Following the big reveal of Persona 5’s Joker in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, Atlus invited over creator Masahiro Sakurai for a special video interview to talk about Persona.
The interview starts out with Sakurai being asked about his very first Persona game, which was Revelations: Persona. He goes on to talk about it going further back with the Megami Tensei games, but also says the current stylish Persona started with Persona 3 and onward, which he has also played.
Sakurai shared his thoughts on first seeing Persona 5 saying Persona 4’s theme was yellow so it had some color going on but with Persona 5 being red it felt plain at first, but he was amazed to see how its style came together. He also complimented its stylish UI and menu, and said that he truly respects its in-depth story and the way you can go on playing it forever.
When asked about his favorite character, he says he likes all of them. However, there’s one character in particular that he wasn’t able to fully bond with in his playthrough, and it was Yusuke Kitagawa (Sakurai: Sorry, Sugita-san!) Since Sakurai was busy with Smash Bros. he was only able to put in enough time for one playthrough, so he wanted to max out the confidants to make it count.
In order to avoid spoilers, he doesn’t use guides of any kind and prefers to carefully progress through events. However, the story ended about three months earlier than he expected, so it made it impossible to max out Yusuke during his run.
Sakurai’s favorite part about Persona games is how they’re “easy yet troublesome.” For example things go nicely when you can hit enemy weaknesses, but you’ll find yourself in a pinch if you’re not able to. As for Persona music, he says he purchases the soundtracks and always listens to them. For Persona 5’s acid jazz battle theme, Sakurai says it isn’t fitting for a battle theme, and if it were Smash Bros. it definitely wouldn’t be a battle theme, yet to have the sense to still push that is something Sakurai finds quite remarkable.
Lastly, Sakurai is asked to share his thoughts on Atlus games, to which he jokingly responds by saying it’d make him happy if they could be completed in about half the amount of time. When playing Atlus games, Sakurai says that he usually has to make the commitment to put in about twice the amount of time of a normal game. Not just the Persona series but Etrian Odyssey as well. Persona Q2, which he recently started playing, is another one that falls under that category.
Finally, head to the 7:48 mark for an exclusive video. Sakurai explains that this is the Japanese version of The Game Awards trailer, which actually was a different one from the official upload that followed.
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is available on Nintendo Switch. Persona 5 is available on PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 3.