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Expectations high for Persona 5

By EMILY AUTEN/ VN GAMES REVIEWER
On February 24, 2015

BY EMILY AUTEN

VN GAMES REVIEWER

 

On a recent February morning, thousands of fans all over the world logged onto their computers and eagerly went to streaming websites such as Twitch and Nico Nico Douga excited for one thing, the Persona 5 trailer.

I was one of the thousands, wrapped in my blanket, eager for the reveal trailer of the next installment of my favorite video game series of all time, Persona by Atlus.

 

What is Persona?

The Persona series brings a new twist to the concept of “another self.”

Characters summon physical beings based on mythological creatures that represent a part of them.

Using their personas, they must confront their ego and fight shadows or the main enemies in the games.

The concept of Persona is heavily based on Jungian and Freudian psychology, which is evident in the storylines.

Beginning with Persona 1 and 2 in the late ’90s, the series has gained a large following due to the release of Persona 3 and 4, which were almost entirely different games from their predecessors.

If any of you have played Final Fantasy or another turn-based RPG, imagine it mixed with the combat of Pokemon, with the option to go to high school, make friends and even date one of many suitors.

Personas strengthen through “social links” or bonds with teammates and characters around town whose personalities represent “Arcanas” of the Tarot, such as the Chariot or the Emperor.

Not only do you face off against evil, you make friends and have the opportunity to see the characters’ backstories, adding even more depth to the well-written storyline.

Although fans enjoyed Persona 1-4, the next installment has fans more excited than ever.

 

Characters

In September 2014, the first Persona 5 trailer was revealed, showing a young man with messy black hair and glasses.

Fans quickly dubbed him as Harry Potter and Chair-kun, due to his appearance and the first image associated with the game: a row of chairs with chains.

Chair-kun’s first appearance left many fans guessing that he would be the kind, typical hero who would fight for justice and friendship.

They were very, very wrong.

The trailer depicted a masked man, also known the Phantom Thief, falling into a crowded room through a stained glass window, presumably breaking into an event. At this point, many fans were in awe of what was happening, questioning what was going on.

It didn’t stop there.

Throughout the trailer, two sides of the protagonist were shown: the quiet high school student who seemed to be an outsider in the vibrant city around him, and the masked thief who snuck into buildings at night, confidently approaching enemies with weapons in tow.

Looking at the other protagonists in the series from the original installment, many fans could agree on one thing. The characters all had a sense of justice.

However, in Persona 5, the characters are anti-heroes, which is an entirely new and exciting idea.

The trailer shows the cast with devious smiles as they attack their enemies with evil looks on their faces.

The main character attacks with his persona, Arsène, based on a famous fictional thief.

Other characters include a blonde girl with curly ponytails named Anzu/Anne, a tall, blonde haired boy named Ryuji and a cat named Morgana. 

Not too much is known about these characters, other than they have amazing designs and seem to fit well into the large Tokyo setting.

 

The World of Persona 5

Bored. Dissatisfied. Confined.

In some shape or form, many of us have experienced these emotions.

Persona 5’s storyline aims to depict a world in which the characters are tired of their everyday lives.

The characters in this installment are “chained down” by the restraints of society. The theme of imprisonment is also touched upon in the trailer, as the protagonist is seen behind bars in the Velvet Room, a place where characters can fuse their personas.

It is suggested that the plot is heavily based on a heist theme, as a new gameplay addition focuses on the player sneaking past enemies. The school life aspect of the gameplay and a new form of “social links” is also shown briefly, indicating that it will still be an important part of the game.

Another theme may have to do with the seven deadly sins, which would fit nicely into the anti-hero concept.

Another noteworthy observation is the game’s new soundtrack. The Persona series is known for its exceptional songs that combine pop, hip-hop, disco and other genres.

This time around, the soundtrack will be heavily influenced by acid jazz, a genre from the late 1980s. 

Fans are curious how this will play into the overall theme.


The Verdict?

Persona 5 is set to release in 2015, but has no set date as of yet.

Both new and old fans are excited after a seven-year wait from the last core Persona title.

If you haven’t played the games, now is a good time to get into the series. I’ve already put together a cosplay for Anne, as I will dress up as her at the next convention I attend.

The trailer is top notch, stylish and has reached over two million views on Atlus’s YouTube channel.

It is one of the most anticipated games this year, and if it’s anything like the previous titles, it will be one of the best and most thought-provoking titles you will ever play.

 

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