While some new Persona fans are annoyed that we are getting nothing but spin-offs instead of Persona 6. But as long-time fans will tell you, this is how the cycle goes we get nothing but spin-offs for a majority of the titles in the Persona series. The only difference is now that they have a bigger audience with the release of Persona 5, we haven’t gotten the traditional types of spin-offs, mainly the dancing games and the fighting; instead, they are branching out into new genres. Like with the last new release Persona 5 Strikers, which was Persona meets Dynasty Warriors, and now we have Persona 5 Tactica, which is Persona meets Final Fantasy Tactics, and to my surprise, as a fan of both series, it was quite good in the end.
The game picks up after the events of the main game with the Phantom Thieves taking a well-earned break before their graduation, but then out of nowhere they are transported to an alternate take on Medieval Europe, giving the whole story an A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court feeling for the five people who get that literary joke. This setting also provides the events that take place a nice shield of “non-canon” blanket for it rest under for most of the game, that is until a point which I will not spoil that it starts to add some character moments for the established crew which caught me by surprise given the whole alternate setting and look.
As for the gameplay, it is much different than anything Persona has done before, playing more like one of the first Final Fantasy Tactics games mixed in with a bit of Mario & Rabbids because that’s only other big strategy that has gameplay similar to the former. I will say after playing through the game, I didn’t get that XCOM feeling that many people were talking about, mainly because with XCOM it’s about the game pushing your head into the ground until you grow to love the taste of dirt as you watch your random generated soldiers be killed by the RNG wheel. But in the end, I was surprised by how much I was able to get into the groove of the combat, when I slowly realized that they only added movement and kept all the charm that Persona is best known for. That and I quickly realized the best way to win a battle is not to go charging towards the enemy, but instead take cover and slowly inch closer. Because that will cause the hit accuracy will go up, but sometimes I did have that XCOM issue where 90%+ means you still might miss even if you are standing right in front of them.
As for the style of the game, it does something both different and similar at the same time. It has that snappy jazz-like visual style mixed with a chibi anime art style. After spending more than 30 hours in this game, I was able to get used to it, and at the end, say yes, this is Persona even if it does at first glance look like the Saturday-Morning version of the characters from the main game, but still has all the character traits that we all know and love. It was nice seeing the band back together for another adventure; even if the adventure was more of a quick detour when compared to the main game this one was created from, but it was still a fun time to be had.
So should you give this game a chance if you are a Persona, the answer is yes since a fan is who this game was made for. As for if you like tactical RPGs and want one with more meat on its bones, just like the late 90s, then I would say go for it because then you would feel right at home here. But for anyone who is outside those groups and have any interest in this game, I would say do more research since it’s one of those games that, once you get a glance at, you will realize if you like this game or not. Because, like I said, this is made for the fans of Persona 5, and I happen to be one of them, who when this game was revealed, I was meant with a “huh” and didn’t put a second thought until I picked it up for this review, and yep the best describes this game in a nutshell, go in with low expectations about seeing old friends and leave feeling satisfied and no desire to look back on this chapter of their life, knowing the next time you see them they will be in an even better place.
Score: 7 out of 10
Reviewed on Xbox Series X