Destructoid’s award for Best Vita Game of 2015 goes to…

Persona 4: Dancing All Night

The PlayStation Vita has not had the strongest year for releases. With some of the system’s biggest exclusives moving to PS4 and a drastic reduction in the number of new games being produced by first-party developers, many have been predicting the death of the handheld.

But wait, the Vita isn’t dead yet. There’s still new games being released, particularly if you’re a fan of weird, slightly esoteric Japanese titles. In fact, perhaps nothing sums up the Vita’s year of releases as well as the winner of Destructoid’s award for Best Vita Game of 2015, Persona 4: Dancing All Night.

Persona 4 Golden is an absolutely huge JRPG about acceptance, fighting monsters in a TV alternate reality, and magical beings born from emotional connections. Persona 4: Dancing All Night is a direct sequel about dancing. All night.

While in many ways tonally and mechanically distinct from its precursor, Dancing All Night does retain some of the traits that made the original JRPG great. The visual novel portions, the endearing characters, the writing quality, and the narrative connections remain fully intact. Dancing All Night is a worthy sequel to Golden, in spite of its many differences.

Dancing All Night wasn’t perfect. The way it handled scoring is flawed and at times the narrative slows down for a little too long, but after finishing the game the memorable elements completely outweighed the minor issues. Dancing All Night is definitely a Persona game, but it takes enough risks to feel fresh and exciting by comparison.

[Incomplete products like Steam Early Access titles and episodic games that are not fair to assess as stand alone experiences, without a full episode count, were not eligible for this year’s awards. The cutoff for entry into Destructoid’s 2015’s Game of the Year awards is December 4, 2015.]

Laura Dale