Persona 4: Dancing All Night Review (PS Vita)
Persona 4 is a tremendous game. Perhaps the best JRPG of all time, it combines the mundane with the supernatural, and somehow makes both equally appealing. The day to day interactions at school that from social bonds between you and a complex cast of interesting characters is just as engaging as the quasi-psychological monstrosities you fight in the magical TV world. Leveling persona and combining them into new forms to defeat ever more challenging enemies is great fun, but for me it was the awkward, honest (albeit highly stylised and anime influenced) relationships between the cast of characters that made Persona 4 a masterpiece. There was a rawness and an earnesty to the story that rang true. The morality of that story might have been a bit heavy handed, but like the best Miyazaki movie, Persona 4 was a heartwarming – at times disturbing – and uniquely Japanese tale that resonated with me, as well as it’s huge fanbase.
And those fans can rest easy about this spin-off. While the title may bring to mind a lighthearted, throwaway experience, Persona 4: Dancing All Night is a large, clever, beautifully produced sequel. It might be a little less dark and a little more ridiculous, but it does nothing to undermine the quality of the characters and story of Persona. Indeed, in Persona 4: Dancing All Night you’ll be delighted to spend some more time with your old friends.
That familiarity doesn’t just come from the characters either. Persona 4: Dancing All Night will be nostalgic for anyone who played the original game. The menu sounds, the interface, the style and (obviously) the music are wonderfully evocative of Persona 4. You might be playing a new game, but it is one that absolutely resides within the bizarre universe of Persona 4.
The plot this time round goes to great lengths to explain why you will not be fighting with Persona’s, but dancing with them. Indeed, the amount of exposition required to explain why dancing is the primary method of conflict resolution in this new magical world is both impressive and weirdly intricate. Perhaps Atlus would have been best to simply say “every battle is a dance off, just because.”
Combining an enjoyable rhythm action game with the Persona 4 univserse, it’s a game I have no hesitation in recomending to both fans of the series, and fans of good things in general.Persona 4: Dancing All Night Review (PS Vita),