It’s somewhat difficult to get a grasp on exactly how to describe a game like Persona 5 Royal. In a world full of remakes, remasters, repackages and more, Persona 5 Royal is none of these. It’s not a “new game plus” or a DLC campaign either.
Instead, Persona 5 Royal is more of an evolution. It takes a near-perfect game and turns it on its head by adding everything you may not even know you needed. It’s almost like taking a masterpiece and—with a few swift brush strokes—adding a whole new layer of complexity. All this while keeping its original brilliance intact.
The result is something familiar, yet somehow also entirely new. Here are a few of the things that make Persona 5 Royal so special.
Persona 5 Royal Details
Platform: PlayStation 4
Reviewed on: PlayStation 4
Publisher: Atlus USA
ESRB Rating: M (Mature)
Do I really need to play Persona 5 again?
If this is a question you are asking, I hear you. The original release of Persona 5 is an 80 – 100 hour trek through some of the best JRPG goodness ever put to code. It’s the perfect balance of story, student life simulator, and epic turn-based fantasy battles.
But it is also just that—a lengthy and satisfying journey. So if you’ve already climbed that mountain, is there any real reason to make another ascent? The answer—both emphatically and categorically—is a resounding yes!
It’s truly astounding just how much care is put into fleshing out Persona 5 Royal into a brand new and exciting experience. This is not a punched-up version with a few additional missions or copy-cat, rubber stamped mirror images of original content made to artificially swell the game for a re-release. This is a treasure trove of new ideas.
With every turn Persona 5 Royal expands on the original in new ways. Even playing through the initial stages of the game for my third time, I never found the experience boring. I can’t count the number of times I thought “oh boy, that’s new”! And more importantly “That’s just perfect for this part of the game”.
What’s new in Persona 5 Royal?
Persona 5 Royal is brimming with additional content and features. To be honest I could probably fill the average length of 2-3 reviews going over everything. I could easily opine for days on how each feature intricately weaves itself into the core gameplay, and how it adds to the experience.
I’m not going to though. In fact, I’m barely going to mention anything specific at all. I went in blind to Persona 5 Royal, with almost no foreknowledge of the differences between it and the original. Without a doubt, I am coming out better for it.
I get the desire to learn in advance—especially if you are among those Persona 5 veterans. You may be reading a review like this one looking to justify whether or not it’s worth another purchase. It’s understandable.
All I can say is, I really do think it is. And if you haven’t already spent too much time learning what’s new, you’ll thank yourself for taking a leap of faith. Every new spin Persona 5 Royal puts on its predecessor is a joy to discover as it happens.
Seriously though, what’s new?
Ok ok, fair enough. You came here for information! Here is a spoiler-free overview of at least some of the new content that makes up Persona 5 Royal.
Firstly, you’ll get not only a new playable character (complete with a new story arc), but an entire additional third semester at Shujin Academy. Of course you’ll need this extra time to deal with a new palace, new activities, new confidants—the list goes on.
That’s just the surface of what is new however. Of course you likely already had an idea that Persona 5 Royal would bolster itself with obvious content additions like these. There’s so much to do that makes the game worth the price of admission, even if you’ve already scraped the barrel of the original release.
As great as this new content is, in the end it is a myriad of other additions, quality of life improvements, and so much more that really drew me back into enjoying this world again on a whole new level. It’s difficult to improve on something that’s already so fantastic. Yet somehow, Persona 5 Royal does so in spades.
A better pace
On thing I really did appreciate with Persona 5 Royal is the pace of the game. Trophy hunters in particular know what a tense grind it can be to achieve everything there is to do in a Persona game.
Subtle changes to Royal make many of these accomplishments a bit less strenuous. As such, it’s the perfect reprieve for someone who want to play the game again and experience more of what it has to offer without following strict spreadsheets and timelines. Even with more available to do, the pace is somehow less tense.
Even the trophy list itself is significantly relaxed. Gone are draconian accomplishments like generating huge volumes of unique dialogue or exhausting every single confidant level in a single play through. In fact, aside from a very few trophies that require specific attention, most of Persona 5 Royal‘s trophy list will probably unlock naturally in a single campaign.
Those up for a challenge need not worry however. The game still tracks (and rewards) those who take on and accomplish its greatest feats. To fully experience Persona 5 Royal from a completionist’s perspective is a daunting task indeed.
Persona 5 Royal somehow manages to elevate one of the best JRPG’s ever made to a whole new level
I still find it amazing how many novel ideas Persona 5 Royal packs in. Despite being a mammoth-sized RPG to begin with, Royal still somehow manages to incorporate new and exciting features all along the way. It’s never boring, even when replaying the core of the game again—and not for the first time, either.
If you’ve never had the pleasure of playing the original, then Persona 5 Royal should be at the top of your list of games to tackle before this generation ends. Those who have should be equally as excited to discover everything that Royal has in store.
+ A vast amount of new content and features
+ Somehow takes one of the greatest JRPGs ever made and makes it better still
+ Compelling story, rich characters, and challenging gameplay
+ A new, more relaxing pace and an easier trophy list
OVERALL ASSESSMENT OF PERSONA 5 ROYAL
Lasting Appeal/Replayability: 5/5