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Persona 5 English Script Could’ve Been Better, Says VA-11 HALL-A Dev

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Persona 5
Source: Persona 5 Image Files From Rhevarr

Persona 5’s Western fans warmly received the English localization as its translation team did the job just right. However, many expressed that the English script could use some improvement. VA-11 HALL-A’s Christopher Ortiz, aka Kirin51, raised some points on Persona 5’s weaknesses when it comes to dialogue.

Kiririn51’s Take On Persona 5

As seen on Ortiz’ Twitter account, Kiririn51 said, “I’m almost finished with Persona 5 and I have this odd feeling we can do better writing than this w definely my GOTY so far though”. As far as writing is concerned, VA-11 HALL-A’s story-focused gameplay shows in its visual novel layout. Persona 5 can slightly be considered a visual novel if the combat systems are taken out of it.

Ortiz continues in the replies that he honestly hated the Shadow’s hammy exposition. Their main party’s Metaverse targets are stiff and talk rigidly when they reveal their goals and other important information. “People don’t talk like that!” said Kiririn51 on Twitter. In a way, the hammy exposition turns off some players as it steals off any personality from the words and can sound cringy in a normal setting. Nonetheless, 

Persona 5’s English Writing

While Persona 5’s English script is good and understandable, it’s mostly forgettable. Some characters even struggle to express personality through dialogue. Lines are barely strong enough to be quotable in Persona 5 too. Bad dialogue doesn’t fit with Persona series’ identity as a story-focused game. Many lines are said to simply keep conversations and trains of thought going, but some sound unusual on closer inspection.

Twitter User koestl notes a few lines from some Persona 5 characters that sounds off. Here’s some examples from the characters:

  • Morgana: Suguru Kamoshida was a scum.
  • Makoto: The troublemaker, the girl of rumor, and the infamous transfer student… interesting combination.
  • Igor: …That is the rehabilitation cast upon you.

Some lines in Persona violate the sense of realism on them. Morgana has a questionable choice of past tense. “The girl of rumor” line sounds too vague and outlandish for a modern student. Igor can be excused since he’s an otherworldly being, but he uses words that can be confused with its homonyms.

Next Persona Should Do Better

Overall, The simple and straightforward localization of Persona 5 could be at fault for some awkward lines and hammy dialogue. The fans may still enjoy the game beyond its translation shortcomings due to the game’s story. However, preserving quality dialogue is important in a series that focuses on delivering great stories.

Also read: Yandere Simulator Takes Cues From Persona 5

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