While Shin Megami Tensei and Persona connect, crossover, have similar themes, and share the same developer, they are also two separate series. Today, the reviews embargo for Shin Megami Tensei V, the latest entry in the former, lifted a week ahead of its release. And so far, reviews are positive, with the game sitting at an 87 on Metacritic. This isn't as universally acclaimed as the most recent Persona game, Persona 5/Persona 5 Royal, but an 87 on Metacritic is nothing to sneeze at. That said, over on Twitter, many fans of the series aren't happy with the initial batch of reviews for the game, and not because of the scores, but because of how many reviews have mentioned Persona and Persona 5.
As many fans have pointed out, there's a growing trend of comparing JRPGs to Persona 5, much like there's a growing trend to compare any game that prides itself on difficulty to Dark Souls. Of course, with Persona 5 being the most popular modern JRPG, this is a reasonable trend, but it's one that's not been sitting well with JRPG fans.
To every review comparing SMT V to Persona 5: pic.twitter.com/ssULk05mR2— TheNCSmaster (@TheNCSmaster) November 4, 2021
No no no, gaming journalists I will not be retweeting your reviews when you say SMTV is disappointing because it's not like Persona 5. pic.twitter.com/3xdF5Es1Pn— larrue (@didyaknowtensei) November 4, 2021
Fun game: Read SMTV reviews and take a shot every time they mention Persona 5.— Nyarly (@crawling_nyarly) November 4, 2021
Just so everyone knows.— King Narukami #SMTV2021 (@KingNarukami45) November 4, 2021
ITS OK TO LIKE PERSONA 5! I love it! It got me into JRPGs.
But just because it’s iconic doesn’t mean it needs to be compared with every JRPG (i.e. SMT V). It’s old, lazy and boring. pic.twitter.com/BJ20CnFogC
Show me a single SMT V review that doesn't mention Persona 5— 🎮Gabbmew 💬 (@gabbmew) November 4, 2021
While this is a valid criticism from fans, it ignores the fact that this happens with just about every genre when a benchmark title releases. In the most popular genres, it often goes unnoticed because there are constantly new benchmarks releasing, but in niche genres this doesn't happen and so it inevitably feels like every subsequent release in these niche genres is compared to the same benchmark game. And JRPGs are very much a niche genre. This hasn't always been the case, but it's the case now, and has been since the emergence of other genres, including the WRPG.
That said, and as always, feel free to leave a comment or two letting us know what you think or, alternatively, hit me up on Twitter @Tyler_Fischer_ and let me know over there. Are reviewers over comparing Shin Megami Tensei V to Persona 5? Is this comparison unfair?
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