Despite being a fan of the later Persona games, I kind of feel like I haven’t talked about Persona 5 as much as I thought I would, at least not on Disposable Media. In my review back in April I came away from the game overwhelmed by how much had been added, but a little disappointed by some of the unique gameplay ideas that didn’t quite hit their mark. Initially I was going to immediately go back for a New Game+ run but then decided that I needed a break from Persona – I did, however, complete the game for a second time in October. Playing it again didn’t really change my opinion of the gameplay, but it did allow me to appreciate the fantastic aesthetic all over again. And so when I received Prima’s gorgeous Art of Persona 5 book recently, it was a good opportunity to enjoy all of the visual excellence once more.
The Art of Persona 5 – plenty of content
The Art of Persona 5 is a much thicker tome than the Official Design Works books I have for Persona 3 and 4; their sub-200 page counts are dwarfed by the Prima book’s 448. The size of each individual page is more or less the same as the pages of the Official Design Works books, but you only have to pick this up to know that it means business. Inside, The Art of Persona 5 covers everything from character art and persona illustrations, through to promotional images, location backgrounds and more. Just like the Official Design Works books, certain sections have accompanying commentary from the creators, giving their view on what they were trying to achieve with the visual design of a particular character. I had never bought a Prima art book before, so I wasn’t sure if they’d be as generous with “bonus content” as the Official Design Works books – however, there’s plenty to enjoy beyond the illustrations.
The Art of Persona 5 – so shiny
When it comes to the book’s downsides, I’m not sure if I’m a fan of the glossy cover that’s slipped over the top of the whole thing – I feel like it’s asking for finger marks and folds from more careless hands that may be drawn to the book if you haven’t left it in a safe place. Also, you only have to look at the contents page to see that the character art is the main attraction here. For me, it’s not really a downside as I was hoping and expecting a fair amount of the pagination to be reserved for the characters – however, people expecting more pages to be used for world and UI imagery may be disappointed.
The Art of Persona 5 – worth the wait
Generally I’m very satisfied with The Art of Persona 5 – it may look a little out of place next to my Official Design Works books, but the amount of quality images and illustrations you get in the book make up for any inconsistencies on my shelf. At the time of writing, certain sites online contain skewed consumer reviews from numerous people who were disappointed with the shifting release dates, but it’s a good enough read when it’s finally in your hands. (And besides, it wouldn’t be a Persona 5 product without a number of delays.) Obviously I have no way of comparing it to the P5 Official Design Works book, but I’d like to think that either one of them would be worth picking up. (Buy both if you must, but I don’t know if I’m that fanatical…)
The Art of Persona 5 is out now and priced at £19.99. It’s published by Prima Games and you can find the book at their website here or at Amazon.