Over time, opinion of Persona 5 S — now Persona 5 Scramble: The Phantom Strikers — has shifted from excitement to confusion and disappointment to massive intrigue. The game is not just another Warriors-style slugfest from Koei Tecmo and Omega Force. Rather, it is basically a full-blown sequel adventure that just happens to use Warriors gameplay instead of turn-based combat. Atlus recently held a livestream of the game to reveal many new gameplay and story details, and Siliconera has helpfully translated the highlights.
Persona 5 Scramble is far from a throwaway cash grab
Persona 5 Scramble is 90 percent complete, and Omega Force is full of Persona fans, so we can expect a high degree of faithfulness. As far as gameplay goes, there will be gun weapons, and time stops so you can aim them. Likewise, time stops so you can analyze enemies or select an attack from a Persona to use. Striking enemy weaknesses still plays into strategy, and managing SP will be important as well. Even buffs and debuffs are still part of the combat. Perhaps most surprisingly of all, befriending and fusing Personas will apparently be possible to some extent.
On the story front, the new character with the heart-shaped pigtails is Sophia, codename Sophie (totally a different name!), who “helps the protagonist and friends to be a good neighbor to humans.” She fights with a yo-yo and blaster, specializes in healing, and controls a Persona-like entity named Pithos. Meanwhile, the stern character with glasses from the last trailer is Zenkichi Hasegawa, a police officer, and we don’t know if he’s a good guy or bad guy yet.
Persona 5 Scramble will take place across Japan and in more than the locations revealed so far. The development team wants to give the Phantom Thieves “fun” things to do as a “reward” for their hard work in Persona 5. Siliconera describes the story of Scramble like this:
… the crew was in the midst of enjoying their summer by going camping or on vacation, but they find themselves getting lost into an unknown alternate world. It’s a fearsome world where one known as “King” orders Shadows to snatch away the desires of humans. There’s a series of mysterious “Reform Incidents” taking place across Japan. Members of the Phantom Thieves will travel and go about reforming the world from their camping car.
This sounds slightly reminiscent of the original concept for Persona 5, which, in lieu of the story we know now, reportedly would have seen the protagonist going on a backpacking trip around the world. In any case, here’s “The Morgana Report #1” for Persona 5 Scramble: The Phantom Strikers, talking about the new story and characters (in Japanese):
Siliconera has a mountain of bullet points about and screenshots from Persona 5 Scramble garnered from the livestream, so hop over there if you want the extremely minute details. Persona 5 Scramble: The Phantom Strikers releases on Feb. 20, 2020 in Japan with an international release yet to be announced.
Let us know how you feel about the game, given all these new revelations!