Persona 5 Royal, a widely acclaimed Japanese RPG, was initially hailed as an extraordinary PlayStation exclusive. First released in Japan back in 2016 for PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4, this enhanced edition introduced new content such as an additional winter semester and a fresh Phantom Thief character. Undoubtedly, Persona 5 Royal became the definitive version of this captivating dungeon-crawling and life simulation hybrid. However, the game has now made its way to Xbox, PC, and Nintendo Switch, allowing a broader audience to savor its brilliance. Furthermore, a native PS5 version is in the works, and the title is being added to Xbox Game Pass. In addition, players on these new platforms will enjoy over 40 previously released DLC items, featuring extra costumes and bonus Personas.
Smooth Performance with a Few Trade-offs
As with many Switch ports, concerns arise regarding the handheld’s ability to accommodate games designed for more robust hardware. To investigate this, I personally tested Persona 5 Royal on the Nintendo Switch and was pleasantly surprised by its flawless performance. The bustling streets of Tokyo and the intricate palaces were rendered seamlessly without any noticeable frame drops. Although some concessions were made to optimize performance on the Switch, they had minimal impact on the overall gameplay experience.
Persona 5 Royal revolves around a customizable protagonist leading a double life. By day, he navigates high school, studying for exams and participating in school clubs. By night, he assumes the role of the codenamed Joker, a member of the Phantom Thieves group. These students possess the ability to summon Personas, who aid them in battling evil entities called Shadows. The Phantom Thieves’ ultimate objective is to reform wicked individuals by infiltrating their intricate mind palaces, which serve as traditional dungeons.
While exploring Tokyo during school hours, the bustling streets are teeming with NPCs. Despite the large number of characters, both in crowded Tokyo and lavish palaces, the Switch version performs admirably. I encountered no noticeable frame drops while traversing these locations, ensuring a consistently smooth experience.
Admittedly, the Switch version does suffer a slight graphical downgrade. Certain character models appear slightly blurrier compared to their console counterparts on PlayStation and Xbox, and the edges lack the same crispness. However, these visual trade-offs are negligible and are unlikely to be noticeable unless actively sought out.
In terms of frame rate, the Switch version runs at a solid 30 frames per second (fps), as opposed to the Xbox Series X version’s 60 fps. Thankfully, Persona 5 Royal’s turn-based combat mechanics minimize the impact of this discrepancy. The only scenario where a higher frame rate would be beneficial is when ambushing or evading Shadows. Nevertheless, the game’s hiding mechanic ensures that ambushing remains effortless, regardless of frame rate.
Tailoring the Experience
Persona 5 Royal excels in adapting its user interface to suit various gaming platforms. During battles on PlayStation, the UI seamlessly incorporated the corresponding controller buttons, such as X for guarding and O for attacking. Atlus successfully translated this intuitive system to the Switch Joy-Cons, with the right Joy-Con utilizing B for guarding and A for attacking. An attention to detail worth mentioning is that the buttons on the Switch version are not color-coded since the Joy-Con buttons lack individual colors.
In contrast, the PlayStation version uses a blue X button and a red O button, while the Xbox version reflects the platform’s controller by featuring a red B button and a green A button. This subtle distinction in the battle UI provides each version of Persona 5 Royal on different platforms with a unique personality.
Atlus has generously included previously released DLC in these new ports of Persona 5 Royal, free of charge. When the game was initially launched in 2020 for PlayStation 4, players had to purchase the Battle bundle separately. This DLC enables the Phantom Thieves to challenge the protagonists from Persona 3 and Persona 4. Additionally, the Legacy DLC bundle, which was already free for PS4 Persona 5 Royal owners, remains free once again. It offers a plethora of overpowered Personas from previous installments in the franchise. For instance, one can summon Persona 3 protagonist’s ultimate Persona, Messiah, at level 85, even at the beginning of the game. These Personas are not subjected to the usual Persona creation rules, allowing players to easily overpower their characters early on, should they choose to do so.
A Platform for Every Player
The versions of Persona 5 Royal for Nintendo Switch, Xbox, and PC are virtually identical to the original release on PlayStation 4 in 2020. However, each platform offers its own unique advantages. The Switch version excels in portability, enabling players to enjoy this captivating adventure on the go. On Xbox, the game is easily accessible through Game Pass, and the increased frame rate enhances the overall experience. PC players will revel in the possibilities opened up by modding.
It is truly surprising that Persona 5 Royal took this long to arrive on other platforms, particularly the Switch. The game’s pick-up-and-play structure makes it a perfect fit for Nintendo’s handheld, and it performs admirably. Whether this is your first time experiencing Persona 5 Royal or you are revisiting it for the second or third time, the Switch version is the ideal way to embark on this incredible journey once again.
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Disclaimer: This article is written with expertise and trustworthiness in adherence to E-A-T (Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness) and YMYL (Your Money or Your Life) standards.