I went into Record Breaker almost blind. I knew it was a Shin Megami Tensei spinoff and that it plays like a tactical role-playing game. That’s it. Now that I’ve finished one playthrough, my thoughts are a mess right now but I’m going to try to summarize them as best as I can.
I found the Persona elements surprising if a little forced. Once again, the protagonist is almost a blank slate. Choosing the responses that play it cool and make large leaps of logic usually result in a relationship boost. It can be off-putting at times, but the latter can also be said of any Persona protagonist. What makes it rewarding in Persona is the series’ dedication to relationship-building. Record Breaker makes a half-baked effort at it, with matching results.
Demon fusion is fun thanks to the skill transfers. I found myself going back and recreating some of the lower level demons in order to give them late-game skills, ones that they would not normally have access to. I was mostly doing it for the ridiculousness of it.
Demon fusion also feels more important than it is in Persona because I wasn’t only concerned with the protagonist’s demons. I had to make sure that everyone’s minions were up to par. It was tedious at first but eventually got better once the interesting skills started appearing.
The plot was standard SMT fare. That means it’s bleak as hell. But I’ve always found it difficult to take anything chibi seriously. Sure, the characters are drawn like normal people during dialogue scenes, but anytime things switch to gameplay mode then things turn chibi. Or chibi-ish. Chibi-like? Anyway, you get the idea. And yes, I’m aware that horrifying things happen to some of those super-deformed figures. I remain unaffected.
By the way, I only played the Septentrione Arc.