I danced all week with Persona 4: Dance All Night.

Stage Your Game Up (Eh? Eh?)

Right away, I noticed an increase in challenge compared to most rhythm games. You wouldn’t expect that, given that it’s a spin-off of a turn-based RPG (and therefore might not have a fanbase ready to gobble up musical games), but this game is not child’s play.

I attribute this mainly to the pattern of button markers constantly moving in opposite directions, towards the edges of Vita’s widescreen displays. But in addition to making your eyes dance, your thumbs will have to bounce very quickly between up and down – or rather between sticks and buttons. Some notes require button presses, others require slashes, which genre fans may have seen in Hatsune Miku.

Mai Waifu Ando Besto Furendozu

Obviously, the main draw here is the Persona 4 characters, world, themes and soundtrack. If you’re a fan of these – if you’ve considered a Persona 4 wallpaper at some point, drawn (or wished you could draw) fan art, appeared in the OST, or otherwise celebrated Persona 4 apart from the simple game, this game is very directly aimed at you. Atlus just hopes that music genre isn’t much of a barrier. And if not, there’s plenty to enjoy.

Dance all night includes great songs from the RPG and gives immediate access to its charming and memorable characters. Free Dance lets players beat beats and unlock new songs, while Story Mode is… is a mode with a story. I guess I came into that sentence with different expectations or something.

Making any type of progress gathers points and money, which can be spent on costumes, accessories, consumable items that can help you survive levels and custom game modes. Some of them require more specific conditions, and deleting songs is the most common way to unlock new ones.

We will fight with the jazz

The story is pretty hilarious – I mean, it had to be, right? Some pop idols have been kidnapped and taken to the world of Midnight… DUN DUN DUN! There is a rumor of a TV channel that is only live at midnight showing images of dead idols. If you look at it, you disappear. DUN DUN DUNNNNN! the Persona 4 the cast needs to get to the Mayonaka stage and figure out what’s going on. There are Shadows (enemies of Persona 4) which cannot be defeated with Personas because there is a terrible voice suppressing Persona’s power.

But the Shadows love music!

This is our ticket to victory, my friends. The gang uses the power of music to groove the shadows. They can calm them down and defeat them, which involves rocking the rhythm game. Do well enough and a Persona will be a musical instrument that comes out and puts the finishing touches on things.

How I feel after deleting a song.

The story serves its purpose: fan service. We had to give the characters an excuse to interact with each other, solve problems, overcome adversity together, right? Since this is a musical game, they also need an excuse to dance. Check and check right there. As goofy as it is, it serves its purpose and brings smiles with it. Good product.

Final revision to come

I really like what I’ve played so far. Hard mode is actually hard, and even Normal took me straight to school, but that’s okay, because playing those songs and getting better is incredibly fun. I mostly alternated between story mode and songs on easy and normal difficulties.

All the while, I’m enjoying each character’s dance style and listening to those catchy tunes.

Persona 4: Dance All Night is exclusive to the PlayStation Vita and is expected to come west this fall. It was released in Japan on June 24.

persona-4-dancing-all-night-import-pa The Japanese version of this game is already available and can be easily imported to any Vita, as the system and its software are region-free.