Screenshot of the main menu on Nintendo Switch. (Photo by Keythin Thomas)

“Persona 5 Royal” video game review

After years of waiting, Nintendo Switch fans can finally enjoy the cult classic JRPG Persona 5 Royal on the Switch, which lives up to all the hype in every facet imaginable.  

The fan favorite title, which has been on PlayStation since 2016, released to all other platforms on Oct. 21 of this year. 

While fans have always asked for the game to be released on the Switch, the excitement  kickstarted when the main character of Persona 5 Royal, Joker,  made his way into Super Smash Bros. Ultimate as a DLC Fighter.

The inclusion of the enigmatic protagonist sparked fans’ desire for the game to be ported onto the popular handheld, and after four years of waiting, the game has finally come out.

The reason for the wait was presumably due to Altus, the company that made the game, having the Persona series mainly stick to Sony’s consoles. 

However, the wait is now over, as the game was released on all platforms, along with Persona 4 Golden and Persona 3 Portable.

Now that the game has arrived, the question now arises: does Persona 5 Royal live up to all of the hype?

This review will be split into three main parts: gameplay, story, presentation. This review will also be spoiler-free.

Gameplay: 9/10

It’s not easy to describe the gameplay of Persona 5 Royal, as there is so much to go over in regards to what you can do.

Without going into too much detail, many of the main missions of the game are to complete certain tasks within certain deadlines, and there is much to do in order to complete these tasks. 

There are two main parts of Persona 5 Royal, The dungeon crawling RPG aspect of the game, and the social simulator part of the game. 

While you complete what the game calls “palaces” in the RPG portion of the game, you meet and maintain relationships in the social simulator part of the game. 

Each of these main portionstake up time in-game, leaving the player with two tasks they can complete per day. 

You must balance the completion of the RPG portions with the social simulator portions in order to achieve the best success, which is the best part about it. 

This is, in simple terms, a choose your own adventure game. 

Do you want to focus on taking down the palace in one in-game day, but have to be very resourceful on your item management? 

Or would you rather space it out, conserving your resources for the RPG aspect of the game, but leaving less time for the social sim aspect?

Each play style has its own pros and cons, but are overall all viable ways to complete the game, which alone makes the game almost infinitely replayable.

There’s also a variety of ways you can spend your time in each aspect of the game. 

Players can grind what the game calls “social stats”, which act like the traditional RPG stats in the social simulator sections of the game, take side quests to help gain valuable items and Persona’s for the RPG part of the game, and so, so much more.

It’s highly unlikely players will see everything on their first go around of the game, and with each playthrough totaling around 100+ hours each, there is plenty to sink your teeth into with Persona 5 Royal.

And, with the portable aspect of the Switch, all of these hours seem to melt away as players can pick up and play for bits at a time. 

Overall, Persona 5 Royal’s gameplay feels right at home on the Nintendo Switch.

Story 9/10 (light spoiler warning for the content below)

*DISCLAIMER* Persona 5 Royal is rated M for Mature. It’s story covers topics that may be disturbing to some viewers. Discretion is advised if you find certain topics uncomfortable. 

The player follows the story of Joker, a Japanese teenanger who was wrongfully charged with assault after attempting to protect a woman from a drunk politician.

He is sent away to Shujin Academy, where he must serve a parole sentence under the care of a coffee shop owner that his parent’s know. 

Along the way, he discovers he has the power to wield Persona’s, which act as the main form of combat for the game. 

With this power, along with the help of other characters who will be met along the way known as the Phantom Thieves, Joker embarks on a journey to change their hearts of the evil, corrupt adults who reign terror across the country.

While that seems like a lot to take in, this is but a fraction of the story that takes place across the 100+ hour marathon. 

Presentation: 10/10

 There’s so much to say about how good the presentation is in Persona 5 Royal, and the excellent performance of the game on Switch is icing on the cake.

One of the most acclaimed parts of Persona 5 Royal by fans and critics alike is the absolutely stellar UI and menu design. 

Everything about it is just so stylish, with even what people would consider the smallest of menus are filled with so much energy and pop.

The colors are vibrant, the information is displayed in a clear and concise manner, allowing for something as simple as a menu to be a highlight among all the other highlights.

Another one of the biggest positives of Persona 5 Royal was the soundtrack, which safe to say, the hype is absolutely warranted.

Each track has something about it that just brings whatever you are doing alive. 

Whether it’s the battle music, the overworld music, the music that plays during the cutscenes, everything is just excellent.

And to top it all off, the game itself runs like a dream on the Switch. Whether in handheld mode or TV mode, the game experiences no frame drops, and still looks absolutely stunning in certain sections.

Persona 5 Royal’s presentation is the industry standard for every future game it’s genre to follow for years to come.

Overall: 9.3/10

Everything about Persona 5 Royal on Nintendo Switch is as good as advertised. Any real weaknesses this game has are outweighed massively by this absolute masterpiece.

If there’s any game a Nintendo Switch owner should pick up if you are an RPG fan, or just need something new to play and are willing to sink a good amount of time into a game, then Persona 5 Royal is the game for you. 

Persona 5 Royal is available on all platforms for $59.99, in both physical and digital formats.

Author

  • Keythin Thomas

    Keythin is a journalism major and is an avid sports fan. He has lived and breathed valley sports since he was in preschool. When not pouring over stat sheets or the latest sports, he enjoys watching movies, playing video games, and hanging out with friends and family.