Tuesday, 12 April 2016

Persona 4: Dancing All Night

Every so often a certain game comes along that makes me super happy that I bought a Vita and this is one of those games.  Persona 4 as you may already know is a spin off Shin Megami Tensei game that originally came out for PS2 and was later ported to the Vita under the title Persona 4 Golden.  While Persona 4 was an RPG with monster breeding elements, Dancing All Night is, as you can probably tell from the title, a rhythm game.

Unlike most rhythm games though, Persona 4 isn't just the soundtrack remixed and packaged as a rhythm game, it has a story mode.  The story follows all the characters from the original persona and one additional new character as they prepare for some kind of music festival that they will be performing at.  However shit swiftly hits the fan as a number of members of the lead idol group get kidnapped into the Midnight Stage and it's up to MC (now given a name, Yu Narukami) and his buddies to dance their way out of the problem.

Shadows in the midnight stage can't be beaten with weapons and magic spells so instead you have to put on a dance show in order to show them that maybe life isn't as shitty as they think it is.  This is where the rhythm game segment comes and as far as these kind of games go it's pretty standard.  You have a 6 button layout and you hit the notes in time with the music.  Hit the notes good and you clear the stage, miss too much and you fail.  The real selling point here is the fact that the game features a pretty hefty number of tracks from the Persona 4 soundtrack with a whole ton of cool remixes.  So if you really like the P4 OST (and it's a really good soundtrack) then this game is an absolute must for you.

Aside from the story mode there is also a free dance mode which just lets you play whatever song you like provided you unlocked it.  There's also a shop where you can buy outfits and items that will make clearing songs easier or harder via note modifiers.  There's also a collection thing where you get to see in game models and artwork but I've not looked much at that. 

I have one major gripe about the game however.  The first is that it's too fucking easy, even on hard mode.  I'm no crazy IIDX Another playing lunatic but I've got quite a lot of experience with rhythm games and on hard this isn't posing much of a challenge.  The life gauge is a bit quick to drain so occasionally I'll fail due to missing a couple of notes near the end of a song on the first try but it'll never take more than 2 tries to get an initial clear.  There IS an extra mode past hard call "All Night" mode but to unlock that you have to buy EVERYTHING in the games shop which takes a fair amount of time.  If you're looking for an entry point into the rhythm game genre then this is a good place to start but veterans may be left a little disappointed.

Still though, the music is cool and I'm getting my rocks off watching my favorite P4 characters do bad ass dance routines so it's not much of a deal breaker. If you're a fan of P4 then absolutely buy this game. If you like rhythm games but don't care too much for P4 then approach it with a bit more caution because you could do much better than this in terms of just core rhythm game play.

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