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Persona 5: Dancing in Starlight Review


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On 11/27/2018 at 09:30 AM by Nick DiMola

A rhythm game to steal your heart.
RECOMMENDATION:

For all fans of Persona 5 and rhythm games.

Rather than retread the same ground covered in my Persona 3: Dancing in Moonlight review, I’d suggest you start there to get a good feel for what Persona 5: Dancing in Starlight offers. Broadly speaking, the two are identical in composition, offer the same modifiers, unlocking stuff is done in the same ways, and the progression is consistent. Other than being skinned for Persona 5 with its music, the games provide the same great experience.

That being said, it’s worth discussing the soundtrack to Dancing in Starlight as it is the major difference here. I’m sure there’s a good deal of subjectivity to it, but I found the songs to be less conducive to the style of gameplay. Where Persona 3’s soundtrack is upbeat and exciting, many of Persona 5’s tracks are slower and simpler and the remixes don’t do a great job of upping the ante.

The note patterns as a result of this can be tougher to execute because they move at odd timings and you have to be very patient to match the rhythm. Whereas the timing in most Persona 3 tracks is fairly easy to feel because the beat is so pronounced, I found it much harder to catch the same rhythm here.

There are a handful of tracks that do hit the mark though and those are as fun to play as ever. That said, the soundtrack is still excellent even if it’s more subdued than that of Persona 3. I do  have a greater degree of nostalgia for Persona 3’s music and listen to it semi-frequently, so it could just be a bit of bias on my part as well as playing to the familiarity of the tracks.

While I didn’t love the soundtrack as much, I did find the team interactions just as fun and engaging as they were in Dancing in Moonlight. If you’ve played Persona 5, you’ll enjoy spending more time with the Phantom Thieves in their latest dancing adventure. The characters are unique and memorable and it’s easy to fall back into the world after spending so much time with the cast in the main game.

Whether you want one or both of these games will depend largely on your affinity for the soundtracks and casts of the original titles. The gameplay holds up even playing through both and I’ve found them engaging and fun from beginning to end. The myriad unlockables and songs with many difficulties give you lots to do and make it easy to get pulled from track to track without even thinking about it.

Review Policy

In our reviews, we'll try not to bore you with minutiae of a game. Instead, we'll outline what makes the game good or bad, and focus on telling you whether or not it is worth your time as opposed to what button makes you jump.

We use a five-star rating system with intervals of .5. Below is an outline of what each score generally means:


All games that receive this score are standout games in their genre. All players should seek a way to play this game. While the score doesn't equate to perfection, it's the best any game could conceivably do.


These are above-average games that most players should consider purchasing. Nearly everyone will enjoy the game and given the proper audience, some may even love these games.


This is our middle-of-the-road ranking. Titles that receive three stars may not make a strong impression on the reviewer in either direction. These games may have some faults and some strong points but they average out to be a modest title that is at least worthy of rental for most.


Games that are awarded two stars are below average titles. Good ideas may be present, but execution is poor and many issues hinder the experience.


Though functional, a game that receives this score has major issues. There are little to no redeeming qualities and should be avoided by nearly all players.


A game that gets this score is fundamentally broken and should be avoided by everyone.


 

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