Despite Persona 5 Royal being released all the way back in October of 2019, I’m still constantly seeing the question, “is this worth buying/playing after I already played through all of Persona 5?” At the end of the day, this is obviously going to boil down to personal preference. But if you’re one of the people who really enjoyed Persona 5, I will cover some of the reasons why the answer is, undoubtedly, “yes.” That being said, since there are obvious similarities between the games, you may still want to take a short break after Persona 5 before tackling Royal.
Think of it this way—do you buy any other games in a series that have similar gameplay, but they include new characters and features? Persona 5 Royal isn’t too different. In a lot of ways, it feels like playing a sequel, because everything you love is there, but plenty of new content and experiences have been added to it that enhance the game. Some content overlaps (like beating the same palaces), but considering you can go through it with new personas and characters, it doesn’t feel as much like a repeat.
It’s hard to say what the best addition to Persona 5 Royal has been, but certainly up there is the addition of new characters, and their impact on the story. Kasumi Yoshizawa and Takuto Maruki are two main characters that make an appearance as confidants in Royal. Kasumi is an amazing athlete and model student while also being a total badass persona user. Takuto is the school counselor, and she helps the Phantom Thieves work through some of their personal traumas. Another character added is Jose, a strange child who gives you items and accessories in exchange for flowers.
Listing new characters isn’t going to sell anyone on playing through this game, though. What makes Persona 5 Royal worth it is not that new characters exist, but that these characters bring with them their own complex stories that have a heavy influence on the plot of Royal. Some of the game’s most significant twists happen because these characters exist, setting it far apart from the original Persona 5.
Furthermore, Royal includes new personas to use. There are tons of extra collectible deities and also different combination changes within the Velvet Room’s fusion mechanic. While these alone might not be enough to go through the entire game, in combination with the new characters and plot points, it certainly adds to the “sequel” type of feel that this game has.
The other major important factor that makes the Royal playthrough worth it is the additions of locations. Tokyo: Kichijoji is a new place for players to explore, and it includes places for several new activities, such as playing darts to improve your combat Baton Pass, watching movies or playing games to improve other social stats (which then creates more free time during the day to hang out with friends and work on improving those relationships).
Considering the amount of content that is added through the combination of characters (plot), locations, and personas, Persona 5 Royal earns my respect as a separate game from Persona 5. However, to be fair, it is still technically like playing 100 hours of content for 30 hours of new content. You do have to beat the palaces over again, and there is definitely overlap. But if you really enjoyed playing Persona 5, even the overlapping content in Royal has a fresh feel to it with the factors listed above that will enhance your playthrough from before.
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Stephanie is an Editor at TheGamer, solidly aligned chaotic neutral. Though her favorite game is Fire Emblem: Three Houses, she vows to do everything in her power to one day see a Legend of Dragoon remake. Absolutely nothing can top her immense love for The Lord of the Rings.
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