Persona 4 Dancing All Night is one of those spin offs you never really see coming, the game has already has 2 fighting games, an enhanced port, manga, 2 anime and shows no signs of stopping anytime soon.
The main question is, will you be dancing all night or sat shyly in the corner while the oldies get down to Cotton Eye Joe?
Developed by ATLUS & published on our shores by NIS P4DAN is a celebration of the wonderful music that comes from Persona 4. 29 tracks spread across originals, remixes and even some new means that if you found yourself humming along during the original adventure these won’t be lost on you.
The main options for the game are Story mode and Free mode, most people will head straight to the story. Just to get this out there, the story is canon and I believe set after Ultimax though any reference to this is vague at best.
The story is presented in a Visual Novel style, this means walls of text, mostly still character images, few well animated cutscenes and choices. Unfortunately the choices you make during the 6+ hour tale are mostly empty and result in just small dialogue changes.
The story is predictably cheesy but to give it credit rather well written and does actually have some depth in regards to character development. The new characters introduced are prime examples of Persona writing in that they seem 2D but all have compelling issues that make them seem relatable.
Amusingly the game narrative splits the team in half and actually gives Rise the chance to shine and ATLUS do a great job with this, naturally you can expect laughs from Teddie, Kanji and Yosuke & I was actually impressed with the sassier than ever Yukiko in this title.
Game play wise it’s your average Rhythm title, you have to match icons to the correct place on the screen using the d pad, face buttons and the analogue sticks for “scratching”. Naturally being a rhythm game it’s all about timing, get it spot on you score a perfect and that score increases, if you scratch on Disco Fever and you get a cutscene where the character dances with a partner and more points. To pass a level you need to hit a certain score and make sure your audience of Shadows are entertained, from that you have your ranking from Pass to Crazy King.
You can buy items using money from performing well in songs to improve your score and reach “Crazy King” but ultimately it’s down to pure skill and timing. There are also costumes to purchase aswell as art work so there is a good selection of unlockable goodies.
The big downside is that every song only has 1 predetermined character dancing to it though you can change the partner who will join in during frenzy, this I felt was a downside especially as Rise only managed to get a few songs. Another smaller complaint is the amount of speech during the songs, constant cheers and comments including the cringe inducing “you made that look sexy” from Rise.
If I’m honest I really enjoy playing P4DAN, I’m not a huge fan of rhythm games and have only previously reviewed one and hated it. The cheesy story was initially off putting but it kept me right until the end despite some unsatisfying story developments.The songs were an absolute joy to play when I got the system down and can see myself losing many more hours on it and throwing money at the DLC. Personally I feel they could’ve cut the story and P4 theme, gone for a more broad Persona Dancing All Night and really mixed things up. Few minor issues aside it’s my pleasure to say I fully recommend this game for Persona fans and fans of rhythm games, it’s good to have a quality game to play in bursts on the bus and get my toe tapping, you could even say it has me Dancing All Night…….
Who Should Buy This?
- Persona fans especially if you love the soundtrack
- Rhythm game fans
- If you want a game to kill a few mins
Who Should Avoid?
- If you want P4G levels of story
- or an RPG
- Or really detest Rhythm games
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Straight from the streets of SouthTown, all Dunks Powah'd and ready to Bust A Wolf. Catch me on Twitch/YouTube.