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The Phantom Thieves Strikes Again: A Persona 5 Strikers Review

The Phantom Thieves are back, and they’re here to steal our hearts once more in Persona 5 Strikers. This JRPG game is the newest title to the Shin Megami Tensei Persona series with a different yet fun game style to enjoy. In collaboration with Omega Force, you’ll experience infiltrations in simple hack-and-slash gameplay while using all the personas that you once loved.

Set just a few months after the main game, Persona 5 Strikers serves as a continuation with most of the main characters returning to spend summer vacation with the protagonist. What starts as a wholesome welcome back party takes a huge turn after discovering something alarming that changes the game’s whole atmosphere. You’ll set foot in a new adventure that takes you all over Japan, where you solve problems while bonding with your fellow phantom thieves at the same time.

What’s New in Persona 5 Strikers?

P5S is not like any other spin-off where you just play another game mode with a short and boring storyline. It has more to offer than that. Sure, it’s missing a few elements, such as building social links and the turn-based battles, but it offered an alternative that feels fresh and cool.

    • Bond System in, Social Links out – The bond system acts as the main game’s social link aspect. Since the game happens few months after the story, there’s really no reason to do social links anymore. So with the bond system, you’ll collectively spend time with your fellow Phantom Thieves that rewards you points where you can use to unlock specific advantages that cater to gameplay style.
    • Hack-and-Slash Shadows Along Your Way – You’re probably expecting the return of the turn-based battles as well, but no. That part of the game is no more. This game is a hack-and-slash game where you charge through a hoard of enemies, attack them through your weapons, or use different personas. This is also a refreshing part of the game because it’s something that some people did not expect to work, but it did. It made sense story-wise, and it made shadow battles fun differently.
    • New Cities for You to Explore – The story takes place in Japan. Throughout the game, you’ll be solving problems in different cities available. Yes, you’ll get to explore Japan as if you’re on a road trip with the Phantom Thieves. It’s also done in a not forced way, making you appreciate Japan’s beauty while engaging in the overlapping storyline.
    • Very Well-written Story – Comparing to its previous spin-off, Dancing Star Night, Strikers has much more to offer story-wise. It’s very detailed and enough to get you hooked. Going deep through the story will open several scenes that will pull emotions out from you. You can expect tear-jerkers and many triggering events that will make you want to slap the antagonists. It will make you very emotionally invested that you’ll want to continue every after chapter.
  • New Bops To Accompany You – Persona games never fail to deliver in the music department. As amazing as the previous games, Strikers introduced new tunes to enjoy while keeping the older ones for nostalgia’s sake.
  • New Characters, New Phantom Thieves – Since this is a new game, it’s sort of expected to meet new characters in the game. Again, Strikers did not disappoint on that part. You’ll fall in love with these new buddies you’ll encounter. And as for the new antagonists, they’re just as messy as ever that you’ll find yourself hating on them. Kinda just like how you hated Kamoshida and Madarame.
  • The Few Downsides of Persona 5 Strikers – While everything is generally great for the game, there are still a few flaws that you need to hear about. Not every game is perfect anyway.
    • The Need to Play the Main Game – You cannot play Persona 5 Strikers without playing its main games. The game has tons of references from the first game that casual players may not understand. The story chapters are tied to certain characters. It will be much enjoyable to play if you personally know them on a much deeper level. It’ll also give you an advantage if you know each persona regarding their weaknesses and strengths.
    • The Unexpectedly Long Gameplay for a Spin-off – Playing this game needs a lot of time investment. Since this is a story-based game, there are a lot of important cut scenes that you just can’t miss. You don’t have to worry about the infiltration though, that’s actually faster than exploring palaces. Also, most of the boss battles are just as long as the original game’s version, so you’ll need a lot of patience to defeat them, aside from devising a strategy, of course.
    • The Also Unexpectedly Small Cast – As mentioned, the game takes place just a few months after the main series’s events. For players who witnessed that timeline, there’s some sort of an expectation to see the other confidants back aside from the main roles. Unfortunately, not everyone from the cast made it to this spin-off. It, at least, made sense to some, but to others, they weren’t explained.

Is Persona 5 Strikers Worth It?

To answer that in one word, yes. Persona 5 Strikers has so much to offer that playing it is almost a need for persona fans. You won’t get a sense of disappointment, and you’ll get hooked as soon as you get into your first adventure.  Just remember to play the main series game to fully enjoy it. If not, there are many gameplays that you can watch online, but you’ll miss out on the adventures that made the first game so good; it gave birth to side games such as this one.

Conclusion – Persona 5 Strikers are available in most of the big gaming ports available. This new and refreshing title introduced in the series is a must-have and a must-play for avid fans. Despite not having some of the features you loved from Persona 5, it still captures the feeling you had when playing the main series. Of all the spin-off it had, Persona 5 Strikers ticks all the box of being a great follow-up game that is enjoyable all around.

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