The quotation marks subtly denote how my time with Persona 5 is nowhere near over, despite reaching the end of the story. After all I need to play through it again, that alone should already say a lot of what I think about it.
A couple of days ago I beat the final boss, and proceeded to watch all the cut-scenes that followed until the credits rolled.
I nearly choked up a bit, not wanting the experience to end.
As of now all the Persona games I’ve been able to play have left me with that same feeling, that of not wanting to say goodbye to the characters, of wanting their stories to continue (though 4 certainly keeps trying harder and harder to kill that feeling.) and an unbearable sadness.
Sadness that I won’t be able to ever again experience this game for the first time.
While there may not be such a thing as perfection the story of the trickster that rebels against fate gets damn close to it. From the gameplay to the design, the characters and of course, the music.
As always Shoji Meguro provides an excellent soundtrack, though some fans haven’t taken too dearly to the jazzier vibes of this one, and honestly even I don’t like the opening song as much, though the rest is simply magnificent. Tracks like blooming villain retain Meguro’s usual distorted guitars though, and hype you up for many of those important fights.
And if you think about it what better style for a phantom thief? It had to be jazz.
If I had to nitpick I’d say that there are many times where days are taken from you without being able to freely choose what to do, people with previous Persona experience will know what I talk about, one of the biggest draws of the later games is the ability to choose how you spend your days managing your regular life with your dungeon crawling one. Though due to the way things are done story-wise in this game, such as picking targets, strategy meetings, issuing a calling card to materialize the treasure.
Morgana will keep telling you not to do something, and go to sleep instead.
Thankfully though, the game is sort of balanced in a way that there are ways and times that confidants are easier to level up than Social Links, and some events often give you boosts to the stats you have to raise, etc.
Never did I get bored of grinding, thanks to the adjustments done to the battle mechanics, which add a ton of style and visual flair to the flow of the game. It also helps that the main battle track is simply superb. Not only have your options for attacking been expanded thanks to the addition of guns and more elemental skills but also things like the baton pass and ability to switch party members mid-dungeon, it all gives a heightened sense of teamwork between the characters. Then there’s demon negotiation. All good stuff.
I finished my first run of the game clocking about 130 hours, and will come back to it at some point, while Persona 3 remains my favorite, due to the weight of the ending and it being my first persona game this one has managed to tie with it as my favorite game.