Persona 5 Strikers is the latest game released in the Persona 5 timeline, taking place roughly a year after the original Persona 5 story. Strikers reunites the protagonist, Joker, with the rest of the Phantom Thieves for a summer vacation. The vacation is quickly halted as a phenomenon involving shadows affects Tokyo once more, bringing the gang back together. Strikers is a spin-off title in the Persona 5 franchise, taking a Dynasty Warriors approach in gameplay courtesy of developer Omega Force, the original developer of the Warriors franchise.
The game was released a year earlier under the name Persona 5 Scramble in Japan. However, Persona 5 Strikers was delayed for western audiences, citing constraints in recording the English dub due to COVID-19, among other reasons. Despite the difficulty in recording the English dub, there are several surprises hidden for listeners of the English dub. Players who listen to the new navigator in Strikers may hear a familiar voice guiding them as a reliable assistant throughout the game.
Featured in Persona 5 Strikers is the inclusion of AI assistant, EMMA. EMMA is a phone application in Strikers that helps the player choose their difficulty as well as entering their name into the app. Throughout the game, EMMA assists the player as a navigator, doubling as an important plot device. EMMA's mannerisms and speech patterns may seem familiar to iOS users as she is voiced by none other than Susan Bennett, the original voice of Siri.
Prior to her role as Siri, Susan Bennett's career began as the voice for "Tillie the All-Time Teller," one of the first voiced ATMs meant to establish a personal relationship between the banker and the consumer. Throughout her career, she has provided her voice to several GPS navigation systems, telephone systems, and various commercials. Her turning point was in 2005 when she recorded lines and paragraphs for software company ScanSoft. The lines recorded would become the basis for Apple's Siri, used until the release of iOS 7 in 2013.
The integration between modern AI navigators and video games has been utilized in the past, with a recent example relating to Windows 10. In 2014, Microsoft revealed voice actor Jen Taylor would reprise her role as Cortana, the AI who played a significant role in the Halo series, as the navigator voice for Microsoft-related products. In Shin Megami Tensei 4, an AI known as Burroughs played the role of the navigator for the protagonist Flynn, while also serving as the game's menu system.
Persona 5 has become a subfranchise for the Persona series after the original game's immensely successful release in 2017. Persona 5 was the first mainline numbered Persona game in over eight years, and it was delayed multiple times during its development. The wait was certainly worth it, as its popularity spawned several subsequent games with the Persona 5 name, and many crossovers with other games.
If players want to get the whole Persona 5 experience, they'll need to put a lot of time aside for it. The original release of Persona 5 and the Royal re-release are both very long RPGs; even casual playthroughs of only the main Persona story will approach one hundred hours each. Dedicated players who want to catch up would really need to put aside a week or two for the whole experience.
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