Here's my review.
My birthday finally came and I actually got something I wanted. Instead of a bottle of tequila or tickets to a concert I wanted to attend, I wanted a copy of Dance Dance Revolution for PS3 and I actually got it. I've had it since November 17th, and I've got half the trophies done. So here's an "in-depth" review since IGN skipped over this one.
There's a few interesting choices to the gameplay. First off, the judgement is now at the top of the screen and barely visible. The only real way to tell how you're doing during the song is by the color of the combo counter (taken from ITG) and the color of the arrow splash as you press the corresponding arrow. The animations for the arrow explosion are a nice touch as they look like fireworks going off, but this game is starting to severely suffer in terms of reading arrows. You pretty much HAVE to have the Noteskin set to SOLO or whatever it's called to make sure you're stepping at the right time. There are also a lot of different colors going on when you step, so if you get a perfect and you're using SOLO, the Arrow splash will look like RED Firewords, while the actual Freeze arrows now count as two separate steps: one at the beginning and one at the end. If you're a hardcore DDR player, you'll notice this when the final combo on MAX300 Expert is 577 instead of 573. GOOD no longer breaks combo, but a MISS will. No MARVELOUS grade in this one. Sorry.
The announcer isn't all bad either. He's no PRE-MAX or EXTREME Announcer, but he's not as bad as the DDR X announcer.
I do appreciate the fact that grading has taken on qualities of beatmaniaIIDX. It allows for a much larger grading scale in terms of A and higher.
The songlist in this game is probably the most gender-specific songlist I've ever seen in one of these games. The licenses are made up of mostly Top 40 songs i.e. Lady Gaga, Ke$ha, Paramore, Train, and a Gorillaz song! And some vintage songs that are supposed to attract an older age group....a much older age group. The KONAMI Originals list is made up of a mixed bag of songs from some of Naoki Maeda's alter-ego's and Rescue Me sounds like MEMORIES from DDR EXTREME. People are saying it's a cover, but if it's a cover, why are the lyrics and different and where did the piano part go? Traded in for a minimalist synth part? BORING.
There's two or three KONAMI Originals and they're not really all that classic. If you have an extremely sensitive ear, MAX300 and ever snow probably sound different than you remember. That's because the version of MAX300 you're hearing is actually from beatmaniaIIDX 7th Style and the version of ever snow you're hearing is a cover by TERRA not Yoma Komatsu from DDRMAX2. The other "classic" KO is Tsugaru -Apple Seed Mix- from DDRMAX2. The song also has a full chart now instead of just the CHALLENGE Chart.
Unlocking songs is easy: JUST PLAY CLUB MODE. More on that later
I said later didn't I? Anywho, there's a few new modes: CLUB MODE, MOVE & STEP, 8-PANEL MODE, VIDEO MANAGER, DANCE OFF and I believe that's it.
CLUB MODE: Not much to it. Just play until it's over. Pick anywhere from 4 to 20 songs. The difficulty increases and decreases based on your performance and based on how you do on certain songs, more difficult mods will start to show up. This is also the mode where you will unlock songs. There's a Progression Meter and for each notch you fill, you'll unlock a new song. Hint: To unlock songs faster, just play 20 song sets. Get ready to hate Love Like This by Natasha Bedingfield.
MOVE & STEP: Just the way it sounds. Arrows are still on the screen and there are also 4 Giant Circles in which you have to place the Move wand at the proper time. Think of DanceManiaX or Para Para Paradise but with only 4 areas and you're using a PlayStation Wand. It's not a difficult mode unless you're playing 8-Panel Mode at the same time in which case it can get a bit confusing. More on 8-Panel Later. The mode swaps out where arrows should be and puts a few simple Move points in their place.
8-PANEL MODE: 4 Stationary Arrows at the top, while there are 8 Directional arrows to step on. Honestly, it's REALLY confusing. The left and right arrows actually have 3 different arrows assigned to them and it gets really confusing on songs like A Geisha's Dream. I should also mention that this mode only appears on CHALLENGE Charts in most songs. Tsugaru -Apple Mix- does not have an 8-Panel Mode as it retains it's original ONI chart.
DANCE OFF: Didn't play this Mode, as no one will play with me
VIDEO MANAGER: Yes you can take videos of songs in the game. Unfortunately, you can only take videos of KONAMI ORIGINALS and there's only so many of those. In VIDEO MANAGER, you can essentially name and watch your videos before you EXPORT them to the XMB. Yep, that's pretty much it. On the bright side, they do get their own folder on the XMB and you can up them straight to Facebook or Youtube via the PS3 Uploader Application. This is also a good time to plug my Youtube Channel which has videos of every KONAMI Original from DDR PS3. JinZX1 YouTube Channel.
This is where I get brutal. If you've stayed with me this long, kudos. A long time ago when I first registered for these boards, someone asked us-- the fans, the consumers, the gamers, the nerds, and the long-time dancers what we wanted to see in future DDR Titles. The only thing I can see that made it in is VIDEO MANAGER.
The songlist is atrocious, the gameplay screen is so bizarre and confusing to look at when you first start playing, that it takes a moment to adjust to it and 8-PANEL MODE is a complete disaster. You can barely tell how you're doing mid-song. You have to keep a keen eye on the background, which is the last place said dancer should be looking. Move & Step is a novel idea, but lacks challenge and just isn't all that fun. It feels tacked on as the charts aren't recreated to present a true challenge. Instead, they cut out areas of the song and replace them with Move points. CLUB MODE is a much faster way to unlock songs, but the repetition involved is maddening. I'm not lying when I say you're going to hate Love Like This. I haven't had the strength to play DANCE OFF.
Another strange occurrence is that you HAVE to go into WORKOUT PROFILE and RECORDS to know if you've unlocked trophies in those certain areas i.e. 50 AAA's and such as opposed to them just unlocking as you progress.
No EDIT MODE, DOUBLES PLAY, ONLINE MULTIPLAYER, or Downloadable Content at launch, which this game desperately needs. Also very large staples in the DDR Franchise, taken out for no truly apparent reason. I can play with up to four players locally, but I can't do this online? I can't play with two dance pads at once, but I can have 8 arrows fill the screen in a completely unorganized fashion? I can't create my own charts anymore and possibly upload them to a server or save them to USB and share them with friends? Why remove modes and and options that are literally CRUCIAL to making the first PlayStation 3 iteration of such a wildly popular and successful franchise. There aren't even LEADERBOARDS in this game. Just RECORDS of what YOU'VE done and accomplished.
My biggest gripe is the songlist. Why no classics? Where is at least PARANOiA 180 or a Trip Machine or the original version of MAX300.
This game is as far from a fan service as you can get. I'm not mad and I'm not disappointed, I'm literally hurt that someone thought this was a product quality enough to release to the masses. This game feels like a rushed product. The IIDX version of MAX300 is just adding insult to injury. It's like no one actually cared about this game, the consumers, or the fans. After years of development, time and money ran out, and something had to be released and this is what we got. I've been playing this game since a local theater had a 3rdMIX KOREAN v2 machine 10 years ago and have been playing ever since. After 10 years of quarter dispensing, arrow dancing, high scores, best friends (ALL of whom I am still very good friends with), tournaments, and a whole lot of PA and Freestyle, I'm rewarded with a great big steaming pile of disappointment. Dance Dance Revolution is now just a shadow of its former self, and it may not be coming back.
This game is literally a step backwards for the franchise. Nothing about this title shows progression. This game seems like it was faced with more ultimatums about what's going to make the cut than anything else.
Should you buy this? If you absolutely need a DDR game on your PS3, feel free to take the plunge. Otherwise, steer clear of this game. Play it at a friends house or check out my videos on youtube. That's as close as you need to get to this release anyways. It's literally the worst Dance Dance Revolution release thus far.
1 out of 5
Yep, no online multiplayer sealed the deal for me. If the DLC will be good, then I'll wait for announcement when DDR 2 for PS3 comes out to see if the DLC will be backwards compatible.