Persona 4: Dancing All Night Review (Vita)
I remember when Persona 4 came out and Atlus told us that there wasn’t going to be any spin-offs or extra games like there was with Persona 3, that it was a self-contained story, and not to worry. This marks 4th additional game (counting the Vita re-release, which contained additional content), and probably some of the more stand-alone content that has come out since the first title. This title is the most unique as it is the largest departure in terms of gameplay, as I believe the only dancing that was really done before this incarnation was an odd victory pose or two.
To my continued surprise, the Persona team continues to do almost anything that it wants with a genre (although I am told there was a little help with this one from the Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA team at one point), and put out solid, story driven games. The game plays much like most Japanese dancing/rhythm games before it, namely the more recent Miku games, where the player must match incoming button prompts as they appear over sections of the screen. Unlike Miku the game itself almost seems like it wants to be playable, fun, and doesn’t make the player curse their non-robotic hands; until you get into free dance and start with the high difficulties.
What fans may not realized is that this simulated dancing sim is canon to the Persona story line—taking place after the Ultimax and told in almost exactly the same way that the two fighting games were. For those that haven’t played the last two games, the plot can get pretty wordy at times, almost stretching on longer than the snippets of the gameplay. But this is a Persona game after all and that is pretty much what everyone comes to the table expecting and hoping for. It is just something to watch out for if you haven’t played something since the perfect experience that was the core Persona 4 game.
Persona 4: Dancing all Night is a solid experience that you can find on your Vita to be released recently, and certainly the best one since the last Atlus game came out. It is probably the two oddest things that someone could have combined together to make a pairing, but for some reason that I didn’t even know was possible, it works out really well for everyone involved. Persona 4 is a no-brainer for anyone who is a fan of this series, or of the rhythm genre. Oddly enough it might be worth a look for anyone who has some free time and just genuinely likes to smile.