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DanceDanceRevolution review

AT A GLANCE
  • Original DDR tracks
  • Core DDR gameplay is intact
  • Move support is strictly optional
  • Terrible pop song selection
  • Move support is not fun
  • Dance mat pales in comparison to arcade

Hey guys, a Dance Dance Revolution game came out for PS3 last month that features new-fangled PlayStation®Move support. Pretty much nobody reviewed it, so in case you were wondering, here's the first and probably last word on it. It's officially called DanceDanceRevolution, in one grotesque wordform (I'm not going to dignify it by calling it a "word"), so maybe people got confused because it wasn't called DDR SuperNOVA Dance Party Universe 4thMix or something like that. At any rate, it doesn't offer any surprises, other than that the Move support actually functions completely as intended.

"It functions" is the best thing we can say about the optional Move support though, which admittedly is more than can be said for most gimmicky, tacked-on motion controls. That said, it may work, but it's not fun.  When you enable Move support, two things happen. First, you see yourself playing on-screen via the Eye camera at all times, instead of just the usual DDR flavor backgrounds. Most importantly though, it adds four diagonal arrows to the dance choreography in addition to the normal up/down/left/right step arrows.

To hit the diagonal arrows, you swing your arm holding the Move controller to the appropriate circle on screen, which easily works as intended because you can see yourself on screen, so there's no ambiguity about whether you're positioning the controller in the right spot or not. It feels awkward though, mostly because you only hold one Move controller, so for either the left side or the right side (depending which is your dominant hand) you have to awkwardly cross over to hit the circle. DDR has always been elegantly symmetrical, so the odd need to cross your arm over only on one side feels irritatingly lopsided, and occasionally feels more like a game of Twister than DDR.

But most DDR fans are not going to want to bother with the Move support anyway. So more importantly, how's the track list? Licensed pop music takes center stage here, and while some of it boils down to personal preference, many of the tracks are simply not suited at all to DDR. For reference, here are the licensed songs:

According to You - Orianthi
Animal - Ke$ha
Bad Romance - Lady Gaga
Battlefield - Jordin Sparks
Celebration - Kool and the Gang
crushcrushcrush - Paramore
Dancing in the Street - Martha and the Vandellas
Hey, Soul Sister - Train
I Got You - Leona Lewis
I'm Yours - Jason Mraz
Love Like This - Natasha Bedingfield
Love Shack - The B-52's
Missing - Everything But The Girl
My Life Would Suck Without You - Kelly Clarkson
Need You Now - Lady Antebellum
Plastic Beach - Gorillaz (feat. Mick Jones & Paul Simonon)
Rio - Duran Duran
So Fine - Sean Paul
Venus - Bananarama
We Are Family - Sister Sledge

Even the biggest Jason Mraz fan on the planet would have to admit that "I'm Yours" is a terrible choice for DDR - not only is it super slow (not necessarily a problem if it were an original song crafted for DDR), but it just lacks the kind of beat that makes you want to step in time with arrows. To compound the issue, the arrow choreography on many of the licensed tracks doesn't match well with the songs, making them even less fun to play. Of course, the track list has its share of original DDR songs as well, but hardcore DDR fans should be annoyed at how congested the list is with top 40 pop music (of which many of the tracks are arguably pretty crappy to boot). Even more annoying, the majority of the original DDR songs need to be unlocked through clearing the initial track list, whereas all the licensed drivel is available from the get-go. On the plus side (sort of), Konami plans to make available various DLC tracks via an in-game music store, so there's that. 

Dec 6, 2010

More Info

Release date: Nov 16 2010 - PS3 (US)
Available Platforms: PS3
Genre: Other Games/Compilations
Published by: Konami

7 comments

  • dwrk-dwrk-dwrk-dwrk - June 27, 2013 9:04 a.m.

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  • netlatnu - December 7, 2010 1:51 p.m.

    I didn't realize this was out or coming out anytime soon. If they actually support the music store, this game will be exactly what I want. I use DDR for workouts, but when each individual version of the game has only about 25 tolerable songs, you find yourself playing the same mix of songs over and over.
  • EnragedTortoise1 - December 7, 2010 1:19 p.m.

    There has been tumbleweed sighted in the New Releases section.
  • Darkhawk - December 7, 2010 6:26 a.m.

    It's amazing how lucid and intelligent GR reviews are. I like how this actually focuses on the important questions for the DDR player who cares. i.e. Are there good tracks, is using the Move awkward, where are my J-Pop songs? It drives me nuts when I read throwaway DDR reviews like "It has the same mix of Jpop and Top 40 that fans of DDR already love." Clearly, there is room for both good and bad in the DDR-verse.
  • deepbluenumber2 - December 7, 2010 5:58 a.m.

    i cry at night at the fact i have to play the first 30 songs a total of 400 songs in club mode just to unlock the better half of the song list sniff sniff
  • thedonut - December 7, 2010 3:17 a.m.

    Only good song is Love Shack. I never heard the new Gorillaz, so I can't judge that one.
  • oryandymackie - December 7, 2010 1:05 a.m.

    December is looking pretty barren.

Showing 1-7 of 7 comments

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