#1: Persona 5 (PS4, PS3)
It comes as little surprise that Persona 5 was voted as the most anticipated game of 2016. I expected it to be in the top three right from the start. I’m just as excited to get my hands on the next entry in this amazing franchise. I was introduced to the Persona series a bit late. Like many of you my first Persona game was Persona 3. I remember becoming obsessed with that game, putting in tons of hours. When Persona 4 launched, I purchased it on day one and cleared out my schedule just so I could enjoy the game without interruption. Both games are personal favorites of mine. One of the big hot topics in gaming today is writing. Not just the story, but the characters, personality, beliefs—all of those things tend to be put under a microscope and dissected in video games these days. I find that to be rather silly, but it happens more and more each day. I feel like because of this, many game developers are afraid to push the limits, write the story they want to and not worry about if people will find it offensive or not. I’m proud that the Persona team is one of the few who pushes the limits, who isn’t afraid to write dark controversial stories, that creates characters with personalities that might be offensive to others. I love how they aren’t afraid to try and make a unique connection with the player, by sending a message with each Persona game. Persona 5 looks to continue the trend. Just look at this quote from director and producer Katsura Hashino:
“I don’t think it’s a stretch to say in this day and age that there are a lot of people out there who feel like they aren’t moving forward, that they have no future, and carry a lot of weight on their shoulders every day. They’re stuck between a rock and a hard place, emotionally speaking; on the one hand, they might not be keen on living by the same rules and values that defined previous generations, while still lacking the will to go out and actually break those barriers down themselves. That dark side of society is a central pillar to the game we want to make with Persona 5. In the midst of all that, though, you got these high school punks who are trying to bite back at a world that’s trying to pin them down. If our game can give people a little courage to keep going in their day to day lives, to face things head on and do something with themselves, then we’ll have done our jobs here.”
I can’t think of another game that touches on themes like this. It’s what I love about the Persona series. Despite all the unrealistic things going on, deep down the overall themes of the story, personalities of the characters—all of it—has a deep meaningful purpose. I can’t wait to experience it all when Persona 5 launches this summer.
Kango234: “Persona 5 is my most anticipated title, because ATLUS truly reinvigorated the JRPG formula by creating fun and engaging battle mechanics that doesn’t rely on grinding and characters with fully developed arcs that make them feel like actual people instead of generic archetypes. Not to mention that the art and music are fantastic.”
NeoHorizon: “I’ve been waiting for a new Persona games since the fourth and not some spin-off like the fighting or dancing game. Social links is what I’m really excited about in Persona 5 and I hope the character development is even better than Persona 3 & 4. I’m also excited to hear the new music and explore every part of Shibuya, along with interacting with every NPC I can come across.”
DesmaX: “I was back at my early teenager years when I got my hands on Persona 3 (And P4 later); I was at that phase where you’d try to “get an identity”, and the Persona games definitely helped me get through that… I’d even say they helped me become the person I am today, and I’m eternally grateful for that. Back then, I made a promise to myself that, by the time the newest main Persona game came out, I wanted to feel satisfied with my life. (Or, at the very least, being able to buy the game with my own money). A lot more time than I was expecting has passed, of course, but I feel like I’m actually getting there; I feel like I can keep that promise.”