UFG Goes Hands on With Persona 4: Dancing All Night!

Yet another rhythm game enters the ring, and lucky for me this game is really fun. Persona 4: Dancing All Night (P4DAN) does a great job continuing the ethos of Persona 4 without succumbing to tired gameplay. No, instead ATLUS decides to turn the tables and releases a surprisingly fresh continuation of the Persona 4 story with innovative controls…

To be honest, I didn’t know what to expect when P4DAN dropped on my lap. I love the Persona 4 franchise, from the RPG to the anime; I’ve even got some of my friends hooked on Yu and his comrades’ story. P4DAN continues a month after Persona 4. Rise Kujikawa is staging her comeback as an idol (pop music star) and recruits the gang as backup dancers at a music festival. Another group, Kanamin Kitchen is also headlining the concert. Led by an up and coming idol named Kanami, the group has been the main attraction ever since Rise took her break in Persona 4. A mystery is afoot, however, as several members of Kanamin Kitchen suddenly disappear. Now it’s up to Yu and his investigative team to save the day. Of course, with this being a Persona game, it isn’t long before Yu and his investigative team stumbles upon the evil shadows from the Midnight Channel.

The story is deep, but the gameplay and music is what makes this game great. The directions for the dance taps are set up differently than I’ve seen done in the past. There are six buttons that you will be prompted to tap at the appropriate time – D-pad up, left, down, triangle, circle, X. If you notice, those are all semi-circles on either side of your controls. The notes come from the middle of the screen and spread outward to a point on the semi-circle, prompting you to press the corresponding button. It takes a bit getting used to, but once that happens, it’ll feel as if you have more control over the pre-rendered dancing. You also will have to do a record scratch, which is achieved by tapping any direction on either stick. It doesn’t reinvent the wheel but P4DAN is entertaining nonetheless!

There are other mechanics outside of just following onscreen prompts. For instance there are power-ups that can be bought with in-game currency. For those looking for a challenge, there are items that will make the dances more challenging. There are even outfits and accessories to buy…you know, for those of you who like to “look” the part. With multiple modes of play, varying difficulties, secrets mode and a deep story, there is lot more here than one would expect from a dancing game.

The track list is composed of original and remixed versions of the Persona 4 soundtrack. Which means it features top notch scores that are really catchy, a requirement for a game of this ilk.  So far, I’ve been having a great time with Persona 4: Dancing All Night. And while I can’t say share how great it truly is (not just yet anyways), it certainly a game Persona fans should be checking up on.

Heck, if you still own a Vita then you need to keep an eye out for it. Or at the very least, check back here for my review when the embargo lifts on September 18th!

Edit: The embargo actually lifts on September 22nd…not the 18th. Sorry for the confusion.

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