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Dance Dance Revolution Konamix

Usually a game consists of a plot, enemies of some sort, a character you control and an ending after completing the game. Dance Dance Revolution Konamix does not have any of these elements, but is one of the most addictive games in recent memory. Based on the incredibly popular arcade versions, this dancing game doesn’t disappoint. Most of you probably snicker when you hear the words “dancing game.” I laughed at those words too until I finally gave DDR a chance. Those of you who have never indulged in such a game are probably wondering how they can be any fun, so that’s why I’m here.

First of all a dance pad is required if you want to have fun. These cost as little as $20, but the high end pads can cost upwards of $100. You can use the standard controller but that just defeats the purpose of a dancing game. You start off by picking a song from one of the various collections of songs (such as club style, songs from previous DDRs and a few other collections). The music starts playing and arrows start scrolling from the bottom. You step on the corresponding arrows. If you miss too many steps the song stops and it’s game over. This sounds easy, but in actuality it can become quite challenging. Some songs are incredibly fast, with lots of complicated steps. There are also half and quarter-beat steps thrown in to keep you moving.

The first few times of playing are understandably confusing and frustrating. Once I finally got the hang of things I realized the gameplay is flawless. The whole thing is incredibly simple, but also challenging and deep at the same time (pardon the clichéd adjectives). Figuring out how to move your feet takes a little while to learn. However, once you learn the beats of the songs, stepping on the correct arrows becomes like a second nature. Thankfully for novices, Konamix features multiple difficulty settings, a tutorial that explains the basics and an excellent training mode where you can slowdown the songs and practice at your own pace.

While the whole game is relatively basic, Konami gave us a few different modes and options. In game mode, which is basically the arcade mode, three songs have to be passed in order to beat the game. While there is no ending and the only reward is unlocking new songs, the real reward is the sense of satisfaction you get after beating a tough song. If only more games created such a sense of accomplishment.

My personal favorite mode is the workout mode. You can play as many songs as you want, and the amount of calories you burned are kept track of for each song. For all the couch potatoes, this is a great way to get in shape. Another great way to break a sweat is the nonstop mode. A group of four songs is played one after another, with no rest in-between. After playing through this my legs were exhausted, but I enjoyed every minute of it. Each song can also be changed a bit with the options available, effectively extending the replay value. Steps can be mirrored, simplified, sped up and even turned invisible. Perhaps the best feature in the game is the edit mode. You can customize and create the steps to any song you want with relative ease. With certain accessories available for the Playstation it is even possible to share your custom dances with people over the internet.

The only graphics you’ll even have time to notice are the constant stream of arrows on your TV. Upon closer inspection there are lots of colorful lights, weird symbols and even a well-animated character dancing to the beats. The trippy effects look pretty nice, but if you don’t focus on the arrows you’re bound to fail the song.

More important is the music. What would a dancing game like this be without a good music? Well, I guess it would be pretty bad. Good thing a majority of the songs in Konamix are catchy and keep your feet moving. I admit I’m even guilty of singing a few of the songs at inappropriate moments. The music ranges from techno to pop to R&B and even some J-pop songs are in there. I’m sure most people could find at least five songs they like in this game, so there really is something for everyone. Out of the forty plus songs, there was only a couple that I didn’t like. If only the announcer was as strong as the music. He shouts inane things like “You’re my hero!” and “I can see dreams in your dance, I can see the future” or something along those lines. Not only his voice annoying, but he says some of the most idiotic comments heard in a game since Zero Wing(is that reference officially outdated now?). Fortunately there is an option to turn the announcer off.

So what’s not to like about this game? You can show off in front of your friends, stay in shape and hone your arcade skills in the privacy of your home. The graphics aren’t much, but the music and gameplay is what matters most. It can be hard to recommend a game that requires you to purchase an extra accessory just to enjoy it, but if you’re a smart shopper you can pick up the game with a pad for around the same price as a brand new game. Not a bad price considering it’s the only game I’ve ever played almost daily for more then a month. For those of you searching for lots of bang for your buck search no further; Dance Dance Revolution Konamix is here.

9 out of 10

The author of this fine article

is a Senior Staff Writer at Thunderbolt, having joined in February 2003. Get in touch on Twitter @akarge.

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