it kind of a hard sell to most people who played the original release. Having a lot of fun replaying it though.

I still don't really understand the complaints over the translation, to be honest. It reads a little stiff here in there I suppose but in total it's not something I really noticed at all.

Take Over is an even better battle theme than Last Surprise.

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Zeik

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#4  Edited By Zeik

It's great. I like almost all the new stuff, which only makes one of my favorite JRPGs better. The new Councilor confidant has been a surprising stand out. Maruki is quickly becoming one of my favorite characters.

Also they actually did update the localization in this one. (And not just that one scene that made the news.) I've noticed dozens of altered lines from the original in places that were kind of awkwardly worded before, and that's on top of the dozens of actual new scenes and voiced lines. Yeah, there's still the odd pronunciation thing with some names, but I'm used to it. It's fine.

My only real complaint is the lack of a new difficulty mode. I found hard mode a sufficient challenge in the original. Not too easy, but not too hard. But the new mechanics are pushing it into too easy territory. (And Merciless is still oddly designed and ultimately even easier than hard.) And while it's neat seeing the redesigned boss mechanics, so far they've kinda just made the fights easier. It's not so easy I'm not having fun playing it, but because I like playing it so much I wish I could play a mode that really pushed me to take advantage of all the mechanics.

That being said, the new challenge mode missions are a decent way to get that fill. If you tackle them at the recommended level it is a legitimate challenge to get a high score. I even ended up buying the challenge DLC early just so I could do them all at a proper level.

I'm still a ways from seeing the meat of the new content, but there's been enough sprinkled throughout the rest of the game that I don't regret playing through it a second time at all. Assuming the new ending stuff is appropriately satisfying I can already see it beating out FES, P3P, and Golden as their best update, in terms of content added.

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Jesus_Phish

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@humanity: I find it moves a bit quicker in the parts that obviously have nothing new. I spent all of persona 5 running around, but in royal I'm using quick travel, which has been improved, much much more.

There's also improvements to mementos that makes you level quicker and gain money quicker. But it'll still be a big time investment.

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nateandrews

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#6  Edited By nateandrews

@efesell:This website has a pretty exhaustive breakdown of the game's translation oddities. It's not that the game is gibberish, but rather that it has a lot of stiff dialogue, as you said, and unnatural sentence ordering. I don't really notice it unless I'm really paying close attention, but playing through other games like the recent Yakuza releases that have fantastic translations makes P5 seem ultra bizarre.

And yeah, I straight up couldn't stand Last Surprise after the 20 hour mark or so. Take Over is way better.

@zeik Interesting observation about some lines of dialogue being changed for this release. It seems like the new scenes read a lot better than scenes from the original game overall. That's the big thing I've noticed.

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mikachops

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#7  Edited By mikachops

Could not stand the original game after the third dungeon, and although the new characters and systems look great, I can't get over how rote I found the battle system after 20 hours. No amount of tweaks can wash the bad times I spent with the original unfortunately.

Glad people seem to be enjoying it though.

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doctordonkey

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Take the greatest JRPG of the last 30 years and polish it to a fine sheen, and that's what this game is. I haven't played P5 since the original release, and was happy I saved a second playthrough for Royal. Being able to play in 4k on the Pro is an unexpected highlight for me, everything looks so much sharper. I'm 65 hours in and having a fantastic time, can't wait to get to the new semester.

I was excited for FFVII, but it's gonna have to wait, I'm completely engrossed yet again.

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theuprightman

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I have been surprised how easily I have fallen back into a rhythm with this game, I spent 125 hours on the original. Over the past week I have put 20 hours into this one it just has such a great sense of place, on the first rainy day I just stood outside for 20 minutes listing to the rain fall and music (I live in a place where it rains like twice a year so rain is a big deal).

The updates to the baton pass are making battles fly by and I haven’t really had a challenge yet which might get tedious I will have to wait and see, not sure if I can up the difficulty on the fly.

I just unlocked the Thieves Den yesterday, it is such a cool little addition, reminds me of Sony’s Home.

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MezZa

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I've been enjoying it a lot. Early combat has felt less tedious with the additions of baton passing being available immediately and gun ammo replenishing after every fight. I've found it to be quite fun even after putting like 115 hours into the original. Looking forward to seeing what's different and the eventual final semester.

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nateandrews

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@mezza: The ammo replenishment and baton passing are huge. I had to look up how ammo worked in the original release because I had forgotten/couldn’t believe that it didn’t refill after battles.

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Humanity

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@mezza: The ammo replenishment and baton passing are huge. I had to look up how ammo worked in the original release because I had forgotten/couldn’t believe that it didn’t refill after battles.

Wow being able to Baton Pass from the start is huge.

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someoneproud

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Really, really smart update, everything feels much better so far. Them not having an update option for those that had already bought the original feels a bit shitty but it's such a great package for those who haven't played P5 yet.

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nateandrews

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@humanity said:
@nateandrews said:

@mezza: The ammo replenishment and baton passing are huge. I had to look up how ammo worked in the original release because I had forgotten/couldn’t believe that it didn’t refill after battles.

Wow being able to Baton Pass from the start is huge.

That mechanic has even been expanded. Each successive Baton Pass during a turn grants greater damage boosts, and if you manage to pass it all the way around, the fourth party member can perform an attack without using any SP or HP. And each party member has their own Baton Pass Rank that levels up as you advance their social link, increasing the damage boost for them and introducing other effects like health regen when passed to.

There are also skills that deal more damage if used during a Baton Pass... it's quite a lot.

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Efesell

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There's a darts minigame that also levels up individual characters baton pass so that they do even more damage and even start to regenerate SP when you use it.

It's a little bit frustrating to do it optimally but not a problem if you don't care about wasting time here and there.

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Zeik

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@efesell: The trick is to get it low enough in the first few rounds that your partner can finish it off, then all you need to do is pick the correct dialogue choice for a guaranteed win and it will instantly max their baton pass.

There's also a book you can read later to make it easier, if you're still struggling.

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Efesell

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@zeik: Well the frustration I mean is that you can level up 2 companions in one trip but it's random who shows up and then random which second companion offers to play.

So if you are trying to conserve time you'd have to reload a save, or waste another day later.

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SethMode

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Boy, I feel like I must have been living in a Persona 5 bubble because I didn't know until this thread that there was such a big issue with the translation. I thought it seemed...completely fine? I don't remember any points where I felt confused or anything, or that my immersion in the game was broken because of a weird turn of phrase, but then again, I grew up with shit like "spoony bard" so maybe it is just one of those things that doesn't have much of an impact on me.

As for Royal, I'm absolutely loving it. I started it on Wednesday while off from work, and between Wednesday and Thursday evening have already put 10 hours into it. It really just takes one of my favorite games and makes it better in just about every conceivable way. I haven't reached the point where I can try any of the new social stuff, but I'm really looking forward to it. And I know I read that it was supposed to have visual enhancements for the Pro (I played P5 on an original PS4 jet engine), but I assumed it would be minor and I feel like it looks significantly better? It's entirely possible I am just forgetting though, it has been 2 years, after all.

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Efesell

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#19  Edited By Efesell

@sethmode: The translation thing is just like.. yes there are clear examples you can bring up and isolate and think oh man that is pretty rough yeah. But like in aggregate over a game as long as this one is I can't say I notice any of it while actually playing.

Which obviously does not invalidate an argument of.. "Hey do better" but I do feel like it it got a little overboard in some places.

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SethMode

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@efesell: in reading about it after the fact, and seeing how many people really upset about were translators, I'd be lying if I said it didn't feel almost like some sort of vague job pitch? I mean, I most likely am wrong, because I imagine if I were a translator it would maybe drive me crazy because I'd be coming at it from a different perspective? But you're right, overall reading about it now just felt like a bit overboard. I read a Polygon piece that basically claimed that the game went from excellent to merely "acceptable" because of the translation, and I just didn't get THAT feeling at all.

I say all of this also as someone who teaches English as a Foreign Language. So that might also explain why I'm a little more likely to simply think "Oh, that sounds a little weird, but I understand what they're saying." and let it go.

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Zeik

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#21  Edited By Zeik

I think some people just get too obsessed with the idea of perfectly faithful translations from Japanese to English, but I've never considered that the be all end all for a good localization. They're often the type of people who refuse to listen to dubs because it's not always 1:1 with the sub.

But I've always been fine with localizations taking some liberties as long as they convey the proper ideas and feelings effectively, and P5 definitely succeeded there. Yeah, there were always a handful of lines here and there that even I could tell were a bit off, but those spots were always in the minority compared to all the spots where they absolutely nailed it. There were too many moments where the dialogue or voice acting completely sold a line or scene for me to have any negative feelings toward it.

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SethMode

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@zeik: that's pretty much how I've always been. I also watch dubbed anime like a deviant. I just didn't know these sticklers even existed, and I feel like I'm having my mind blown a little bit mostly that I could be so oblivious to that fact (because of course they would exist -- it just never occurred to me to look).

I feel like the voice acting in it is exceptional as well. The name part as you mentioned in an earlier post can be a little weird at times, but even then it has never been something that just threw me out of a game.

Another thing I meant to say in my original post, I just really love how this game opens things up for you so much earlier. I had popped in the original maybe 2 weeks before Royal was going to release and I just didn't really have the energy to go through the early game again, and it actually made me a little worried about Royal. But boy, it just hits the ground running in such a perfect way, it feels like a breath of fresh air.

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Efesell

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@zeik: In this instance I think it's drawing ire from a different side than usual. A lot of this script has the cadence of maybe trying to be a little too literal with the translation instead of taking more localization liberties. It ends up feeling a little like a fan translation in spots.

Which is generally not the way I would prefer it, I like a heavy hand on the localization, but ultimately the end result is still a great game.

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Zeik

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@efesell: I'm actually someone who tends to avoid fansubs precisely for being too literal too often, and I just don't get that feeling from P5. Maybe a few lines here or there, but P3 and P4 had that too. I found the localization to be on par or better than those games, and I don't remember those localization getting the same reaction. Some of the voice acting, sure, but not the localizations themselves.

Maybe it's just that P5 is the first game with Japanese voice acting included in the west, so all those wannabe translators playing with Japanese on are much more aware of it. I dunno.

It doesn't really matter I guess. Some people are going to like it and some people aren't. It is what is.

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DocHaus

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#25  Edited By DocHaus

The combat seems surprisingly easier compared to the original, even on hard, and Jose makes going through Mementos even easier.

Having said that, I do like the story additions so far. Kasumi seems like a good character, though I'm still a little salty they made her a new PC instead of their draft plan to make Hifumi Togo a part of the crew. Takuto lets some of the characters reveal a little more about their history and motivation. And it seems like Crow might get a redemption arc in this game? Though I can't confirm yet.

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TheRealTurk

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Does anyone have a detailed list of what exactly the changes were from the original to this version? Persona 5 was my first Persona game, and although I really wanted to like it (and did very much like parts of it), it just ended up not quite clicking for me and I fell off somewhere around the third dungeon. Specifically, I felt like the structure was too rigid and the dungeon level/gameplay design could never measure up to the dungeon visual design.

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Zeik

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@therealturk: The game is fundamentally the same, so if your issues were with the core structure or design of the game I doubt Royal will change your mind.

The biggest difference that might sway you is that days where you are locked out of doing anything but plot are much more rare. Even if you can't go out you almost always have the opportunity to hang out in the cafe and work on social stats. But the gameplay loop is still basically the same. There's just more of it now.

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OmegaCorith

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#29  Edited By OmegaCorith

I'm really enjoying it. After finishing the game I felt like it could have used some more time in the tank and I think they used the additional development time well. I can see myself replaying it at some point, which really is the highest praise I can give for a JRPG of this length.

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Drachmalius

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Finished it last night. It was so good that I back burnered FFVII remake, which was was my most anticipated game of the year. The ending is so much better than vanilla, and the experience as a whole was really streamlined.

I put 120 into it and it just flew by, though parts of it were a bit of a slog I kinda did that to myself by going for the platinum and grinding in mementos more than I had to.

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Efesell

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Man your party members learn some buck wild abilities in this final semester. I didn't play all the way through Golden so I don't know how they did it then but it finally feels like your party members are more valuable than these 3 extra bodies walking around with your God Protagonist.

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SethMode

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@efesell: that makes me really excited to hear. As much as I love Makoto and Ryuji it always bummed me out that they were basically useless other than for chaining together stuff in combats late game.

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Efesell

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@sethmode: Sadly I think Makotos greatest strength is still "has Mediarahan".

Makoto and Ryuji do have the best Showtime combo though...

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Zeik

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#35  Edited By Zeik

I'm surprised, I always found Makoto to be one of the most useful party members in vanilla. She had arguably the most versatile kit in the game next to Joker. Sure, none of them could really compete with Joker in how OP you could make him, but I never found them useless.

But I guess it depends on just how OP you made Joker by the end. There is a point where you can completely break the game with ridiculously OP Persona's if you want. I always avoided doing that though, as I never found it fun to be THAT OP.

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Efesell

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@zeik: It's also easier than ever before to create broken nonsense for Joker so it's not fair to compare him to anyone else. You can do some disgusting fusions with the new alarm mechanic.

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Zeik

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#37  Edited By Zeik

@efesell: Yeah, I can already tell. I've avoiding abusing it too much, because I feel like I could break the game real easy without much effort, and I don't want to make the game easier.

I was actually kinda hoping Royal would nerf that Strength confidant, because I thought it was too abuseable already, but they basically went in the opposite direction.

But at least alarm fusions are kinda fun to mess around with.

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Efesell

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@zeik: Yeah the discount for Special Treatment is pretty nuts. You can start making things 30 levels higher for maybe 150k if that. In a game where money is absolutely meaningless.

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SethMode

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@zeik: Yeah, I should say, calling Makoto "useless" was a bit hyperbolic. I mostly just meant in comparison to Joker. It is still good to hear that later game stuff will be more entertaining than it was before (although, I'd be lying if I said I didn't enjoy just being a Joker centric wrecking crew). Makoto and Ryuji are never leaving my team either way because I love the design of their Persona's too much. Especially Makoto.

Unrelated, I'm really enjoying the Counselor. I think he is a great addition so far and very well written.

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Zeik

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#40  Edited By Zeik

@sethmode: Maruki is legitimately one of my favorite characters in the series now. I really didn't expect to like him as much as I did, or that he would add so much to the game. Having a great character that represents positive mental health and recovery is wonderful, especially in a story where most of the characters suffer some kind of emotional trauma.

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SethMode

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#41  Edited By SethMode

@zeik: agreed! I've loved that about him the most. He's both positive and realistic. I haven't gone through the whole link so maybe it gets bad, but so far he is a pretty refreshing take on the therapist style character. Obviously the bar for that is pretty low, but still, I think they've really done a great job with him.

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SethMode

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Any chance the game makes Yusuke better?

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Efesell

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His final Persona looks incredible.

Otherwise he's kinda still just that guy. I dunno, aside from his creepy introduction I like him a whole lot.

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Zeik

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Yusuke has the best Persona ability of your party members imo. Innate dodge increase for your whole party is quite good, since it stacks with the Suku's.

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Efesell

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#45  Edited By Efesell

Yeah both his passive and final ability are useful in virtually any situation. The rest of his kit is fine but he's also great as just someone who stands there and makes the rest of the team better.

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Efesell

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Just wrapped up the new semester and it's a really strong piece of content over all. The social sim aspects of it will probably drag for most since I can't imagine many people having much left to actually do that late in the game but aside from that I thought it was a much stronger story than most of the base game.

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AlisterCat

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How much non-gameplay exploring should I be doing if I played the original? I put 200 hours in to it and talked to every NPC you could talk to to follow their mini plots etc. I'm 5 hours in to Royal and I've seen maybe 1 or 2 new interactions relating to the new girl, and spotted an early Haru insert but that's it.

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Jesus_Phish

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@alistercat: I'm basically doing none of that now. I'm just past the second dungeon and I've been mixed between running around talking to all NPCs in the station and back alley etc and haven't noticed anything new with them. So I'm mostly just fast travelling around. I've seen the Haru insert etc like you said, but anything like that seems unmissable. I haven't found anyone new to talk to in the free time activities.

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SethMode

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@efesell said:

Just wrapped up the new semester and it's a really strong piece of content over all. The social sim aspects of it will probably drag for most since I can't imagine many people having much left to actually do that late in the game but aside from that I thought it was a much stronger story than most of the base game.

This has me very excited! Especially the latter part.

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SethMode

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@efesell said:

His final Persona looks incredible.

Otherwise he's kinda still just that guy. I dunno, aside from his creepy introduction I like him a whole lot.

I think maybe I just never got over that beginning part and sort of froze him out of my gameplay experience. I'll give him another shot. I just remember finding him creepy and then boring.