Persona 5 Royal: How Long To Beat, Plus To Finish New Content

Persona 5 was a very long game even by RPG standards, and the updated version Persona 5 Royal is even longer. It earns its lengthy runtime by integrating social sim elements and RPG dungeon crawling to tell a heavy story and develop its characters. With a brand new story arc that includes an extra palace (dungeon) and series of events, P5R will be taking up a lot of your time.

I’m currently in the process of reviewing the game and have finished it, including all the new story-critical content. According to the overall play time on my save data at the very end, Persona 5 Royal took 125 hours to finish.

The aforementioned story-critical content alone (the new palace and semester of events) added about 18 hours to the original game’s runtime. This could range between 15 to 20 hours depending on your own pace.

Keep in mind that I played through the original version of Persona 5 twice in the past, meaning I was already familiar with most of the gameplay systems and what I should do on certain in-game days. However, I also took my time to make sure I got the most out of the game and its new content. Those who are experiencing the game for the first time may have a longer runtime, especially if they’re trying to be thorough.

It’s possible to finish the game and experience all the new stuff with a shorter hour count than me, but you’ll likely spend over 100 hours regardless. P5R’s biggest chunk of new content does come toward the end of the game, and there’s a simple sequence of events that you have to follow to make them available to you, otherwise you’ll follow a similar conclusion as the original version. We have you covered with a spoiler-free guide on how to unlock Persona 5 Royal’s new palace and semester.

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TheGamer’s Persona 5 Royal 100% Completion Walkthrough: January – February

Welcome to TheGamer’s Persona 5 Royal walkthrough. Here, we’re gonna be guiding you through all ten playable months of the game, making sure you’ll make it to the true ending with all confidant ranks and social stats maxed out— not to mention popping that shiny platinum on your first run of the game.

Going month by month, this guide will include:

  • Month overview
  • Notes on restricted/limited time events
  • Daily activity guide
  • Mementos and Palace notes
  • Recommendations/tips for combat optimization.

A few things to note going into this walkthrough:

  • This walkthrough is a modified version of this guide, optimized for further efficiency and combat effectiveness.
  • All confidant rank ups are dependent on you bringing a persona of a matching arcana when spending time with them. With the exception of Rank 1 and Rank 10, if you forget to do this even once it’ll set your schedule back— sometimes catastrophically, depending on the confidant. Make sure you’re keeping track of your personae. Reminders will be included when your only opportunity to prep a persona for an event is the night before.
  • However, the Sun and Moon confidants do not require matching personae.
  • This walkthrough is based on normal difficulty— you might find yourself having a hard time keeping up on higher difficulty modes.
  • As it’s not possible to 100% the Thieves Den achievements on your first run, we’ll be guiding you through popping as many of them as possible, but it will not be a main focus like the PS4 trophies.
  • This guide will be running on the assumption that you’re choosing a platonic route with all the romanceable characters to accomodate for everyone— if you find yourself progressing faster with your romanced confidant than the guide plans for, use the extra day as a free slot.
  • HOWEVER, we recommend romancing at least one teammate to acquire the PS4 trophy, even if you decide to reload and proceed with the platonic route.
  • Story-locked confidant ranks will not be included in the monthly exit stats.

All set? Let’s get started.

PREVIOUSLY: TheGamer’s Persona 5 Royal 100% Completion Walkthrough: December


And we’re finally here in the Royal-exclusive storyline. This month looks mostly like December, comprised mostly of free time and finishing off confidant events.

With that out of the way, buckle in: it’s about to get weird.

January 1st

All day story segment

January 2nd

  • Daytime: Forced palace infiltration
  • Nighttime: Unavailable

January 3rd – 8th

  • Checking in on your teammates. Proceed in any order you’d like.

January 9th

  • Daytime: Forced palace infiltration.

(Note: you can choose to view the “bad ending” here, but there will be another prompt to view the exact same ending later on in the month. If you’d like to see it, we recommend veering into it during the later prompt for maximum emotional impact.)

  • Nighttime: Unavailable

January 10th

  • All day story segment. Magician persona evolution.

January 11th

  • Class answer: How numerous they are, the Eight Million Gods
  • All day story segment

January 12th

  • Daytime: Buy medicine and equipment as necessary. Infiltrate the palace.
  • Nighttime: Story segment

January 13th

  • Trader Sakai: Bought from the chinese food shop in Kichijoji.
  • Daytime: Talk to Panther (Lovers persona evolution)
  • Acquire Mementos mission
  • Nighttime: Spend time with the Velvet Room attendant

January 14th

  • Class answer: Iwate
  • Daytime: Talk to Skull (Chariot persona evolution)
  • Acquire Mementos mission
  • Nighttime: Free.

(If you haven’t popped the Maid Cafe trophy yet, you should go tonight/every Saturday for the extra points.)

January 15th

  • Home shopping: no recommendation
  • Daytime: Talk to Oracle (Hermit persona evolution)
  • Nighttime: Free.

(We highly recommend using the Jazz Club, as they’re offering a powerful passive skill tonight.)

January 16th

  • Daytime: Talk to Fox (Emperor persona evolution)
  • Nighttime: Free.

January 17th

  • Daytime: Talk to Queen (High Priestess persona evolution)
  • Nighttime: Free.

January 18th

  • Class answer: Impressive
  • Daytime: Talk to Noir (Empress persona evolution)
  • Nighttime: Free.

January 19th

  • Daytime: Faith 6
  • Any
  • (phone call) 0, 3, 3

January 20th

  • Class answer: a snake
  • Daytime & Nighttime: Free.

(In general, using the Jazz Club is highly recommended on Friday nights, as they offer a +1 boost in every stat.)

January 21st

  • Daytime: Faith 7
  • 0, 0, 0
  • 0, 0
  • 3, 0, 0
  • 3, 0, 0
  • 0, 0
  • 3, 2, 3
  • 0, 0, 3
  • Nighttime: Free.

January 22nd

  • Home shopping: Sweet Party Satisfaction set highly recommended.
  • Trader Sakai: bought from Big Bang Burger
  • Daytime: Faith 8
  • 3, 0, 0
  • 0, 0
  • 2, 3, 2
  • 0, 0
  • 0, 0
  • 3, 3, 3
  • 0, 0
  • 0, 0
  • 2, 3
  • 0, 3, 2
  • Nighttime: Free

(The Jazz Club is offering another powerful passive skill tonight: bring your favourite physical heavy hitter.)

January 23rd

  • Daytime: Faith 9
  • 0, 0
  • 2, 2
  • 2, 2
  • 3, 0, 0
  • 3, 3, 3
  • 0, 0, 2
  • 0, 0
  • 0 (Platonic), 0 (Romance)
  • Platonic only:
  • 2, 0, 2
  • 2, 0, 2
  • Romantic only:
  • 2, 2
  • 3, 3, 3
  • 2, 0, 0
  • Nighttime: Free

January 24th

  • Class answer: Kind-hearted, negative, resentful
  • Daytime: Buy medicine and equipment as needed. Get fortune and alarm readings from Chihaya. Infiltrate Mementos.

(Note: Go as far as the game will let you, gathering stamps and taking out targets along the way.)

  • Nighttime: Free

January 25th

  • Daytime: Faith Max
  • Nighttime: Free

January 26th

  • Daytime: Secure infiltration route.
  • Nighttime: Free

January 27th

  • Class answer: to friends of friends of friends
  • Acquire Mementos mission: listen in on various conversations in Akihabara to confirm target.
  • Daytime & Nighttime: Free

January 28th

  • Acquire Mementos mission: listen in on the students talking by the entrance to Kichijoji, then speak to the two students standing at the northern end of the rightmost alleyway to confirm target.
  • Daytime & Nighttime: Free

January 29th

  • Home shopping: Transcendence set recommended.
  • Daytime: Buy medicine and equipment as necessary. Get fortune and alarm readings. Infiltrate Mementos.

(Note: If you want to put this off for a few days, feel free. February 1st is the last day you can do this without disrupting the schedule. If you re-visit the very last floor, you can attempt to beat the game’s first hidden boss.)

  • Nighttime: Free

(This is the final night the Jazz Club will be offering a skill, and again, it’s a very powerful passive. Take your best magic user.)

January 30th – February 1st

  • Daytime & Nighttime: Free

February 2nd

  • Daytime: Save your game. Get ready for the very final boss fight. Stock up on full-party healing items. Fuse the Faith arcana’s Ultimate Persona, Maria. Talk to Violet (Faith persona evolution)
  • Nighttime: Story segment (Calling card sent.)

(Note: this is the point at which you can see the “bad ending.” Simply tell Crow that you don’t want to go tomorrow, and it will progress automatically. Reload, and provided that you’ve followed through on the Justice confidant, you should get Crow’s third persona evolution here.)

February 3rd

  • Final Boss Battle.

(Note: There will be four phases. Phase one requires a pretty specific strategy: compose your team so you have one member who can use nuke, psi, curse, or bless attacks, one member who can use fire, ice, electric, or wind attacks, and two members who can use a high-damage, single-target physical skill (Violet and Joker are the two best candidates here). Hit each of the three tentacles with their respective weaknesses, using Baton Pass until your fourth team member (one of the two physical heavy hitters) can slam the boss’s persona as hard as possible with the Baton Pass boost.

The second phase involves certain skills or abilities being blocked altogether. The boss will always start by blocking magic attacks entirely, but then rotate the restrictions at random; these include no physical attacks, no Baton Passes, no recovery (item or magic), no defending, and no support skills. The main one to worry about is when he blocks recovery; simply defend until the next turn when he does. He’ll also target a single party member at times and unleash a powerful almighty attack on that character. When his persona’s HP reaches below 50%, he’ll have a two-turn charge attack that inflicts extremely powerful almighty damage on everyone. If you’re balancing blocking, buffing, healing, and attacking well, this shouldn’t be too difficult a fight. This phase ends if either the main boss or his persona reaches 0 HP— so focus on one or the other, preferably the boss himself to avoid his persona unleashing the two-turn attack.

Phase three amounts to staying alive until Oracle can find his weak spot, so don’t bother attacking— simply block and heal as much as possible until the cutscene triggers. If you have Maria, this shouldn’t be so hard.

Phase four will be self-explanatory once you get there.)

Once you’re finished the fight, there’s nothing left to do but sit back, relax, and enjoy the cutscenes until you head right into the true ending. After what’ll probably be around 120~130 hours, you’ve finally gotten through it all.

Congratulations on beating Persona 5 Royal! Ready for NG+?

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Persona 5 Royal: Crossword Puzzle Answers Guide

One small feature added to Persona 5 Royal is a series of crossword puzzles. Throughout the course of P5R’s year, you’ll find a book on the table furthest from the entrance door in Leblanc. Interact with the book and you’ll then be prompted to solve a crossword. If you’re successful in figuring it out, you’ll be rewarded with one knowledge point for free, and it’s worth doing because it doesn’t consume any in-game time.

Note that when you initiate a crossword puzzle, you only need to solve for the line that’s highlighted in blue. All other words around it serve as hints or letter fillings for the main word–doing these also helps whittle down which letters make up the solution since you only have a specific set of letters to work with.

So, here are the solutions for the crossword puzzles we’ve found in P5R (note that there be more we have yet to discover).

  1. How school years are divided: SEMESTERS
  2. Hanami: cherry (?) viewing: BLOSSOM
  3. Time for a trip: (?) Week: GOLDEN
  4. What are the May Blues: MALAISE
  5. Where art is shown off and sold: GALLERY
  6. A type of outdoor allergy: POLLENOSIS
  7. Nihonga: (?) cultural artwork: JAPANESE
  8. Label for an uparalleled artist: MASTER
  9. Held to inform the public: CONFERENCE
  10. Changes with the season: WARDROBE
  11. Exchanged all over the world: CURRENCY
  12. A border between air masses: FRONT
  13. Medicine of varying legality: NARCOTICS
  14. Many students’ greatest love: VACATION
  15. These gauge student knowledge: FINALS
  16. A seasonal sky-bound event: FIREWORKS
  17. A stationary hotspot: heat (?): ISLAND
  18. Necessary for dares: COURAGE
  19. A common skin injury: SUNBURN
  20. When it’s too hot to sleep: SWELTERING
  21. Techy term for e-infiltration: HACKING
  22. Localized destructive storm: TYPHOON
  23. Tsukimi: lunar viewing (?): FESTIVAL
  24. Establishing an order of worth: RANKING
  25. Absorbs the most light: BLACK
  26. Co-opted Celtic holiday: HALLOWEEN
  27. Lined up at school festivals: STALLS
  28. Tipster hotlines offer this: REWARD
  29. Laying into someone: BASHING
  30. Draws people to you: CHARISMA
  31. AKA sweating sickness: INFLUENZA
  32. What lights do for store signage: ILLUMINATION
  33. Politicians thrive on this rating: APPROVAL
  34. Joyful holiday with an intruder: CHRISTMAS
  35. A type of wish. New Year’s (?): RESOLUTION

For more on the game, be sure to check out our spoiler-free guide on how to unlock the new palace and extra semester that’s exclusive to P5R. We’ve finished the entire game as well and we outlined how long to beat P5R depending on how you play. You can also check out our breakdown of what to expect in the first 60 hours of P5R and have a full review in the works.

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Persona 5 Royal Review – Revealing Its True Form

When it launched in 2017, Persona 5 represented the next evolution of the Persona formula. Persona 5 Royal amplifies the stellar turn-based combat and masterful social mechanics, as well as the complex systems surrounding them. But it also adds new characters, story arcs, and a meaty post-game palace that ventures even deeper into the world’s lore to deliver the definitive way to experience Persona 5.

The gameplay loop of the original remains intact: You hunt for corrupted individuals, infiltrate dungeons based on their personalities, and battle through tons of enemies – all while going to school and developing relationships with various confidants. Connecting with people from all walks of life, learning their stories, and strengthening your bonds remains rewarding from both a character development standpoint and in the way these relationships give you useful perks. If you haven’t played Persona 5 before, this is the perfect way to start.

Even if you did play the original release, Royal gives you plenty of reasons to return. In addition to restructuring the way you level up your relationship with Akechi, leading to more meaningful interactions with this important character, Royal adds Kasumi and Maruki, two all-new confidants. While I like the stories of both characters, I especially love the bonuses they give along the way: Kasumi increases your HP and gives you an awesome dodge ability for when a shadow is about to ambush you, while Maruki raises Joker’s maximum SP, which comes in handy during lengthy palace infiltrations.

Kasumi and Maruki offer humorous and heartfelt interactions, and while Kasumi eventually joins your party as a full-fledged Phantom Thief, that doesn’t happen until the new post-game palace. While I’m disappointed she isn’t in your party for the vast majority of the game, her constant presence in the story means you’re already familiar with her when the time comes. That new palace and its surrounding arc serve up an interesting look at the weird way the world works following the events of the original conclusion, and offers puzzles, dungeon elements, and is unique from the other palaces in the game. I was initially worried that the addition of a new final boss battle would take away from what made the original finale special, but without spoiling it, this new end boss delivers a climactic and cinematic endcap to your journey as the Phantom Thieves.

In the 100 hours leading up to that post-game content, I loved revisiting the original palaces with their minor additions. Joker now has access to a grappling hook, which lets him swing to new points in palaces to find hidden treasure chests or the new collectible Will Seeds. Each palace’s three Will Seeds are often hidden behind grappling sequences, puzzles, or difficult battles, but if you collect all three and bring the resulting item to a new character Jose in Mementos, you earn valuable accessories to equip to your characters. While they all give you powerful perks or moves, my favorite was one that buffed an ally’s next magic attack to an extreme degree; I can’t tell you how many times that move helped me turn the tide of battle. As you progress through the story, you also accumulate Showtime moves, team-up attacks that play out through funny, over-the-top cutscenes that also have the capacity to get you out of hot water if you’re in trouble in a palace.

Revisiting the memorable battles against palace rulers is made even more fun as they now have additional forms that play off the themes of their sins. Since the palaces are based on the cognitions of the palace rulers, I loved seeing how they incorporated the bosses’ transgressions and twisted views in unique ways. While each of these forms adds something exciting or compelling to the way the battles play out, one boss battle operates on a time limit, and Royal’s version adds additional dialogue and a new form without adding time to the clock, leading to frustration. Regardless of that one misfire, thanks to these additions, the palace boss battles are overall better than those in the original game.

With so many additions and improvements, Persona 5 Royal is an improved version of what was already one of the best RPGs of the last decade. Whether you’ve been itching to enjoy the Phantom Thieves’ journey again or looking to experience it for the first time, Royal wears its crown well.

Whether you're looking to replay Persona 5 or experience the Phantom Thieves' adventure for the first time, Royal is your best bet.

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Persona 5 Royal: Guide To Unlock The New Palace And Semester (Spoiler-Free)

Persona 5 Royal adds tons of new content, chief among them is the new third semester that also contains the ninth and final palace, all of which happen after the events of the original game. But it’s possible to miss all those features entirely if you don’t meet certain requirements. It’s an absolute must to see all the game has to offer, so here’s everything you need to do to unlock the new content, as spoiler free as possible.

The gist of this is that you need to rank up three separate Confidants (Akechi, Kasumi, and Maruki) to certain ranks before specific dates. Some of the ranks are gated by certain days and events, and if you don’t rank them up by then, you’ll miss out on extra gameplay and the new, major story arcs. P5R does a pretty good job notifying you of opportunities to level up these Confidants; they’ll text you when they’re available to hang out and there is some dialogue that highlights important dates. You may still overlook things as there are some specific windows of when to do them. We have everything detailed below.

Goro Akechi (Justice Confidant)

First, let’s start with Goro Akechi, the Justice arcana. In the original Persona 5, Akechi’s Confidant arc was tied to story events and was unmissable, but in P5R you choose to spend time with him. You’ll first meet Akechi in early June when you take the class field trip to the TV Station. This is an unmissable story event that kicks off rank 1.

After rank 1 he’ll be in Kichijoji, the new area in Persona 5 Royal, to hang out. He’ll be a catalyst to show you some of the new things you can do like play billiards and relax at the jazz club. You can achieve ranks 2 to 5 right after rank 1, and there’s no time gate on them. However, his Confidant rank 3 requires you to have Knowledge and Charm stats at rank 3 before engaging.

Rank 6 is locked until a story event on September 3, and he’ll be waiting for you in Leblanc. Ranks 7 and 8 are then locked until November 2, but you must complete both before November 18. A word of advice: make sure you’re prepared to fight for rank 8, though you can always retry if you don’t succeed. If you do all those things correctly, ranks 9 & 10 will unlock automatically as the story progresses.

Kasumi Yoshizawa (Faith Confidant)

Next, let’s move on to Kasumi Yoshizawa, the new transfer student at Shujin Academy. You’ll bump into Kasumi on the train early on, but you won’t truly interact with her until the new park clean-up event on May 30. This is an unmissable story event, and you’ll reach rank 1 with her and open up her Confidant route (she holds the Faith arcana).

You’ll notice that Kasumi only has five Confidant ranks which is different from everyone else. Ranks 2 to 5 aren’t gated by anything and can be easily unlocked after you officially meet her–you’ll find her hanging out in Kichijoji. You have until December 22 to do all of this so no pressure…but don’t slack off, unless Kawakami says it’s okay.

Takuto Maruki (Councillor Confidant)

Finally, the last important Confidant to ensure you reach the extra semester and palace, is Shujin Academy’s very own guidance counselor Takuto Maruki, who holds the Councillor arcana. Maruki joins the story after the first palace and is hired by the school to help the students through their problems. There’s an automatic story event that introduces him, and since you and your friends have endured traumatic experiences, you’re required to go visit him early on. From there you’ll reach rank 1 with him, and throughout the story you’ll see moments of your fellow Phantom Thieves receiving counseling from him as well.

Ranks 2 to 5 can be achieved immediately after that, and he’ll be hanging in front of the nurses office on Monday’s and Friday’s after school. Ranks 6 to 9 are then gated until September 20. You can also do ranks 1 through 9 after September 20 if you choose since you won’t be locked out if you wait that long. Rank 10 then happens automatically on November 18 if you have reached rank 9 by then. However, you will be locked out of rank 10 if you do not reach rank 9 by November 17.

It’s also worth noting that Maruki raises your SP cap and grants abilities like Detox, Flow, and Mindfulness which are extremely useful. He’s also a refreshing personality and you honestly should just meet with him regardless; he provides perspective for mental health, which will be very important by the time you reach the new content.

A Few More Tips

To rank up Confidants faster, make sure you’re carrying a Persona with the same arcana as the person you’re hanging out with–you’ll receive more points for proper dialogue options. Oh and lastly, make sure to refuse any deal that would compromise your morals throughout the course of the story.

If you accomplish all these steps then you should be ready for the brand new palace, third semester, and everything that comes with them. When you follow through on the new final boss, make sure you have everyone’s Baton Pass at rank 3 (which levels up by playing darts throughout the game)–trust us on this one.

For more on this extended version of the original RPG, be sure to read our early review of Persona 5 Royal’s first 50 hours and how the new mechanics effect the experience. You can also check out how some changes were made in the localization process and get insight on how Persona’s localization was done throughout the years.

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Persona 5 Royal review – the king of JRPG

Atlus’ expanded edition of the award-winning Persona 5 adds new characters and new places to visit, but does bigger mean better?

The question of having too much of a good thing is something video games very rarely seem to worry about. The original Persona 5 was released in 2017 and, depending on how thorough you were, took in excess of 80 hours to complete. And now on top of that this new director’s cut adds new characters, new areas, and new plot elements. The original was too long as it was, and Persona 5 Royal is verging on the ridiculous. It’s just a good job it’s one of the best Japanese role-players ever made.

Persona 5 Royal is not a director’s cut in the sense that it features content originally left out of the original, but Atlus has done an extended edition like this before with Persona 4 Golden and Persona 3 FES. In each case, the gameplay is the same, as is the basic plot and characters, but several significant new story elements and features are added, along with a host of more minor nips and tucks. But because everything is integrated into the main story campaign you have to play the whole game again from the start – you can’t just skip to the new bits, the most significant of which are right at the end.

There’s usually little or no story connection between any of the Persona games but they do always have a similar initial set-up, as you take the role of an ordinary Japanese secondary school student who becomes aware of a supernatural terror threatening the school and beyond. But rather than some Tolkien-esque fantasy land the Persona games are all set in modern day Japan – Tokyo in Persona 5’s instance – and so you also have to survive the more normal social and academic adversities of being a teenager.

Despite its length, Persona 5 manages to introduce its premise with surprising (especially if you’ve played Persona 4) briskness, as you and your friends are pulled into a parallel realm called the Metaverse, which is sculpted by the subconscious of ordinary people. The first mind ‘palace’ you visit is the creation of a bullying and lecherous PE teacher who sees himself as a medieval king, complete with his own castle to lord it over in.

Exploring these dungeon-like worlds is where the game is at its most traditional, with a turn-based combat system that in terms of its fundamentals has a clear lineage all the way back to Dragon Quest. A legion of complications is gradually introduced, from elemental weakness to the titular personas of each character (guardian angel like manifestations of a person’s psyche), but the combat remains the series’ weakest element – despite the stylish presentation that makes it look a lot more inventive than it really is.

As unoriginal as it is the combat is perfectly enjoyable, with Persona 5 Royal adding new enemies, new perks for personas, and new team-up moves for your party members. But it’s the storytelling that is the real appeal, and how it affects your abilities in battle. This is most obvious in the ‘social links’ between characters, which can be forged in various ways, from simply talking to someone at school to going on a date, and which improve your stats and your combat options in the Metaverse.

Each day you have to make a decision about what to do with your spare time, with the in-game school year constantly progressing and ensuring you never have enough time for everything, or everyone. Although this is one of many areas where Persona 5 Royal offers some additional options, as it’s got an extra third semester to play through that the original didn’t.

The most significant additions in Persona 5 Royal are a new playable female character called Kasumi Yoshizawa and a new palace. Kasumi’s insertion into the main story can occasionally feel a little awkward, especially if you experienced it the first time round, and she only has five confidant rankings, as opposed to the 10 of everyone else, but there’s some interesting twists to her character that ensures that makes sense from a story perspective.

Kasumi only becomes a full party member during the new post-game content though, just in time for the new palace, which obviously we’re not going to describe here. We will say though that the new final boss encounter is excellent, even if the new ending is less clear cut and satisfying than the original version.

There are other new non-playable characters as well, including a new school counsellor that’s introduced early on and an expanded role for Goro Akechi, who becomes a new optional confidant. He’s often found in the new area of Kichijoji, which includes a variety of new clubs and hangouts that offer new mini-games (darts, anyone?) and chances to gain more perks and items.

There’s also a whole host of quality of life improvements, from Morgana helping out more during shadow investigations, to making baton passes easier to unlock, the ability to ambush enemies from a distance, and guns becoming much more useful. Main character Joker also now has a grappling hook, which opens up a range of new areas in each of the original dungeons.

The procedurally-generated Mementos dungeons have also been given an overhaul, with a number of new collectibles that can help in battle and the ability for Morgana to ram into enemies, instead of having to get into a formal fight – which makes level-grinding far more enjoyable than it used to be.

In terms of gameplay this is inarguably superior to the original version of the game, but in terms of storytelling we’re not sure it’s necessarily gained as much. Nothing is worse than it was, but the new story content feels like it’s adding more to the running time than it is to the themes of the original.

Persona 5 Royal didn’t have to exist, as the original was already near perfect, with only the old-fashioned combat and an occasionally lacking script translation holding it back – neither of which has really been addressed here. Criticising a game for not being perfect does seem harsh though and Persona 5 Royal once again cements the series’ reputation as the Japanese role-player that even people that usually hate the genre will enjoy.

You could argue that the game should be editing out content rather than adding it, but since existing fans are likely to appreciate the changes more than newcomers that seems a churlish complaint. Persona 5 Royal is the best Japanese role-player of the generation and equally captivating whether you’re returning to the story or experiencing it for the first time.

Persona 5 Royal review summary

In Short: The definitive version of one of the best Japanese role-playing games ever made, even if it’s easy to see the joins with some of the story additions.

Pros: Ambitious storytelling has real thematic depth, while stilling maintain a large cast of engaging characters. New gameplay changes are all positive, especially Mementos. Excellent presentation.

Cons: Apart from the quality of life improvements none of the additions are in any way essential, in a game that already made substantial demands on your time.

Score: 9/10

Formats: PlayStation 4
Price: £49.99
Publisher: Sega/Atlus
Developer: P-Studio
Release Date: 31st March 2020
Age Rating: 16

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Persona 5 Royal: Velvet Room Fusion Alarms Explained

Of the plethora of fun new mechanics added to Persona 5 Royal, the Fusion Alarm is perhaps the most dynamic— and versatile— of them all. It’s a high risk, high reward feature that jacks up the chances of accidents in the Velvet Room in exchange for powered up fusion processes. Utilized effectively, it’s perhaps one of the most essential mechanics in preparing the best personas you could ever ask for.

The ability to trigger Fusion Alarms unlocks after you’ve secured the route to Kaneshiro’s treasure during June-July. You’ll be prompted to enter the Velvet Room automatically as you’re leaving the palace. Provided you’ve been finishing the twin’s fusion requests, you should have access to upgraded versions of all three fusion processes.

How To Trigger And End Fusion Alarms

The alarms are triggered at random after you win a battle; any battle qualifies, even ones you finish via insta-kill. The alarms will be going off until you get back to the Velvet Room to either use them or turn them off by talking to the twin wardens.

The chances of triggering an alarm get much lower after your second alarm of the day, but there is a way to make sure you’ll consistently be getting alarms throughout your Metaverse visit. Rank 8 of the Wheel of Fortune confidant grants you the ability to ask Chihaya for a reading that will increase the frequency at which alarms occur. If you have the money for it, this is an absolutely essential reading to get before a Metaverse visit, along with the money reading.

Fusion Alarms end when a fusion goes awry— after a fun cutscene (in the case of the executions and electric chair), the twins will kick you out of the Velvet Room to repair the equipment. If you want to end the alarm before you’re hit by an accident, you can simply talk to the wardens or exit the Velvet Room.


When fusing two or more personas together during a Fusion Alarm, the number of skills they can inherit from the “parent” personas increases by one or two. In addition, anywhere from one to three skills that the resulting persona has may be subject to mutation after the fusion has finished— you’re given the option to simply watch them mutate, or stop the process. These mutations can be beneficial or end up erasing useful skills in favor of ones you didn’t need— it’s always a bit of a mixed bag, though there seems to be a higher likelihood that elemental magic skills will be upgraded to a more powerful version.

Thankfully, you’re allowed to save in the Velvet Room during an alarm— simply save before your fusion, and re-roll if you’re not happy with the resulting skills. One thing to note is that if a mutating skill lights up partially yellow as well as red, it means that it will evolves into a very powerful skill that would otherwise have only been available in the late game.

If an accident occurs during execution, the resulting persona will not have the opportunity for skill mutation, unfortunately.

However, there’s another fun aspect to alarm executions. A persona fused during an alarm will be highlighted in yellow in your persona stock.

Using this persona in other fusion processes results in a much higher chance of an accident, but using this persona in another fusion process has a fascinating effect: every single skill of the resulting persona will mutate into an arsenal of useful skills.

It renders the persona itself impractical in combat, but gives you access to skills that you may not have been otherwise able to pass onto your personas through normal means.


The alarm upgrade that the Gallows gets is pretty simple: the amount of experience gained is increased, and the strengthened persona has a chance of inheriting two skills from the offering persona instead of one. In addition, a persona can be strengthened any number of times during the same day if done so during an alarm.

However, there’s an interesting feature to the accidents: if a gallows fusion fails during an alarm, the persona will receive no skills or experience, but gain a stat boost instead. This makes the gallows operation the perfect process to finish off your Fusion Alarm with, as it’s the fastest way to max out a persona’s stats if used correctly.

RELATED: Persona 5 Royal: How To Max Out Your Persona’s Stats

Electric Chair

This is pretty straightforward as well: the item you get from electrocuting a persona is one tier more powerful than the one you would have gotten from a regular itemization. The skill cards you receive are one level more powerful than their regular counterparts: i.e., if you normally would get a Mabufula from a certain persona, you’d receive a Bufudyne instead.

In Royal, persona itemization can also yield accessories that grant the ability to cast certain spells. In an alarm itemization, the accessory is upgraded one tier to grant a skill one level higher, as with the skill cards.

Equipment follows the general method as well— alarm itemization will yield a unique version of a piece of equipment that has higher attributes and may have more powerful secondary effects.

Itemization failures are almost always disappointing, as it will give you a random skill card or accessory instead— but, very rarely, you’ll get a powerful skill card that you otherwise wouldn’t have had access to. Consider that it’s not always wise to reroll after itemization accidents!

What Raises Your Chances Of An Accident?

The most obvious factor is using the same fusion method twice in a row— the twins themselves will warn you about the consequences if you try to do so. It’s best to rotate methods to get the most out of the alarm before getting booted out— unless you’re trying to trigger an accident on purpose, of course.

The other factor is how many personae you buy from the registry during an alarm. Buying one will increase your chances of an accident drastically, even if you haven’t used even on fusion method yet. Buying two or more will guarantee a failure in your next fusion attempt. If you want to get the most of your alarm, make sure to have all your component personae bought out before you trigger the alarm!

Solitary Confinement

Not the most exciting of effects, but useful nonetheless. Fusion Alarms double the effect of the incense you use while locking up a persona for growth— if an incense would normally have raised a stat by 2, it will raise it by 4 if used during an alarm. If you’re planning on locking one of your persona up, it’s best to do it during your last alarm of the day before heading out.

Remember: effective utilization of Fusion Alarms will allow you to become much stronger than you could become otherwise. Make sure you’re getting your time’s worth out of every alarm!

Source: Ruliweb

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Persona 5 Royal Pre-Order Guide: Steelbook Edition For $50 At Amazon, Pre-Order Bonuses, And More

Next week, one of 2017’s best games gets even better. Persona 5 Royal releases for PS4 on March 31 in North America and Europe, and it makes Atlus’ already-massive, beloved JRPG even bigger. It reworks the storyline and adds a host of new features, including a new party member, mechanics, and cutscenes to make sure fans spend even more time exploring modern Japan and the psyches of its crooked denizens. It’s even changing some of Persona 5’s problematic scenes.

Updates like Royal are par for the course for the Persona series–both Persona 3 and Persona 4 received major re-releases–but Royal looks to be the biggest update a Persona game has ever gotten. We’ve been following the game since it was announced in Japan, and you can check out our P5R reveal trailer analysis or our breakdown of the several new features in the game.

There are several editions of Persona 5 Royal available to pre-order right now, both physical and digital. No matter which edition you pre-order, you’ll gain access to all of Persona 5’s original DLC. Below, we outline all of your Persona 5 Royal pre-order options.

Persona 5 Royal pre-order bonuses

There’s no official pre-order bonus available for all editions of Persona 5 Royal, but there are a couple of retailer-exclusive bonuses.

  • Best Buy: $10 e-gift card, emailed after purchase
  • GameStop: Free Joker Mask Pin

Pre-order Persona 5 Royal Launch Edition (Physical) – $60

The physical launch edition for Persona 5 Royal comes with a limited-edition steelbook case and a P5R dynamic PS4 theme code. Right now, the launch edition is on sale for $49.94 at Amazon, with availability for release-day shipping.

Pre-order Persona 5 Royal Phantom Thieves Edition (Physical) – $90

The physical Phantom Thieves Edition for Persona 5 Royal is a bit pricier at $90 but includes quite a few collectibles. Check out everything it comes with below. While sold out at many retailers, the Phantom Thieves Edition is currently in stock at Best Buy.

  • Official Joker mask with a stand
  • Collector’s edition box
  • Persona 5 Royal artbook
  • Persona 5 Royal soundtrack on CD
  • Limited edition steelbook case
  • P5R dynamic PS4 theme code

Pre-order Persona 5 Royal Deluxe Edition (Digital) – $70

The Persona 5 Royal Deluxe Edition is $10 more than the launch edition and includes the Kasumi Costume bundle DLC ($15 value).

Pre-order Persona 5 Royal Ultimate Edition (Digital) – $100

The priciest edition for Persona 5 Royal is the digital Ultimate Edition, which comes with quite a few in-game items. Check out the bonuses below.

  • Kasumi Costume bundle ($15 value)
  • Battle bundle ($10 value)
  • Persona bundle ($10 value)
  • DLC bundle ($60 value)
  • Six additional costume packs

Video Game Pre-Order Guides

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  • Resident Evil 3 Pre-Orders Available: Collector's Edition, Pre-Order Bonus, Release Date
  • Animal Crossing: New Horizons Available For Pre-Order Now

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Persona 5 Royal Review: It Sure Is A Persona Game, Alright

Honestly? I don’t know where to start with this review.

I’ll give you the basic preamble: Persona 5 Royal is a soft remake of Persona 5, the fifth entry into Atlus’s Shin Megami Tensei spin-off franchise first released in 2017. It adds new characters, new mechanics, and a whole new storyline to the already massively successful game, marketing itself as the definitive Persona 5 experience much in the same vein as Persona 4 Golden or Persona 3 FES.

Everyone’s already calling it the best game of 2020. I can’t share this sentiment, unfortunately—for me, it was the singular most polarizing mixed bag of enjoyment and frustration of 2020 so far. P5R takes everything good about Persona and makes it better, while taking everything bad about it and making it worse than you could have imagined.

JRPG Perfection

I’ll start with the good parts: the gameplay experience of Persona 5 Royal is flawless. Everything that was slow, annoying, or cumbersome about the original game, they took apart and fixed entirely. Baton Passes are no longer locked behind confidant ranks, the guns are actually worth using and investing in now, insta-kill is now actually helpful, and so on and so forth.

The biggest improvement, in my opinion, is how they restructured Mementos—the main “dungeon,” as it were, where all the grinding happens. Before, it was a slow and unrewarding drag that gave you very meager rewards of experience and money.

But in Royal? I could rave for hours about how organic and smooth the Mementos experience became. You never really have to put in more time than you’re willing to. The rewards you get are proportional to how far you are in the game, and the option to invest more time in order to get more out of your Mementos runs is incorporated wonderfully. I can’t even begin to describe the sheer satisfaction of reaching level 99 and 9,999,999 yen during my final Mementos run just before the very final battle. It all just felt so natural. I was never wanting for money or experience, but I didn’t get so overpowered as to render the gameplay meaningless, either. I appreciated not having to choose between those two extremes.

That’s not the end of it. I could write another thousand words about all the things they did to make the experience the closest to perfection I’ve ever played. All the improvements come together to create just the most wonderful sense of satisfaction. The game is still a grind that takes more than a hundred hours to complete, but it’s a good grind, a rewarding grind, a grind that’s so quintessential to the JRPG experience without becoming tedious or cumbersome as it was in the original. Judging by gameplay alone, Persona 5 Royal is hands down the single most polished, most enjoyable linear JRPG I’ve ever played.

Therein lies the problem with this game—if this were Etrian Odyssey or Doom, it would earn a 5 out of 5 for its gameplay. But alas, it’s Persona—and you’d think a franchise that prides itself on its story and role play aspects would actually try harder to make better narratives.

I Don’t Know What I Expected

If Atlus took all the criticisms about the gameplay to heart and fixed it all, they took all the criticism about the story and doubled down to make everything worse.

My first hint that the plot was going to go down in flames was in the final fight of the first palace. Without spoiling anything, I can tell you I was… utterly disappointed and a little shocked. Surely, Atlus can’t really have ignored the heaps of critics calling them out for criticizing sexism and misogyny in their first story arc while still participating in the very same sexism through their writing. Even if it wasn’t feasible from a development point of view to rip up and fix everything about it, the very least they could have done was not make it worse.

But, no. They absolutely made it worse via a fun addition to the boss battle.

It didn’t get any better from there. Other than minor alterations that were a bit hit or miss, the story went unchanged. The inane, forced team conflict that served as a huge plot point before getting forgotten without any meaningful resolution is still just as pointless and anticlimactic. That thirty minute cut-scene of nothing but exposition that literally everyone complained about hasn’t been broken up into more digestible segments.

Still, if they hadn’t touched the story at all, it would have been better. The gameplay alone makes it the superior way of experiencing the deeply flawed, yet compelling narrative of Persona 5. The bar was on the ground, and Atlus dug underneath it to plant the mess that is the third semester.

In all fairness, I absolutely loved the extra palace arc in and of itself—it raised some really interesting questions and tested the characters in intriguing ways. Even the un-fridging of a previously dead character was handled pretty well. But the way that Atlus incorporated this arc it into the original story does it absolutely no favors. Sure, the extra elements blend in pretty okay at first, but it starts to fall apart partway through. Then they interrupt the original ending to begin the newest story arc in earnest and it sticks out less like a sore thumb and more like a broken bone jutting through skin. You’re left with questions upon questions that don’t get answered in a timely or satisfying manner. You’re given a final boss fight that, while well-made and exciting, doesn’t have enough breathing room between it and the last climactic showdown for the fate of humanity you had to really have any emotional impact.

The worst of it all is how they handled the ending. Persona 5 Royal takes the more or less satisfying ending of Persona 5 and gives you an oddly paced endgame with the most… lukewarm, unsatisfying, frustrating ending scene. It takes every saving grace of the original ending and chucks them out for some meaningless open-ended suspense that doesn’t even really deliver. Even worse, if you haven’t played the original game, you’re going to be lost on what the hell is going on unless you’ve paused after the first final battle to google and watch the original ending.

In the end, I found myself wondering why they couldn’t have left the original story well enough alone and simply incorporated the extra content as a post-game campaign, as with The Answer in Persona 3 FES. Given the premise of the last arc, it would have been perfectly justifiable, if not more so than how it actually plays out.

The Quintessential Persona Experience

Should you play Persona 5 first, or start with Royal? Honestly, I couldn’t tell you. Royal is the superior gaming experience that makes the original feel clunky and tedious in comparison. If you’re going to spend over a hundred hours with a game, Royal is absolutely the better investment.

But then, you’d absolutely be missing out on the charm the original had to offer. Sure, the original story wasn’t great to begin with—first and foremost, it failed to actually examine the systems of oppression it shallowly claimed to criticize. But Royal takes it to the next level and bogs it down with even more surface-level nonsense while taking away what little catharsis it had to offer.

In the end, I guess, it was just another quintessential Persona experience: a wildly, wonderfully fun story-driven game with a story that fails to live up to its own potential and fundamentally misunderstands the core of their own characters. Atlus both made the most of and absolutely squandered the chance to improve upon Persona 5—and honestly? I don’t know what I was expecting.

A PlayStation 4 copy of Persona 5 Royal was purchased for the purposes of this review. Persona 5 Royal will be available on the PlayStation 4 for North American audiences on March 31st, 2020.

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Persona 5 Royal Is The Top-Rated Game Of 2020 (So Far)

With less than two weeks until the official Western release of Persona 5 Royal, fans are eagerly awaiting the drop of the all-new, enhanced version of the beloved JRPG Persona 5. But early reviews of the English localization of the game are already out – and it looks like Persona 5 Royal has already claimed the title of the top-rated video game of 2020 (so far).

Persona 5 Royal currently holds a score of 96/100 on Metacritic, based on 31 positive reviews for the game. With that initial score, P5R has claimed the spot of the best-reviewed video game of 2020. It is followed by other high-ranking titles such as Animal Crossing: New Horizons (91), Ori and the Will of the Wisps (90), DOOM Eternal (90), and Yakuza 0 for the Xbox One (90). The scores for Animal Crossing and DOOM are also based on early reviews, as both those games officially come out this Friday, March 20.

Notably, Persona 5 Royal has also taken the spot of the best ranked PlayStation game of 2020 (as the other high-ranking titles are for the Nintendo Switch or Xbox One).

But this is not the only early honor Persona 5 Royal has received. Metacritic pointed out in a recent tweet that P5R‘s score of 96 has pushed it to the number three position on the list of “All-Time Best-Reviewed PS4 Games” on their site. Persona 5 Royal‘s score is beaten only by the acclaimed Red Dead Redemption 2 (October 2018) and Grand Theft Auto V (November 2014).

If these accolades weren’t enough, Persona 5 Royal has also taken the spot of the best-reviewed game in the Persona video game franchise. It is closely followed by Persona 4 Golden (2012), an enhanced version of Persona 4; then followed by the original versions of Persona 5 (2017) and Persona 4 (2008).

Persona 5 Royal is the upcoming enhanced version of critically acclaimed JRPG Persona 5, the sixth title in the Persona franchise (a spin-off series of the Shin Megami Tensei video game franchise). The game follows a group of high schoolers in Japan who awaken to secret powers and take on the role of modern-day superheroes dedicated to taking on corrupted adults in power. The original game’s core themes of friendship, acceptance, and empathy made it a universal game that resonated with fans across the world.

Persona 5 Royal comes out on March 31, 2020, for the PlayStation 4. The game was originally released in Japan back on October 31, 2019.

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