Finally beat Persona 5. It's a loooong game. I'm usually a pretty fast player and finish stuff well before the average. I don't grind, I read pretty fast and don't always wait for VA to play if that's a thing in a game and I tend to skim or skip NPC/sidequest dialogue I identify as pointless fluff. In P5's case I definitely didn't grind, as my level at the end was about 15 lower than the average player's (there are online stats for that ingame). Still took me 73 hours
. I don't recall the last time I played something this long. And I really have to commend the game, up to the 60 hour mark I wasn't even a bit fatigued with the game either. Only during the last 10 hours or so did I start wishing for it to wrap things up already. That's quite the achievement for a game. I still think it could and should have been 20% shorter at least though. Can't have everything.
I believe most people around here are familiar with the series, so I'll base my thoughts in comparison to P4G to make it shorter.
- The pacing is terrible. Instead of a varied mix between dungeon crawling and social life there are looooong blocks of nothing but one of them. 5 hours dungeon, 5 hours reading text, 5 hours dungeon etc... If there is one problem with this game this is it. It can't be this hard to break this up more. (And technically you don't have to play it this way as you can spread out dungeon visits more, but due to the time limit constraints, no one will actually do that, so let's not get cheeky here).
- I liked P4's cast more. P5 only had two party members or so I really liked while in 4 almost the whole cast was great.
- The school stuff should have been localized some. I don't want to have to learn the meaning of a single stroke in some kanji, the birthday of some Japanese politician from 250 years ago or the symbolism of some Shogi piece. Fucking weeaboos.
- It feels like the game is robbing you of social time all the time when it forces you to end a day early just because of some story event that occured that day that took 20 minutes tops. Met a bad guy on the street and exchanged 5 words with him? BETTER GO TO BED IMMEDIATELY. Come on.
- Finally real, handcrafted dungeons with very varied layouts and tons of puzzles. Gone are the dreadfull random corridors of boredom. This is a huge
- Good story. I liked it more overall than 4's. It's surprisingly political
- Social Links finally also have real gameplay benefits. And they are almost all so useful you even have to think hard about which to focus on first.
- Anything else that was already good about P4 stayed as good.
While I have a few criticisms, overall the game is very good and you'll be hard pressed to find alternatives that are as good in the genre nowadays. Since FFXV kind of turned out to be a horrible accident Persona is now defacto the genre reference and will probably keep that title for a long time. So if you like JRPGs, get this game. It's unlikely you'll be disappointed.