Persona 5 Royal: Is it worth the double dip?

Sega /

Does Persona 5 Royal have enough extra content to be worth your time — especially if you’ve played through the original?

Ever since the third proper entry, the Persona series has been an RPG series like almost no other. It takes place in modern-day, focuses on high schoolers and had a really evocative cool style and the soundtrack to match.

The 2016/2017 release of Persona 5, however, kicked things up several notches. Is it the best entry in the series? That’s debatable, but it is one of the most stylish games ever made.

Every inch of it oozes cool from the opening animation to the dungeons and music and menus and even the win screens. It was also a very long game though; even rushing through it could take 80 hours or more, and to experience most of it in one go could easily top 100.

However, Atlus has had another trend since the popular series third entry — really extensive special re-releases. These weren’t your run of the mill re-releases that maybe looked a little fancier and had a tiny bit of new content. These often had enough to almost be a new game until themselves.

Persona 4 Golden for the PlayStation Vita is the best example of this, it took an already really good game and made it an absolute masterpiece. New intro, music, dungeons, characters, endings. It’s like some massive director’s cut with everything added back in in the best way possible. It’s easily the best game on the PlayStation Vita and one of the best RPGs I’ve ever played.

Persona 5 Scramble screenshot
Atlus /

Not surprisingly, Atlus has done this yet again with Persona 5 Royal, a retuned and beefier version of 2017’s best RPG. But things are a little different this time around. As opposed to Persona 4 Golden, which was released on a different platform, Persona 5 Royal is releasing on the same system as the original. Seeing as how you can easily get the original for $20 right now, is the extra content really worth it — especially if you already beat the game?

For most games of this sort, my answer would be absolutely not. But much like Persona 4 Golden before it, Persona 5 Royal adds so much and it’s all so good. There are new characters to develop relationships with, a whole new semester, a new team member, deeper delving into the relationships of characters than the previous release. And it all fits naturally and doesn’t feel artificially shoved in or added.

The new characters feel like they’ve just been there all along and are welcome additions. There are a whole bunch of new activities to do as well which add so much to the very enjoyable social aspect of Persona 5. It’s great to spend time with this cast and being able to do it more outside of cut scenes and dungeons than before is a treat.

And those are just the big additions. There are so many little tweaks here and there that will surprise you and also sometimes throw you off guard. Think you know how to beat that palace boss? He probably has a new trick up his sleeve you weren’t ready for. Think you know a palace inside and out? What’s this new area? Your teammates learn new double team moves that are very stylish and fun. You get a grappling hook that is not useful outside of specific circumstances but is just fun to use and looks incredibly cool.

I do have a couple of complaints though. One, and this is a big one, while you get a starting bonus from having a save from the original Persona 5 , it’s a really small one. I feel like they should’ve been able to import your data and make it basically a new game plus.

It sucks to start over from scratch. That boost, especially for your social stats and confidant levels, would’ve been way more fun and let you do certain things earlier in the game, which should be your reward for already having beaten it in the first place.

There’s a ton of new content, but there are two two big things I feel are poorly implemented. Your new recruit Kasumi is a great character, but you don’t get to actually recruit her until way late in the game. I had her confidant rank maxed out early on and she’s still wasn’t in my party even by the end of the fifth palace. It’s shorter than most, but that’s still pretty long. Secondly, the extra semester that adds 30 hours or so of content is also post-game, which you can only unlock by maxing out all of the new confidants, which can be tricky to manage.

light. Related Story. Persona 5 Royal: Five awesome changes and new additions

Despite these complaints, if you really dug Persona 5, then you should absolutely love Persona 5 Royal, so I can give it a hearty recommend even if you’ve beaten the original. It’s especially worth it if you haven’t played the original begin with and are looking for a new RPG. Since many of us are spending a whole lot more time at home for the near future and need something to keep us busy, Persona 5 Royal will offer you hours of escape. Persona 5 Royal releases on PlayStation 4 on March 31.