Whereas the world retains hoping for Persona 5 on Change, Tokyo Mirage Classes has stuffed the crave that I’ve had for the same expertise.
In late 2015, I went out on a whim and picked up Persona 4 Golden for my Vita throughout one of many PlayStation Retailer’s year-end gross sales. Most of this buy got here right down to the truth that I had heard nothing however raves from pals and colleagues concerning the sport, and the sequence as a complete. Regardless of my hesitation about leaping in to the fourth entry in a well-liked JRPG sequence that I had by no means performed earlier than (and particularly one with such a frightening size), I figured that it couldn’t harm to attempt it for the $10 or in order that I spent on it.
Little did I understand how a lot that I would end up loving Persona 4 Golden, or the truth that $10 could be an absolute steal for it. I performed P4G relentlessly all through the primary couple months of 2016, and it simply turned not solely my favourite Vita sport, however one in every of my all-time favourite RPGs. All through these couple of months, I couldn’t assist however be sucked into Persona Four Golden’s story and characters, and I needed to spend as a lot time in Inaba as I may. And in addition with Chie, as a result of she is Finest Woman.
All of that is context for the truth that I took a giant probability on Persona Four Golden, not sure if it might be the kind of sport for me, and got here out of it compelled to dig even deeper into the sequence ever since. Final yr I lastly performed by way of Persona Three Moveable on my Vita, and over the vacations I picked up Persona Q and Q2 on 3DS, and the whole assortment of the Persona Dancing video games on PS4.
That after all has led me to need to play by way of Persona 5, a sport that has been close to the highest of my backlog for the previous three years. I’ve put in someplace between 5-10 hours into it thus far: in Persona 5 requirements that’s simply barely scratching the sport’s floor. Regardless of my a number of makes an attempt to lastly expertise the story of the Phantom Thieves for myself, I’ve struggled with discovering the precise time to actually decide to the sport.
There are many the explanation why I feel I’ve had a tough time really attending to play Persona 5, the obvious being the standard issues that occur in life: work, spending time with pals and family members, and different commitments. Add on prime of that the calls for of working within the discipline that we do at DualShockers, the place there’s at all times one thing new to play and expertise (and evaluation, and write about), and making an attempt to cram in a 100+ hour JRPG on prime of all of that’s simply arduous to do, if not unimaginable.
However for me personally, the most important cause that I can level to my difficulties in making an attempt to play Persona 5 has been the truth that it’s confined to my PS4, a console that I’ve had much less and fewer time at residence to play. This can be a sentiment that I share with our personal Michael Ruiz, when he wrote about the demands of playing longer games when life can get in the way. Whether or not or not it’s as a result of I began my experiences with the sequence on the Vita, one thing simply didn’t really feel proper after I was taking part in Persona 5 on the PS4. Although it might be superficial, not being able to take the sport with me is definitely a giant a part of why I’ve had bother sinking the time into it that I desperately need to.
Every little thing concerning the expertise of taking part in by way of the Persona video games on handhelds simply scratched a sure itch for me in a manner that I’ve a tough time describing. One of the best ways that I can clarify it’s that, in a manner, taking part in by way of Persona 3 and 4 mirrored the hustle and bustle of my on a regular basis life — from going from residence to work, to discovering the time to spend with family and friends — and taking these experiences together with me felt comforting. Going from the stresses of on a regular basis life and unwinding with these video games was reassuring, whether or not it was going by way of flooring of the video games’ dungeons on my commute residence or spending a while enhancing my Social Hyperlinks earlier than going to mattress. Attempting to handle and arrange the time that I had in-game felt like some small semblance of command over my character’s in-game life, in a manner that I usually don’t have management over in my very own on a regular basis life.
I felt like I used to be lacking out on a part of that have with Persona 5 by not having the sport in a conveyable vogue, in a bizarre manner the place actual life form of enhanced what I used to be experiencing within the sport. Although I’m clearly not the only one hoping for a Switch version of Persona 5, with “#BreakPersonaFree” at the moment trending on Twitter, I’ve yearned for the announcement of a Change model of the sport, hoping that I can lastly play it within the format that I’ve at all times felt the sequence labored greatest in.
Proper now these prospects appear unclear, with Persona 5 Scramble about to hit Japan this week (with no introduced Western launch date) and Persona 5 Royal coming exclusively to PS4 next month in the West. However in the intervening time, even when we don’t wind up with P5 on Change, Tokyo Mirage Sessions has are available to fill the precise void that has been left in my coronary heart for the same expertise.
Tokyo Mirage Classes #FE Encore, the recently-released Change model of the 2016 Wii U RPG, is the primary time that I’m experiencing this title for myself, having missed out on it earlier than. Whereas that was largely on account of the truth that I didn’t have a Wii U, the return of TMS initially had me hesitant to leap into it, having by no means actually been an enormous Hearth Emblem or Shin Megami Tensei fan. I’ve solely had imprecise familiarity with Hearth Emblem by way of the sequence’ inclusion in Tremendous Smash Bros., and the small glimpses of SMT that I’ve are from understanding its connections to the Persona sequence.
Nevertheless, after listening to that the sport had some Persona-style components to it, I made a decision to take an opportunity on Tokyo Mirage Classes and pre-ordered the Change model. Although initially Tokyo Mirage Session very a lot appeared like a hit and miss sort of sport for me, within the six hours or in order that I’ve put into the sport thus far I’ve solely come away loving it. Particularly, I used to be fully shocked by how a lot of my experiences with Persona 3 and 4 and what I cherished about these video games would wind up making their manner into TMS, from the forged and world of modern-day Japan, proper right down to the fight system and gameplay. Frankly, I used to be shocked how rapidly I used to be in a position to get a grasp on how TMS performed; even in the course of the fight sequences, except for a number of key variations, it performs roughly like a Persona sport.
In a number of methods, Tokyo Mirage Classes actually felt like the subsequent smartest thing that I may ask for in having a Persona-style expertise on the Change, however with its personal distinctive taste and twists to distinguish it. The extra modern setting of the Persona video games at all times felt like a breath of contemporary air from the medieval or futuristic settings of different RPGs that I’ve performed, and Tokyo Mirage Classes definitely performs with Persona-style themes of friendship and blurring the strains of actuality and the supernatural. That mentioned, the J-pop-fueled world of Tokyo Mirage Classes gave me sufficient of a hook to like the sport by itself phrases, and never merely as simply an emulation of what I cherished from the Persona video games. I’ve already been enamored by the sport’s pop-star-themed story and characters, and even the act of grinding within the sport feels elevated by its vibrant battles and visuals that really feel much less like repetitive battles and extra like mini concert events.
Although I’m nonetheless solely within the early elements of Tokyo Mirage Classes, I can already inform that it’s a title that I’ll be sinking dozens of hours into over the subsequent few weeks, and I can most likely thank the Persona sequence for that, very similar to P4G launched me to the sequence as a complete so a few years in the past. Whereas we’re nonetheless left with baited breath on whether or not or not Atlus will lastly ship on the hopes and desires of followers to deliver the Phantom Thieves with them on-the-go with a Change model of Persona 5, I’ve to say that spending time with the members of Fortuna Leisure has felt simply as worthwhile for me. Tokyo Mirage Classes may need opened me as much as a complete new vary of worlds to discover, even when solely it simply occurred to be the precise sport to return on the proper time for me.
And hey – on the very least, we do get that candy Joker outfit within the Change model of Tokyo Mirage Classes.