Persona 5 Strikers has hit, bringing us a wild collision of classic Persona with the legendary Dynasty Warriors. We asked some questions of the games director, Daisuke Kanada, with a little help from SEGA communications manager Ari Advincula.

As a sequel of sorts to Persona 5, how would you briefly sum up what we should expect story-wise from Persona 5 Strikers?
金田 (Kanada):
最大のポイントは、P5の事件から半年後のストーリーだという点です。
怪盗団のメンバーは、P5の物語の中で大きく成長しました。
P5Sのストーリーでは、そんなメンバーたちの成長が伺えるシーンが沢山入っています。
歪んだ大人たちに反逆し、自分を取り戻した彼らが、新たな事件でどう活躍するのか。
その点を是非、注目頂きたいと思います。

Firstly, this story takes place half a year after the incidents of P5. The Phantom Thieves grew a lot during their first year together and, in P5S, players will see how this growth has developed their character. I’d love for people to pay close attention to these characters that were able to find their true selves in the last game by fighting back against corrupt adults, and how their personal challenges and breakthroughs may impact events in this new story.

Will newcomers be able to hook into the story easily?
金田 (Kanada): P5の後日談ですので、やはりP5を知っておいたほうが、より深くは楽しめると思います。
しかし今回巻き起こる事件は、まったく新しい事件ですので、初めての方でも理解して楽しむことができると思います。
またP5は、アニメやコミックなどにもなっていますので、それらからストーリーやキャラクターの事を知っておくだけでも、
充分に本作を楽しんで頂けると思います。
あるいは、アクションRPGとなった本作は、元のP5とはまた違った魅力を沢山持っていますので、
アクションがお好きな方は、ここからペルソナの世界に入っていただくのもアリだと思います。
…色々と書きましたが、どうか、皆さんのお好みの形で、このタイトルに触れていただきたいです。

Since the story is a full-fledged sequel to P5, I do think that knowing the world of P5 can help deepen players’ understanding of certain aspects. Fortunately, P5 has been adapted into anime and manga as well, so there are a number of ways for potential players to familiarise themselves, allowing them to enjoy the game even more.

On the other hand, since this is an action RPG, with many new and appealing features that differentiate this game from the original P5, I think it’s entirely possible for action game fans to try this game out, and find themselves falling in love with the world of Persona. That was a bit of a long-winded answer, but ultimately, I hope everyone enjoys this game in whatever way suits them the most!

Are there any familiar names that we should listen out for in the western voice cast?
Ari Advincula (SEGA Communications Manager): All of the original Phantom Thieves are back! And we have few new voices including Tom Taylorson as Zenkichi, Megan Taylor as Sophia, and the one and only English voice of Siri, Susan Bennett, as EMMA.

Persona 5 Strikers

As a collision of Dynasty Warriors-styled hack and slash with Persona-styled RPG, what measures have been taken to make the game appeal to fans of both franchises?
金田 (Kanada): 本作は、アトラスのペルソナチームと、
コーエーテクモゲームスのω-Forceさんとで初めてコラボ制作したタイトルでした。
その点で最も意識したのは、双方の『強み』を最大限に融合し、このコラボでしか辿り着けない一本を生み出す事でした。
ですから、ストーリーや世界観、ペルソナとして必要な「らしさ」という点にはとことんこだわり、
その全てをω-Forceさんに実装していただきました。
一方で、多数の敵と戦うアクションシステムこそは、ω-Forceさんの得意とするところでしたので、
その良さを充分に発揮していただけるよう、ブレーキをかけない進行を心掛けました。
今回、特に良かったと感じているのは、双方のチームが互いをリスペクトして制作を続けられたことだと思います。
それがあったからこそ、望んでいた一本が完成できました。

The main focus of our collaborative process was how we could amplify the strengths of what we (ATLUS’ Persona Team and Koei Tecmo’s ω-Force) are both good at, to create something truly unique. Something that was only possible through this collaboration. To that extent, we honed in on maintaining the authentic feeling of a true Persona game, both in terms of story and setting, while ω-Force really went the extra mile to implement all our ambitious ideas. Furthermore, the combat system involving swarms of enemies is something that ω-Force obviously excels in, so we made a point to let the experts work their magic so everyone’s strengths could be fully utilised.

I think the thing I enjoyed most about this whole project was the fact that we were able to carry out the entire development process with a deep sense of respect towards each other’s work. I believe that respect is what allowed us to create a final product that we’re all happy with.

With the Phantom Thieves of Hearts on a road trip, what can we look forward to by way of new tunes to accompany their travels?
金田 (Kanada): はい。今回、怪盗団は日本各地を巡ることになりますが、
行く先々、そして戦う場それぞれに専用の曲が用意してあります。
どの曲も非常に魅力的で、心躍るものばかりです。楽しみにしていただきたいと思います。

In this game, the Phantom Thieves travel all over Japan, but everywhere they go, and in every moment of combat, we’ve prepared specific songs to match the mood. I feel all the music came out very well and will definitely resonate with players, even after the story is over. Please do look forward to it.

What one thing would you pinpoint as the coolest in the game from your personal point of view?
金田 (Kanada): 今回、新たに加わる新キャラたちと、怪盗団の関わりです。
成長した怪盗団の姿だけでなく、本作のテーマがギュっと詰まっています。
アクションシーンも凄いです。ペルソナ5のバトルシステムとアクションが見事に融合していて…
それから音楽もとてもカッコイイです。新曲もアレンジ曲もとにかく良くて…
…すみません。選びきれませんでした。

The main thing would be the new characters and how their relationships with the Phantom Thieves unfold in the story. Not only does it show the character growth of the original Phantom Thieves, but it tightly packs in all the themes we hoped to explore in this game.

I must say though, the action is also absolutely amazing. It blends the battle system and unique style of Persona 5 so seamlessly… And the music really is very cool, both the remixes as well as the new tracks, they’re all really good… I’m so sorry, I couldn’t choose just one thing!

Persona 5 Strikers is available now on Switch and PS4.

Buy now at JB Hi-Fi