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Why Persona 5 is the Most Exciting JRPG in 2016

"You are a slave. Want emancipation?"

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2016 is truly the year for JRPG’s. Final Fantasy XV, Fire Emblem: Fates, Bravely Second, Dragon Quest VII, Star Ocean: Integrity and Faithlessness, and more. But only one of these JRPGs has me the most excited: Persona 5.

After being in development for over six years, Persona 5 will finally release on the PS3 and PS4 this year. Not only is this a big deal because of this being a new Persona game, but the last main entry in the series, Persona 4, released in 2008 on the PS2. Eight years later, we are finally getting a new Persona game.

Out of the plethora of different JRPGs that come out of Japan, the Persona series has always stood out for several different reasons. Persona retains a style that is unique amongst the others. The interface, music and art direction are distinctive to the Persona aesthetic that stands out from the rest.

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Persona 3 and 4 have taken place in different towns but reside in the same universe. While it is unknown if 5 takes place in the same world, the recurring character that has been involved throughout the series, Igor, has been shown in the trailers.

Shoji Meguro has created some incredible tracks throughout the series. From the snippets that we’ve received from the trailers, Persona 5 is going to retain that jazzy soundtrack that the series is known for.

The anime cutscenes in previous Persona mainline titles have been lackluster. Luckily, Production I.G. is doing all of the animated cutscenes for 5 and have created some spectacular animation such as Ghost in The Shell, and Attack on Titan. The animated cutscenes that have been shown so far look fantastic. Some cutscenes also seem to have increased from past titles.

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Even those who aren’t into the RPG aspects of Persona play for the social link system. Social Links are created by having conversations with other characters and giving the dialogue answer desired by that character. Not only is it an incentive to get more info on these characters, but it also gives you the ability to create more powerful Personas. The developers of 5 have stated that social links will return but in an altered form.

Every Persona game has the player taking the role of a student enrolled in high school. Persona 3 had your character involved with a super secret group, and Persona 4 had you investigating murders throughout the small town. In 5, the characters are part of a cat burglar group. From the trailers, it looks as though your group may be crossing some moral gray areas.

As other JRPGs continue to evolve, so does Persona 5. In the trailers released thus far, the main character is seen doing some platforming and possibly performing some stealth. The jump from two generations of consoles has also given the game a vast improvement of graphics from the PS2. The visual fidelity is apparent from the clips which show the protagonist walking through a crowded street in Tokyo. The world looks more open and scaled way beyond what the previous games could do.

While the western release date of Persona 5 has yet to be announced, Atlus revealed that the game will launch in Japan on September 15th. Here’s hoping that we get a western release date soon!

Are any of you looking forward to Persona 5? Which JRPGs are you most excited for this year? Please feel free to let me know in the comments section below.

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Jake Nichols
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