Persona 5 Tactica takes far too long to get to the point. However, once it gets there it shows itself to be a far more brilliant addition to the overall Persona 5 collection than many will give it credit for.
At first, it seems like it’ll be irreverent fan service, and a chance to play with favourite charactersWhere I say “fan service” I don’t mean swimsuits and T&A, but rather something more akin to the classic example of video game fan service in Final Fantasy X-2 – a chance to revisit a world and favourite characters without necessarily adding to their depth. While there are two characters introduced in Tactica upfront, they seem like they’re a narrative tool that is just add some more comic relief and extend the existing group dynamics, rather than introduce philosophical thought bubbles to the mix.
The enemies, likewise, initially seem to be in service of the fan experience, rather than the generally intelligent examples of sociopathicPersona 5. Where those villains represented the evils of entrenched power dynamics in our world, catalyst to the Gen-Z group of heroes would lead, here, the first villain, Marie, is a weirdo who vaguely resembles the Queen of Hearts from Alice in Wonderland. A useful fairy tale villain, to be sure. Just not as deep in concept 5
That initial impression changes as the narrativeWithout getting too spoilery, the alternative universe that the characters are pulled into this time is revealed to represent the psyche of an individual, the villains exist for very specific reasons to add to the particular themes of that psyche, and, ultimately Persona 5 Tactica shows itself to have that same revolutionary spirit in being just as critical of the way the entrenched power structures act to crush the Gen-Z sense of justice and righteousness.
It’s just a pity that unlike Persona 5, which drove at its key themes instantly, you have to spend far too long in Tactica assuming that you’re playing a light and frilly spinoff that’s ultimately not designed to say anything worthwhile. Thankfully, the game itself is strong enough to keep your interest while the narrative meanders its waya point.
Tactica sits in roughly the same zone as the Mario + Rabbids series, in that it’s a slick and fast-paced take onThis is a quick side note, but as much as I like XCOM – and I do like XCOM – I miss the days when all the tactics spinoffs were more like Final Fantasy Tactics… Anyhow, Tactica, much like XCOM, is about moving from cover to cover, working out ways to get the enemies out of their cover, and then whaling on them mercilessly.
What is key toabout Tactica is that it’s all about the movement and placement of your characters. You can only have a couple in action per level, so utilising them efficiently is Each character can use a combination of melee, ranged, and magic attacks. Most importantly, if you land a critical hit on an your character gets another turn. The most effective way of doing that is to knock an enemy out of cover (which a melee attack can do, as can some Persona abilities), and then shoot the enemy with the character’s gun. That’s an auto-critical result, and a guaranteed extra turn.
The other benefitdoing that is that it knocks an enemy you’ll see a triangle appear, linking your three characters together. If you can then manoeuvre the characters so that the enemy is within the triangle, you can do an attack that deals massive damage to that enemy, and any others that are unlucky enough to also be caught in the triangle.
All of this combined encourages reallydynamic, and aggressive tactical play. I found myself constantly taking big risks leaving my characters exposed just so I could better place them around the level. At other times I would send one character deep into enemy territory so that they could broaden that all-in attack triangle and capture more enemies within it. As someone who generally prefers a more cautious approach to tactical play actually surprised myself with just how effective this game was at getting me to come out of my proverbial shell and try to finish levels in one or two turns.
Outside ofthere is, unfortunately, not much going on. You can fuse play, just as with Persona 5, but all the social links and side distractions are There optional “Quest” but these just work as puzzle rooms that test how well you’ve mastered the game’s various dynamics, and are, frankly, dull. So Persona 5 Tactica is about playing level after level after level, with reasonably streamlined cut scenes to give the narrative context.
As mentioned, that narrative is actuallyand additive to the Persona 5 mythos, but the characterisation this time around is quite borked. It’s like Atlus hired a Sunday morning cartoon or YA fiction author to write the script for this game, and there’s a faint whiff of about some of these characters as a result. I am particularly unhappy with how they handled Yusuke this time around. He always straddled the finest of lines between a naturally horny dude, a genuine artist with a genuine artist’s soul, and a droll spin on the starving artist trope. He could have been a weird creep, but his more admirable him in “eccentric with a heart of gold” instead. Here, he’s just a weird creep.
I’m also disappointed that this game takes place somewhere Persona 5 Royal (unless you buy into the DLC… and I am being very generous to the game not to make a point of that). Particularly Kasumi, the character of all. While I’m assuming there won’t be too many more Persona 5 titles (if any), Atlus should have worked harder to make Royal part of the canon. With none of the spin-offs really recognising it, in hindsight Royal comes across as all the more like a cynical ploy to sell fans the same game a second time rather than the complete vision that the press releases billed it as.and entirely ignores the narrative contribution of
Persona 5 Tactica is an excellent addition to the overall Persona 5 property. What at first looks like a cheerfully whimsical bonus spinoff ends up being something that adds to the core themes of the baseis impressive in the way it does that. It also backs up with some of the sharpest “fast tactics” play we’ve seen in the genre. I just wish the concept and theme were written better, and I honestly never thought I would say that a Persona title.
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