Choosing between Persona 3 Dancing in Moonlight or Persona 5 Dancing in Starlight is mostly a matter of preference. Where Persona 5 brings the acid jazz, Persona 3 Dancing in Moonlight brings more of a funk, hip hop flair in terms of soundtrack, which is reflected in the tracks featured from the original game and also in the remixes based off its tracks. Dancing in Moonlight features the same polished rhythm game experience that Dancing in Starlight does, but with a Persona 3 makeover and its characters. Setting it apart is that Moonlight features the most high quality 3D models we’ve seen of Persona 3’s characters in years, so playing this game and seeing the updated versions of these characters felt special as someone who has played the original Persona 3 game as a PS2 classic. Whether you’re here for the dancing or here for more Persona 3, Persona 3 Dancing in Moonlight delivers the polished rhythm game and visual experience that fans of Persona’s Dancing games expect while being a great visual tribute to Persona 3 and its great characters in this rhythm game experience.
Dancing All Night and Dancing in Starlight. It features the same updates to this UI that Dancing in Starlight has: the UI is cleaner and makes it easier to focus on your gameplay with just your score and the Hype gauge up top, just with a Blue Persona 3 skin and colours. It might sound small, but one of my favourite parts of Dancing in Moonlight is its UI based on the original Persona 3 game both in the rhythm game and in its menus. Everything is a combination of Persona 3’s signature blue combined with the colourful elements featured in Persona Dance games and little touches like the hype bar being Shadows presumably from Tartarus (since Dancing in Starlight used the people of Mementos) are touches I appreciated as someone who has played Persona 3. As a nostalgic final touch, the menus in Dancing in Moonlight also felt like an updated version of Persona 3, particularly with its menu sounds and the layout of its social events using Tarot Card reminiscent of Persona 3’s social links. It’s these touches that make me feel like they put a lot of effort into making Dancing in Moonlight special for fans of Persona 3 and made me feel instantly at home in this rhythm game version of it.
my review of Persona 5 Dancing in Starlight that its characters looked the best they’ve ever looked and in Dancing in Moonlight for Persona 3’s characters, that is an understatement. Since Persona 3’s characters haven’t really been in 3D since it’s PS2 release, the graphics used in Dancing in Moonlight are a huge step up from how I remember the characters and it was a delight to see each character move smoothly and with more detail, both in their dances and in social events. Like in Dancing in Starlight, the characters also show their personality in dance and this was a subtle but nice reminder of what these characters are like since I haven’t played anything with Persona 3 in it for a while. Little touches like Junpei having a song that starts off with him dancing with his baseball bat or Akihiko’s boxing inspired dance style really made their personalities shine through and was a good representation of each character. On top of re-getting to know its characters were the reminders of its world through the cool sets based on Persona 3, with familiar places like the shopping mall, the dorms and a few places that are clearly in the Midnight Hour from Persona 3 having me itching for a Persona 3 remake thanks to how much care and detail was put into recreating these places. Despite how old Persona 3 is at this point, it’s great to see the care that was put into recreating its many designs for characters and places and makes Persona 3 Dancing in Moonlight feel like an extra special tribute to its source material.
Dancing in Moonlight isn’t just a great visual tribute to Persona 3 as it also incorporates many songs and remixes based off music from its original game. It keeps Persona 3’s unique funk-infused hip hop in tact in its original tracks while also adding remixes that span from dance to heavy rock hip hop blends, complimenting the darker tone of Persona 3 well (there are some song previews in the video around 3:52). And for those who enjoyed Persona 3’s original soundtrack, like Dancing in Starlight it features a few rhythm game tracks that are unremixed tracks from the original game that were also enjoyable since Persona games generally have good soundtracks and Persona 3 is no exception. In this Persona Dance game though, I really enjoyed the remixes most with its blend of genres and am still waiting on that separate soundtrack release so I can listen to these songs when I’m not playing because they’re a great new take on an already great soundtrack.
Still Dancing while wishing for a Persona 3 Remake with these gorgeous detailed sets.
Special thanks to CorruptedSave for gifting this game to me (feel free to check out his YouTube Channel!)! Also special thanks to the people on Twitter who voted in the poll I put out asking if I should put song previews in the video! Be sure to follow me on Twitter if you wanna be able to vote in these kinds of polls too!
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