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Review – Persona Dancing Games (P3D, P4D, and P5D)

When stressed and overwhelmed, especially with the fight for the world is fastly approaching, it is good to take a breather every now and then. What is a better way to take a breather? Dancing in moonlight and starlight of course! In Persona 3 Dancing in Moonlight and Persona 5 Dancing in Starlight, our teams of protagonists find themselves in this situation. Is this a simple dance break or is there more to it then they know? Continue reading on and find out in our review for Persona 3 Dancing in Moonlight and Persona 5 Dancing in Starlight.

We will also take a look at the PS4 version of Persona 4 Dancing All Night (which is currently exclusive only to the Endless Night Collection).

Persona 3: Dancing in Moonlight
Developer: ATLUS
Publisher: ATLUS
Release Date: December 4, 2018 (NA / EU)
Price: PS4 – $59.99, Vita – $39.99
Genre: Rhythm Game
Platform: PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita (Digital Only for PS Vita)

Persona 5: Dancing in Starlight
Developer: ATLUS
Publisher: ATLUS
Release Date: December 4, 2018 (NA / EU)
Price: PS4 – $59.99, Vita – $39.99
Genre: Rhythm Game
Platform: PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita (Digital only for PS Vita)

 

Persona 4: Dancing All Night
Developer: ATLUS
Publisher: ATLUS
Release Date: PS4 – December 4, 2018 (NA / EU); PS Vita – September 29, 2015 (NA), November 6, 2015 (EU)
Price: PS4 – Currently exclusive to the Endless Night Collection, Vita – Varies depending on point of purchase (about $20-$40)
Genre: Rhythm Game
Platform: PlayStation 4 (Digital Only), PlayStation Vita

 

The bundles for the game include:

Persona Dancing: Endless Night Collection
The collection includes: Persona 3 Dancing in Moonlight, Persona 4 Dancing All Night, and Persona 5 Dancing in Starlight
Developer: ATLUS
Publisher: ATLUS
Release Date: December 4, 2018 (NA / EU)
Price: $99.99
Genre: Rhythm Game
Platform: PlayStation 4
*Note: Persona 4 Dancing All Night is a digital download. It will be included as a download voucher in physical copies. Digital purchases will download this game with the other two titles.*

Persona 3 Dancing in Moonlight & Persona 5 Dancing in Starlight Bundle + Megaverse Costume Pack
The Bundle includes Persona 3 Dancing in Moonlight, Persona 5 Dancing in Starlight, and a huge selection of Shin Megami Tensei-inspired costumes for your dancers!
Developer: ATLUS
Publisher: ATLUS
Release Date: December 4, 2018 (NA / EU)
Price: $69.99
Genre: Rhythm Game
Platform: PlayStation Vita (Digital only)

*Note: Thank you to Atlus for providing a review key for the Endless Dance Collection on PS4*

Intro/Story: 

Persona 3 and Persona 5 Dancing:

For the most part, the plot for Persona 3 Dancing and Persona 5 Dancing are largely the same. The main plot of both Persona dancing titles is that the Protagonists from each title awaken in the Velvet Room, which is now renamed “Club Velvet” in their own time period. They are instructed by the attendant (or producer in this case) that they will take part in a dancing competition against one another for the title of “Most Remarkable Guest”. The Phantom Thieves will follow instructions from their producers Justine and Caroline, while the Specialized Extracurricular Execution Squad (Or SEES for short) will follow orders from their producer Elle-P.

This game isn’t a traditional story game, or similar to Persona 4 Dancing All Night (if you have not played it, see below for a short story summary of it). The player will go dancing in select songs from their perspective game, and when certain conditions are met, players can go to the social category. In this category, they will get more of the story revealed to them, while learning more about the bonds and camaraderie among teammates in this category.

These games (while are side stories) can be considered canon due to everything that becomes revealed within the titles. However, it will be difficult to place. This is due to the games entirely taking place in the Velvet room. Time does not flow normally with this space. The only hint given is that this takes place before the final battle in both titles. However, some points that do get stated make the player believe that this could possibly take place after the final battles (mainly in Persona 5 where these thoughts pop up). However, it somehow flows together.

The players are also informed that the will have no memory of the dancing event once it concludes, but throughout the development of the plot, it becomes clear that the Phantom Thieves and SEES are determined to remember the events of the dancing night to some degree.

While the Phantom Thieves and SEES do not interact with each other directly, they do become aware of each other’s existence throughout these titles and have a good amount of jokes towards one another. It is clear that Persona 3 and Persona 5 Dancing isn’t solely focused on the story. It focuses on the bonds, relationships, and dynamics of each individual team. Both Persona 3 Dancing in Moonlight and Persona 5 Dancing in Starlight set out to do this in their plot delivery and overall presentation of the game.

 

Players that are going in expecting a full-blown story mode will become disappointed. There is enough in terms of story to last 5-10 hours. However, there is enough in terms of plot delivery, character development, and overall presentation to be discovered that any Persona fan will enjoy.

Persona 4: Dancing All Night

 

In contrast, Persona 4 Dancing has a full-blown story mode, with visuals delivered in the form of animated cutscenes and visual novel format. From the game’s main page:

The summer after the incident in Inaba came to an end, Rise Kujikawa returned to her former career as an idol singer. At the same time, an eerie urban legend was circulating in the city…

“Go to a certain website at midnight and you’ll see a strange video. Those who watch it get taken away to the ‘other side’, to never return…”

The protagonist and his friends, dragged into the “other side,” learn that it’s known as the midnight stage. It is there that the missing members of anamin Kitchen are being held captive. Rise alerts the rest of the Investigation Team, and with all her friends assembled, she enteres the Midnight Stage on a mission to rescue the new breed of idols!

In this game, you drive back shadows by dancing! And not just Rise, but the whole Investigation Team will perform passionately in dancing battles! Call on your favorite character to dance and zero in on the truth of the latest mystery!

While this title originally came out in 2015, it is interesting to see how it has aged. The game has the Persona 4 charm, and the story (while a side story) is considered canon. There are references back to the past titles (side stories included). The delivery of the story is done via visual novel style for the majority of the game. This could be considered a con to the actual title as there is a good amount of set screens that are descriptive of whats happening.

It makes the game’s story feel artificially longer than it really should be. From the transition of PS Vita to PS4, this hasn’t improved and still is an issue. It takes approximately 30-45 minutes from the start of the story mode to get to the first story song. It is rather impressive in a story-driven rhythm game. However, it does cause it to feel that the game takes way to long to start. This also happens throughout the game as well.

Despite that one glaring issue in terms of the story, Persona 4 Dancing All Night has a well-written story. The delivery could have been improved in the PS4 version. However, it is there. It will require the player to be patient to get to the main points of the story.

Gameplay: 

The heart of the three dancing games is rhythm games. All three Persona dancing titles play the exact same. Each game has their own version of the tutorial. Persona 4 Dancing has Teddie (The lovable bear character) teaching the player to dance. In contrast, Persona 3 and 5 dancing have the exact same tutorial to teach the players how to play.

^ Persona 4 Dancing’s Tutorial

^ Persona 3 and Persona 5 Dancing Tutorial

More of the similar aspects among the three games is the actual dancing itself. There is one difference from Persona 4 Dancing to Persona 3 and Persona 5’s mechanics. That is the double tap. Besides that, the dancing is entirely the same. When you achieve fever mode, you get the special dances which will have your current dancer be joined by another dancer for some awesome dances

Atlus made sure to fine tune the mechanic to make it as responsive as possible. this leads to no input delay. It works well during the gameplay. In addition, the player can customize the outfits of each dancer. The customization options are unlocked by meeting different conditions for Persona 3 and Persona 5 Dancing. For Persona 4 Dancing, the customization options are purchased from the in-game store.

It is an improvement from Persona 4 Dancing to the new Dancing games for unlocking the outfits and other items. It has become more mainstreamed to unlock everything instead of grinding dances to get money and purchase everything as it was in Persona 4 Dancing.

Persona 3 and Persona 5 Dancing

In Persona 3 and Persona 5 Dancing, there is a social mode. These modes have certain conditions to unlock each level. Think of them as the Social link level ups from the mainstream games.

Going through the social aspect is also the way to unlock the majority of the outfits and options in Persona 3 and Persona 5 Dancing games. It is great to see the characters the player grew a bond with developing further with. I found myself laughing and smiling at much of the interactions among everyone. It is such a delight and a welcome change from Persona 4.

Audio and Video

Visual wise, all three games look well on the Playstation 4. It is a welcome to see Persona 3 visuals remade in this game. Persona 4 Dancing also looks great compared to the PS Vita.

Dual language options (English or Japanese) are available. The music tracks chosen from the soundtrack fit into both titles. In addition, for Persona 3 and Persona 5 Dancing,  the cast all return to reprise their roles in each game.

^ Way of life Remix

^Time to Make history

^Price

The addition to the dancing on top of the tracks is a welcome addition. I do have one thing I dislike though. It is with the Main protagonist’s voice work. In Persona 3 and Persona 5 Dancing, the main protagonists only do voice work in dancing. Outside of dancing, their voicework is non-existant. If they voice work in the social category, it would be wonderful.

Replay Value:

The replay value for all three Persona dancing games is high. You have dancing with multiple tracks. Within each track, you can customize what options you want to include on the track. You can customize your characters outfit from several different choices. In addition, you have different modes, difficulties, a lengthy story (for Persona 4 Dancing All Night), and plus the chemistry within each game which makes Persona lovable.  There is a good amount of content to unlock as well that will keep any dancer coming back for more.

Fun Factor:

Are the Persona dancing games fun? I would say yes it will be fun. it can be just for a couple songs, or short term play. It can also be for a long jam session, or long session play. In addition, the interactions in the social mode itself are engaging. It takes the built relationships from the characters in each game and delivers it here. You get additional information about each character as well, which is welcome. The lines and delivery of the lines are enjoyable.

Conclusion/Wrap-Up:

Persona 3 Dancing in Moonlight and Persona 5 Dancing in Starlight are welcome entries into the Persona franchise. They are not full-length titles and not part of the main storyline. There will be a disappointment due to the length of the titles itself (to 100% the title, it could take 10 hours each game). They take one of the most appealing aspects of both Persona 3 and Persona 5, which is the soundtrack, and create a narrative that revolves around it. It is a very basic narrative (which some might consider non-existant despite being there), but it is perfect for these type of games.

Persona 3 and Persona 5 dancing takes that created narrative, some of the wonderful music tracks, and creates something special with it. You have two games that revolve more around the bonds of friends, teammates, and their development further. They learn more about themselves during their time in Club Velvet and grow as characters. To see characters like Ryuji and Junpei actually have more character development within these titles is a wonderful narrative within itself.

I would recommend Persona 3 Dancing in Moonlight and Persona 5 Dancing in Starlight to Persona fans who love the music and want to learn more about the characters. I wouldn’t consider these games as an entry point to the franchise in the slightest. Outside of that, I can find it difficult to recommend the games to some players expecting much more than the title really is. Persona 4 Dancing All Night is also a welcome bonus for the Endless Night Collection for players who did not get a chance to play it the first time around.

I also advise doing some research too if you are still on the fence if this game will be a good fit for you. I personally recommend it for the reasons listed above, but players need to be aware of what they are getting into if they purchase the games.

Until next time, mgs2master2 out!

*Special thanks to Atlus once again for a review code for the Endless Night Collection*

About Mgs2master2

Mgs2master2
A gamer and jack of all trades. I enjoy many things, but overall just enjoying life. Hopefully, I can add enjoyment to your life through my articles or interactions.

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