[PS4] Persona Dancing: Endless Night Collection Review

by EdEN, Owner

Persona Dancing: Endless Night Collection is finally here! Join characters from Persona 3, 4 and 5 as they get into the groove. Learn more about it in our Persona Dancing: Endless Night Collection!

The Persona Dancing: Endless Night Collection on PlayStation 4 brings together Persona 3: Dancing in Moonlight and Persona 5: Dancing in Starlight, rhythm games that follow the way that Persona 4: Dancing All Night set things. Each game will include characters from the corresponding RPG release. Each of the two games in the collection includes 25 songs to play either in their original version or in songs that feature remixes from ATOLS, Lotus Juice, Jazztronik, and more.

Let’s start with Persona 3: Dancing in Moonlight. You’ll get to play as the main protagonist for Persona 3, as well as Yukari Takeba, Junpei Iori, Aigis, Mitsuru Kirijo, Akihiko Sanada, Fuuka Yamagishi, and Ken Amada. Each character’s dance moves and choreography will reflect their personality in the original game as they dive into the dream world they have landed in. None of them can really dance in the real world, but it turns out that this magical place can turn their emotions into dance moves! They’re going to be spending a lot of time in this place, but it seems that once they wake up it only one night will have passed in the real world, and all of their memories of their time spent in “Club Velvet” will be gone instantly. Since you’re there, you might as well dance, right?

Your guide will be Elizabeth, who will first let you know about the basic gameplay mechanics by way of a short tutorial. The gameplay is the same for both games, so I’m only going to mention it once! Notes will fly out from the center to the left and right sides of the screen. For single notes, you’ll press up, left or down on the D-Pad or Triangle, Circle or X depending on where a note is going. All must be done on time with the beat once the note lands on the corresponding space. There are also unison notes that as that you press to buttons at once, one on each side of the screen. For hold notes, as the name suggests, you’ll need to hold a button and let go at the end of the note. There are also double notes, marked with DD, which you need to hit in quick succession.

Large circles with the word scratch will also move towards the sides of the screen, and for these, you’ll need flick the left or right analog sticks once they hit the edge. There are also other rings that are hard to miss: Fever Rings. These are rainbow colored and have the word Fever written on them. You’ll also need to scratch them just as you would for a regular scratch ring, but when you do it just right, you will start to fill up your Fever Marks. Once all three are full, you will go into Fever Time at a specific moment in the track which will also trigger special dance routines and a score bonus, so be sure to always get Fever rings!

Depending on how well your timing is for each note, you’ll be graded with one of four ratings, going from Perfect to Great to Good to Miss. Hit many notes in a row, and you’ll start to build up a combo. This will also affect if you can get a combo going since if you don’t hit a Perfect or a Great on a note, your combo won’t build up. You’ll also get more points for Perfect or Great notes than with Good notes, and a Miss won’t count at all! Your Hype Gauge will also increase as the audience gets to enjoy your performance. If you dance poorly, it will decrease, but if you at least hit Good and higher notes, then it will increase. If the Hype Gauge goes too low, then it’s game over. And if the bar is too low at the end of your dancing routine, you will fail the stage!

You can also customize your experience by either making tracks easier or harder to clear. There are options for making it so that your routine can continue even if the Hype Gauge is depleted, for reducing the penalties to your Hype Gauge when you miss notes, for getting an extra boost when hitting Fever Rings, for activating an Auto-Scratch ability, for greatly increasing or decreasing the speed of notes, for making notes fade out or fade into action, and more. This will allow players of all skill levels to have a good time with the game.

There is also a Social section in which you can interact with characters to strengthen your bonds and learn new things about them. Each level will be unlocked by completing different objectives as you play, such as unlocking Challenge Modifiers, playing X number of tracks between all available difficulties, getting Y number of total Perfect ratings for the notes you complete, clearing a set number of tracks with a Brilliant or higher rating, for clearing several tracks by wearing different outfits, clearing tracks with Support modifiers and accessories, reaching insane cumulative combos, and for viewing a set number of Social events in this section. These sections feature voice acting and help you to learn more about each character’s personality, while also rewarding you by unlocking new accessories, costumes, and other stuff.

As for Persona 5: Dancing in Starlight, it will bring together the cast of the recent PS3/PS4 RPG. The protagonist, Ann Takamaki, Ryuji Sakamoto, Makoto Niijima, Yusuke Kitagawa, Morgana, Futaba Sakura, and Karu Okamura are all here, and instead of Elizabeth, Justine and Caroline will be the ones guiding you… sorta. They’re not as charming as Elizabeth, and are definitely up to no good, but since you’re trapped in the Velvet Club, you really don’t have much of a choice other than to use your dormant dancing skills to hype up the ball as you party the night away. Time and space are concepts that don’t exist in this plane, so no matter how “long” you spend in the club, you’ll wake up in the morning as if nothing had happened.

As was the case for Persona 3: Dancing in Moonlight, the cast of Persona 5 will be in a location that exists in the realm of dreams, all that the cast needs to do is visualize themselves dancing, and they’ll be able to perform some killer moves on the dance floor as they move to the beat. The Phantom Thieves are always up for a challenge, so they will take on this highly unusual request by giving it their all. Each character will be able to enter a stage that reflects his/her personality, and you’ll also get to hang out in locations that, while not real, have been recreated to mimic the areas that the cast is familiar with in the real world.

Since Persona 5: Dancing in Starlight is its own separate full retail game, it also includes its own separate tutorial section so that those new to rhythm games and this dancing sub-series can get to learn all of the basic stuff needed to enjoy the game in full. If you’ve already played the dancing games for Persona 3 and Persona 4, then you technically don’t need to do the tutorial since gameplay-wise things remain the same, but if you want to get the Platinum trophy for this one you’ll still need to check out the tutorial to add to your trophy count as you work on that new shiny Platinum. Doing all of the tutorials will also award you with some modifiers to apply to songs, so there’s that extra motivation for you to do it all over again.

You can get each game separately for $59.99 on PlayStation 4, or you can go for the Persona Dancing: Endless Night Collection, which is what I got from Atlus for this review, and it’s a bundle that is only available for PlayStation 4. For $99.99 you’ll get both games, which instantly saves you $19.99, and on top of that you’ll also get an exclusive collector’s box featuring character art by Shigenori Soejima, codes to download the Shinjiro Aragaki and Goro Akechi playable dancer add-ons for Persona 3: Dancing in Moonlight and Persona 5: Dancing in Starlight (in the Day 1 edition), as well as a most excellent bonus: a download code for Persona 4: Dancing All Night for the PS4! The game was originally released on the PS Vita, but the collection brings us a port for the PS4. You can read my review for that game right here.

This Persona Dancing: Endless Night Collection review is based on a PlayStation 4 copy provided by Atlus.

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