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Persona 5 Wishlist

by Justin Mikos on Feb 16, 2015 at 06:04 AM

The recent Persona 5 trailer offered us the first substantial peek at the next evolution of Persona and it looks incredible. The trailer has tons of little details to glean, and the subsequent interviews have given us even more answers and questions to ponder. With all the new information, I’ve created a wishlist for what I want to see from Persona 5 to make the series even stronger than before.

More Natural Social Links

When done right, the social links provide powerful optional stories to dive into that responsibly tackle serious subject matter. Sometimes, however, it just feels like you are going through the motions and telling people what they want to hear. In Persona 5, there should be more social links that can break down or progress in less obvious directions. Including more choice and divergence in social links is also important. Journeying through each character’s story would be more interesting if you can choose different events and conversation topics with the person you are connecting with. If their final outlooks are different when their story is complete based on how you interacted with them, it would be even better. 

Take Advantage Of Japan

The previous Persona games took place in fictional towns, but offered a glimpse of what it’s like to live in Japan. With the move to a real-world location, the Shibuya district of Tokyo, and improved HD graphics, I want to see the Persona team take better advantage of the setting. The areas need to be larger to explore and more interesting things to discover. Fast traveling to important destinations must be preserved, but I would like to leave Shujin High School and wander around Tokyo. You should be able to travel to some of the famous tourism spots like Akihabara via public transportation. The Persona team doesn’t have to go overboard, but I’d like to participate in actual activities rather than read about how my protagonist enjoyed walking into a bookstore or performed karaoke. The Persona team has said we will also visit areas across Japan, so it’ll be interesting to see how large those areas will be too.

Revise The Day-To-Day Structure And Provide Better Sidequests

The day-to-day structure of both Persona 3 and Persona 4 is fairly rigid. While opening up the tourism elements would introduce a new pillar to break up some of the monotony, there are other simple ways that it could also be improved. We shouldn’t be penalized for returning to our home base with the passing of time if we just want to see what opportunities are available there. Additionally, it would be nice to have significantly more events that don’t pass the time. If two of our friends are hanging out at a café, there could be a small scene that plays out when you approach them that falls outside of the social links. The Persona team could make some of these optional events level up our generic relationship stats or reward items to make them feel worthwhile. Persona 5 also needs to have more engaging sidequests to give you something to work towards when you don’t want to pursue social links. Just having optional boss fights at the end of the game isn’t exciting enough.

Revisit Character Dungeons

One shot of the trailer features the protagonist in a mental jail cell. It’s unknown right now what kind of content will be wrapped around that scene, but it would be cool if it meant that character dungeons are returning. Getting to overcome each character’s weaknesses by triumphing over their dungeon was one of the highlights of Persona 4 so it would be a shame to get rid of the idea. I’d like to see more side content in Persona 5 and character dungeons would be a great start.

A Mix Of Linear And Nonlinear Dungeons And More Choices

The dungeons in Persona 3 and 4 (but Persona 3 especially) are really bland due to being randomly generated. Done right, random dungeons can be fun, but I think Persona 5 is moving in the right direction by making its story dungeons linear. Randomization doesn’t need to die entirely, as a randomized dungeon could be an extra option to explore when you want to do some optional grinding instead of revisiting the story dungeons. Those dungeons don’t need to be entirely linear either; perhaps to play up the heist angle of the story each party member can suggest different entrances into a location and which one you follow will earn you different dialogue and events with your party members.

More Complex Game Mechanics

Persona 3 and 4 are both fairly easy for the most part. After you discover the enemy weakness you just pound on them with the right spell to set them up for an All-Out Attack. Boss battles are the only time you really have to establish a healing rhythm and deal with buffs and debuffs. The basic combat structure can remain the same but new elements should be added on top of it. Hopefully the return of guns will add some extra strategy to basic attacks and may signal the addition of rows into standard combat.

Different Archetypes and More Time With Core Friends

I love the Persona 3 and 4 casts, but one thing you notice right away when they team up is that they are very identical in a lot of ways. Junpei and Yukari’s relationship is very similar to Yosuke and Chie for example. I hope when the Persona 5 cast meets the older groups – whether in Persona 5 or in future spinoffs – they can stand apart. The Persona 5 cast can’t repeat the older dynamics; they need their own identity. The new game will feel much more satisfying and worth the wait if it breaks away from the past in regards to its central cast. As such, I hope there will be more opportunities to get to know the new cast. Your friends shouldn’t disappear from your life until you reunite to delve into the dungeons. I want to have more opportunities to hang out with them beyond just social links and the story events.

What’s on your wishlist for Persona 5? Be sure to share in the comments below.