There are no words. Ever since Persona 3 belatedly revitalized my absolute love for the series that pulled no punches and sought to push the boundaries of what made a popular AAA video game succeed, I’ve been a pretty hardcore fan of the series, getting every game in the franchise up until now; well, with exception to Dancing All Night, which… I’m not even sure I’m going to acknowledge that it happened. I know there’s a lot of weeaboos that get really into these pop idol dance simulators but it just doesn’t feel proper in the Persona world. Arena and Ultimax were a stretch as it was. Anyway, for a long time, Persona 4 seemed to have no real chance of seeing a sequel as Atlus was busy milking the everloving hell out of it and Persona 3 and we were left with a really bad case of a company just really wearing out a game’s welcome… you see, my main problems with Persona 3 and 4 is that they seemed to cater a little too hard to otaku culture. Social Links were an excuse to have a dating simulator in an otherwise very grind-y dungeon crawling RPG and the plot, while pretty in-depth, was still pretty standard anime fare.
When Atlus brought back the original Persona 1 and 2 titles, I remembered exactly why I initially fell in love with the series: the plot challenged philosophical thoughts of what we are and what souls are. It toyed with concepts often explored in the franchise Persona splintered off of, Shin Megami Tensei, a series already steeped in deep lore and often dark and edgy plots. While trodding through the dungeons could be boring and regular battles were often more of a pain than a pleasure, it was the story and the characters that really made them what they are.
Fast forward to today, where I’m still reeling off of the Japanese broadcast of a bunch of Persona 5 reveals yesterday and I’m quickly reminded of why I have so much hope for this game: it seems to look like the best of both worlds, taking the grittiness and socially challenging plot and characters of the first few games while melding it with the gameplay and style of everything past that. It even seems to be taking elements from Catherine and implementing some of them into the game, which is another exciting idea because that was yet another game that was simple and yet offered quite a bit of intrigue and introspection. There also seems to be a respect for the franchise that’s come before it and I wonder if that’s going to be implemented into the game in the form of cameos or plot elements.
Just thinking about the game has me all riled up: I have a lot of hope for this game and I’m really excited for what this could mean for the franchise as a whole and what it could mean for my experience with it. I know it’s a game series that isn’t for everyone but I’m really looking forward to it.
For those of you coming here, expecting some kind of introspection on the details of what I’m all pumped about, here’s a subbed version of the newly released trailer for the game: