Recently Atlus sent out a survey to players of Persona 5R. They wanted to know if fans in the West would be interested in seeing Persona 5 Scramble: The Phantom Strikers localised. The game is a new yet familiar experience that was released in Japan on Feb. 20.
The art and a lot of the features are largely the same, but the gameplay is more of a brawler. Think of it as a Metaverse-style Dynasty Warriors… because it’s actually a crossover of the two. The story takes place directly after Persona 5, pretty much making it the sequel we were looking for.
No survey necessary really
Atlus should’ve already known that their North American fans would want the game. It’s easy enough to see online that fans want whatever P5 content they can get. Persona 5R was incredibly hyped and well received -- even if five months later than Japan. At this point they should’ve just come out and announced an NA port.
The game has been well received by Western fans anyway, as lots of people have just found ways around the Asia-only release. If you want it physically, you can just import a copy from sites like Amazon or Playasia. The only problem is that it can get a little pricey.
The other option is to open a Japanese account for either Nintendo or Playstation. But even with that you’ll either need an international credit card or a way to purchase currency for those respective online stores.
Different gameplay, but enjoyable nonetheless
The announcement drew some ire from people who thought it was just some cheap forced sequel. But the game is actually really well done. The story continues, the fighting looks great, and it’s actually not only about brawling. The Phantom Thieves still jump back and forth between realities and the game still lets you walk around and explore.
There is less emphasis on minute details and social management, but I honestly think that’s okay. A big part of what made me enjoy Persona 5 is the art, music and exploring the metaverse. I don’t take issue with the more methodical gameplay, but I did find myself wishing for something faster-paced at times. Then P5 Scramble -- or P5S:TPS if you like making things harder for yourself -- was announced. With that announcement I found myself excited for Persona all over again -- which is hard to achieve.
If we can’t get Persona 5 on Switch, maybe this is the next best thing. At least with P5S we’ll have some sort of Persona experience in a handheld form. I understand Dynasty Warriors may not be super popular in North America, but its various crossovers have fared decently well and fans are looking for more.
But it’s been four years, and there’s been a torrent of excitement over the latest Persona titles. By now, Atlus should have realized the popularity of the Persona series in the West, and just came out with a port from the start. Of course it’s a lot more complicated than that, but it’s mostly the excitement talking.
All that being said, I’m still happy to wait. It’ll just make it all the better when I finally get to try it for myself. Or I suppose I could just import it from Japan. Though I suppose that may be a little difficult at the moment.
EDIT: We have a confirmed release date for the port!