One of Persona 5 Royal’s Biggest Improvements Goes Away 90 Hours In

Don't expect to take screenshots of all the Phantom Thieves' latest antics.

Persona 5 Royal, the definitive edition of Atlus’ stylish RPG, has quite a few improvements and changes from the original game. Whether it’s in quality of life updates, new dungeons, or new characters, Royal does a great deal to improve upon an already excellent game. For more on that, check out our review podcast where we go on a deep dive about what’s new and what’s better, but we’re here right now to talk about one specific update that makes Royal an altogether better experience than the original game: the unlocking of the PlayStation 4’s share button.

For those that might not know, the original Persona 5 blocked the PS4’s sharing capabilities entirely to prevent the spread of spoilers. This meant you couldn’t take screenshots, record video clips, or stream natively through the console’s own features. When I started Royal, I was really happy to see that these features were all available, and was able to take hundreds of screenshots and video clips over the course of my first 90 hours. I was able to capture some of the game’s gorgeous, stylistic animation, take screenshots for easy reference while writing about the game, and also make dumb jokes like this on Twitter:

As of this writing, I have over 300 saved screenshots of Persona 5 Royal on my PlayStation 4. But unfortunately, it looks like that’s as many as I’m going to get to take, because about 90 hours into the roughly 120 hour game, this feature gets taken away again.

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The first 90 hours of Persona 5 Royal are mostly identical to the original game, with new characters and scenarios spliced through that plant seeds for the bulk of the definitive edition’s new content that bookends the main game. But, as I found last night while playing, the second you enter the third semester, which is essentially Royal’s main addition that wasn’t available in the original game, you get a nice notification in the top left corner of your screen from your PS4: “Gameplay recording paused because you entered a blocked scene.”

While the actual notification doesn’t specify it, this does also include screenshots, so I guess I won’t be able to capture any of the new memories I make with the Phantom Thieves from here on out. It’s frustrating, too, because given that the world is in self-quarantine right now, games are becoming social in ways they weren’t through social media sharing. Persona 5 Royal might not have the same social mechanics as something like Animal Crossing: New Horizons, but it’s still a game that everyone is going to be experiencing together in just a few short days.

While I’m still not quite done with it and am just now reaching what is essentially the headliner of its new content, I’ve really been enjoying my time with Persona 5 Royal, and am glad to see how well the game holds up three years later. In fact, it might hold up a little too well, given the state of things. Not to say that it’s fixed every issue I had with the original game, as it’s still dismissive of queer identity, kept that gross teacher/student romance, and if I have to my boy Ryuji get hit by a friend again, so help me god.