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'[GAME] Dance Dance Revolution: New Moves'

This thread has been linked to the game 'Dance Dance Revolution'.
Tue 26/04/11 at 17:59:
Regular
"Tip The Scales"
Posts: 869
DanceDanceRevolution: New Moves Review

Find You Again

Thirteen years ago, Konami started a craze...a revolution, some might say. People everywhere were stomping their feet to the Konami sound. This was Dance Dance Revolution. The series hit it’s peak around 2003 before a gradual decline into relative obscurity as amusement arcades fell out of fashion. Originally released here in Europe as ‘Dancing Stage’, Konami’s reboot of the series sticks with a worldwide name of DanceDanceRevolution (beginning with the arcade machines DanceDanceRevolution X and the upcoming X2), but does it still stand out?

Let’s Step!

The gameplay of the Dance Dance Revolution games has always been fairly simple. A track plays and you press the arrows with your feet (or on the controller, if you’re so inclined) in time with those that are scrolling on the screen. The more in time you are with the music the better your score. This time round, the gradings have been slightly simplified: Perfect, Great and Good are all combo steps (decreasing in accuracy) and then there’s Miss for a largely out of time step, or missing the arrow completely. Freeze arrows also do away with the traditional OK and NG ratings to give Perfects and Misses, also.

On completion of the song, a grade will be given denoting how well you did between D (failing) and AAA (very high grade). A subtitle grade will be given for over achievements, such as full comboing a song without getting less than a great. Those veterans of the older games may notice that the score required for each of the grades (especially the higher ones) have been lowered quite significantly, making it easier for newcomers to get higher grades.

New to DanceDanceRevolution: New Moves are the inclusion of “chain arrows” and the “groove trigger”. Chain arrows act much like the solo sections in Rock Band, where hitting the sections well will increase the score more than other parts of the song. The groove trigger is more like the star power part of the Guitar Hero series, it can be activated at times where the health bar is full to double the score gained for an amount of time at the expense of losing half of your health.

Step to the Beat

Of course, no music game worth it’s salt is complete without…well…music. DanceDanceRevolution is no exception (would be weird without music) and has a fairly good variety of music. Konami has licensed a broad range of music from different generations to accompany it’s own creations, with artists such as Bananarama, Duran Duran and Kool and the Gang mixing it up with likes of Lady Gaga, Ke(dollarsign)ha and Paramore. Whilst some of the song selections are a bit on the odd side (Plastic Beach from Gorillaz doesn’t seem to fit this type of game), it’s hard to argue against the fact that there’s something for most people.

On the other hand, the Konami Originals will be unfamiliar to the majority of people (and quite a few veterans) with many of them being either new for the game, or part of the new “generation” of DDR games. That being said, “favourites” such as Afronova and MAX300 are included in the full songlist, and I have to admit that quite a few of the new songs are on the catchy side*. A fair 30 songs will be unlocked to play from the beginning, with all licenses and a handful of Konami Originals available, the rest being unlocked through progress in Club Mode.

Welcome to the Club

Club Mode is effectively the replacement for the absent challenge/campaign mode. Basically, the game throws a pre-set number of “random” songs at you, whilst the steps change themselves to how well you’re dancing, judging you on how “excited” you can get the crowd. Unfortunately, there’s a few flaws in the Club Mode dynamic that makes it a bit annoying and tedious. Firstly, the inability to pick a starting difficulty means that veteran players are stuck playing on lower difficulties for sometimes the first 2 songs before the game realises you’re finding it too easy. Secondly, the random nature of the songs isn’t actually random enough, so often in smaller sets, the songs will mostly be the same.

Other than these complaints though, the mode is actually quite fun, with “tricks” being thrown at you that change the appearance of the arrows or how they scroll up the screen as you do better. Once you’ve played a song in Club Mode enough to partially fill the song information bar, it’ll be available to play in “Your Club”, which acts as an endless mode, as unlocked songs play continuously under the Club Mode rules of tricks and whatnot.

The New Stepping Style

Another new inclusion to grace the first iteration of DDR on the PS3 is a new 8-arrow “mode” (that has not at all been ripped from the rather unsuccessful DDR and Pump It Up clone Technomotion). This adds diagonals to the traditional left, right, up and down layout. This new setup appears as the challenge mode chart for quite a few of the songs, and is an interesting new way to play (and makes playing with the dualshock a right pain as they’re mapped to the triggers). For the most part, these charts make sense. The most confusing aspect is that the diagonals appear over the respective side triggers so can make it a little hard to read and judge. It must be said that whilst it is fun, it is no replacement for the inexplicably missing Doubles mode.

It’s New!

DanceDanceRevolution New Moves also furnishes itself with two other new modes. The first is Dance Off. This is a multiplayer mode that has you and your friends taking turns at sections of a song. If one player does better than the others at a particular step in a sequence, they score a point. You can also compound your opponents misery by comboing into the end of your sequence, beginning the combo roulette, where the person who breaks the combo feels the wrath. This brings a more immediate competition aspect to proceedings, but again fails in a few vital areas: difficulty (is again far too easy for veterans, and most of my matches with friends have ended in very low scoring affairs (including one 0-0, very anticlimactic) and the fact that the mode is limited in song choice.

On the other side is the main attraction of New Moves, Move & Step. This mode adds move controls to the traditional steps, where you have to move the move controller into the circles on the screen in time to the music. This adds an extra dose of movement to the DDR formula, and can make you dance about a fair bit to hit everything. It’s pretty fun, but you’re not going to see it fight off the bigger full body dancing games any time soon.

Epileptic Crisis

The look of DDR has changed significantly since the last generation, and it’s slightly disconcerting in places. The arrows look a bit closer to what you’d expect from a flash game (although polished up nicely I admit), but as a concept, DDR is never going to require graphical excellence (it’s still a step up from the old PS1 games that ran at 30 fps). One of the major gripes I have with the game is that too much is going on on the screen at once. The backgrounds are extremely vivid and distracting, ridiculously so at times. This is combined with the minimizing of the judgements, which are demoted to a small section above the individual arrow, and a column filling flash of colour for each step hit. All of this combined, alongside the flashy chain combo arrows make aiming for Full Perfect Combos a near impossibility on anything higher than beginner level.

Oh No! Combo Stopped

There’s a few omissions that really disappoint me from the most recent DDR game. The omission of doubles (which I’ve already mentioned earlier) is a pretty annoying one, as one of my favourite modes. Hell, Konami have included a 4 player versus function in the game, that could have also been a potential for versus doubles. Although including it would have caused the other problem of the dance mat itself not being available on it’s own, which is an issue if you wanted to play 4 player versus at a party (unless of course, you wanted four copies of the game yourself).

Another idea that would have had potential, especially in this generation, that has been removed is the edit mode functionality. The potential for a database of steps that players themselves had made, with a rating function and Konami picks, like a LittleBigPlanet for dancing, could have been really cool and significantly improved the replay-value of the game itself. That being said, a store is available for the purchase of new songs using the Playstation Network, which until last week was completely empty. I can only say that hopefully that store gets filled (like the American version, which has many of the old Konami favourites available for download) fairly soon.

Can I Call You A Dancing Master?

I love the DDR series, and have put many years into becoming a decent player (whilst having the side-effect of helping me get healthier, which is never a bad thing). DDR will always be either a part of my life or a fond memory I have had through long periods of it. And the latest offering is decent, don’t get me wrong, but it will always be in the background to the behemoths of the dance industry (Just Dance and other full body games for Move/Kinect). Whilst the Move aspect might have pulled it closer to the competition, it will always be viewed as the primitive step game it used to be. This can be seen by a lack of support from high street retailers, and that’s unfortunate.

Score: 7.3/10

*Big props to Konami for including one of my favourite DJs - Fracus, as one of the Konami Original artists, even if they did botch up the steps to it
There have been no replies to this thread yet.
Tue 26/04/11 at 17:59:
Regular
"Tip The Scales"
Posts: 869
DanceDanceRevolution: New Moves Review

Find You Again

Thirteen years ago, Konami started a craze...a revolution, some might say. People everywhere were stomping their feet to the Konami sound. This was Dance Dance Revolution. The series hit it’s peak around 2003 before a gradual decline into relative obscurity as amusement arcades fell out of fashion. Originally released here in Europe as ‘Dancing Stage’, Konami’s reboot of the series sticks with a worldwide name of DanceDanceRevolution (beginning with the arcade machines DanceDanceRevolution X and the upcoming X2), but does it still stand out?

Let’s Step!

The gameplay of the Dance Dance Revolution games has always been fairly simple. A track plays and you press the arrows with your feet (or on the controller, if you’re so inclined) in time with those that are scrolling on the screen. The more in time you are with the music the better your score. This time round, the gradings have been slightly simplified: Perfect, Great and Good are all combo steps (decreasing in accuracy) and then there’s Miss for a largely out of time step, or missing the arrow completely. Freeze arrows also do away with the traditional OK and NG ratings to give Perfects and Misses, also.

On completion of the song, a grade will be given denoting how well you did between D (failing) and AAA (very high grade). A subtitle grade will be given for over achievements, such as full comboing a song without getting less than a great. Those veterans of the older games may notice that the score required for each of the grades (especially the higher ones) have been lowered quite significantly, making it easier for newcomers to get higher grades.

New to DanceDanceRevolution: New Moves are the inclusion of “chain arrows” and the “groove trigger”. Chain arrows act much like the solo sections in Rock Band, where hitting the sections well will increase the score more than other parts of the song. The groove trigger is more like the star power part of the Guitar Hero series, it can be activated at times where the health bar is full to double the score gained for an amount of time at the expense of losing half of your health.

Step to the Beat

Of course, no music game worth it’s salt is complete without…well…music. DanceDanceRevolution is no exception (would be weird without music) and has a fairly good variety of music. Konami has licensed a broad range of music from different generations to accompany it’s own creations, with artists such as Bananarama, Duran Duran and Kool and the Gang mixing it up with likes of Lady Gaga, Ke(dollarsign)ha and Paramore. Whilst some of the song selections are a bit on the odd side (Plastic Beach from Gorillaz doesn’t seem to fit this type of game), it’s hard to argue against the fact that there’s something for most people.

On the other hand, the Konami Originals will be unfamiliar to the majority of people (and quite a few veterans) with many of them being either new for the game, or part of the new “generation” of DDR games. That being said, “favourites” such as Afronova and MAX300 are included in the full songlist, and I have to admit that quite a few of the new songs are on the catchy side*. A fair 30 songs will be unlocked to play from the beginning, with all licenses and a handful of Konami Originals available, the rest being unlocked through progress in Club Mode.

Welcome to the Club

Club Mode is effectively the replacement for the absent challenge/campaign mode. Basically, the game throws a pre-set number of “random” songs at you, whilst the steps change themselves to how well you’re dancing, judging you on how “excited” you can get the crowd. Unfortunately, there’s a few flaws in the Club Mode dynamic that makes it a bit annoying and tedious. Firstly, the inability to pick a starting difficulty means that veteran players are stuck playing on lower difficulties for sometimes the first 2 songs before the game realises you’re finding it too easy. Secondly, the random nature of the songs isn’t actually random enough, so often in smaller sets, the songs will mostly be the same.

Other than these complaints though, the mode is actually quite fun, with “tricks” being thrown at you that change the appearance of the arrows or how they scroll up the screen as you do better. Once you’ve played a song in Club Mode enough to partially fill the song information bar, it’ll be available to play in “Your Club”, which acts as an endless mode, as unlocked songs play continuously under the Club Mode rules of tricks and whatnot.

The New Stepping Style

Another new inclusion to grace the first iteration of DDR on the PS3 is a new 8-arrow “mode” (that has not at all been ripped from the rather unsuccessful DDR and Pump It Up clone Technomotion). This adds diagonals to the traditional left, right, up and down layout. This new setup appears as the challenge mode chart for quite a few of the songs, and is an interesting new way to play (and makes playing with the dualshock a right pain as they’re mapped to the triggers). For the most part, these charts make sense. The most confusing aspect is that the diagonals appear over the respective side triggers so can make it a little hard to read and judge. It must be said that whilst it is fun, it is no replacement for the inexplicably missing Doubles mode.

It’s New!

DanceDanceRevolution New Moves also furnishes itself with two other new modes. The first is Dance Off. This is a multiplayer mode that has you and your friends taking turns at sections of a song. If one player does better than the others at a particular step in a sequence, they score a point. You can also compound your opponents misery by comboing into the end of your sequence, beginning the combo roulette, where the person who breaks the combo feels the wrath. This brings a more immediate competition aspect to proceedings, but again fails in a few vital areas: difficulty (is again far too easy for veterans, and most of my matches with friends have ended in very low scoring affairs (including one 0-0, very anticlimactic) and the fact that the mode is limited in song choice.

On the other side is the main attraction of New Moves, Move & Step. This mode adds move controls to the traditional steps, where you have to move the move controller into the circles on the screen in time to the music. This adds an extra dose of movement to the DDR formula, and can make you dance about a fair bit to hit everything. It’s pretty fun, but you’re not going to see it fight off the bigger full body dancing games any time soon.

Epileptic Crisis

The look of DDR has changed significantly since the last generation, and it’s slightly disconcerting in places. The arrows look a bit closer to what you’d expect from a flash game (although polished up nicely I admit), but as a concept, DDR is never going to require graphical excellence (it’s still a step up from the old PS1 games that ran at 30 fps). One of the major gripes I have with the game is that too much is going on on the screen at once. The backgrounds are extremely vivid and distracting, ridiculously so at times. This is combined with the minimizing of the judgements, which are demoted to a small section above the individual arrow, and a column filling flash of colour for each step hit. All of this combined, alongside the flashy chain combo arrows make aiming for Full Perfect Combos a near impossibility on anything higher than beginner level.

Oh No! Combo Stopped

There’s a few omissions that really disappoint me from the most recent DDR game. The omission of doubles (which I’ve already mentioned earlier) is a pretty annoying one, as one of my favourite modes. Hell, Konami have included a 4 player versus function in the game, that could have also been a potential for versus doubles. Although including it would have caused the other problem of the dance mat itself not being available on it’s own, which is an issue if you wanted to play 4 player versus at a party (unless of course, you wanted four copies of the game yourself).

Another idea that would have had potential, especially in this generation, that has been removed is the edit mode functionality. The potential for a database of steps that players themselves had made, with a rating function and Konami picks, like a LittleBigPlanet for dancing, could have been really cool and significantly improved the replay-value of the game itself. That being said, a store is available for the purchase of new songs using the Playstation Network, which until last week was completely empty. I can only say that hopefully that store gets filled (like the American version, which has many of the old Konami favourites available for download) fairly soon.

Can I Call You A Dancing Master?

I love the DDR series, and have put many years into becoming a decent player (whilst having the side-effect of helping me get healthier, which is never a bad thing). DDR will always be either a part of my life or a fond memory I have had through long periods of it. And the latest offering is decent, don’t get me wrong, but it will always be in the background to the behemoths of the dance industry (Just Dance and other full body games for Move/Kinect). Whilst the Move aspect might have pulled it closer to the competition, it will always be viewed as the primitive step game it used to be. This can be seen by a lack of support from high street retailers, and that’s unfortunate.

Score: 7.3/10

*Big props to Konami for including one of my favourite DJs - Fracus, as one of the Konami Original artists, even if they did botch up the steps to it

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