Get psyched up for another entry in the landmark series.
Persona is a franchise defined by its killer aesthetics, unique soundtracks, and bold, innovative design choices. Based on the trailer that just dropped, Persona 5 doesn’t intend to fall short of those standards by any means. As a bonus, we also got a three minute interview with the development staff with a few bonus tidbits embedded there, too! Check out both videos below, and read beyond the jump for some more insights:
The biggest standout here? We have a Japanese release date! Persona 5 is scheduled to drop on September 15th in Japan, meaning that we can likely expect an early Q1 2017 release stateside — or maybe even a holiday season 2016 port if we’re truly fortunate. Beyond this wonderful news, though, we can also clean some interesting details about the game itself from this trailer.
We saw a lot more of the map movement mechanics, both in the trailer as well as in the developer interview, confirming that the pseudo-stealth movements will stand in for the traditional “swing first” mechanic of older Persona games. As is only appropriate, our hero’s acrobatic maneuver exposes the enemies beneath the Icon’s mask in a flashy, aesthetically coherent cutscene. We also see some light platform elements, reminiscent of Valkyrie Profile, in the developer’s interview (around 1:27). This, too, is a departure from the formula, but likely one that will enrich the Persona experience if used judiciously.
Shadows, if not by name then certainly by look, will make their return in Persona 5, to be certain. That golden-eyed thousand-yard hateful stare can’t be mistaken for anything but Shadow influence — a bold move for a franchise that has normally allowed only thematic and narrative connections between games in the series. We also see the Shadow aesthetic in full form at 1:25 in the trailer, confirming that this state of being will play some significant role in Persona 5’s story, though it’s unclear if that will be in the form of a true connection to the Shadows of Persona 4 or a mere homage.
The fourth trailer gave significant screen time to Persona 5’s equivalent of Rise, the mascot back-up character of Persona 4. The developers seem to be taking a page from Persona 4 Golden here as computer whiz Futaba Sakura throws down with some cyberpunk action, placing buffs on her party members just before a heavy attack from their foe. Definitely a great move; giving the dungeon navigator something to do in regards to combat goes a long way in making them feel like a real team asset, rather than a tacked-on excuse for a cute voice pack.
Persona 5 is certainly shaping up to be a worthy successor to the JRPG perfection that was Persona 4! With imminent releases on PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4, even next-gen holdouts will have an opportunity to take a crack at the newest entry soon. What’s been revealed that has you excited for the return of the dating-sim-JRPG king? Discuss below — and stay crunchy!