As Persona 5 continues to enjoy success years after its release, Atlus remains devoted to the title, evidenced by numerous ports and spin-off titles like Strikers. The latest addition to this lineup is Persona 5 Tactica, a grid-based strategy RPG. While Atlus’s willingness to experiment with the established Persona 5 formula is commendable, fans of the main series may question whether a SRPG approach is worth the risk. Fortunately, Persona 5 Tactica proves to be an interesting SRPG that will surely captivate the interest of both its existing fan base and strategy RPG enthusiasts.
Persona 5 Tactica serves as a direct continuation of Persona 5, offering a sense of familiarity for fans of the original game. Players who have experienced Persona 5 will feel at home with the characters introduced in this installment. The narrative begins by following the events of Persona 5 Royal, where the Phantom Thieves, eager for a thrilling adventure, find themselves in a familiar yet uncharted territory.
Joker and the rest of the Phantom Thieves crew discover a Metaverse that mirrors their world, much like Le Blanc. The crew becomes determined to find a way back to their reality. Along this journey, they encounter Marie, a tyrannical leader, and her minions, posing challenges that must be overcome. To navigate through the unfamiliar “kingdoms” of the Metaverse, the crew forms alliances with new characters, Erina and Toshiro, enriching the storyline with fresh personalities and perspectives.
Persona 5 Tactica commences with visual-novel style cutscenes, establishing a slower pace that may initially feel like a slog to some players. However, allowing time for the story to unfold proves worthwhile, as players will discover the engaging plot of Persona 5 Tactica to be rewarding as it develops. In contrast to Persona 5 Royal, which prominently focuses on Joker and his background, Persona 5 Tactica delves into the stories of each character. The visual-novel style enhances the enjoyment of the narrative, making the conversations both fun to read and watch, providing a unique and entertaining experience.
In terms of gameplay, Persona 5 Tactica forgoes exploration, offering players a series of menus for navigation. When not in battle, the Phantom Thieves convene in Le Blanc, allowing for conversations, visits to the Velvet Room, equipment purchases, and engagement in side quests and missions. The menu system is simplified for easy accessibility.
Regarding combat, players will find themselves on a grid-based battlefield in Persona 5 Tactica. The combat operates on a turn-based system, allowing players to move up to three characters and initiate attacks. In contrast to the Persona 5 combat system, which often feels restrictive, Persona 5 Tactica introduces a breath of fresh air by providing customization options. This encourages players to experiment with different characters and strategies to determine the most effective approach for a given battlefield.
Success in battle relies on proper positioning and selecting the right team members. This not only provides an advantage but also triggers special attacks, including the “One More Time” action upon dealing a critical hit or initiating Triple Attacks. The latter mimics the All Out Attack from Persona 5, requiring players to surround their enemies in a triangular formation. Understanding each character’s skills and movement patterns becomes crucial, as individual characters may have limited mobility, specialize in specific skills, or possess unique attributes.
In essence, it is beneficial to familiarize oneself with the diverse skills of each character and how they navigate the battlefield. Some characters may have restricted movement, while others may offer greater flexibility. Additionally, individual characters may specialize in specific skills, providing a strategic edge when forming a well-balanced team in Persona 5 Tactica.
The individual leveling system present in previous Persona titles is replaced in Persona 5 Tactica. Instead of characters gaining levels individually, the entire Phantom Thieves team levels up collectively, earning SPs that unlock skills and special attacks. Notably, every character in Tactica can dual-wield Personas, a departure from the main game where they were restricted to one, except for Joker.
The Velvet Room in Tactica makes a comeback, reintroducing the persona fusion feature. As players progress through each stage, they earn personas that can be fused together. The resulting fusion depends on the combination of personas chosen, potentially unlocking either a passive or active skill that the Phantom Thieves characters can inherit and utilize.
A notable aspect of Persona 5 Tactica is that each character in the game can utilize an additional skill from the persona they equip, augmenting their main persona. This adds an exciting layer to the combat system, providing players with increased customization options. The ability to experiment with various combinations enhances the overall gaming experience, allowing players to tailor their strategies and tactics to suit their preferences.
Visually, Persona 5 Tactica boasts an adorable and appealing aesthetic. While some may initially be wary of the visual-novel style and Chibi-like characters, spending time with the game reveals its charm. There are no slowdown issues on either the PC or PS5 versions, with the game running smoothly. For handheld PC users, Persona 5 Tactica performs exceptionally well at low TDP, with ROG Ally achieving 60fps on Silent profile and Legion Go users able to toggle Custom TDP to 10 for a similar experience.
Persona 5 Tactica Review Verdict
Persona 5 Tactica: Persona 5 Tactica is an enjoyable strategy RPG title that offers a unique take on the Persona 5 universe, making the combat system enjoyable and the story endearing. While the game may start off sluggishly as the story builds up, it pays off later for those willing to take the plunge. For fans fond of Persona 5 Royal and eager to experience more of the Phantom Thieves' adventures, Persona 5 Tactica is an easy recommendation. – Mark