Oh, I adore Persona. In spite of the fact that I have played almost all of the games in the series, including the spin-offs, I believe that Persona 4 Golden and Persona 5 Royal are two of the finest games that I have ever played. Allow me to tell you that I am not making this statement lightly: I believe that Persona 5 Tactica has the potential to be my favourite Persona game of all time.

To be honest, I walked into Tactica with the expectation that I would have a nice time. I was aware of what I was about to experience since I had followed its development leading up to its release. It was a tactical reworking of the Persona games, combining the flare of Persona 5 with the gameplay mechanics of Tactics, Ogre, and XCOM. The fact that Persona 5 Tactica would end up being my favourite game of 2023 was something I did not anticipate.

Despite the fact that it is technically a spin-off, which means that it takes the characters from the immensely successful Japanese role-playing game and places them in a different genre and visual style, Tactica is more of a sequel since it takes place immediately after significant plot scenes in Persona 5. In spite of the fact that it reduces or eliminates the majority of the slice-of-life components that were included in the series, such as going to classes, improving your social metrics, hanging out with your friends in order to increase your “confidant” level, and so on, the positive aspect is that this results in more room for narratives that are more concentrated and complex.

 

In contrast to previous spin-offs that we have seen up to this point, such as Strikers, this game is not even actually about the players’ favourite characters from the series, the Phantom Thieves. Erina and Toshiro, two rebels who are seeking to remove the most recent despotic ruler in the metaverse, are the focal points of this episode, and the cast that you are familiar with serves effectively as backup for them. Both of them made an instant impression on me; not only do they have personalities that are intriguing in their own right, but they also complement one another very well due to the fact that they have opposing values.

It is the nature of their connection that exemplifies how two individuals might have the same objectives yet handle the situation at hand in an entirely different manner. As Erina jumps into the conflict with bravery but without any thinking, and Toshiro takes a more calculated but cowardly approach, both are brought to life with writing that is so riveting throughout that I really believe it surpasses the original Persona 5 in terms of its level of engagement. I dare not say anything else since it is such wonderful material that you need to experience it without any preconceived notions.

a tactful

As part of Persona 5 Tactica, a tactical fight that is played in turns.

The combat in Persona 5 Tactica is reminiscent of the XCOM series, with a grid structure that is seen from above and an emphasis on tactical gunplay.

Despite the fact that it may lack a significant number of the mechanics that were present in Persona 5, it has unquestionably inherited the signature flare, and long-time fans should not be dissatisfied. It is impossible to overstate how incredibly smooth the user interface and menus are, how stunning the cutscenes are, and how much better the voice acting has never been. And despite the fact that the Phantom Thieves may have been reduced to supporting roles in the main tale itself, each of them still gets their own unique opportunities to shine. Because of this, they wind up seeming like even more fully developed characters than they already were. They effortlessly assume the position of wise and experienced advisers, passing on their expertise in fighting in the metaverse to Toshiro and Erina, which they have acquired through a lot of training and experience.

The combat in Persona 5 Tactica is reminiscent of the XCOM series, with a grid structure that is seen from above and an emphasis on tactical gunplay. The One More mechanism, which is a remnant from Persona 5 that has been given a unique and immensely enjoyable spin, is mainly responsible for the tweak to the formula.

Your next unit will be able to “down” the same adversary by utilising a similar follow-up strategy. This may be accomplished by either removing your adversaries from cover, striking them off of high platforms, or using your persona’s powers to inflict status ailments. In addition to being able to move a second time, any unit that successfully eliminates an adversary will be awarded One More, which grants them an additional bonus action during that round. It is frequently feasible to chain numerous One Mores together in just one turn if you have the appropriate abilities, personalities, and tactics. This will enable you to easily wipe out all of the enemy’s troops before they even have a chance to have two to three rounds of their own.

The fact that your units are able to move indefinitely inside the movement tiles that have been assigned to them before committing to an attack enables a great deal of flexibility and experimentation, which in turn provides you with the potential to find a way out of practically any scenario, regardless of how grim things may look to be. Additionally, it makes it easier to operate the all-out attack, which is a mechanism that has the potential to be the most satisfying to execute. By placing opponents who have been defeated inside the triangle that is created between the locations of your troops, you will be able to attack all of the enemies that are contained within that triangle at the same time. Every time I was able to successfully execute an all-out attack, I felt an overwhelming sense of satisfaction. It was incredibly exhilarating if I was able to capture 10 or more foes in a single attack.

The ability to chain up to fifteen movements in a single round while only employing three troops is something that never gets old, especially since it never seems like it’s too simple. Rather than being just a spectacular moment that the game had delivered me, each really lengthy combo streak seemed more like a problem that I had personally solved, strategically weighing up every perspective. In fact, the side tasks that are not part of the main tale are, in this regard, puzzles. The majority of these quests serve as exceptional challenges that require you to beat up to twenty foes in a single turn. This helps you develop your instincts for regular fights.

Additionally, Persona 5 Tactica does a fantastic job of maintaining a fresh fighting experience by introducing new concepts, opponent kinds, and abilities on a frequent enough basis to guarantee that things remain interesting right up until the time of the definitive encounter. Approximately halfway through the narrative, just as I had gotten a hold on properly arranging my troops at the conclusion of their turns, a new unique opponent was added that flings opposing units across the field, suddenly requiring me to plan an additional move ahead. This occurred just as I had gotten a grip on appropriately positioning my units. In the same vein, a unit arrived in the latter stages of the game that switched places with me when I was assaulted. This presented a whole new challenge for me to eliminate them without leaving my comrades in a situation where they were besieged and out of position.

A person of interest

In Persona 5, Tactica, Futaba, Haru, and Makoto are having a conversation with one another.

You will discover that this extensive armour begins to make you overpowering in the late game if you play on the standard difficulty setting, but if you switch to the “merciless” level setting, you will get a challenge that is far more fascinating.

It took me around 35 hours to finish the main plot, and after that, I added another 15 hours for the side material. Persona 5 Tactica truly did keep me on my toes during the whole of that time period. The typical Persona fan may find a runtime of fifty hours to be a bit short, but I’ve found myself revisiting areas in order to increase my scores, and a full New Game+ option offers you even more reasons to go back into the game.

The customisation of your party should be approached with careful consideration in order to reinforce all of these aspects. Because each persona type enables you to inflict distinct status effects, this enables you to have up to six different methods to influence the battlefield in each and every mission. Additionally, each character may now equip two personas at the same time, obtaining some of the normal versatility that Joker had. Personas function in a manner that is largely the same as how they have been implemented in previous Persona games. The buffs and elemental attacks that they bestow simply provide you with more opportunities to experiment with your strategy in a manner that is just as easily incorporated into a tactical framework as it is in a huge JRPG.

If you employ persona fusion, you will have even more possibilities available to you. This time around, you will be able to use it to construct weaponry that is very strong and that unleashes even more status effects. This will provide you with an absurdly broad arsenal of tools to experiment with. You will discover that this extensive armour begins to make you overpowering in the late game if you play on the standard difficulty setting, but if you switch to the “merciless” level setting, you will get a challenge that is far more fascinating.

In Persona 5 Tactica, the screen appears after the completion of an assignment.

Since I began playing Persona 5 Tactica, I have devoted over 80 hours to the game, during which time I have completed two full playthroughs, completed every piece of side content, and even finished the persona compendium. Despite all of this, I have not yet grown bored of the charisma that it has. It is impossible for me to give much greater praise than this: there is nothing more for me to unlock or experience in this game, and yet I continue to play it. This is because the fundamental fighting is so much fun that increasing my scores for each map continues to seem like a worthy attempt.

Although it is possible to miss Persona 5 Tactica in 2023, which is a year that is packed with high-quality video games, it is important to note that this game is not just another Persona spin-off. A one-of-a-kind combination of puzzle-solving and tactical gameplay, mixed with what is, without a doubt, the finest narrative I’ve had the good fortune to experience this year, is what P-Studio has developed here, and it feels like a really innovative take on the genre. The game is highly recommended for everyone who enjoys turn-based strategy games, regardless of whether or not they are acquainted with the metaverse. Those who are fans of Persona should take it up right away.

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