I have been playing Persona 5 Royal for just under a week now. This post will contain spoilers for everything up until the second boss fight.
Are we all clear? Good.
The first thing I need to mention is the precious little angel that goes by the name of Jose. I adore him. As someone who did not bother with Mementos much previously, he does make it worthwhile. Both because he is adorable, and you can trade with him. I love that you can collect flowers and stamps. The whole changing the cognition of Mementos thing is pretty cool, and very useful. I hope that as the game progresses, rarer items (such as liquid mercury) can be traded with Jose. I think that would be very useful.
That leads us on to the whole will seeds thing. I actually like the addition of the will seeds. It is something else to keep an eye out for, and it feels like we are sneaking around for more of a reason because we just stole a will seed. I like to think that they play a more significant part in the whole palace thing than they do. It is quite fun to just search for them, and the item that comes out of it makes it worth the extra work that you have to do. I like how Jose can also make that item better. It’s like an extra layer of work that you can do if you want to.
Another thing that I am enjoying a bit too much is the Thieves Den. I have literally spent hours in there just playing Tycoon. I love decorating it however I want. I love how cool the awards look on the wall. I really love how you can change your appearance and become another Phantom Thief. I enjoy running around as Ann in her Metaverse gear. It is also entertaining to run around as Morgana in both real-world and Metaverse forms.
So far, I have found all the in-game changes to be refreshing. It is so lovely to be able to do things after the Metaverse, even if it is only in Leblanc. I think this would be less beneficial in New Game + when you have all of your stats, but as of right now, it is a nice change.
I wanted to bring up one thing that has happened to me, and it is only a small thing, but regardless, it is both funny and confusing. I have no chair in my room. My partner does in his playthrough. I have watched movies sat on the chair, but apart from that, it is completely gone. We can not find anything online about it, so I assume that it is not a huge thing that most people are dealing with. It is not a huge deal, I can obviously train in the gym, but I wanted to bring it up because I find it funny. Leave a comment if this has happened to you too, and then be can be chairless together.
Okay, so there is a big change that I need to talk about in terms of battle- Baton Pass. Like, woah. I definitely like how you can Baton Pass to your teammates straight away regardless of confidant rank. I am just not sure why it happened. From what I have seen, which (granted) is not much, the rest of the abilities are the same, if not a little changed to make them more specific. It does make me excited to see the new Phantom Thieves’ abilities, though. Plus, Baton Pass was a vital part to battle in some cases. And the new animation of it is excellent.
Lastly, before diving into the Kamoshida boss fight, we should talk a little about shadow negotiations. It is only a small thing, but Royal makes it so much clearer in regards to what certain shadows like and dislike by Morgana saying things such as “leave the witty banter”. Classic Morgana, always there to save the day. I imagine with the help of Yoshida, and the whole actually making it worth asking the shadows you already have for their power, shadow negotiation will soon be as beneficial as offing the enemy.
As for new characters, I am not entirely sure how I feel about Maruki. I do not dislike him, and I think he means well. I have not explored his confidant much yet, but I look forward to it. Kasumi has made limited appearances, unfortunately. I get why she made an appearance at the beginning because she is new and sparkly and needed to be shown off. I cannot say yet whether I like the fact that no attention is being brought to her. We know that she was involved with Kamoshida, even if it was strictly professional (which is doubtful, considering this is Kamoshida we are talking about). I feel like that may be part of her arc, but again, I doubt that will be all that will go on. It is just a bit confusing about why she is not seen around school. However, that might just be me not looking in the right places.
Okay, actual last thing before talking about Kamoshida’s boss fight now: the bathrooms. If you have yet to go to the bathroom, do it. Do it throughout your playthrough. It is so useful, and I love that they included a way to work out which stats you need to work on or which stats you are close to increasing.
So, Kamoshida’s boss fight. Not going to lie, it was harder than the original one. I sent Ryuji originally (I send him a lot, the guy is always pumped to do anything like that) to steal the crown and guess what? Kamoshida eventually noticed! It might have been because I had to focus on healing for a few turns, but regardless, it was definitely a nice touch. It is exciting and suitable for narrative because Kamoshida would have noticed Ryuji doing something he is not supposed to because he wants to make as much trouble for him as possible. From the trailers, I expected Mishima to have a more significant role than he did. The addition is still lovely. As for Shiho, it nearly tricked me. I was worried that once we took Shiho down, Kamoshida would just bring out another slave from the volleyball team. However, she was weak at whatever we threw at her, so she got taken out quickly, and the fight progressed. Overall, I think it better fits the narrative and Kamoshida’s personality.
I am still very much enjoying this game. I still highly recommend it. Come back next week for another update!