My most anticipated game in 2020 is Persona 5 Royal. While it is not a new game, Royal will be a more refined experience. I loved the characters, the hypnotic turned based combat, and the slice of life school simulation aspects that made the recent entries in the Persona entries so memorable. Persona 5 was my favorite game of 2017, and I cannot wait to dive straight back into the game and see what kind of new events, characters, features, and enhancements that were added.
The vanilla version of Persona 5 was released in the west at an opportunistic moment. The first quarter of 2017 was when Sony and the PlayStation brand were hitting their strides in terms of exclusive content. Far enough away from the release of industry big hitters such as Horizon: Zero Dawn and Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Persona 5 was able to steal players’ hearts in April 2017. Persona 5 was able to improve on almost everything from its previous entry, Persona 4 Golden, including the gameplay, dungeon variety, presentation, and graphics. The jump from vanilla Persona 5 to Royal will not be as drastic as a full fledged new entry, but quality of life and further polish can still provide a great time.
Additionally, Persona 5 Royal will not be held back by the limitations of the PlayStation 3, as the vanilla version released simultaneously with last- and current-generation versions. Released exclusively on PlayStation 4 hardware, the game will be optimized for that console and hopefully have reduced load times, as well as more efficient battles and dungeon crawling. Royal apparently has 30 percent more content but takes about the same time to complete as the vanilla version. That itself is a testament to how much of a more efficient experience the game will be. Atlus has already advertised new characters, mechanics, Personas, and even an extra semester. Who knows what else Royal has in store for us?
Players have some concerns about Royal, especially regarding why it is being sold as a brand new game rather than just DLC. I would argue that with the way Persona is set up, with players being able to dictate the pace of the story one day at a time, that implement without overhauling the entire calendar system would be difficult. In order to make the process easier, Atlus may have decided to just take feedback from fans and provide us with another unforgettable experience.
That being said, I understand where the fans are coming from; having to pay full price for what is essentially just a definitive version of a game again does not sit well. This is especially true since the game releases on March 31, 2020, a month which is absolutely stacked with big releases such as Final Fantasy VII Remake, Doom Eternal, and Animal Crossing: New Horizons. However, I believe that, with all the changes that Atlus made in Royal, it is absolutely worth your time to play through again. For those who did not play the vanilla back in 2017, Royal is the perfect way to experience this masterpiece. I cannot wait to sink another 130+ hours into the game again to get that Platinum trophy.