Your first weekend playing Persona 5 Royal, how was it? Having a new edition of a game that is not only one of my all-time favourites but also has a length of more than 100 hours makes me, for one, rather happy right now. Even if I’m not leaving my couch, it’s still lovely to be able to take the Tokyo train once more.
Persona 5 Royal, despite its updates and relevance, is largely the same game as Persona 5. I won’t say that I’m upset about replaying the game, but that’s essentially what I’m doing. Fortunately, there is another new Persona 5 game that I’ve been playing here in Japan, and this one is widely different.
About six weeks ago, Persona 5 Scramble: The Phantom Strikers was released in Japan for the PS4 and Nintendo Switch. It was co-created by Omega Force, a
Koei Tecmo team that also worked on the Dynasty Warriors series and other “musou” games that involve fighting dozens or even hundreds of foes at once. Over the years, Omega Force has used that concept to create a large number of spin-offs; games like Fire Emblem Warriors and Dragon Quest Heroes are
essentially just Dynasty Warriors in various franchise packaging.
Is Persona 5 Scramble a true sequel to the original?
Scramble is a direct sequel to Persona 5’s narrative. In the summer following Persona 5, Joker returns to Tokyo to spend time with his imaginary thieves’
friends. Camping trip plans are swiftly sidetracked as they are thrust into yet another parallel dimension where they must once more attempt to change the
ruler’s heart. Although the unknown realms this time are referred to be jails rather than palaces, the concept is largely the same.
Real-time action involving massive crowds is used instead of turn-based RPG battles against a small number of foes. However, the hallmark Persona aspects
have been successfully incorporated into the musou formula by Omega Force and Atlus. Holding down a shoulder button allows you to launch special persona
attacks across a designated area of the battlefield, for example, while new skills like climbing lampposts fit Persona 5’s brisk pace. The transition to large-scale
action fighting definitely results in a loss of strategy, but it doesn’t feel as mindless as some other musou games can.
I’ve started playing Persona 5 Scramble on the Switch, and while I’m perplexed that Atlus hasn’t yet decided to release Persona 5 on Nintendo’s platform, this
is a suitable stand-in. I initially played Persona 3 on the PSP and Persona 4 on the Vita, and Scramble’s action fighting seems just as at home on a modern handheld device. The game looks and plays fantastic on the Switch, save from the complete lack of anti-aliasing.
Thanks to a smooth new soundtrack that perfectly matches Persona 5’s signature jams, it also sounds fantastic. Due to a function that allows you to access
numerous classic Persona combat tunes if you have previous save data on your system, I must say that I haven’t been listening to the new music as much as I could have (Super Smash Bros. Ultimate for Switch, Persona 5 for PS4). I hardly ever refuse the chance to hear “Mass Destruction” from Persona 3 again.