I recently completed a multi month complete playthrough of Persona 5 Royal, and then sprung straight into Persona 5 Strikers on PC, because you can never have enough Persona, right? I’ve just finished it, and found it more enjoyable than I was initially thinking I would. I don’t mind musou-style games, but can find they fall into repetitive tedium, so was worried this would feel the same. I actually think the theming and mechanics carried over from Persona actually made that type of game more interesting, and worked really well to complement the switch from turn-based to action combat. I think it’s actually better and feels more strategic than most of the other mainline Dynasty Warriors style games I’ve played, because of the focus on breaking elemental weaknesses and switching between your team mates during the fights.
At first it felt pretty overwhelming, and plays super-fast, so it took me a bit of time to get to grips with it. Once you understand how important it is to dodge, and get a grip with the other systems, it feels a lot better, and by the end I felt like I was acting with frenetic intent rather than just mindless button mashing. Don’t get me wrong, those buttons were still getting bashed, but with a degree of specificity that was probably not apparent to any outside observer. I learned to enjoy it, but it can also feel like you’re playing Daley Thompson’s Decathlon which has been given a makeover by a team of Pop artists.
It can still feel a little rote and repetitive, but this is alleviated somewhat by working your way through the story, which is typical Persona faire, so might work less for others than me. I was happy spending more time with ‘the gang’ and framing the process as a road trip through Japan also appealed. The places you visit are very small, and the game is very much not an RPG, but they give you a little flavour (as well as waxing lyrical on all food). The Japan tourist board should weaponise it as I’m now desperate to go.