Persona 5 Royal (PlayStation 4) Review

By Lilly Kirchner 20.03.2020

Review for Persona 5 Royal on PlayStation 4

Persona 5 Royal is the new, and more glamorous, version of Persona 5. Both were developed by P-Studio, a division of Atlus, which is also responsible for the joy that the Shin Megami Tensei and Trauma Center series brought. Published by Atlus, Persona 5 Royal was released in Japan in October 2019. The worldwide release is planned for 31st March, 2020. Persona 5 Royal is a turn-based RPG and is a PlayStation 4 exclusive.

Persona 5 Royal starts off with a main character being a high school student. After helping a lady and injuring a man in the process, he is sent to a new school in Tokyo for the year, as part of his probation. There, he is under scrutiny for his criminal record, and soon becomes friends with the school scoundrel, Ryuji. However, it turns out Ryuji has just been wronged by a teacher, and has been tagged with a bad name for it. When they find out that the same teacher, Kamoshida, is abusing students, they decide to do something about it. They then end up inside of Kamoshida's palace by accident.

Screenshot for Persona 5 Royal on PlayStation 4

This palace is the personification of Kamoshida's dark desires. With the help of Morgana, a mysterious, cat-like creature, they figure out that the best plan of action is to steal Kamoshida's treasure from his palace: his heart. In the course of the game, the player is joined by more party members who are working together as the Phantom Thieves to steal several people's hearts. They have to work through several palaces, while ensuring nobody figures out their secret identity. The battle system is a static turn-based system, which gives players enough time to consider and plan what actions to take.

Persona 5 in itself was already an amazing title. How can this expanded version possibly top that? It is, apparently, possible! At the start, the story of Persona 5 Royal is almost the same as before. Some changes have been made, but these are more additions and do not influence the feeling some may have experienced working through the original. The cut-scenes and animations are the same, but ever so slightly more detailed and colourful. It is, simply put, a joy to play this with its fascinating story and cut-scenes. The Japanese or English voices are both very similar in terms of quality, which is appreciated and very impressive indeed.

Screenshot for Persona 5 Royal on PlayStation 4

More and more changes become apparent while progressing. In other words, not everything new is revealed at once, but perfectly and neatly integrated into the rest of the journey. For starters, it seems as though the development team took all the little complaints people had with the original to heart, and improved several of these aspects. While time still passes, little tweaks make it now possible to get slightly more done within a day. There are more opportunities to develop certain character traits, and new confidant(e)s may heed some special abilities that may turn out useful…

In the Velvet Room, the player now also has the chance to interact not only with Igor, but also with Caroline and Justine, who offer a new opportunity. Additionally, the main character now has access to the Thieves Den, in which cut-scenes, music, different characters, and their outfits, or games can be explored. The design of this place is amazing and introduces yet another new mysterious character.

There are also new additions to the palace bosses. These differences may be very subtle, but add a little bit more personality to each boss. The changes are truly amazing, and feel very well thought through. The palaces also have new areas to explore. It is not as simple as just a new area; in fact these new areas house a whole new kind of collectible.

Screenshot for Persona 5 Royal on PlayStation 4

Another new tool available to the Phantom Thieves is the grappling hook. Using that allows for taking shortcuts, evading some enemies, or reaching otherwise secret parts of a palace. The system employed for this tool is very well thought through, as well. The character's hand will start glowing when reaching a point from which the grappling hook can be used. Turning the camera and searching for the point that can be grabbed, it is a case of then using L1 to operate, which is very smooth to carry out.

Another addition is the updated soundtrack. The original score is still included, but there is new music, as well, all in the same style as the original. That way it does not feel out of place at all, but rather as though it has always been part of Persona 5. Mysterious! Of course, there are many more additions in here, which should be for the players to discover themselves. These include new shadows, new endings, and new story parts that both fill in the gaps in the third semester from the original story, and expand on existing characters and themes. Even the new title screen design is amazing. All in all, Persona 5 Royal is a great experience, for old Persona fans and newcomers alike.

Screenshot for Persona 5 Royal on PlayStation 4

Cubed3 Rating

Rated 10 out of 10

Masterpiece - Platinum Award

Rated 10 out of 10

The original Persona 5 was already a joy to play; however, this version definitely steps up to the plate and knocks it out of the park. If Persona 5 was a perfectly executed and baked sponge cake, Persona 5 Royal is the same perfect sponge cake... but now filled with lashings of jam and cream. Everything that has been added has been amazingly well implemented. This is a wonderful title, regardless of whether or not it is compared to the original… which is still a delectable sponge cake! The story, characters, music, gameplay, and animation - everything comes together and creates an experience that is the personification of JRPG perfection. Incredibly unique and enjoyable!






Turn Based RPG



C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  10/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date 31.03.2020   North America release date 31.03.2020   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date 31.03.2020   


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