Persona 4: Dancing All Night is a rhythm game for the PlayStation Vita from Atlus's P Studio and Dingo Inc. The game features music and characters from Persona 4, as well as at least one new character, Kanami Mashita. Kanami was first mentioned in Persona 4 as an up-and-coming idol that Rise Kujikawa discovered, and who later signed on with Minoru Inoue as her manager while Rise was on hiatus from show business.
Persona 4: Dancing All Night takes place the summer after the events of Persona 4. The protagonist and Rise have both moved back to the city to resume their old lives, with the latter becoming an idol once again. Soon afterwards, though, a rumor circulates that if a person visits a certain website at midnight and watches the video that's played there, the viewer will be taken to "the other side" and never wake up. When several members of Kanamin Kitchen, an idol group led by Kanami, one of Rise's understudies, mysteriously disappear, Rise decides to call up the protagonist and investigate. "The other side," as it turns out, is a world called the "Midnight Stage," a place where Shadows once again roam and also where the girls of Kanamin Kitchen have been taken prisoner. Realizing that, Yu and Rise decide to bring the Investigation Team back together to check out the Midnight Stage and save the girls with the power of dance.
Persona 4 Dancing All Night has two different game modes available.
The Story Mode will take the player through a variety of songs, dancers, and stages as the Investigation Team returns in an attempt to solve the mysteries behind the Midnight Stage. The player will also get to play as both the new kid on the block, Kanami, and as the protagonist's cousin Nanako, when they attempt to balance dance practice for an upcoming festival, and some detective work of their own.
Free Dance allows the player to jump straight into the action, after choosing a song, an outfit, and a difficulty level. Like in the story mode, each song's dancer is set and cannot be changed. The player can, however, choose a partner of their liking, but the amount of available partners varies on a song by song basis. This partner will join the main dancer on stage during "Fever Time", a state that's similar to the Star Power in Guitar Hero. All pairings have unique choreography and dialogue associated with them.
After finishing a song in Free Dance mode, players can see their best scores on online leaderboards, which allows them to compete with their friends, and against other players from across the globe.
If the player wishes, they can also enjoy the songs and everyone's choreographies through the in-game gallery, which allows them to enjoy the content without being distracted by the gameplay.
Notes appear in the center of the screen, after which they will then move to the outer edges, where there are targets waiting for the corresponding buttons. The buttons used are as follows: the up, left and down arrows on the left, and the triangle, circle and X buttons on the right. The targets can also be hit by touching them on the Vita's touchscreen.
The core gameplay of Persona 4 Dancing All Night consists of the player hitting the appropriate buttons to the beat of the music. Hitting the correct note on time earns the player points, and the goal is to hit these notes as accurately as possible. Hitting multiple notes correctly in a row results in a combo, which the player will then want to keep up to get the highest score possible.
The standard notes have three different variations. The default notes are circles with stars in the middle, which can be cleared with a single button press. The green "Hold" notes have the player holding down the button, and the pink "Unison" notes require two different, but simultaneous button presses.
There are also notes called "Scratch Rings", which can be cleared in either of two ways: When a ring reaches the outer edges of the screen, the player can touch the screen, similarly to how a DJ turns a vinyl record back and forth, or they can simply choose to flick either of the Vita's analog sticks. An update to the game allows the player to also enable the shoulder buttons for this action.
These rings come in two different forms. The normal blue rings are bonuses in the sense that missing them does not result in a penalty of any kind, but to get the highest score possible the player will want to hit these too.
The second are rainbow-colored and are plastered with the word "Fever!" on them. Hitting a "Fever Ring" rewards the player with a single piece of "Fever meter".
If the player manages to hit a total of three Fever Rings before a set point in the song, Fever Time will be activated, and the action on screen kicks up a notch. Also, if the player has chosen a dance partner in the Free Dance game mode, or has had one assigned to them during the story mode, this is when they will join in to bust a move with the main dancer, for as long as the Fever lasts.
The "Groovy Gauge", which is placed on the top of the screen, shows five tiny, dancing characters. Depending on how well the player is doing during a song, they will change color accordingly.
The colors from worst to best are red, yellow, white, green, and when the characters flash in the colors of the rainbow, the gauge is at its fullest. If the gauge is not at least green by the end of the song, the player won't be able to properly clear the song, no matter how well they've done otherwise.
There are four difficulty levels available for all songs in Persona 4 Dancing All Night: Easy, Normal, Hard and All Night. However, "All Night" must first be unlocked by purchasing every available item from Tanaka, which can be a momentous task.
The harder the setting, the more complex the note patterns get. More points will be given out when playing on the higher settings, but the player won't be able to make as many mistakes as on the lower ones, before failing a song.
Numerous additional modifiers can be enabled from the options menu after they've been unlocked by buying the corresponding items from the in-game store. The ones looking for a challenge can, for example, make the notes waver in speed, or even completely disappear.
Those new to the joys of rhythm games may want to look into turning on some power ups, such as the "Revival Bead", which allows the player to continue playing even after they would normally fail the song.
When a note is hit, one of three ratings will appear. A "Perfect" hit, requires near perfect timing, while "Great", and "Good" are awarded for less accurate hits. Missing a note doesn't break up the action per say, but ends a combo if there's one going, and might sometimes warrant a comment from the selected dancer. Missing enough notes will result in failing the song.
After each song, a performance rating will be given to the player. These showcase how well they did. From worst to best these ratings are: "NOT CLEAR", "STAGE CLEAR", "BRILLIANT", and "KING CRAZY." To get the highest rating possible, the player will have to keep up a combo for the whole duration of the song, all the while getting at least "Great" hits. All Scratch and Fever Rings must also be hit.
If the selected dancer is a Persona user, and the player gets a high enough score, the dancer's Persona will burst out along with a musical instrument. For example, Yosuke's Jiraiya shreds on a guitar, while The Beast in Heat's Kintoki-Douji turns up the heat on a set of turntables.
Outfits & Accessories
Simply playing through songs will reward the player with in-game currency, similarly to the Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA games.
This currency can then be used to purchase new outfits and accessories for the dancers to wear. Fans of the series will recognize most of the plethora of costumes available, which vary from the normal Yasogami High School uniforms to what the Investigation Team was wearing during the ski trip in Persona 4 Golden.
Most of the accessories however, are brand new. These range from "shadow eyes" (which make the dancer look like their shadow counterpart) to different wigs and headphones.
The game has a total of 14 playable dancers, three of which are downloadable. All characters have their own unique styles of dancing: Yukiko's moves are graceful and ballet-like, while Kanji's locking and punching show off his more brutish personality. As previously mentioned, characters cannot be picked individually. Instead, they've all got their own song or songs assigned to them.
Downloadable Dancers (Free Dance mode only):
Series' composer Shoji Meguro has joined forces with other renowned video game music composers, and famous artists from the Japanese music industry, to bring together a mixture of songs heard on the existing original and remix soundtracks, as well as new ones composed specifically for the game.
The song list consists of a total of 40 songs, out of which 13 are downloadable content.
|Song Title||Dancer||First Appearance|
|Backside Of The TV (Lotus Juice Remix)||Yosuke||Persona 4: DAN (originally Persona 4)|
|MV*||Persona 4 The Animation|
|Best Friends||Kanji||Persona 4 Arena|
|Best Friends (Banvox Remix)||Chie||Persona 4: DAN|
Persona 4 Arena Ultimax
Persona 4: DAN
|Dance!||Yu||Persona 4: DAN|
|MV||Persona 4 The Golden Animation|
|Electronica In Velvet Room||Margaret||Persona 4|
|Heartbeat, Heartbreak ("Never More" ver.)||Yukiko||Never More -Reincarnation: Persona 4-** (originally Persona 4)|
|Heartbeat, Heartbreak (TOWA TEI Remix)||Nanako||Persona 4: DAN|
|Heaven (Norihiko Hibino Remix)||Naoto||Persona 4: DAN (originally Persona 4)|
|Hatsune Miku||Persona 4: DAN|
|Junes Theme (Vocal Version)||Nanako||Persona 4|
|MV||Persona 4 The Animation|
|MV||Persona 4 The Animation|
|Like a dream come true ("Never More ver.)||Teddie||Never More -Reincarnation: Persona 4- (originally Persona 4)|
|MAZE OF LIFE||Yu||Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth|
|MV||Persona 4 The Golden Animation|
|NOW I KNOW (Yuu Miyake Remix)||Rise||Persona 4 Arena|
|Pursuing My True Self||Rise||Persona 4|
|Pursuing My True Self (ATLUS Kozuka Remix)||Chie||Persona 4: DAN|
|Pursuing My True Self (Shinichi Osawa Remix)||Teddie||Persona 4: DAN|
|Reach Out To The Truth (Dancing on PERSONA STAGE)||Yu||Persona 4: DAN|
|Shadow World||Kanami||Persona 4 Golden|
|Shadow World (ATLUS Kozuka Remix)||Nanako||Persona 4: DAN|
|MV||Persona 4: DAN|
|Signs Of Love ("Never More" ver)||Naoto||Never More -Reincarnation: Persona 4- (originally Persona 4)|
|Signs Of Love (TK Remix)||Yu||Persona 4: DAN|
|MV||Persona 4 The Animation|
|SNOWFLAKES (NARASAKI Remix)||Yukiko||Persona 4: DAN (originally Persona 4 Golden)|
|specialist ("Never More" ver.)||Yu||Never More -Reincarnation: Persona 4- (originally Persona 4)|
|The Fog (ATLUS Konishi Remix)||Tohru Adachi||Persona 4: DAN (originally Persona 4)|
|Time To Make History||Yu||Persona 4 The Animation|
|Time To Make History (AKIRA YAMAOKA Remix)||Kanji||Persona 4: DAN|
Persona 4: DAN (originally Persona 4 Golden)
Your Affection (Daisuke Asakura Remix)
Persona 4: DAN
^The underlined songs are downloadable content, some of which are free but not provided on the game cartridge or the initial download of the digital version. Details can be found on the PlayStation Store or on Atlus' official website.
*MV, short for Music Video, means that the song doesn't have a dancer dedicated to it, and a music video will play in the background instead.
**"Never More -Reincarnation: Persona 4- "is an official remix album released in 2011 that features new arrangements for some of the "greatest hits" from Persona 4. One was also made for Persona 3, called "Burn My Dread -Reincarnation: Persona 3-."
PlayStation TV support
Persona 4 Dancing All Night fully supports PlayStation TV, and can be played on a bigger screen while using a DualShock 3 or 4 for the controls. Actions which can be cleared using the touch controls, like hitting the Scratch Rings in-game, must be performed using the controllers' analog sticks. The PS Vita itself cannot be used as a controller.
PlayStation 4 Port
As part of the release of Persona 3: Dancing Moon Night and Persona 5: Dancing Star Night, Atlus released a "Dancin' All-Star Triple Pack" that included both new games as well as a PS4 port of Persona 4 Dancing All Night. No plans to release this version of the game separately have been announced. The PS4 version will support all DLC purchased on the Vita version, but will not support cross-save.