Persona 5 was my most anticipated game of 2016, and now it’s coming to America in early 2017. But there’s a bright side to all this…
It has been close to eight years since Persona 4, the last all new numbered entry in the best RPG series of this millennium. Persona 5 took so long that it basically skipped the entire last console generation, and is now coming out deep into the current PS4 lifespan. After announcing the Japanese release date of September in the trailer below (which is unofficially fansubbed), I was hoping America would also see the game this calendar year from Atlus USA…
Today’s news made it clear that’s not the case. Ahead of what I assume will be an E3 trailer shown during Sony’s press conference, it was announced that Persona 5 will be released on February 14, 2017, on both PS4 and PS3. On the plus side, there was also the announcement of a very sexy looking “Take Your Heart” special edition for PS4 in America (though Japan’s anniversary edition is a little bit nicer).
Damn, do I love when Atlus includes plushies of their cutest characters in special editions. I still prize the Teddie that came with my copy of Persona 4 so long ago. What I don’t love are delays, especially when I was getting my hopes up for Atlus (or Sega, as the parent company is listed as the official publisher on Amazon) to pull off a nearly simultaneous worldwide launch. I get that localization is a time intensive process, particularly for something as text-heavy as Persona, so the 5 month gap between US and Japan isn’t out of the ordinary. And when I looked at the upcoming release schedule, I realized that the delay might be for the best, as my 2016 is already overstuffed with more JRPGs than I have free time to play!
These 5 games make coping with the pain of Persona 5 coming in February so much easier…
Tokyo Mirage Sessions
This is seemingly the last Wii U exclusive I’ll ever care about. The folks behind some of my favorite entries in the Shin Megami Tensei series made a brand new, hella Japanese RPG with Nintendo, and from import reviews, it’s basically a Persona game full of Fire Emblem fan service, aka a game seemingly made just for Henry Gilbert. Tokyo Mirage Sessions will be out in America June 24, so I’ll hopefully already have my Persona itch scratched all summer long so I’ll miss Persona 5 less in the fall.
Shin Megami Tensei IV: Apocalypse
I get not putting out P5 in the US this September, as Atlus already has a massive Shin Megami release planned for this month. This sequel/side story to Shin Megami Tensei IV promises more hyper dense, demanding gameplay, as well as all the demon fusion you can shake a demonic tome at. I loved the first SMTIV, so I’ll be there day one for this game.
Dragon Quest Builders
I NEVER EVER thought I’d be stoked about playing a Minecraft clone, but all the early buzz on Dragon Quest Builders is so damn strong. This is a great tribute to a series that just turned 30, and one of my all-time favorites, and it even uses some little known trivia from the first Dragon Quest as a starting point for its alternate timeline story. God help me, I’ll be playing a Minecraft clone.
Dragon Quest VII 3DS
I had long ago given up hope for a US release of this years old 3DS remake. Dragon Quest seemed dead in the United States, and then HOLY SHIT, it gets announced just a few months ago! And this one is a doozy of a time sink, even by Dragon Quest standards. The original was easily over 100 hours long, taking dozens of hours to even open up the job system. Reportedly some of that’s been streamlined, but either way, I definitely need to make space later in the year for this and Dragon Quest VIII, as soon as they get concrete release dates.
Final Fantasy XV
If I were a guessing man (which I am) I’d imagine that this huge release in September is at least a partial reason Persona 5 is out in February. This is do or die time for Final Fantasy. After so many issues in the last decade, including poorly received games and constant delays, FFXV could be the moment Final Fantasy returns to industry prominence, or when it becomes a niche series that can’t internationally match Call of Duty or Madden. We’ll find out this fall when it finally, FINALLLY comes to current-gen consoles. I just want to play it to see that it’s real.
So yeah, those are just the tip of the iceberg for 2016 RPGs, so I barely would’ve had time for Persona 5 anyway. Hopefully I’ll have beaten all of these by Valentine’s Day. Are you also gonna play through these while waiting, or is it P5 or bust for you? Tell us in the comments! And why not give a listen to our tribute to Persona’s amazing soundtracks!