Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Power outage rocks campus
Power outage rocks campus
Jack Brandt September 13, 2023

The Phantom Thieves are back to steal hearts in ‘Persona 5 Strikers’

The Phantom Thieves are back to steal hearts in Persona 5 Strikers

“Persona 5 Strikers” brings together the Phantom Thieves for an all new adventure.
The set-up is simple: after going back to your hometown after the events of the first game, you’re back in Tokyo for summer break. Originally looking to have a simple vacation, you and your friends are quickly wrapped up in a series of cases across Japan. These cases relate to people losing their personal desires, growing obsessively attached to particular noteworthy figures such as models and politicians. This results in having to take a road trip all across Japan to various prominent cities in order to save these people and return them to whom they once were.
Well, maybe it isn’t that simple, but the game is quick to get you into the story and easier to understand as you go along.
“Persona 5 Strikers” was marketed as an experience for anyone to enjoy, not just those who had played through the original story. That begs the question of just how true that claim is.
They make attempts to explain concepts and aspects they bring up from the original game, but I could see myself being confused by a variety of topics if I didn’t have any context coming into this installment. With the addition of a new character from the very beginning, and another later on, it can be easy to get lost
If you haven’t played the original, the biggest issue I could see is connecting with the main cast of characters. With seven team members coming over from a previous game where they were all explored in-depth, many don’t get the spotlight. Some are aided by getting their own mini-arcs within the earlier portion of the game, but others are mostly left on the sidelines. They all have their moments, though, making it so no one feels too left out of the main story and having them stand out from one another.
The story itself is extremely enjoyable, if a little predictable. You will probably see most of the twists coming from a mile away, but it’s still fun to follow along with, especially with the game having such a carefree, summer-vacation energy.
The two new main characters—Sophia, a highly advanced artificial intelligence, and Zenkichi Hasegawa, a Kyoto police inspector—are fantastic and prove to be some of my favorite characters of the entire franchise.
As for gameplay, it’s similar to what you may experience in “Hyrule Warriors or Samurai Warriors,” or what one would call a musou game. It has high-paced action in an open world, beating up hordes of opponents in short bursts. There’s some key differences from those games, mainly that “Persona 5 Strikers” has an unprecedented amount of strategy elements for a game in that genre.
Every character has a different elemental attack, to which enemies can be weak, neutral or strong, and some can even block or repel certain attacks. Some characters have healing abilities, and others have abilities that can help aid your team’s stats or weaken the enemy.
There are the physical attacks, with everyone having their own playstyles and special abilities that set them apart from one another. Environments also often have scenery you can use to your advantage in battle to get the upper hand, making it crucial to take everything into consideration in battles.
Slicing through swarms of enemies is extremely entertaining, but the biggest issue I have with the game is the repetitive nature near the end. They do change up the gameplay occasionally to keep it fresh, but it isn’t something you should rush through. Taking your time is the most important thing to make sure you don’t get burnt out on the gameplay, as well as switching out characters often in order to experience different styles.
I finished the game in just under 50 hours, which is on the higher end of the 30 to 50 hours that’s considered to be the average for a typical first time playthrough. It clocks in at about half the time of its predecessor, but in that time it still tells an engaging story that kept me invested throughout.
Even after you are done with the main story, you can go back on an old save and get new missions, including defeating bosses at a much higher difficulty. It’s a test of skill, with enemies pulling out new attacks and withstanding much more from you, and keeps you on your toes throughout.
“Persona 5 Strikers” is an experience that anyone could enjoy. It’s also much more accessible than the game it derives from, being released on not only PS4, but also the Nintendo Switch and PC. If you’ve been looking for a new game to check out, certainly take the Phantom Thieves’ latest escapades into consideration.
Graphic by Jordan Lee.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All Augustana Observer Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Activate Search
The Phantom Thieves are back to steal hearts in ‘Persona 5 Strikers’