In recent times, the Persona series has made itself worth more and more, thanks to the good success of Persona 5, the latest exponent of the main series.
Thanks to the interest received in the West, Atlus has well thought of bringing a re-edition of the game that also includes the Italian language: Persona 5 Royal.
The title always remains a Sony exclusive just like the original, only this time around it is only available for PlayStation 4.
After playing the original thoroughly, we are ready to go on this new adventure in the Metaverse to tell you if this new version is really worth buying.
Same formula, but improved
Consistent with what has been done in history with the old chapters of the series, Royal does nothing but add extra content while leaving the underlying idea unchanged.
Although what has been said may be a cons, it should be seen more as a good, in fact the original formula worked and now it makes it even better thanks to many small finishes.
First of all, the interface is significantly improved and facilitates the navigation of the city, indicating where it is possible to find the Confidants.
Moving on to the action inside the Palaces, we feel equally satisfied with the introduction of Wretched shadows and the new mechanics inherent in the Relay.
Compared to the original title, the mechanics feel all right, given that on Royal there are many more upgrades and opportunities to take advantage of every possible effect during the clashes.
The Palaces have been beautifully retouched, leaving the most iconic parts unchanged but reworking everything that could be improved, adding new sections and allowing the use of the Grapple.
The latter tool is fully part of the arsenal of a self-respecting thief, as well as the collection of Seeds of craving, of the new objects scattered inside the Palaces.
You may be wondering if the best part, that is boss fights have been changed, and the answer is of course yes!
We were quite amazed by some changes needed to give more elasticity to some overly boring or linear battles.
The new mechanics introduced simplify in our opinion many Palaces and the farming activity, but the Bosses always remain an unknown without the right preparation.
Another addition that made us quite happy concerns the use of firearms in the Palaces. Indeed, ammo will be automatically reloaded at the end of each fight.
In the original version we often avoided using that type of weapon precisely because of the very few ammunition given to us. For this reason, it was not an optimal mechanic and could be easily flown over.
The richest Velvet Room ever
The Velvet Room (now renamed in Italian as the Velvet Room) has been improved to make room for the new mechanics introduced by Royal.
There are totally optional challenges available that we felt we needed and will also be needed for access the DLC of the title. This small detail is not indifferent, in a game where time is limited by certain events you need to have a moment of respite to have fun.
We are of the opinion that despite the many daily activities that we can undertake, this addition is served free from the frenzy of everyday life.
As if that weren't enough, after a certain number of fights we could run into a Alarm, which will enhance all of our mergers and could even lead to strange results in some cases ...
That said, one of the most important places in the game has undoubtedly been valued, which is why in this respect Royal beats the original hands down.
The Mementos we wanted
One element that could be improved in the original game were the Mementos, all too basic and justified as the usual “almost” optional dungeon to earn experience points and items.
With Persona 5 Royal the situation changes, thanks to the addition of a series of elements that finally give greater weight to Memento.
In addition to the objects scattered around the floors and the various chests, it will be possible to collect flowers, a new form of currency that will allow you to obtain quite useful tools such as incense and much more!
And this is where it comes into play Joseph, a new character in charge of managing the shop where you can exchange your flowers for attractive merchandise.
In fact, Jose also accepts so-called stamps, which can be found in the Mementos at the end of each floor or even in other slightly more hidden places. What will you get in return? The advantage of increasing the XP received or the money inside the Mementos!
We assure you that the time you will spend in Mementos will certainly be longer than in Persona 5.
A less than optimal localization
Persona 5 Royal is by no means the first game in the Italian language of the series, in fact Persona Dancing already presented the possibility of being played in our local language.
Being a spinoff title it is not very important how they adapted some terms or not, since not being part of the main series it has never been the subject of particular attention.
We are not satisfied with the work done with Persona 5 Royal from this point of view, due to the fact that many phrases sound quite unnatural or almost embarrassing.
Some terms could surely be localized in a more natural or even literal way.
Persona 5 Royal takes on a theoretically risky operation, which is to be localized in languages other than English.
However, we are very confident that the title will be very successful even here in Italy, thanks to the good appointment that has been built in these 3 years.
While localization may seem like an ancillary cost to many readers, unfortunately this is not the case at all.
Despite everything, this is just a flaw of the title, which will not spoil the enjoyment of the work.
A semester of new adventures
Let's move on to the most interesting part of the title, which is what Royal has more than the original version at the plot level.
In addition to the new semester, which we do not talk about or show you anything due to heavy spoilers, other events have been included in the middle that improve the overall quality of the title.
After the first palace you will get acquainted with Takuto Maruki, a school psychologist with whom you will interact several times (also as a Confidant) who, in our opinion, represents an almost necessary addition to what Persona 5 is.
The series is still focused on concepts from the world of psychology, who better than a psychologist to help the Phantom Thieves?
In addition to Takuto, we will get acquainted with Profit, the red-haired athlete girl you've surely seen in the trailers.
Without going into too much specifics, even in this case we are faced with an excellent addition in terms of plot, and not only as a Confidant!
Broadly speaking, the plot before the extra part remains almost identical, except the unpublished scenes with the two characters mentioned above and some other elements.
For example, we have the ability to initiate and advance a social relationship with a Confidant that was automatic in the original game! Obviously there will be extra scenes with this character, those who have played Persona 5 already know who we are talking about.
Also present other 2 endings, given the new semester added. We strongly advise readers to learn more about the 3 recently added Confidants to be able to access the new narrative arc, otherwise foreclosed.
A richer social life than ever
For those unfamiliar with it, the Persona series has undergone a radical change starting from Persona 3. The focus has shifted to daily life and the various activities that we will be able to do from time to time.
Persona 5 Royal is the maximum evolution of this concept and introduces a new explorable area: Kichijoji.
Without considering the other small additions, this new area bridges some new introductions such as darts and billiards, which you will surely play in your games.
Very important the fact that Morgana now no longer limits the evening outings, thus opening up new exploration opportunities.
The game has been rebalanced to give us more time for Confidants and the various activities scattered around, without having to worry too much. From this point of view, P-Studio has hit us fully on the mark.
The Den of Thieves and many extras
Finally Persona 5 has its section dedicated to collectibles and extras, that is, the so-called Den of Thieves, accessible from the main menu.
Although it may seem like a trivial addition, it is always nice to have the opportunity to spend some extra time looking at the numerous collectibles that can be purchased through the P-coins.
With this particular type of currency obtainable in special ways, it will be possible to have access to different types of collectibles that can be experienced.
A legacy to be handed down
This re-release does not only take charge of what was broadcast with Persona 5, but represents an evolution of the brand.
For longtime fans this title contains some appreciable references to the titles of the so-called classic trilogy of the series, which unfortunately is often snubbed for often unjustifiable reasons.
Despite the old ones Persona games are just a mere memory, we appreciate this new turn taken by Persona 5 Royal, which incorporates as its original version elements of the past.
We are confident once again in the repechage of other elements of titles such as Persona 2, which we see quite well within a possible future title!
The Phantom Thieves in 4K and some small technical tweaks
At the cost of losing the PlayStation 3 version, we finally have the opportunity to enjoy the game in 4K on PlayStation Pro, a pretty good result. Very recommended to play it at 1440p, if the opportunity should happen to you!
As if that weren't enough, the game features new models redone from scratch, another reason why you should definitely give this re-edited version a chance.
In addition to the templates, some dialog boxes have also been redone and the font used for the texts has been changed. Nothing extraordinary, but visually pleasing and more "modern" to differentiate itself from the original.
On the framerate side we are on the usual 30 FPS, quite solid even on the basic PlayStation 4, but for the type of game we are talking about it does not constitute a characterizing element.
Phantom Thieves Strike Again!
Persona 5 Royal wins our test with flying colors and is confirmed as a must for anyone who calls themselves an expert of the genre or even a novice.
Basic version players will be wondering whether or not to buy it, but after this review the answer should be pretty clear.
We strongly recommend the purchase to everyone, even to those who have already played Persona 5 and are hesitant to pay full price.
Between new models, extra storyline, many small improvements and a new soundtrack, we can only encourage you to take the big step.
Within the Persona series it is confirmed without any doubt as one of the best, considering that many elements of the original had not totally convinced us.
But, with the new plot additions and all the rest we are now sure that we are facing one of the greatest exponents of the series, able to combine the new elements of modern games with the most classic style.
The return of some fairly well-known Personae is a touch of class that hit us right, although it is a marginal element. And if you want to know more about the title in terms of information and guides, we refer you to ours detailed wiki.
Speaking of greatness, Persona 5 Royal is confirmed as one of the best JRPGs of recent years to date, so why not go and steal hearts right away?