Friday, June 2, 2023

Persona 5 Strikers: Why I love its new combat system

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Persona 5 Strikers may be the closest thing to a Persona 5-2 we’ll ever have, and although the follow-up co-developed by Koei Tecmo avoids the turn-based battles of the acclaimed original RPG for something closer to the series Dynasty Warriors, my experience with the opening hours of Strikers promises a worthy follow-up to the Phantom Thieves of Hearts, and it’s one that retains all the style, character and deep tradition of the original that thrilled this returning fan to see more adventures of Joker, Morgana, and the gang, even as I grapple with the number of new options that the real-time action gives you right from the start.

Persona 5 Strikers screenshots

As a returning fan, a lot of the thrill of Strikers comes in experiencing a whole new story with the returning cast, so rather than focusing on the story beats for the roughly six hours of opening that I have. have played Shibuya, I will limit myself to saying that P5S hits the ground running. You can technically jump into Strikers without playing P5, which many players can do given that Strikers is coming to Nintendo Switch and PC in addition to the PS4. But doing that would mean missing out on so much history, lore, and a deeper understanding of the main set’s relationships … plus a fantastic 100+ hour RPG. It’s technically possible with this story centering on a whole new set of issues in the same world, but I think it wouldn’t be a service to try and make sense of everything as we go. And rather than offering a lot of recap, Strikers wonderfully lets the entire main cast relax and fight together from the jump, and it’s a joy to see their personalities intersect, alongside newcomers like the mysterious Sophie. and Detective Zenkichi. There’s no cliché power reset or party member deletion available to start things off on a less potent note, but other than that don’t expect to hear more of the story from me – a bit like Persona 5, one of the biggest in the series. joys are meant to be discovered on your own, and I would never steal this as easily as phantom thieves steal hearts.

Instead, the most obvious change I want to talk about is the shift to a more Musou-style real-time combat system as opposed to the acclaimed turn-based RPG styles of Persona 5. Coming much more from the side of Persona On The Dynasty Warriors side of this unlikely marriage, Strikers impressed me right away with how he translates the principles of P5’s combat system into a different form and remains so fun and engaging.Part of this is because the Strikers fight isn’t completely in real time. Sure, you’re running around a battlefield, hitting enemies with basic, special, and ranged attacks, but this is still a Persona game, and at any time you can summon your Persona. character chosen to use their abilities in the middle of combat. This temporarily interrupts the chaos, allowing you to swing your character (without moving from that location), choose your target area and skills, and unleash your attacks at will. This simple ability to pause the battle and use your powerful moves which also drain your SP gauge is implemented so well as these element-based attacks are often the key to winning a battle when used well.

But action never penalizes you for stopping taking a moment to think. And Strikers, on the whole, is pretty forgiving. While you can bring various items into battle to heal, recharge your SP, or negate status effects, I’ve often found myself running low on SP pretty quickly. Strikers works on a calendar system similar to Persona 5, but it advances through time based on story beats, rather than your actions, so you can get out of Strikers’ prisons – a new twist on dungeons. of P5’s Palace – to get back to reality. world to recharge your stamina and health, and back into the metaverse without precious time. Overall, strikers avoid having to really manage your time and make tough choices about whether to hang out with a friend, work a job, or infiltrate the metaverse. This is certainly a fundamental aspect lost in the translation, but given the overall structure of Strikers, I didn’t necessarily miss having to make those difficult calls here.

And being able to jump and then return to prisons is especially useful because, while general Strikers battles are relatively easy, the mid and late boss battles are surprisingly soft, with lots of health and defenses that require a ton of SP. . -Powerful attacks to break through and secure victory. I certainly enjoyed these larger scale battles, but don’t expect to just crush them.But in any battle, Strikers offers a lot of freedom and options, which is both a blessing and a curse, even as a seasoned Persona 5 player. Each of P5’s Phantom Thieves is available starting on. jump, as well as the new character Sophie. With a party of up to four, you can mix and match based on Persona’s elemental powers, personality, or special attack variations, which differ between each character. It’s wonderful to have so much variety right off the bat, rather than the devs implementing some sort of cliché rhythm that would have removed teammates or powers, but because of that you basically get a quick and easy tutorial screen. you are then sent back into battle. time you choose to play as a character for the first time.

This leads to a lot of experimentation on how these special moves can really make a difference – and I’ve found that they can when, for example, using Ann’s special to imbue fire in her attacks is necessary. due to the elemental advantage over Morgana’s fun bus transformation. – but it’s definitely a bit like being thrown into the depths. And that is in addition to all the other little bells and whistles in the combat system, from ambushes to give you a head start as you go into battle, to environmental attacks using objects around you, to attacks all-round and showtime movements to strike. dozens of enemies, and more.

There are LOTS of them – and everything is largely there at the beginning. I loved finding out how each aspect worked and how to best use them in combat, but I would totally admit that even after six or seven hours of play, I still wondered if I was using every move in my arsenal to the best of my ability. abilities, or if I was missing something, and that led to some trial and error guessing battles.

Fortunately, that worry aside hasn’t stopped me from exploring every nook and cranny of Jail Strikers’ early offerings, which, like the palaces in Persona 5, have treasures to pick up, hidden chests, and a host of treasures. environmental puzzles. The bright, carnivalesque aesthetic led to some fascinating discoveries as I further explored the world, and coupled with the fantastic comeback and new musical tracks, the action has always maintained an exciting pace. I can’t wait to jump into the next prison and see where these new mysteries, new abilities, and the same classic team take me. Persona 5 Strikers cleverly blends many systems, characters, and pure style from Persona 5 on a new mechanical model, but doesn’t lose any of the charm and fun inherent in the original. Strikers might not have been the sequel to Persona 5 that I expected, but it’s definitely one that I can’t wait to keep playing.

Jonathon Dornbush is editor-in-chief of IGN, host of Podcast Beyond !, and responsible for PlayStation. Talk to him on Twitter @jmdornbush.


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