Persona 5 Strikers is a direct narrative sequel to Atlus’ Persona 5, even though it is a hack-and-slash game developed by Koei Tecmo and Omega Force. This setup is probably familiar to Nintendo fans, as we have had games such as Hyrule Warriors and Fire Emblem Warriors. In this sense, it might best be described as the opposite of Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity, which was a prequel to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.
Persona 5 Strikers takes place six months after the events of the first game, and while it may be confusing to those who have not already played Persona 5, there is still plenty to be excited about. If you’re after a stylish romp through hordes of enemies, you might get some enjoyment out of it regardless of your prior series experience. But to help you get up to speed, let’s delve into five things you should know about Persona 5 Strikers.
1. The Phantom Thieves are back and fully playable.
One of the best parts of the Persona series is its well-voiced, distinct characters, and Persona 5 Strikers sees the return of the lovable Persona 5 cast. Joker and the Phantom Thieves, a group of teens (and a cat) who fought to change the hearts of corrupt individuals in the original game, will travel across Japan during summer vacation in an effort to unravel the truth surrounding a new distorted reality.
You’ll be able to play as Joker, Ryuji Sakamoto / Skull, Ann Takamaki / Panther, Morgana, Yusuke Kitagawa / Fox, Makoto Niijima/ Queen, Haru Okumura / Noir, (notably) Futaba Sakura / Oracle, newcomer Sophia / Sophie, and one more character. Each character comes with their own unique move set, utilizing their weapons and Personas to defeat hordes of enemies, and you’ll notice game mechanics from Persona 5 organically merged with Warriors gameplay.
Players will be able to choose between Japanese and English VO, with either option offering an excellent experience.
2. Joker can still collect Personas.
Just like in Persona 5, Joker will be able to obtain new Personas to use in battle. In the original game, this was done through Persona negotiation or Persona fusion. Persona 5 Strikers does this slightly differently. Joker will obtain a new Persona after defeating Shadows. For example, if you defeat Pixie, it will drop a mask for you to collect, adding it to your Persona compendium. Persona fusion is still present in the game though, so you’ll be able to sacrifice your Personas in order to create new ones. Each Persona comes with its own strengths and weaknesses, so it is important to think about your current situation.
3. More great music is in store.
The Persona series is renowned for its stylish music, and the last three mainline entries have each featured at least one main vocalist to bring to life some of the most impactful tracks. With Persona 5, the artist in question is Lyn Inaizumi, who sang on tracks like “Life Will Change” and “Last Surprise.” Persona 5 Strikers continues this, as Lyn performs new tracks and remixes of already existing music.
The opening movie in particular is as stylish as ever, with yet another excellently performed music track to go along with it. The chances are you’ll be listening to these songs on YouTube after you hear them for the first time. From personal experience, I can definitely attest to that.
4. Make way for new bosses.
Persona 5 Strikers will feature a handful of bosses, currently being described in translations as Jail Kings. One of them featured in a trailer seems to look like Ursula from The Little Mermaid. It will be interesting to experience firsthand how these encounters play out. The Persona games are traditionally turn-based RPGs, so along those lines, each boss will have its own skills, strengths, and weaknesses. The trailer also sees Joker using the environment to his advantage, so this might also play a role in how you approach stronger enemies, using vantage points to catch them off guard.
5. All-Out Attacks are back.
When you pinned down the enemies in Persona 5, the party could initiate a stylish All-Out Attack that deals a ton of crucial damage. All-Out Attacks too will return in Persona 5: Strikers. Activating these moves sounds like it will be a bit more complicated in this game, but despite that, they can be triggered in Strikers by downing just one enemy at a time instead of all of them. The damage dealt to that enemy will spill out to hit surrounding enemies.
Persona 5 Strikers launches next month on Feb. 23 and will mark the franchise’s debut on Nintendo Switch, aside from Joker’s appearance in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. Hopefully this will open up the floodgates for more installments on Nintendo’s hybrid console. Persona 4 Golden saw a surprise release on PC last summer, so maybe Switch owners could see something similar in the near future.
If you want to play the game four days early, a digital deluxe edition is available to preorder on the eShop – which allows you to start playing on Feb. 19. Are you excited for Persona 5 Strikers?