(Review) Persona 5: The Phantom "A game you should save even if you’re not a fan" -Gameplay VRESP


Although it’s a bit of an old buzzword, ‘Persona 5: The Phantom X’ is a title worthy of being a fan.

Before I tell the story, I have something to confess. First, the reporter likes the turn-based combat unique to JRPGs. He finds great fun in analyzing his opponent’s strength, forming a party appropriate for him, and engaging in strategic battles. He also likes adventure games like the ‘Like the Dragon’ series. He enjoys all the sub-contents scattered throughout the world without missing them.

Above all, the reporter is unfamiliar with the Persona series. It’s not that I’m completely ignorant, but I’ve only heard about it from acquaintances looking over their shoulders. Even for such a reporter, ‘Persona 5: The Phantom X (hereinafter referred to as Phantom X)’ is a very fun game.


In the overall look of the game, the efforts made to preserve the feel of the Persona series, especially Persona 5, which can be said to be the original, stand out. From the game’s start screen decorated with the silhouette of the protagonist and his group flying colorfully over a building, to the overall artwork and full dubbing animation that fills in various parts of the story, the game boasts a level of quality that makes it hard to believe that it is a mobile game.

The story of the game also continues historical research on the original work. The original protagonist, ‘The Phantom Thieves of Heart’, appears as a playable character, and the leader, ‘Joker’, is depicted as a person who holds an important clue to the story. Starting with the different world ‘Mementos’ that appears in the story, the settings such as ‘Persona’, another personality of the characters, were also maintained.

If you wish, you can hear stories about the game's settings through conversations with NPCs.
If you wish, you can hear stories about the game’s settings through conversations with NPCs.

This is where the charm of the Phantom X comes into play. This means that even users who are not familiar with the original work are provided with an explanation as sufficient as the original work. This is something that recently released mobile games in the subculture genre have missed. The fact that you can fully understand the game’s worldview with just this game, even without background knowledge of the previous work, is definitely an advantage.

However, a problem arose in the process of porting the original package game to a live service mobile game. As we tried to tell a story that assumed a long-term service while verifying the unique storytelling method of the original, several problems arose.

First of all, the meaningless optional script is quite annoying. When the protagonist is asked a question, several choices appear, and the content of these choices is virtually identical. It’s so obvious that the same response will come out no matter what answer you choose, it feels tiring to be asked to make this choice.

The only thing the villain character does in the story is 'shoulder lifting'.  Although there is a setting that takes away human ‘desire’ through this...
The only thing the villain character does in the story is ‘shoulder lifting’. Although there is a setting that takes away human ‘desire’ through this…

Chapter 1 of the story, which appears to have been censored, is also problematic. Despite the vast worldview unique to the Persona series, the evil deeds committed by the villains in the series are truly outrageous. The story is that his twisted desire, having lost the opportunity to become a major leaguer for some reason, manifested itself as shoulder pads, and thanks to this trivial evil deed, his sense of motivation to defeat his enemies is greatly reduced.

Above all, it is not explained why the ‘Palace’, the stage of the game and the stage created by his desire, symbolizes lust. This is the part that feels empty, as if there was a different story and then disappeared.

It was a video that showed an important clue to the story.  Why isn't this being translated?
It was a video that showed an important clue to the story. Why isn’t this being translated?

There are also a few other small problems. As always, translation problems arose in this game as well, with subtitles appearing that did not match the Japanese audio at all, and problems with characters often going back and forth between polite and informal speech.

Additionally, some shortcomings stand out in the stage progression, which is the main content of the game. The ambitious puzzle elements are solved too easily thanks to unlimited hints, and the stealth feature is so low-quality that it feels like QA was lacking. As it is the main stage, I feel regretful and wonder, ‘Wouldn’t it have been better if more effort had been put into this part?’

Even though there were some regrets, I enjoyed it enough to stay up all night to watch this scene.
Even though there were some regrets, I enjoyed it enough to stay up all night to watch this scene.

But again, this game was so fun that even reporters who were not fans of the Persona series could enjoy it without realizing the time was passing. Even the disappointing parts cannot be underestimated because the faithful historical research that fully utilizes the charm of the original work is excellent. I can’t say it’s an authentic Persona title, but I would like to evaluate it as a good introduction to getting interested in the IP called Persona.

About Michael Steven

I am a news writer, editor and journalist with more than 13 years of experience. I have an MA in Journalism and have published work in various publications around the world. With me, you don't have to worry about copyright and defamation issues or being punished by search engines. You get original work that complies with media laws. Communication: I really prioritize good communication with clients, from their expectations to the initial plan and vision of the project in particular. Tell me what you want - even down to the level of 'how' you want it written. Nonetheless, I must note that self-expression is very important to me and I hope to reach a solution together with the client but not at the expense of the quality of the finished product.

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