Persona 5 Tactica Review: Tactical Mastery with Innovative Combat 26

Persona 5 Tactica Review: Tactical Mastery with Innovative Combat

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Atlus has always been known for its innovative approach to gameplay mechanics in the Persona 5 series, constantly reinventing and refreshing the turn-based, Musou, and tactical systems. With Persona 5 Tactica, they continue this impressive streak, presenting a new take on combat that breathes new life into familiar mechanics and character abilities. However, as the third (or fourth, if counting Persona 5 Royal) game in the Phantom Thieves' saga, there is a sense of fatigue that begins to set in. While Persona 5 Tactica offers a more stripped-back experience focused on the fights, it only manages to satisfy to a certain extent.

In contrast to the strategic complexity of games like XCOM 2, Atlus has taken a more casual approach with their tactical encounters in their latest release. Similar to Ubisoft's Mario + Rabbids, this game, unlike its predecessors, lacks the random elements and intricate features commonly associated with the genre. Players won't have to worry about missing their shots or investing time in base building. Consequently, this simplicity sets it apart from past Persona 5 titles, including Persona 5 Strikers, ultimately preventing it from achieving the same level of success as the beloved Joker and his companions have in the past.

Exploration and Customization

Persona 5 Tactica, while lacking in exploration, offers a unique gameplay experience focused solely on battles, menu navigation, and dialogue scenes. The absence of the traditional element of touring an environment and hand-picking fights may disappoint some players who enjoy the thrill of exploration. However, the automatic sequencing of battles ensures a seamless and immersive combat experience.

In addition, the game provides opportunities to upgrade the party through menus at the hideout, allowing players to strategically enhance their abilities and tactics. Furthermore, engaging conversations between characters, both optional and story-driven, add depth and progression to the narrative. Although it may lack exploration, Persona 5 Tactica offers a captivating and strategic gameplay experience.

The absence of non-combat elements in the game creates a significant void in the overall experience. It becomes apparent that there is no opportunity to take a break from constant battles, as there is a lack of relationship-building, city sightseeing, or high school class activities to engage in. Even the side content offered merely consists of additional combat encounters with specific prerequisites.

While the narrative justification for this approach is that the entire game takes place within the Metaverse, it ultimately leaves the game feeling somewhat simplistic when compared to its predecessors. Consequently, if one does not find the fighting aspect appealing, there is little else to entice them to continue playing.

For those who revel in strategic endeavors, the combat in Persona 5 Tactica manages to meet expectations. As a player, you will assemble a team of three, with Futaba providing vital support, as you embark on a quest to overthrow the leaders of various Kingdoms, rather than Palaces, along with their mighty armies.

Persona 5 Tactica Review: Tactical Mastery with Innovative Combat 28

The Phantom Thieves, each possessing their unique set of skills and tools, seamlessly transition into the tactical realm of Persona 5 Tactica. This allows them to execute devastating close-range melee attacks, unleash damage from a distance with their trusty firearms, and harness the power of elemental skills. With these expanded abilities, players can immerse themselves in thrilling battles that require both cunning strategy and swift execution.

Combat Experience in Persona 5 Tactica

In the world of Persona 5, battles unfold in a manner that is both thrilling and strategic. As the protagonist, you must carefully position your party members across the map, ensuring they can effectively chip away at the enemy's HP bars. However, caution must be exercised, as the enemy will retaliate in the next turn. Seeking cover becomes essential to protect your team from harm.

With each battle, distinct objectives emerge, ranging from defeating all the enemies on the map to reaching specific points within a given timeframe. To accomplish these goals, players must make use of the unique mechanics that define Persona 5, seizing opportunities to gain an advantage over their rivals.

The addition of tactical twists such as the Baton Pass, One More, and All Out Attack in the game has significantly enhanced the combat experience. These mechanics provide players with extra turns and bonus damage, elevating their standard moves to a whole new level. In order to achieve success, it is crucial to factor in these abilities and incorporate them into your playstyle.

Even if the game is not particularly challenging, mastering these tactics adds an extra layer of strategy that rewards spreading your party out and exploiting elemental weaknesses. The overall result is a highly satisfying and consistently enjoyable combat experience that keeps players engaged and eager for more.

Atlus has taken customisation to the next level by introducing the ability to equip every party member with a second Persona. Each character, such as Ryuji with Captain Kidd and Ann with Carmen, has their own designated Persona. However, the game offers the opportunity to expand their abilities by calling upon the powers of a second Persona. This not only allows for more versatility in combat, but also enables players to incorporate a wider range of elemental skills into their builds.

By exploiting enemy weaknesses, players can now further diversify their playstyle. This addition greatly enhances the overall experience, providing the Phantom Thieves with the chance to tap into additional power and variety, ultimately expanding the options available to players in challenging situations.

Despite not reaching the same level of depth and complexity as Firaxis Games' titles, Persona 5 Tactica still manages to hold its ground against other notable tactics games in terms of customization and overall enjoyment. While it may not surpass the likes of XCOM 2, Atlus has put in the necessary time and effort to ensure that the combat mechanics are solid, rivaling even the acclaimed Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope. Players can still find themselves fully immersed in the strategic aspects of the game, making it a worthwhile experience for tacticians and RPG enthusiasts alike.

While Persona 5 Tactica is developed by Atlus, known for their exceptional storytelling in games like Persona 5, it falls short in terms of narrative. It would be unrealistic to expect the same level of plot depth as its predecessor, but the game disappoints in this aspect. Instead of the engaging storyline of infiltrating Palaces and targeting corrupt individuals in the real world, the game focuses on a series of Kingdoms within the Metaverse.

Unfortunately, the villains lack the depth and characterization seen in the real world, making them less interesting. Furthermore, their actions within the Metaverse fail to captivate players, leaving much to be desired in terms of storytelling.

Characters and Character Development

The addition of new characters in the Persona 5 universe, particularly Erina, the leader of the Rebel Corps, brings a fresh and entertaining element to the narrative. As the Phantom Thieves embark on their quest to escape the various Kingdoms they encounter, Erina's inclusion adds a new dynamic and perspective to the group. The overall plot centers around the mysterious disappearance of Toshiro in the real world, further captivating the players. While the tale may not contribute significantly to the Persona 5 universe, these new characters inject a sense of fun and excitement into the story, making it an enjoyable experience for fans of the game.

The famed secret club, known to many as the Persona 5 Tactica, is beginning to show signs of stagnation. The lack of proper character development has left these individuals with the same personalities we have known since 2017. While it is understandable that the events of the original game have shaped their behaviors, it has become apparent that fatigue is setting in after six years of experiencing the same interactions. Morgana's unwavering infatuation with Ann and Futaba's perpetual social awkwardness have become tiresome, leaving many longing for a fresh and exciting change.

While the introduction of Erina and Toshiro in the Persona 5 series brings fresh perspectives, it is clear that the Phantom Thieves remain the central focus and the true stars of the show. However, their characterization seems to have reached a plateau, leaving little room for surprises or thrilling developments. It appears that Atlus may have exhausted their creativity with the current storyline, and fans are eagerly anticipating a proper, all-new sequel that will push the boundaries and introduce exciting new elements to the beloved franchise.

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Visual Style and Presentation

The transformation of the story and its characters in line with the visuals of the title is crucial for a captivating experience, and fortunately, this is exactly what is achieved in this tactical spin-off. Taking inspiration from the Persona Q titles on Nintendo 3DS, the game embraces the chibi look, which is a significant departure from the sleek and stylish character models of its PS4 predecessor.

Surprisingly, this change works remarkably well. The adorable graphics not only add charm and whimsy to the gameplay but also enhance the exploration of the vibrant Kingdoms. Additionally, the chipper nature of the Phantom Thieves is perfectly complemented by the cute visuals, resulting in a delightful and enjoyable journey.


Atlus successfully translated the turn-based combat system of their 2017 masterpiece into a competent tactical experience in Persona 5 Tactica. However, the game needs to receive the same level of praise. The combat in Persona 5 Tactica is consistently good, allowing players to customize their party and master the various stages. This is where the game truly shines.

Unfortunately, beyond the exhilarating skirmishes, there is little else to the title. The absence of exploration and character progression leaves players feeling as though the Phantom Thieves have reached the end of their journey. While Joker and his comrades have enjoyed a great run, it is clear that Persona 5 fatigue is beginning to set in.

Persona 5 Tactica Review: Tactical Mastery with Innovative Combat 36
Persona 5 Tactica Review
Atlus successfully translated the turn-based combat system of their 2017 masterpiece into a competent tactical experience in Persona 5 Tactica. However, the game needs to receive the same level of praise. The combat in Persona 5 Tactica is consistently good, allowing players to customize their party and master the various stages. This is where the game truly shines.
Strategic and innovative combat
Seamless and immersive battles
Unique character customization
Lack of exploration depth
Narrative falls short
Character stagnation and fatigue
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