Well my dears I’m going to start with this …. Your sweet and loveable Hatter got no sleep last night…. There were a great many factors involved cold, douche bag cat, kitten at the vet under observation, noises, husband with weird hours trying to wake me up at 0300, and of course Persona 4 Dancing All Night! At first I bought the game admittedly not thinking too much about it since Persona tends to focus on fighting versus rhythm and somehow I thought it would end up like so Final Fantasy that attempted to try too many things at once without proper follow through and research. I was happily mistaken! Now let’s get the rhythm going!
You start off in the Blue Velvet room being told about everything that happened to the blue persona team along with a few add on guests the Kanami’s Kitchen Girls, a group of female idols often the opening act for Kanami’s performances. They get stolen away into the Shadow World by an unknown shadow obsessed with bonds and tried to talk each girl (and one other) into being what they think people want them to be. Each girl is then serenaded and witnesses a performance after the teams dance to try to get their feelings to those caught in the shadow’s web while pacifying the shadows of those who were trapped in the shadow world. So time to save four girls and find out just what happened to a young girl who found her favorite idol, hung by yellow ribbon, and lifeless…
Character Development: The entire game is based around more of each character learning to express and or accept themselves for who they are. Which let’s face it is everyone’s struggle although more so for females with the pressure to always be pretty too much make up means you’re fake, not enough make up makes you ugly, she’s a skank, she’s a prude, etc… Luckily this game only deals with a bunch of less racy issues and even the one portrayed as ‘sexy’ was elegantly portrayed enough that one wouldn’t call it too obscene (if you call a pair of giant boobs CONTAINED within a corset obscene get over yourself please.) Moving on!
Graphics: The graphics I found on this game to be bright and very vibrant…sometimes a bit too bright. They have a couple of flashes from the screen so I caution anyone (especially those with light sensitivity issues) playing this game. Luckily it does not occur during the actual dancing portion of the game only during a few events during the storyline. I might go back through the game for the sole purpose of finding those flashes as to warn my readers to turn away the screen….also to try it at a higher difficulty and unlock more things for my team to wear.
Battle System/Learning Curve: In this game your dancing is your ‘fight system’ charging up through movement to set your persona up to give an amazing performance to quell the shadows and save everyone! Your personas pick up guitars, a saxophone, a harp, and even a dj scratch station to rock out! Teddy acts as your instructor in two very short tutorials to help you get used to the game which is fairly easy to understand although I’ll admit some of the compositions in songs encountered later in the game are a little confusing with a couple of odd looking combinations. For only using the up, down, and left arrows on the left, the triangle, circle and X buttons on the right, the mini joy sticks for the scratches the game is easy to pick up but challenging enough to keep interesting with three different difficulties for each song. All in all I found it a rather good time kill while trying to tire myself out. (it didn’t make me sleepy because I took a nap earlier in the day).
Playtime/Replayability: After getting through the story (there is a skip or FF option for the story) and saving everyone I beat the game within the space of two evenings which is honestly not a lot of time… So non-stop the game would have taken me about half a normal day to beat however there is a shop with plenty of items, costumes, and accessories to use in free play. I am unable to at this time get them to wear the purchased items in the actual storyline songs but I just shrug it off and go to Free Play knocking out songs, mixing and matching outfits, accessories, partners, their outfits and accessories. The list goes on.
All in all obviously I enjoyed the game but I wish it had more songs at least a different one for each time a song was used to combat the shadows. (they have DLC tracks which I’m considering….) The songs of course vary by type which makes me happy there just happen to be too few of them. Also my only other gripe is the item shops teasing of letting you see everything available however, shadowing it out until you buy other items you may not want just to get the ones you do desire…. Granted it gives you something to strive for but I’m a little miffed that it took so long to get my characters into Butler suits… Anyways this game is still Hatter Approved and has made me wanted to open the next Touch of Rhythm Tournament (once I start getting more feedback or else what is the point) open to PS Vita games! Now my dears… my day is not done. Wish me luck because this Hatter is OUT!