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Hands-on report – Persona 5 Tactica and Persona 3 Reload


If you’re a fan of RPGs, there’s a chance you’ve joined the ranks of millions of gamers around the world who have fallen in love with Persona. Great characters, long and compelling stories, and challenging and strategic gameplay have made Persona one of the leading role-playing game series. Once you’re immersed in the universe of a Persona game, it’s an experience that will leave you wanting more. To satisfy that hunger for top-notch gaming experiences, Atlus will be releasing two Persona titles in the coming months: the strategic spin-off Persona 5 Tactica launching on November 17, and the highly anticipated remake Persona 3 Reload launching in February 2024, both on PS5 and PS4. . We had a chance to play both games recently, so read on and learn more about what to expect!

Persona 5 Tactics: New Realm of Royal Respect

Persona 5 Tactica is a very different experience than the previous series. It’s not a remake, more of a spin-off where the beloved Phantom Thieves gang we loved in Persona 5 and Persona 5 Royal is moved into a whole new genre. At some point during the events of Persona 5, the team is sitting at Leblanc, watching the news and discussing the events, when they see a report about a missing politician. As soon as the report is over, the TV starts going wild and everyone finds themselves in a strange new place in their Phantom Thieves outfit. It’s not a palace, but it looks like a place of royalty, with a visual theme similar to historic France… and a giggling villain named Marie.

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This otherworldly realm has been overrun by spectral legionnaires, their tyranny only checked by the Rebel Corps led by the enigmatic Erina, with whom the Phantom Thieves quickly find common ground. But the rules of engagement in this arena are quite different from your usual battles.

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Join the grid-based revolution

Enemy skirmishes in Persona 5 Tactica take place on a grid. Here, during your turn, you can position individual characters and have them perform various actions: ranged weapon attacks, close-range melee attacks, or a variety of SP-consuming Persona techniques.

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The crux of combat involves positioning. Each character has a unique range of movement that can be affected by their current position and terrain. In addition, characters can use obstacles and barriers on the battlefield as cover to reduce or nullify the damage of enemy shots. The range and use of Persona’s abilities can also be affected by that character’s location.

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Where strategy starts to get deep and juicy is figuring out how to manipulate the enemy into putting them at a disadvantage while keeping the advantage in your own position. Close range melee attacks can knock down enemies or even push them to a different spot on the map, but can also leave you an easy target on the enemy’s turn if you’re not careful. Hitting an enemy’s weakness can knock them back and give the attacking character an extra chance to move and attack, but that same rule applies to your enemies as well. Taking down enemies carefully and maneuvering your squad members into a triangle formation allows you to pull off a multi-character Triple Threat attack, dealing a massive blow to multiple enemies caught in the crossfire. But even in the heat of battle, sometimes the best strategy is to wait and see: being in the right place at the right time could yield some benefits.

You won’t have to wait much longer to don your mask again and join the rebellion: Persona 5 Tactica launches on November 17 on PS5 and PS4.

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Persona 3 Reload: Back to the old school

Persona 3 Reload is a remake of the innovative role-playing game for PS2 that established many traditions for subsequent Persona games. Our demo took us to two distinct parts towards the beginning of the game: the first few levels of the ever-changing maze Tartarus and a challenging team expedition/boss battle on a monorail gone haywire.

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Winding mazes of Tartarus

Tartarus is a towering, many-storied domain of malevolent Shadows that emerges during the Dark Hour, a late-night period of time imperceptible to most of humanity… save for a handful of high school students. Gekkoukan. It’s up to these students, the Extracurricular Execution Task Force, to attempt to conquer the maze, level after level, night after night, until its mysteries are unraveled. Not an easy task when your shape is constantly morphing!

We take the initial lineup of the SEES expedition, consisting of the hero player character, the ace archer Yukari, and the sarcastic slacker Junpei, for an initial expedition through the dark and winding labyrinths of Tartarus. The isometric view of the original has been replaced with a more traditional third-person perspective, which really allows players to enjoy much-improved exploration and navigation features.

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Touch a shadow on Tartarus and begin the weakness-exploiting turn-based combat that Persona fans love. Unlike the original, you have full control of all party members from the start, with no awkward CPU-driven combat options, and an overhauled menu interface adds immense style and makes navigating the menus a breeze. If you’ve been on a walk through Tartarus in the past, you’ll be pleased to know that all that old knowledge of enemy behavior from earlier versions of P3 still applies here, but with newer Persona abilities from later games added to the mix, You’ll Now have even more options in a heated battle.

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Battle under the full moon

The second part of the demo, a battle under a full moon on a shadow-controlled monorail on the verge of derailing, was a bit more straightforward but also considerably more intense. The trio is forced to hurry and avoid a disaster with many casualties, including a timed encounter with a tough and highly suggestive boss with a seemingly endless supply of shadow minions summoned to do his bidding, forcing the use of many abilities. strategic. Here we got to see some of Yukari and Junpei’s character traits shine through as they reacted to the crisis, which ultimately resulted in a great team bonding.

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Persona 3 Reload’s gameplay and storytelling remain as compelling as ever, all bolstered by the improved visuals of both the environments and characters. The character models in particular are impressive, looking like they’ve jumped straight from the pages of character designer Shigenori Soejima’s sketchbook into the game. Whether you’re a longtime Persona fan or a newcomer, there’s going to be a lot to experience and/or remember when Persona 3 Reload launches in February 2024.

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