With the release of Persona 5 in 2016, players could once again immerse themselves in the captivating story of school life and the battle against mysterious powers. But that was just the beginning of the series’ success, which blossomed with the publishing of Persona 5 Royal and Persona 5 Strikers.
Many Persona fans have trouble distinguishing all three versions of Persona 5. The available descriptions suggest it is one game in three different versions. But what sets them apart? And which is better? To find the answers to that question, we’ve created the ultimate comparison.
Persona 5 Royal is — in a nutshell — an improved expansion of the classic Persona 5. So if you’ve already played Persona 5 but dream of continuing this adventure in a refreshed version with new content, it will definitely meet your expectations. Royal is the same story, with turn-based combat mechanics and heroes, but with more quests, unique locations, and hours of satisfying gameplay.
Strikers is a whole different story. Developed by Omega Force, it offers gameplay in the Dynasty Warriors style – which means more action and adrenaline-fueled combat. It takes place half a year after the Persona 5 events, revealing the continuation of the protagonists’ fate. Strange events start happening in Japan, and only the Phantom Thieves can prevent the tragedy. As in Persona 5, the gameplay focuses on strengthening bonds between the characters, creating powerful persona variants and exploration. But the most significant difference is the combat system, which is much more dynamic and happens in real time.
Both titles introduce completely new, charming characters. In Royal, you will meet Kasumi Yoshizawa – a red-haired schoolgirl joining the group of heroes around the same time as the protagonist of the whole story. The girl plays a significant role in this version of events and adds original elements to the plot. In Persona Royal, you will also meet two new side characters enriching the entire adventure with many additional storylines.
The new Persona 5 Strikers characters are stealing the whole show. In the sequel, you will meet Sophia – a charming AI who wants to explore the human world. Her encounters with the main characters create a series of endearing and funny situations that add color to the plot. Strikers also introduce the character of Zenkichi Hasegawa – a cop working with the Thieves of Hearts. He is the only adult addition to the story, spicing up the adventure with mature features and perfectly written dialogues.
As in the original Persona 5, Royal features a turn-based combat system based on various weapons, special attacks, and persona powers. The latter can be obtained in a fight or through negotiations. Strikers introduces many novelties to the combat system.
First, it features real-time hack-and-slash battles, also based on summoning personas. The hits speed matters a lot, and time stops during the selection of specific heroes, thanks to which players can have a moment to develop a strategy. What’s more, Strikers allows you to control other playable characters that provide unique skills and parameters.
The plot of Persona 5 Royal is entirely the same as in the classic Persona 5 but supplemented with extra threads. New characters, places, and events make it much more interesting, delivering content that we can name as Persona 5 director’s cut. The heroes can now experience the entire third semester of school to encounter new characters and events that enrich the story. This game also has several different endings depending on the decisions made by the player during the adventure.
Strikers is a sequel to Persona 5, showing the continuation of the adventures of its heroes. Unlike Royal, the plot is linear and features only one ending. So no matter how many times you play this video game – you will always get the same result. And how long to beat is it? The entire gameplay takes between 30 and 70 hours. In Royal, you can expect over a hundred hours of addictive gameplay.
Graphics and music
Both games offer an exceptionally high audiovisual level. Persona Royal significantly improves the characters’ 3D appearance and texture detail by introducing support for 4K resolution on PlayStation 4 Pro. The title also features new music composed by Shoji Meguro. But despite all these perks, Persona 5 Strikers is still graphically better than Royal. The animations are smooth, the locations beautiful, and the special effects spectacular. It is generally better at introducing a perfect immersion to an anime high school trip vibe.
Strikers vs Royal – which one is better?
Despite the massive list of Royal’s pros, Strikers still win this duel. Simply because it is a sequel with an impressive performance level. You can live without exploring Persona 5’s extensive story in Royal – but it would be a devastating loss not to play Strikers. It’s more dynamic, introduces better characters and new bosses, and concentrates the essence of an unforgettable story into thirty hours of gripping gameplay. It’s also a great choice in case of another sequel to the Persona 5 release and a perfect escape from the gripping but slightly heavy atmosphere of Royal.
Of course, if you want to get the most out of this series, definitely play both games. But if you’re looking for something to scratch that Persona 5 itch or are on a tight budget – play Persona 5 Strikers.