Persona 5: 10 things we want to see

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Though it is generally considered a cult classic, the Persona series has gone from strength to strength. Though early entries in the series failed to garner much acclaim outside of Japan, it seems that critics of all nations can hardly throw enough praise at Persona 3 and 4. With it’s traditional JRPG mechanics unique blend of social sim elements, it’s easy to see why the games are so highly praised. Now that Atlus have nearly finished bringing Catherine over to America, their first foray into our current generation of hardware is complete. We can only hope that they will now turn their attention towards Persona 5 but, should they do this, how could they improve upon previous games in the series?

Less repetitive music

Getting the criticism out of the way early, I will openly state my disgust for the soundtrack in Persona 3. It’s a great game, but the pseudo J-rap tunes were the definition of lame and the drone effect provided by the hip hop beats made the music even more monotonous and irritating. Persona 4 took a step in the right by incorporating perky and needlessly catchy pop tunes into the mix, but the songs still tended to drag on somewhat. A more varied soundtrack, possibly in a different style, would really help with the presentation in Persona 5.

Better level variety

There's nothing quite like a maze that looks the same the whole through

Variety is the spice of life, and it wasn’t a spice that was favoured by Persona 3. Though the town and social sim aspects offered a pleasing amount to see and do, the single dungeon you had to explore soon became wearing. Different blocks of the tower of Tartarus had different themes, but this was little more than a colour change. Persona 4 began to successfully mix up the dungeons (with some awesome visuals designs to boot), but Persona 5 will have to take this even further.

A different character age group

An older group of characters could allow for more mature themes

Though there are a few exceptions, Atlus tend to focus all the stories in the Megami Tensei series around groups of teenagers. It’s all part of the formula, and is normally a necessary and effective element of the story. That said, considering how Catherine revolves around more adult characters and themes, I’d be interested to see a Persona game with older characters. Maybe young graduates or middle aged people going through a mid-life crisis could make up the cast of Persona 5; anything to get a new angle on the tried and tested MegaTen narrative.

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  • http://Website Souun Hakune

    You should take note that Persona Musics sold like hotcakes in Japan.
    Soundtrack, Image songs, Compilations, 2 concerts etc.

    As a fan who collected Persona’s Music collections, drama CD, figures, all sort of collectibles, I’ll say that the only thing I agree with you is level variety.

    As for the rest, I couldn’t care less.

  • http://Website Tom

    So the improvement is to do away with all the jp cultural elements that attracts an otaku such as myself in the first place is what I hear. Let’s not take a perfectly awesome style of creation and westernize it. It’s something Japanese gaming industry is killing me with.

  • http://Website lkadsjflksadjf

    This article has some good points, but for the most part is utterly retarded, (especially with the comments toward P3). Most fans of the series agree Persona 3 had one of the greatest soundtracks in a JRPG. I loved the JPop, and just because the author of this article doesn’t like it, doesn’t mean they should change it for your own personal distaste. -___-; It’s not something most FANS want to see. Most FANS like the music.

    (In my arguments I will be mostly talking about Persona 3)

    Plus the music wasn’t repetitive, it changed over the course of the year, and the walking around Tartarus music was changeable in P3P. There was also a different battle theme, and in many other locations different with music for the FeMC in P3P.

    The level variety would be better if it was more unique and interesting, but honestly it wasn’t THAT bad and repetitive. I mean, some blocks were dramatically different. (i.e the disco block lol)

    Different age group? NO NO NO NO NO.
    You know what needs a different age group? American games. Honestly. Almost every single US game nowadays has you playing as some 27-35 year old guy. Don’t deny it. I’m glad that Atlus and SMT sticks with the teen age group. It makes the social dynamics and interactions more fun, in my opinion.
    SMT did do a game for the DS that focused on an older group of characters. Strange Journey. Did you ever play that? No, probably not, because it bombed. The game itself isn’t that bad, but no one wanted to play as some middle-aged man with a poor character design running around space. It’s not good for the target audience. Catherine still works because they’re still young adults, and relatable to the majority of the audience.
    And just because they’re teenagers in Persona games doesn’t mean there can’t be mature and adult themes.

    Oh please, the mid level save points is just plain lazy. DEAL WITH IT. It’s the same as check points in your average FPS. Are you allowed to save after you kill every single enemy in an FPS? NO. It takes all the challenge out of the game, it ruins it.
    Go train and grind if you die a lot in RPGs, it’s simple. Jesus. And in Persona, you can fuse some new personas if you’re starting to take a beating from normal enemies. P3 is only hard if you play on Maniac.
    Plus in P3P, you can just go back to whatever level you were on after saving. (Can you do this in the original? I don’t remember.)

    More exploration could increase certain aspects of the game, but it’s not some open world adventure game. It’s a JRPG with dating sim elements. I don’t really see how more exploration seems necessary at this point, though it would be interesting to see.

    The characters constantly telling you what to do in P3 to get the true ending felt realistic to me–I mean, the characters were scared…but they knew they had to fight. They all just wanted to try, even though they were told defeating Nyx is impossible. MC has to make the final decision, so of course they’d all tell you what they feel is the right way to go and why.

    I can see where you’re coming from with the pacing…but the point of being allowed to go to Tartarus almost whenever you feel like it is supposed to help you pace the game how you want it to be paced. Plus the social links add some nice character background and plot inbetween full moon events. I think that having the countdown on the screen of when this big battle is supposedly going to show up added suspense as well, and it forced me to play through like 10 days without stopping just to see what the heck was going to happen next.
    It would be nice to see some more plot points inbetween set events like those, though.

    If I recall correctly, at certain points it talks about how all the characters personas are somehow reflective of themselves in P3. Not really sure how you missed that, unless you never talked to anyone…

    Humor is always great, but TOO MUCH humor would completely ruin the dark atmosphere of the game. There’s TONS of comic relief, though (did you skip every scene with Junpei, or something?)
    What about Operation Babe Hunt? The awkward scene at the Love Hotel? Forcing the girls to wear Battle Panties and other skimpy clothing, then talking to them in Tartarus to see their reaction? The scene in the Hot Springs when you spy on the girls? And not to mention the hilarious things you can say to some characters (especially the girls). For example, when Kenji finds out the teacher is engaged, you can comfort him, or laugh in his stupid face.
    Not to mention those recordings of characters in their rooms made me laugh everytime. Social Link events normally had humor as well. Elizabeth’s (and Theo’s in P3P) often had hilarious comments towards some of the request items fetched for them, and the “dates” with them were quite funny as well.
    Also: http://ancret.deviantart.com/art/How-Not-to-Play-Persona-3-167314327

    I’d also like to see some new ways to fuse Personas but I’m not really sure what more they can do at this point, so it’ll be interesting…

    Overall, PLEASE go play Persona 3 Portable, especially try out the FeMC version, because it really seems like you haven’t, and you look pretty ignorant writing this, to be honest.

    • http://gamingbolt.com/persona-5-10-things-we-want- Charlie

      Totally agree with you!!!

      who ever posted these suggestions most want another good JRPG change into a shitty westernized RPG.

      the only point i like was maybe changing the group to young adults (early 20s) and bigger environments

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  • John Esteves

    To George Reith

    PLEASE STOP PLAYING THE PERSONA SERIES.

    Less repetitive music

    Let me first say that the points you made in this article is entirly and most certainly retarded and basically show the people like you destroy TRADITIONAL JRPGS, Let me start my counter-points since you can’t seem to write REAL IMPROVEMENTS that should be made in the series. Persona 3 OST gave a good Presentation what PS3 was going to be about (Especially “Burn My Dread”), P4 changed from the J-Rap to a more catchy J-Pop and Piano instrument. However, both the OSTs were great and really made me want to play the game even more. Get your ears check.

    Better level variety

    One of the only good reasons you wrote in this entire article.

    A different character age group

    NO. Why the hell do you want a different age group, are you some typical Western fag gamer who rather play as an adult in his mid twenties and be billy badass? One of the highlights in the Persona series is the fact that the characters were interested and you actually want to get to know them more, in fact I loved the whole school system in general. It’s around this point of your life where you actually socialize more with people and begin to string together bonds and relationships with the opposite sex, not only that but youare LEARNING and GROWING as time continues to move forward, as an adult you would already have these skills so there would be no point in your growth to adulthood. If I see you complain that Persona 5 will once again revolve around the life of teenagers, I highly recommend you stop playing the series all together.

    Mid-level save points

    Are you that lazy to use an escape rope, save, restock on items and then go back to the current dungeon level that you are in? Someone doesn’t know how to play Persona

    More exploration

    Another good and valid improvement for the game

    A more fleshed out extended ending

    You seriously don’t know who Izanami is and you played Persona 4 knowing the protagonist’s Persona is called Izanagi? Look up some Japanese Folklore and maybe youll have a better understanding. Its not the game’s fault.

    Greater cohesion between narrative and dungeons

    Meh, I didn’t really mind this

    • Shadow Wraith

      “NO. Why the hell do you want a different age group, are you some typical Western –>fag<– gamer who rather play as an adult in his mid twenties and be billy badass?"

      Stopped reading at the highlighted word.

  • chibiev

    Basically, you want to change Persona into just another RPG by taking away the cultural elements, the music, and the gameplay that makes the series what it is. Half of the things you complained about (level variety, save points, exploration, humor) were addressed in 4 or P3P already. Are you sure you played those games? And if you’re reviewing the series, you better have played P3P, not just P3, or you’re wasting everyone’s time. As for exploring the psychological aspects of the characters, the series does, but it doesn’t spoonfeed you the information like most games or movies. You actually have to read and look things up on your own to get some of the deeper meanings, which is better than having exposition blah blah exposition throughout the whole game.

  • Jackalfack

    I think the author of this article is excepting too much out of altus. The formula of the shin megami series has always been simple. It’s hard to make a video game folks.

  • david

    are you kidding… i don’t even like jpop and even i know the music is one of the staples and infamously best parts about the persona series. shake my head

  • Not Telling :)

    Okay I REALLY wanted to point out a few things on this….

    First of all, I would absolutely ->HATE<- it if they made the characters any older than teens. That is ALWAYS the FIRST thing I look for when I find a story – characters that I can relate to in personality AND age. -_-

    And second… they made Persona 3's soundtrack so bad at first so that it would just made the other soundtracks sound 100000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000 times more epic (The Battle for Everyone's Souls, for example).

    But just pointing out… if you had to change dungeons all the time then it would get hard, irritatingly annoying, and that itself would be kind of boring. And they did change dungeons at one point ._.

  • Not Telling :)

    And I might point this out while I’m at it – JRPG’s are mostly for teens.

    If you have an obsession over old, hairy, gross, hideously ugly, muscular adult characters then go play another game. The Japanese tend to focus on the beauty of the characters and them developing throughout the story, and they SURELY don’t like to make the characters a bunch of 30 year old creepy looking dudes with no social life.

  • johnofthewired

    most of these comments are why I’m embarrassed to tell people i like the Persona series of games… from the nearly full page rants of personal opinion, to the inability to accept anything new.
    yes the series need to change, it need fresh ideas and different perspectives to survive in the market place. yes i liked persona 3 and i LOVED persona 4, but there where a lot of similarity with the two games. most (not everyone) would like a change, just like the ones we had between the first two, and the last.
    don’t hate on change, especially change that hasn’t even happened yet…

  • KuroSatsujin

    i think being able to play as a girl would be cool too

  • LDJ

    Nearly everything this person said is nothing short of outrageous. Many of the things this person wants to change are staples of the persona franchise. Please, please, don’t succumb to moronic people like this and stay true to the fans. Don’t change much, just make it more like P3 rather than P4. That’s all we ask. Hell, if we could get a P4 clone with P3 darkness and storyline, we’d be ecstatic.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001128725265 Jeff Deng

    i have to say mid way save point is not going to happen since it shingami tensei series is a game that you need to take risk to get a better rewards so i doubt there going to be any mid way saves points

  • Guy

    Oh, let’s bring Midnight back into the picture, lol.

    The Midnight Telemarketer!

  • Neutral Shadow

    This may be an old post, but I have to say that I disagree with almost all of these 10 things. Implement these into a Persona game, and you’ll see just how bad it’ll get.

  • hellrunrock

    Isn’t this only what the writer of this article wants to see? while i agree with some of the points: i didn’t like teddie that much, and i don’t want adults in persona it just doesn’t feel right.

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