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Following the excellent Persona 5 and Persona 5 Royal in 2017 and 2020 respectively, we had been ecstatic to dive again into the world of the Phantom Thieves in an all new journey. Persona 5 Strikers gave us pause when it was first introduced because it deviated away from the turn-based fight and social simulation parts which have confirmed so integral to the collection, however the completed product delivered a worthy follow-up journey starring our favourite solid of Metaverse-infiltrating coronary heart stealers.
Now that we’re greater than a month following the sport’s acclaimed launch, we caught up with Atlus producer Daisuke Kanada and Koei Tecmo director Kazutoshi Sekiguchi to find out about how the collaboration got here to be, how the workforce remained genuine to the Persona 5 characters and tales, and what the themes of trauma all through the story say about the way in which individuals intend to reside their lives.
Warning: The next article incorporates minor spoilers for Persona 5 Strikers.
How did this challenge come to exist? Did Omega Power method Atlus or was it the opposite method round?
Daisuke Kanada: Omega Power reached out to us first. As you are conscious, Omega Power has already carried out quite a few different collab titles, and I might all the time felt they had been all very prime quality. As such, receiving the provide was an enormous honor, and in truth additionally an enormous shock.
Kazutoshi Sekiguchi: We have now many followers of the Persona collection in our studio, even together with our CEO, Kou Shibusawa, so we approached Atlus with real enthusiasm. At first, we initially pitched the concept of doing a Musou-type sport that includes a solid of previous characters from the collection, which we regularly do for collab titles, however after many discussions about what Persona followers would possibly get pleasure from essentially the most, we in the end determined to create a sequel to P5.
How did the Persona 5 Strikers workforce work to instill the sense of authenticity to the characters and world gamers had already spent a lot time in with Persona 5?
DK: From the earliest phases of growth, we made it some extent to do every little thing we may in order that our followers would really feel that this sport is a real sequel to Persona 5. We spent a whole lot of time discovering methods to pursue that, and centered on options we felt would align with that aim. Everybody at Omega Power additionally kindly invested a lot of their time into studying every little thing about Persona 5, which positively helped us create a sport that we really feel matches naturally into the P5 universe.
Regarding the authenticity of characters, though it is essential to put in writing precisely to their personalities and quirks, it was equally essential for us to not be sure they do not revert to how they was once. I really feel that always with sequels, characters are depicted regressing again to outdated selves and outdated flaws purely to serve the plot, after they’re presupposed to have grown as individuals. For a title that is a direct continuation of the story of P5, that type of private regression can be a disservice to the story we wish to inform, and likewise would possibly immediate followers of those characters to boost an eyebrow. As such, for P5S, we actually put a whole lot of thought into what these characters would really feel and suppose now that they’ve grown as people, and mirrored these parts into the story. Due to that, maybe you could possibly argue that the Phantom Thieves are offered as missing any main flaws, however I believe the 2 new characters positively assist with sustaining a compelling narrative.
KS: For us, the primary factor we actually centered on was guaranteeing we did not lose the integral qualities of the prevailing world and characters that had been already so interesting. Other than the sound, visuals, U.I., and narrative, we actually pushed ourselves to create one thing that felt really “Persona” – together with even particulars just like the digital camera angle, environment, motion motions, and Persona’s distinct sport mechanics. The truth that all of the employees concerned had been real followers positively helped.
Why did the workforce wish to increase the journey to incorporate cities apart from Tokyo?
DK: This was determined fairly early on. I consider it was proper after we had been brainstorming what sort of story construction we needed to pursue with Sekiguchi-san’s workforce, truly.
KS: As a result of this sport was being made after P5, we needed to incorporate a daring new characteristic that might make followers genuinely enthusiastic about enjoying this sport. In that course of, we got here up with the concept of getting them go on a summer time roadtrip.
DK: I believe P5 depicted important progress for every character, but in addition typically leaned in the direction of a dramatic and tense temper. As such, we needed to depict how these characters, having grown and discovered a lot, are actually having enjoyable collectively and spending their time as pals.
KS: Really, that is one thing we hadn’t shared with Kanada-san, however [Kenichi] Ogasawara-san (Omega Power’s producer) initially steered we restrict the growth to inside the Kanto area, as encompassing all of Japan could be too large. However, after speaking extensively with Atlus we noticed the potential to deliver a whole lot of cool concepts to life, which was why we settled on a full-on cross-country roadtrip. In fact, it was positively a whole lot of work creating every main metropolis, however the growth employees managed to include all the weather of every metropolis that made them really feel actual, recognizable, and genuine, so we had been very joyful to listen to individuals reward the accuracy of the cities.
The gameplay and circulation additionally feels surprisingly much like Persona 5 (till you get into battles). Why did the workforce determine to make use of framework and construction much like what was established in Persona 5 as a substitute of the continuous motion type of gameplay we’ve seen in different Koei Tecmo titles just like the Hyrule Warriors video games?
KS: I believe your first sentence is a testomony to how a lot we pushed ourselves to create a real “Persona” sport. However early in growth, we did have a prolonged dialogue about what path to take this title – whether or not we needed to pursue a P5 Motion RPG route, or a P5 Musou-action route. At first, we had been leaning extra in the direction of the latter, however after additional dialogue we began to see that what P5 customers would most wish to play – and due to this fact what we must always make – was an “Motion RPG” sport.
As well as, some voiced their opinions that except we went with an Motion RPG route, we would not be capable of totally make the most of the distinctive mechanics that outline Persona, corresponding to attacking enemy weaknesses.
As soon as that path was established and we began to experiment with all the assorted parts, we began to see a brand new method of approaching issues that was completely different from the prevailing Musou motion video games. Consequently, I do genuinely suppose we opened up a brand new frontier for a way Omega Power creates motion video games.
What did the collaboration and communication appear to be between Omega Power and P-Studio as the 2 studios labored collectively on this challenge?
DK: The Atlus facet was principally concerned with establishing the story and narrative, whereas Omega Power principally centered on creating the general sport system, in addition to contributing to the story. The music manufacturing was a joint effort. That being stated, throughout growth, I might say it actually felt like we had been working as one large workforce, collaborating throughout two firms.
KS: At first, there was a little bit of a slipshod “play it by ear” form of really feel to how we had been approaching issues, however as growth progressed, we had been having extra frequent conferences and the collaboration course of began to really feel far more streamlined. It actually felt like we had been one large workforce.
There have been additionally positively many moments the place I appreciated Kanada-san’s flexibility and willingness to take initiative. Some examples that come to thoughts can be when the core growth employees from each firms went out on a tenting automotive journey collectively, or after we primarily camped out within the assembly room whereas attempting to finalize the story, or any of our discussions that might begin off with “Might I ask you about this in the present day?” [laughs]
The truth that each firms had a deep respect for each other positively helped with establishing that constructive working relationship, and I believe that in flip contributed drastically to creating this sport that significantly better.
The one factor the Monarchs all have in widespread (apart from possessing Jails) is that they underwent some type of trauma. Most of the Monarchs even have direct parallels to lots of the Phantom Thieves (for instance, Ann can relate to Alice, Yusuke can relate to Ango). Why was it essential for the workforce to discover these themes with these characters?
DK: As I touched upon beforehand, a very essential query for us was how we needed to depict the expansion of every Phantom Thief. What it got here all the way down to was: What are the issues they’re now able to, as a result of they’ve grown as individuals? One reply is identical as the explanation that introduced them collectively: saving the hearts of those that are struggling. The opposite is saving the hearts of these whose ache may twist them into villains: in different phrases, the Monarchs.
I believe everybody typically desires to reside a noble life, however in that course of, we regularly encounter sudden setbacks. These would possibly make us push individuals away, or lose sight of who we’re, and finally we’d attain the purpose the place we simply cannot acknowledge who we have change into. The trauma that the Monarchs carry is a first-rate instance of that.
However, if in these moments of ache, we had somebody who’s keen and capable of attain out to us, that connection could possibly be sufficient to maintain us from dropping ourselves to that feeling. And I posited that the Phantom Thieves, who had undergone troublesome change themselves, would be capable of present that connection.
After all, dropping sight of who you might be is one thing that may occur to anyone, even together with the Phantom Thieves. The explanation that did not occur for them is as a result of they’d one another – a trigger to unite them, and friendship to assist them. But when they did not have these issues, they might properly have change into Monarchs themselves.
Having the Phantom Thieves change the hearts of the Monarchs is a method of contrasting the 2 methods of dwelling, and I believe it was an important strategy to illustrate how a lot the characters have grown as people.
What had been a very powerful messages the event workforce needed gamers to remove from a narrative corresponding to this, which is stuffed with themes corresponding to trauma and redemption?
DK: I believe essentially the most important message is no matter you as a participant took away from it. It is true that as we created this sport, we embedded sure themes and concepts that we needed our gamers to really feel. However I additionally suppose that if we tried to place all of them into phrases ourselves, it’d impression their significance.
Regardless of the person themselves felt and skilled whereas enjoying the sport is what’s most essential for me, and in a method, I believe these are the varieties of non-public, highly effective messages that may solely be imparted via this medium. So, if there’s something we might wish to say, it is merely “Thanks for taking part in our sport!”
Persona 5 Strikers arrived on PlayStation 4, Change, and PC on February 23. For extra on Persona 5 Strikers, take a look at our overview! Should you’re an enormous fan of Persona 5 and have all the time needed to attempt your hand at making the delicious-looking curry type the sport, head right here to learn the way in an easy-to-follow recipe!