By now, it’s old news that Persona is inching closer to releasing its fifth installment. However, despite its very near future release, we virtually know nothing about the game other than what we saw in a small teaser trailer released back in late 2013.
We can only speculate, and I will most certainly do that. Persona 3 and 4 were ground-breaking cult classic RPGs that have only gotten more popular after their even more successful re-releases. Persona 5 is the series’ biggest chance to break into the mainstream with demand so high.
That being said, there are certain things in Persona 5 that I believe to be must haves in order for the game to be as great of a game and as successful as possible. I’m leaving out most aspects of game play. Quick saves should be a no-brainer and I can’t say I know anything about what the battle system should be like. These are just five traits that would make Persona 5 emerge as a truly modern and engaging RPG.
If you’ve played Persona 3 or 4 (that’s the furthest extent of my Persona knowledge, but Persona 1 and 2 are on my to do list), you’ll know that each of the dungeon portions of the games don’t exactly seem that different from the other. Tartarus was just ridiculous. Two hundred and sixty two floors of the same building can drive a man to insanity trying to beat that game. However, despite each dungeon being “unique,” Persona 4‘s dungeons weren’t much of an improvement. Each dungeon was kind of the same, aside from minor scenery and color changes. Persona 5 needs to make dungeons feel more engaging. The more open the dungeon, the more secrets. The more secrets, the more the sense of accomplishment. The more the sense of accomplishment, the more fun!
Deeper Social Links
I may have to be brief with this one because this point will tie in with another point I’ll make later in this list. The Social Link system introduced in Persona 3 was brilliant. Being able build relationships, make friends, get a girlfriend, etc. gave you a sense of real life simulation in the game. Plus, each relationship you build would make a certain type of Persona stronger when creating them. Building these relationships become a source of power, which adds another real life aspect, as we always draw strength from knowing we have people that care about us. However, this system has barely even begun to tap into its potential. The only place to go is deeper. Deeper romances with pros and cons. Giving your choices within the game good or bad consequences. Maybe your relationships with your party members can affect their stats in battle for better or worse depending on your morale choices in the game, but hey that’s another topic altogether.
I get why a game like this would have a silent protagonist. It’s so that you can put yourself in the role as a character and feel like you are really a part of the story. The main character is kind of generic and has a lack of personality because you’re suppose to put your personality into the game. Now, however, that seems kind of old-fashioned. This is 2014’s Persona, not 2008’s. There are games now that let you mold a character’s personality while still having a voice. Plus the Megami Tensei franchise has a lot of great voice actors, so it should be easy for them to muster up a few different voice actors to give the player a personality to his/her liking. Saint’s Row is a franchise that pulls that off flawlessly. These developers are smart guys and could make it work just as well. This should also go without saying, but the choice to be a boy or a girl should be in the series. Let’s face it, the gender audience of this series is pretty 50/50.
Nanako Dojima as a Persona 5 Protagonist
If there is going to ever be some shameless fan service in Persona 5, at least this one would make sense. Nanako Dojima is the little cousin of the main protagonist in Persona 4 who gets caught in all the fighting and nearly dies after being kidnapped and brought into the dark world within the TV. It’s very clear that Persona 3 and 4 exist in the same universe so there’s no reason Persona 5 shouldn’t. It’ll take place after the events of 3 and 4, so she’ll be older, maybe even high school older. Now, I’m obviously not saying she should be the main character, but as a party member and a teenager she’ll seem like a whole new character from the little girl from Persona 4. Her exposure to Personas in 4 and her relation to the main protagonist makes her a prime candidate to obtain a Persona of her own. This is a long shot, but hey a guy can dream.
Notice the italics. It’s beyond necessary. Persona was always a series that built around some morality bending themes. Not to mention it’s a game that already has relationships, personality stats, actions that affect the plot, different endings, etc. All the traits of Morality System without the Morality System. In the age of Mass Effect and Fallout, the choice to be good or evil drastically expands the depth of the gameplay and story. Are you going to be the heroic figure that protects the world or are you the ruthless anti-hero that will risk everything to accomplish his or her goals? This game already rides on some dark themes, so why shouldn’t your character be given the option to do so as well? The Social Link depth could greatly be affected as well. The entire game would become more in-depth in general. It would give the game replayability. Different endings, different character interactions, different—everything! How else are we supposed to wait for Persona 6.