Last week the Persona 5 Scramble: The Phantom Strikers demo went live on both Playstation 4 and Nintendo Switch in Japan. With a lot of excitement surrounding the title and still no news on any Western release, we were excited to dig in with what the demo offers. Please note this is an Impressions of the Japanese Nintendo Switch demo.
When you first boot up the demo, you are greeted with the Persona stylised menu, everything you know and love from the Persona series. When you start a new game you are then thrown into a lovely crafted anime scene showing the titular character Joker dashing from roof to roof. We now get to enjoy a quick action scene where a nearby plateau is filled to the brim of evil Personas.
During this segment, you get to test out the moveset for Joker, which offers very stylish attacks at the push of a single button. This is where the Warriors system comes in where you’ll be doing a miriad of combo strings with Y and X. You also have access to special Persona attacks, which is unique based on what Persona you have equipped. The more you fight the more you realise there is much more depth to the combat than your usual Warriors fair.
Along with some mission prompts to help you learn the control scheme, you also find out you can perform special commands with nearby scenery. You can jump between lamp posts, spin around phone polls and more to damage your many foes. It all is very stylish and fun to play with.
Once this part is over with, you then get an introduction scene showing the characters from Persona 5 in a stylised fashion. You then get a bevy of cut-scenes riddled with dialog and response choices. This is where the Persona RPG side comes in, there is a LOT of scenes like this. As it is in Japanese, we will just cut to the short of it. Joker returns to Shibuya and is greeted by all the friends he made at Cafe Leblanc (where you stayed during the prior game). A big celebration is going on, and you enjoy some friendly times. You end up going back upstairs to where your old room was and sleep for the night. You progress to the next day where you get to explore the area outside the Cafe. There are stores, people to talk to and other things you can do during this part.
You meet up with one of your friends (Skull) and you get transported to the Metaverse, a supernatural realm born from humanity’s subconscious desires. Now you get to explore a more linear area, where you encounter enemies and can hack them up in real time with the Warriors formula. You meet some form of robot entity, who transforms into a red headed little girl. She along with your friend then follow and fight alongside you in combat. It looks like you can have up to three other people in your party fighting with you. As you continue to progress through fight to fight while exploring this small warehouse type area, the demo ends. Offering a thank you splash page for you playing the demo, you are then returned to the game’s menu screen.
There isn’t really much on offer with the demo, especially if you don’t speak / understand Japanese. But you get a good look at the combat, as well as enjoy a lot of lavish anime cutscenes. There is also no real issues in performance and the graphical quality looks great – even on the Switch. We are certainly excited to fully play this Warriors / RPG hybrid. The characters are likeable, the universe is likeable and the combat is very fun. We just hope we hear of a Western release sooner rather than later.