The Persona games have great music that is super enjoyable to listen to, even outside of the games the tracks originate from. Much like Persona 5: Dancing in Starlight, its companion game focusing on the Persona 3 characters does a great job at showcasing the fun soundtrack from the third entry of the series. Persona 3: Dancing in Moonlight is very much like the same game staring the Persona 5 cast, only this time you have a new assortment of characters and new music to play with. Whether it has the better soundtrack than its companion is up for debate, but that doesn’t mean the tracks and visuals in this rhythm game are any less fantastic.
The gameplay of Persona 3: Dancing in Moonlight is identical to that of Persona 5: Dancing in Moonlight. You carefully time your button presses to the notes that appear on screen, listening to great remixes and original tracks from Persona 3 while the heroes of the game dancing away. Nothing different there, but the change in the music listing and the cast really mix up the experience. The visuals are very colorful and have a lot of flashing effects, especially when you enter Fever Mode during a song. If you’ve played the other Persona dancing game, then you’re not going to be lost or find too much different here in terms of gameplay.
But how does the focus on Persona 3 work out? If you loved that entry of the Persona series, then you’re going to love the entire voice cast reprising their roles as their respective characters, as well as some of the deep nods and fan service that is littered in the dialogue of social events. There are English and Japanese voice-over tracks you can switch between, which is great for different fans of either Japanese or English dialogue.
The music listing itself has a great assortment of remixes of the best songs from Persona 3, with a few multiple versions of a few choice songs that are very popular among those who’ve played the original game. However, it probably would’ve been a better idea to limit the number of versions per song and instead include a different track to offer more variety. Regardless though, the track list is pretty good. Some songs can be very hard on Normal difficulty or higher, making the difficulty spikes as you progress through the tracklist a little bit erratic.
Much like in Persona 5: Dancing in Starlight, you can visit the rooms of each character when you unlock the fifth social event for each, after playing through enough songs. Unlocking the social links is still a bit tedious across the board, however, especially when you’re required to complete most of the songs with a high rating and replay them across multiple difficulties. This naturally comes with time, but it will be a chore for some with a few tracks. When you’re able to view a character’s room you have the option of using PSVR besides the controller. You can’t do much but look around and interact with a few objects, but it’s a short distraction from the music when you want to see a bit more Persona 3 fan service. Eagle-eyed fans of the game will notice more than a few deep cuts here and there when exploring around.
As far as extras there isn’t much different here. Each character can be given a custom outfit to wear during a song, with items you unlock as you play. It’s annoying that most custom accessories and items are tied to unlocking specific social events for different characters, so you’ll be seeing many of the same items a lot before unlocking new ones. There are about 25 tracks in total, with no other bonus ones to unlock once you play through all of them on any difficulty. Though there is potential for downloadable music tracks to expand upon this with new music, it would’ve been nice to have more tracks you can gain from completing other tasks outside of the social events.
If you’re a fan of Persona 3 and love the music of that game, then this will be right up your alley. Anyone who didn’t play through that Japanese role-playing game (which you REALLY should!) might not resonate with anything here. This is a game for Persona fans who like to revel in the fan service and spectacle of the series. Even with that being said, Persona 3: Dancing in Moonlight has fantastic music and great looking visuals to go with it. Dancing in the Starlight was a lot of fun, but dancing in the moonlight with this cast of characters is just as good.
This review was based on a digital review code of Persona 3: Dancing in Moonlight for the PlayStation 4, provided by ATLUS.