After the success of Persona 4: Dancing All Night on PlayStation Vita, Atlus and P-Studio have taken things a step further by bringing back the beloved characters from Persona 3 and Persona 5 in Persona 3: Dancing in Moonlight & Persona 5: Dancing in Starlight. I got the chance to play both titles during my time on the E3 show floor and they did not disappoint. If you loved Persona 4 Dance then you’ll have a blast with the latest two entries.
Developed by Atlus’ P-Studio, Persona 3: Dancing in Moonlight & Persona 5: Dancing in Starlight build upon the PS Vita exclusive predecessor Persona 4: Dancing All Night in cool ways. However, one big thing the titles seem to be lacking is a traditional Persona storyline, which is what Persona 4 Dance featured (and was actually my favorite part of that game). Don’t fret! These two new dancing gems take a different approach with story elements and character interactions. Social links are now a part of the dancing spin-off series. If you’ve played any of the past three mainline Persona titles, then you’re fully aware of what social links have to offer.
Unfortunately, the information on how these social links work is pretty slim. The games are already out in Japan so I’m sure you could find out more info if you dig deep enough. But that’s not really what I want to dive into; let’s talk gameplay! — Haven’t played Persona 4: Dancing All Night? Then I can tell you exactly what you’re getting into. I covered Persona 4 Dance during E3 2015 and had this to say, all of which largely applies to Persona 3: Dancing in Moonlight & Persona 5: Dancing in Starlight.
“Persona 4: Dancing All Night was very simple starting off, and the controls were not what I expected. I only used the ‘up, left, and down’ buttons on the left and the ‘triangle, circle, and X’ buttons on the right (that may change further into the game but it did not change in this demo). Symbols will shoot from the middle of the screen and hover over your HUD of six circles. Your goal is to perfectly time your button clicks whenever they float directly over the HUD circles. Like I said, things start off simple, but that quickly changes. I was amazed by just how complicated the game could get with such a simplistic premise, and it was exhilarating! Slide moves and double hits really jacked up the difficulty. Typically, I’m not very good at rhythm games, but this one seriously kicked my ass. But I didn’t want to quit playing!”
Persona Dancing games are chock-full of fan service and incredible music. If you’ve caught yourself tapping along to the beat of the music in Persona 3 and Persona 5 then you’ll probably have a blast playing through these new titles. I’m eager to see how the social link system works in replacement of a traditional storyline. If one thing is certain, it’s that P-Studio knows how to write engaging and charming interactions between its characters; I can’t wait to play through Persona 3: Dancing in Moonlight & Persona 5: Dancing in Starlight when they launch next year on PlayStation Vita.
Brett Medlock is a senior editor and a lead on video production here at Enthusiast Gaming. He’s obsessed with action-adventure games, platinum trophies, and K-pop. To hear more about how lame he is, follow him on Twitter @brettnll