Persona 3 and Persona 5 are both great in their own right, so you can’t go wrong with choosing either one, but here’s why I decided with Persona 3: Dancing in Moonlight, and how you can unlock all Social events.
When I was given the choice between Persona 3: Dancing in Moonlight and Persona 5: Dancing in Starlight, I went with P3D without hesitation. While I very much enjoyed my time with Persona 5, I was excited about the idea of getting to see the members of SEES again, and best of all, in newly updated 3D models.
The Persona 5: Dancing in Starlight side mostly uses models based on the ones from Persona 5, but Persona 3: Dancing in Moonlight has character models made from the ground up, and they look great.
In a way, seeing Makoto Yuki, Junpei, Yukari, and the rest of the gang felt like meeting friends for the first time in ten years and they’re just the way you remembered, except more detailed. For example, whenever Junpei makes a typical Stupei remark, you can bet Yukari will be there to give him the best stink eye in glorious HD.
I won’t go too much into detail about the story (mostly because there isn’t much) but it basically starts out with the eight characters waking up and finding themselves in “Club Velvet,” which is basically a dance club version of the Velvet Room, as the name suggests. Elizabeth shows up with a vague explanation about why everyone is there, and she tells them they’ll need to dance for another vague reason. She also informs the guys that they’re actually asleep and by the time they wake up they won’t have any memories of what happens.
Since the gang all realize they’re in some sort of shared dream, it leads to some entertaining Social events. Again, I won’t go into too much detail for these, but each character has their own rooms in Club Velvet that are duplicates of their real-world rooms. In one of the earlier events for Yukari she points out that her room was exactly the way she left it in the real world, which even included the empty CD case. She remembers that it was Junpei who borrowed her CD and tells him off for it, but he just asks if he can borrow another CD to which she declines. Here, you get the option to make her sound silly by saying “well, it is just a dream, you know.”
While on the subject of music, Yukari points out that Makoto always seems to have his earphones and asks what kind of music does he listen to, and you get to tell her whatever it is you think he’d say. The choices you get are along the lines of “something chill,” “something heavy,” and “I’d rather not say.”
As Jenni previously talked about, the story is incidental. I won’t say that the story is nonexistent because you do learn a little more about Club Velvet and eventually why you’re dancing, but the Social events are the main attraction for fans of the series looking forward to spending time with their favorite characters just to learn more about them. You basically unlock the Social events by playing stages but the way you unlock Social events vary for each character. Some will have you accumulate Max Combos while others will have you clear songs with different costumes. By checking out Social events, you can unlock new items, or even Social events for other characters by simply watching more Social events.
Again, there isn’t a normal story mode or campaign, so you’ll spend most of your time playing through songs to unlock scenes that last about 2~3 minutes on average. If you’re the type of gamer who can go on playing rhythm games for extended periods mix, it shouldn’t take you that long to unlock everything. There are ways to change things up with options such as “Challenges” that make things extra tough for you, such as notes speeding up by 16% speed, sudden accelerations, or even super tough ones like “break a combo and lose.” While Challenges are there for advanced players, the game offers “Supports” that basically do the opposite by helping you out with things such as “taking no damage for missing,” “fill up your meter more during Fever,” “meter automatically fills up,” and more.
The only part I felt was pretty time-consuming is that every Support and Challenge option needs to be unlocked, and there are some Social events that unlock by that having several or all of these turned on in the Play Custom options.
That said, here’s the full list of how to unlock all Social events in Persona 3: Dancing in Moonlight:
- Clear a song after changing costumes
- Clear songs using 5 different costumes
- Clear songs using 12 different costumes
- Clear songs using 20 different costumes
- Clear songs using 28 different costumes
- Clear songs using 38 different costumes
- Clear songs using 50 different costumes
- Clear songs using 70 different costumes
- Get a clear with any Support turned on
- Get clears with 5 different accessories
- Get clears with 10 different accessories
- Get clears with 15 different accessories
- Get clears with 20 different accessories
- Clear with all Support turned on
- Get clears with 30 different accessories
- Get clears with 50 different accessories
- Reach an accumulated total of 800 Max Combo
- Reach an accumulated total of 2,400 Max Combo
- Reach an accumulated total of 4,000 Max Combo
- Reach an accumulated total of 6,000 Max Combo
- Reach an accumulated total of 8,000 Max Combo
- Reach an accumulated total of 10,000 Max Combo
- Reach an accumulated total of 13,500 Max Combo
- Reach an accumulated total of 17,000 Max Combo
- Unlock 1 Challenge
- Unlock 3 Challenges
- Unlock 5 Challenges
- Unlock 7 Challenges
- Unlock 9 Challenges
- Clear with 3 Challenges turned on
- Unlock 11 Challenges
- Clear with 5 Challenges turned on
- Play 3 songs
- Play 7 songs
- Play 15 songs
- Play 23 songs
- Play 31 songs
- Play 39 songs
- Play 48 songs
- Play 57 songs
- Hit 1,000 accumulated Perfects
- Hit 3,000 accumulated Perfects
- Hit 5,000 accumulated Perfects
- Hit 7,000 accumulated Perfects
- Hit 9,000 accumulated Perfects
- Hit 12,000 accumulated Perfects
- Hit 16,000 accumulated Perfects
- Hit 20,000 accumulated Perfects
- Clear 5 Tracks with Brilliant rating
- Clear 10 Tracks with Brilliant rating
- Clear 15 Tracks with Brilliant rating
- Clear 20 Tracks with Brilliant rating
- Clear 26 Tracks with Brilliant rating
- Clear 33 Tracks with Brilliant rating
- Clear 40 Tracks with Brilliant rating
- Clear 47 Tracks with Brilliant rating
- Automatically unlocks at the start of the game
- Watch 3 Social Link events
- Watch 7 Social Link events
- Watch 12 Social Link events
- Watch 18 Social Link events
- Watch 27 Social Link events
- Watch 36 Social Link events
- Watch 47 Social Link events
If you’re wondering how you actually “beat” Persona 3: Dancing in Moonlight, you simply have to watch Elizabeth’s 8th and final Social event, and you’ll get the credits after watching it.
Food For Thought
- Playing this game made me want a proper Persona 3 remake, now more than ever.
- The “scratch” action was something I couldn’t get used to with the analog stick, but it helped after changing the controls to the shoulder buttons.
- I played Persona 4: Dancing All Night on PS Vita so moving to the big screen with PS4 was a little tough at first. I felt that I was missing out on a lot of the visuals since I had to focus on notes going one corner of the screen to the other; however, the game doesn’t exactly have a whopping number of tracks, so after playing a song a few times I found myself focusing less on the notes and more on the actual dancing.
Persona 3: Dancing in Moonlight and Persona 5: Dancing in Starlight release in North America and Europe in early 2019 for PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita. The games are available in Japan.