All in all, I’m super impressed with Persona 4: Dancing All Night. It essentially hits every high mark when it comes to the rhythm genre, while at the same time delivering a great story with a cast of characters that I certainly love. So I’d absolutely urge you to pick this up come September 29th, it’s a PS Vita release you shouldn’t miss.
Persona 4: Dancing All Night is a game for Persona fans, a game for rhythm genre fans, and definitely a game for Persona fans who love rhythm games (like me). Perhaps more importantly, it’s a milestone for rhythm games, pushing the bounds of mastery and player-defined difficulty, and demonstrating that this genre has as much capacity for a deep and compelling narrative as any other.
Now I’m just hoping that once Persona 5 is out in the wild next year, we get a Persona 5: Dancing All Night to go with it.
Dancing All Night is full of spirit and celebration unparalleled in the series thus far. Despite the dark and implausible story in the background, Dancing All Night is a concentrated dose of the most uplifting, cheerful, and fun side of the series, all set to a fantastic soundtrack that will get anyone dancing.
I mentioned before that Persona 4 Dancing All Night feels like a celebration of these characters. Yes, this is a fan-service game meant specifically for fans of Persona 4. That’s fine, but it’s also a legitimately fantastic rhythm game with a surprisingly great story mode. Playing this game fills me with the same kind of joy and good vibes that Persona 4 gives me as well. I love these characters and it’s just so much fun to see them dancing the night away. With that in mind it also serves as a fitting way to say goodbye to these characters that I’ve come to love over the years. With the next entry in the Persona series still a year off it’s nice to have one last dance with the P4 crew.
As someone who isn’t the biggest fan of rhythm games, I was a bit timid when I first installed the game for review. However, my fears were quickly removed by one of the most intoxicating soundtracks around and possibly one of the greatest cast of characters assembled. Sure, the story wasn’t the best I have seen in a P4 universe, but it was still intriguing enough to push things along at a smooth pace. The gameplay is where things really shined however, as this game is just fun to play, and that’s what you want in a rhythm game. Fans of the series or not, Persona 4: Dancing All Night has all the right moves.
There are touches of flawed execution in Persona 4: Dancing All Night, but they do little to upset what is otherwise a spectacular rhythm game. Genuine strokes of genius can be found in its modifiable gameplay and superb soundtrack, and they're compelling enough to keep the game from solely relying on its buckets of patented Persona charm.
Atlus somehow finds a way to craft a music game based around Persona 4 and have it end up as a serious entry to the rhythm genre. Persona 4: Dancing All Night is a great experience, with gameplay, visual, and a soundtrack that all come together in one heck of a package.
Dancing All Night's uneven score wasn't the only facet of the experience that wasn't as compelling as it could have been. The story is somewhat plodding at times and suffers from repetition, following multiple groups that tread similar ground for most of the game. While there are some pensive themes at work, endearing new characters, and a dramatic finale once the narrative threads begin to converge, the plot doesn't quite live up to its source material — which is probably expected, given how phenomenal that is.
This fusion of visual novel of rhythm game isn't exactly perfect, but speaking as someone who loves Persona (and Shoji Meguro's work in particular), I really enjoyed my time with this one. It might be pure fan service, but sometimes maybe that's enough.
Persona 4: Dancing All Night proves yet another success in branching out to another genre for the folks at Atlus. If not for the relatively short list of songs and lack of multiplayer, this could’ve easily been the premier rhythm game on the Vita.
Dancing All Night might have sounded like a fun idea on paper, but it simply doesn’t hold a candle to better portable rhythm games. The story is disappointing, the gameplay is mediocre, and the only thing that really feels fun is playing dress-up with characters and their various outfits. Unfortunately, Dancing All Night is hardly a consolation for those itching for a Persona fix. This is one all-nighter it’s probably OK to sleep through.