Metaphor: ReFantazio Puts A Fascinating Spin On Personas In A Bid For Supremacy

After hybrid combat, Atlus presents Archetypes to further spice things up.

Story Highlights

  • The Xbox Showcase provided a look into Metaphor: ReFantazio and its new Archetype system.
  • Like Personas, Archetypes are jobs that provide unique skills and weapons with infinite possibilities.
  • With its hybrid combat, Metaphor: ReFantazio will be an exciting journey while waiting for Persona 6.

If you’re a JRPG fan, Persona must be very close to your heart. Atlus’s masterpiece of a series has redefined the boundaries of the genre and served a major role in popularizing it across the world. Persona 5 is unanimously considered a masterclass, but trust me, 3 and 4 are equally amazing, if not better in certain domains.

Now, a new IP from the creators of Persona is right around the corner, Metaphor: ReFantazio. Combining certain elements from Atlus’ two towering franchises, the game carries the old soul with a touch of originality never seen before. In the Summer Game Fest held not too long ago, we got another look at what to expect from what’s shaping up to be another Atlus masterpiece.

YouTube video

Archetypes, Personas With A New Look

During the Summer Game Fest, Metaphor: ReFantazio director Katsura Hashino appeared and discussed some gameplay elements. As we’ve established earlier the game blends stuff from both Persona and Shin Megami Tensei, it looks like the overall design philosophy is a lot closer to the former. The combat even included row placements, something that immediately reminded me of Suikoden.

I have high hopes for “Metaphor Re Fantazio”
byu/No-Nectarine8074 inJRPG

Moreover, he highlighted a brand new feature of the game called Archetypes, and this is where the “Look, it’s Persona” comes in. Archetypes are essentially the Personas of this game. A manifestation of a person’s intense will and mental strength to face and overcome their fears. In a world of magic and differentiation, individuals possessing this strong emotion will awaken to Archetypes. Sounds very Persona, doesn’t it?

The only difference is while Personoas were tarot card-inspired entities, Archetypes are more akin to medieval classes with a touch of the supernatural. From what little we know about the story and the Archetypes, it looks like another meaningful plot with grim undertones and cruel reality presented with a fantasy and “superpower” coating to soften the blow.

Imagine all the fun combinations | Source: u/KrispySquirrel (Reddit)
Imagine all the fun combinations | Source: u/KrispySquirrel (Reddit)

Moving on, let’s look at how these Archetypes function. Multiple skill trees called Lineages exist in the game which give access to the different Archetypes, each with a unique set of abilities. These jobs or classes can be freely switched between, drastically changing a character’s combat prowess and versatility. With different combinations, we’re looking at over 40 distance Archetypes.

Every archetype we’ve seen so far, let me know if I missed anything
byu/Antangonist inMetaphorReFantazio

First The Hybrid Combat, And Now Jobs, Atlus Is Pulling Out All The Stops

With the addition of Archetypes, I think it’s safe to say that Metaphor: ReFantazio just became a whole lot more versatile and interesting. A game that was already bringing a highly enjoyable and endless potential-bearing combat system now features even more depth and layers to it. At this rate, I’ll never get bored.

A look at some archetype’s resistances and weaknesses
byu/PK_RocknRoll inMetaphorReFantazio

Metaphor: ReFantazio has a strong competition by none other than its own siblings. If the title was simply a combo of certain mechanics from these two franchises, it could never escape the “copycat” accusations, and Atlus knew this full well. Thus, the first thing it did was masterfully give Metaphor: ReFantazio a unique identity.

Metaphor: ReFantazio features a hybrid combat system. You can tackle enemy encounters both with high-speed action combat, as well as the traditional turn-based mechanics characteristic of Atlus’ games. The action combat is fast and flashy, but less damaging, while the turn-based one takes its time but annihilates the enemy with “big damage numbers.” Do note that certain encounters are locked in the turn-based route.

Now with the addition of Archetypes, both of these combat systems are getting even more complex. Your selected Archetype governs the weapon type and combo skills of a particular character. In action mode, this means changing the combat style and abilities. In turn-based modes, it gives you access to certain skills and range options, as well as offensive and defensive magic and rejuvenation and respite capabilities.

For example, a Knight can work as a tank and taunt support, a Commander has access to position-altering and strategic control abilities, a Gunner has long-range DPS capabilities, A Faker can play tricks on the opponent with their peculiar arsenal, and a Summoner, as the name implies, summons. Now imagine all these versatile combinations and the many horizons they open. Atlus seriously is doing something magical here.

Archetypes enable complex gameplay | Source: Official ATLUS West (YouTube)
Archetypes enable complex gameplay | Source: Official ATLUS West (YouTube)

Metaphor: ReFantazio Is A Solid Title While I Wait For Persona 6

After all this, calling Metaphor: ReFantazaio a Persona or SMT clone can’t be further from the truth. With its hybrid combat offering an exciting experience for fans of both systems, a meaningful story exploring strong themes, and Archetypes varying the hell out of the standard gameplay loop, the game is shaping up to be a worthy title capable of standing tall on its own.

That’s all well and good, but what about Persona 6, Atlus? Why has there been no news regarding what is one of my most anticipated titles? Don’t get me wrong, I’m extremely excited for Metaphor: ReFantazio, but still, nothing can substitute Persona 6. I just hope all this wait is worth it, and the 6th entry ends up surpassing all its predecessors.

Until then, I’ll go and enjoy Metaphor and its diverse gameplay mechanics.

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Hanzala is a dedicated writer who expresses his views as opinion pieces at eXputer. He's always been fascinated by gaming and has been an avid consumer of many different genres for over a decade. His passion for games has him eager to encounter the latest RPGs and actively look for new Soulslike to challenge. He puts forth his experience and knowledge of gaming into captivating opinion pieces.

Experience: 8+ months || Education: Bachelors in Chemistry.

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