I think it's worth noting, before I start talking about Persona 3: Dancing in the moonlight and Persona 5: Dancing in the light of the stars, that I am rather in rhythm games. I play them a lot. DJMAX, Project Diva, Taiko no Tatsujin, Musynx, Theatrhythm – although I hesitated to qualify myself as an expert of the genre, I certainly have more than the greatest number. So, some of my scruples with Persona Dancing may seem strange to anyone just looking for a spin-off of Persona and a second of rhythmic play. Persona 3 and 5 Dancing are good games, but they probably do not represent good value for money (unless you have already played Persona 4 Dancing on the Vita and you get the Eternal Night collection). I usually do not like to take into account value when I write reviews, but when you ask for 60 bucks for Persona 3 and 5, apart from the all-in-one pack, it's hard to say anything. Ignore the lack of distinct value of this prize.
As for gameplay and presentation, Persona 3 and 5 Dancing are incredibly similar to the way Persona 4 Dancing played on the Vita. The 3 buttons on the right correspond to the 3 superimposed layers on the right of the screen, the 3 sections located on the left of the dpad correspond to the 3 layers superimposed on the left of the screen. The touch pad, the analog levers or, possibly, the L1 / R1 buttons of the PS4 correspond to scratching notes superimposed on the edge of the playground. This reminds me considerably Samba de Amigo, although without control of movement. It's fun, and the controls themselves are fluid and responsive without any problems. I strongly recommend to enable R1 / L1 for scratch notes in options, but other than that – no complaints here!
Players must again deal with a fever indicator, which activates depending on the number of Rainbow Scratch notes you pick up before certain sections of each song. If you clear the threshold, you will unlock sections of the song in which multiple cast members will dance at the same time, which will improve your multiplayer score for the duration of the dance. Likewise, the tally is coming back – which is your only decision as to whether or not you erase a song. Each rhythm game tends to have different clear criteria – Project Diva is my favorite, with its ranking system based on a percentage of landed notes, with Theatrhythm in second place. DJMAX and Musynx both have a counter that you must keep filled in so you do not miss an array of notes, but as long as the counter is not completely empty, you pass a song. Persona Dancing uses something closer to the Taiko system, where you have a meter and you do not miss it when it's empty – but to be able to play a song, you have to leave it full before the end of the song.
Personally, I do not care about this system. I would prefer the first two any day of the week, but I can understand why others would prefer it. I do not particularly like perfecting a song, spoiling a dozen notes, which is sometimes enough to let me out of this threshold. The scaling seems to be better than that of Persona 4 Dancing, thankfully, but again … it's more a personal scruple than anything else, and I've certainly seen some of the worst systems in some rhythm games.
My biggest and most general complaint with the game has to come with the note graphics themselves. Diva and Theatrhythm projects tend to be based on the "feel" of a song – mainly the voices – and not on the musical notes that compose them. DJMAX, Musynx and Taiko, on the other hand, tend to base their diagrams much more closely on the actual musical composition of a song. Persona, on the other hand, does not seem to be part of these camps. Although most note diagrams are perfectly correct, no matter how difficult it is, it never seemed like the note diagrams are aligned with the song's composition or "rhythm", just as they do. should. Maybe a personal tattoo, but that I can not really ignore.
The character models are all of high quality and meet your expectations. The animations, while amusing, go perfectly well of themselves. However, that is about all I have to say about the game presentation.
Persona 4: Dancing All Night had a story in which players progressed. It was not a good idea, I would even say it was really bad, but there was something that contextualized the dance, giving the game a reason to exist as a spin-off of Persona. Despite my hesitations with P4D's story, however, Persona 3 and 5 Dancing do not even really try to contextualize their "plot", making it quite difficult to worry about character interactions that the game seems to have included. as a substitute for a real story. You might think it's a strange complaint for a rhythm game – I agree. However, Persona 3 and 5 Dancing offer a horrible value if you are only looking for a rhythm game on PS4 and Vita. On PS4, you can get Project Diva Future Tone to under $ 60 and over 200 songs to play with … or you can pay $ 50 and get something of almost 150 songs in DJMAX Respect. These two games are probably part of the best mechanical rhythm games, so it's not just the amount of content, but the quality of it.
On the reverse, Persona 3 and 5 Dancing each have 25 songs. For $ 60 each on PS4 – although at $ 40 on Vita, it's not really a good deal. IA / VT Colorful exists. Taiko no Tatsujin V exists. Diva project f / F 2nd / X exist. The Eternal Night collection greatly simplifies things on PS4, but you still pay $ 100 to get less content than you can get from other best-priced games at half price. It is Persona's turn to take over to give more value to the games, but given that the interactions between the characters have no context and never go beyond the characteristics described in their basic games, it's hard to take this part of the game content seriously. When you browse the Social Link challenges, you can eventually explore the character's rooms. PSVR support is well supported, but these interactions offer even less to Persona fans than the already disappointing story of Persona 4 Dancing.
If you are looking for a spin-off of Persona, Persona Q will allow you to better use your time and money. Meanwhile, if you are looking for a rhythmic game, there are much better options to pursue. People 3 and 5 dancing is not bad, but in the current climate of rhythm games, they had to offer a lot more to stand out from the crowd.
Disclaimer: A copy of this game has been provided to RPG Site by the publisher.