Persona 5 Strikers First Impressions | The Scribbling Geek

Persona 5 Strikers First Impressions.
Persona 5 Strikers First Impressions.

Returning to the snazzy world of the Phantom Thieves with Persona 5 Strikers!

It’s a great week. :)

After a year of waiting, I’m finally able to virtually return to Japan, i.e., Persona 5 Strikers is finally released.

A sequel as well as a direct continuation of the original P5 Story, “Strikers” will see the feisty Phantom Thieves travel all over Japan the likes of Yakuza 5. All the way from Okinawa to Sapporo.

There’s also a brand new combat system. No more turn-based combat but frenetic hack-and-slash the likes of Dynasty Warriors and Devil May Cry.

Woo hoo!

I’m getting too excited. The following is my first hour of play i.e. my first impressions. But before I share those, allow me to introduce the game package.

Freebies and Bonus Content

I decided last year to get the game the moment it’s released. In other words, I wasn’t going to buy the pre-order. Because of that, I didn’t pay attention to the package details. I was thus surprised the cartridge came with freebies.

Persona 5 Strikers Postcards
Postcard pack. Contained within an attractive envelope too. It’s like getting your own calling card from the Phantom Thieves. (Well, not as a palace target, but as a fan)
There’s a postcard for each thief too, if you’re wondering.
Persona 5 Strikers Nintendo Switch Bonus Content
The Switch cartridge box also has a download code for all sorts of bonus content. For example, a digital art book, the soundtrack, behind-the-scenes trivia, etc.

Persona 5 Strikers. The Phantom Thieves Are in Trouble, Again!

Onto the game proper!

After but ten minutes with it, my firm impression is that P5 Strikers is not just a sequel, it’s a direct continuation of the original game.


There is a brand-new combat system; one with quite a lot of new things to learn, by the way. But other than that, everything from the art style to the presentation, to the music and even the voice actors, is the same.

The open-world (in Tokyo) even has the same shops and landmarks!

Now, I know the above might sound like a turn-off. The likes of, is Atlus just rehashing content?

But believe me, it’s an intoxicating thrill for a series fan like me. The story itself begins with “Ren Amamiya” returning to Tokyo a few months after the events of the original game. Playing as him, I fully felt his sentiments.

(I keep saying “the original game” because after an hour of playing, I still didn’t encounter any reference to the additional characters of P5 Royal. Given Strikers was released as “Scramble” in Japan together with P5 Royal, I’m assuming Kasumi, etc., wouldn’t be referenced.)

Persona 5 Strikers Opening Screen
The snazzy opening screen.
Persona 5 Strikers Ren Amamiya
Like the original game, Persona 5 Strikers begin in medias res. I.E. with an excerpt from a middle chapter.
Morgana! I used to dislike him, but somehow, he grew on me after P5 Royal. (That’s a preview of the combat system, btw)
Persona 5 Strikers Yongenjaya
Ahhhh … Yongenjaya. In more vibrant colours and details too. It’s truly like returning “home.” The ambient sounds are fantastic too.
At the hideout! With the team still talking the way they did in P5. Ryuji, for example, still uses his “for real?!?!” catchphrase A LOT.
Persona 5 Strikers Shibuya Station Square
Shibuya Station Square! This made me felt a little sad, though. That green carriage, in real-life, was relocated in August 2020.

Persona 5 Strikers Music

A short note about the soundtrack.

Several tracks from the original game make appearances. For example, Beneath the Mask and Aria of the Soul.

There’s also a good number of new compositions. All were composed or sung in the same style as the previous soundtrack.

I’ll put it this way. I felt lots of warm, fussy feelings on hearing the familiar tunes. The new tracks were also catchy, and subtly, implied a continuation of the first game.

Thus, what I wrote above. Why the game quickly felt like both a sequel and a continuation.

The Hack-and-Slash Combat System

With brutal hordes of enemies charging at you every other second, the new hack-and-slash combat system can get dizzying, Everybody doing their own thing, including spell-casting, additionally means it could be hard keeping track of things.

It’s not unmanageable, though. You just have to get used to activating Personas using the R button, knowing when to “hide,” when to do an all-out attack, and so on.

The stylish finales/showtimes, and how you can dish out unique environmental damage, make most battles a joy too.

Persona 5 Strikers Combat
As insane as it gets. Shadows are everywhere. Your companions are dishing out flashy magic too.
Persona 5 Strikers Combat Hiding
Combat hiding. Takes a bit of getting used to for you need to scan for vantage spots. But do it and you’d be in for a thrill.
Gun damage. Unlimited ammo, btw, the likes of P5 Royal.
Persona 5 Strikers Mini Boss Fight
How’s that for a mini boss fight?

Incidentally, the first proper combat scene uses a re-arranged, powered-up version of Last Surprise. I thought it complemented the crazy fight very well! It truly “dumped” me back into P5 action.

That’s it for this first impressions post. I’m currently trapped in the first dungeon and I have tons of shadows to deal with!

My video game posts

Persona 5 Strikers First Dungeon
The awful dump that is the first dungeon. Makes you long for Kamoshida’s joy palace…

Persona 5 Strikers First Impressions | The Scribbling Geek
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Persona 5 Strikers First Impressions | The Scribbling Geek
Persona 5 Strikers First Impressions. The newest adventure of the Phantom Thieves is both a spirited sequel and an immediate continuation of the first game.

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