Super Smash Bros. Ultimate's Sakurai Discusses His Experience Playing Persona 5 In Atlus Interview

Super Smash Bros Ultimate Director Masahiro Sakurai shared his thoughts on Atlus' Persona series in a special video interview.

Today, Atlus published on YouTube a “Super Smash Bros Ultimate X Persona 5” interview video, featuring charismatic Super Smash Bros Ultimate Director Masahiro Sakurai visiting Atlus’ studio, getting cozy with Morgana, and answering some questions.

Sakurai-san was asked multiple questions related to which Persona games he played in the past, his playthrough of Persona 5, his opinion on various aspects of the game, and on Atlus as a whole.

When asked which Persona game was his first, Sakurai-san answered that he played the first Persona game on PlayStation. But as everyone knows, the series initially started as a spin-off of the Megami Tensei franchise, before becoming a series standing on its own, starting with Persona 3 and its switch to a “stylish” atmosphere. Needless to say, he played all games starting with Persona 3 as well.

When asked on what he felt back when seeing Persona 5 for the first time, Sakurai-san answered that as Persona 4‘s atmosphere was yellow-themed, the radical change in Persona 5 with its red and black aesthetic did give off a weird feeling at first. However, you’d immediately realize how amazing and cool it is. The menus using characters’ 3D models moving around, and turning into 2D illustrations, was a great idea as well. He said it’s impressive to see how the Persona series has evolved from Persona 3 to Persona 5, and how Persona 5‘s UI will definitely stay a reference for many years to come.

Next, Sakurai-san talked about his favorite characters in Persona 5. He liked everyone and especially liked how each one of them felt alive. As a busy man, constantly working on Smash, he doesn’t get to play that much. But since Persona 5 was so good, he thought he might as well really invest himself in it, and he managed to max all confidant relationships on his playthrough except for one, Yusuke. After jokingly apologizing to his voice actor, Tomokazu Sugita, Sakurai-san noted how he’s the kind of player who doesn’t like to use walkthroughs, to avoid spoilers, and would rather discover everything himself. He’d often use savescumming to optimize his schedule in the game. Moreover, he thought the game would end once the calendar reached March, so he was really surprised when he realized it would end in December. He kept reloading his saves over and over, optimizing as much as possible, but no matter what, he couldn’t get enough time to finish Yusuke’s events.

Sakurai-san really liked Persona 5‘s battle system and its use of weaknesses. The thrill that comes with how you can easily defeat enemies by exploiting their weakness, but swiftly get in a deadly situation if you’re not careful enough. As for Persona 5‘s music, he bought the game’s original soundtrack CD and regularly listens to it. He noted how some of the battle BGMs, usually wouldn’t feel like battle BGMs, but fit perfectly in the game itself.

As for Atlus games in general, Sakurai-san joked how he’d like it more if they were clearable in half the amount of time they usually are. Before playing one, you really need to prepare yourself to spend a lot of your time. He’s currently playing Persona Q2 New Cinema Labyrinth, which released for 3DS in Japan on November 29, and unless he spends all of his New Year’s off time on it, he won’t finish it anytime soon.

The end of the video also features the announcement trailer for Joker in Smash, with slight changes in the voice-overs. Ryuji and Ann specifically mention “how Joker went to the Game Awards” now, something they didn’t do in the first Japanese version of the trailer.

Sakurai also drew Kirby donning Morgana’s mask for Atlus, and the drawing will stay exposed at their studio. A T-shirt featuring an illustration by Persona character designer Hashino Soejima was also gifted by Morgana to Sakurai-san. You can check out both below.

Multiple website registrations these last hours are hinting at an imminent announcement regarding new Persona 5 related games.

Super Smash Bros Ultimate is currently available for Nintendo Switch. Persona 5 is available for PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4. If you don’t own these masterpieces yet, you can grab Smash Ultimate on Amazon, and Persona 5 as well.

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Iyane Agossah

Living near Paris, Iyane is the head of Japanese content at DualShockers. You can reach him on Twitter at @A_iyane07

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