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241 of 245 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Better than the first, still could use improvements
DDR2 fixes some of the problems from the first version. First, it actually saves your settings (I personally got tired of having to turn off the hand markers every time I started up the game). Also, it allows you to start the groove arena over as a different user if multiple people want the challenge. And other seemingly broken aspects of DDR1 are also fixed -- the...
Published on October 10, 2008 by Neera

versus
156 of 165 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Warning: no third party mats
I play these games because they're fun. . . I don't care about the quality of the covers or whatever, so long as they're fun to dance to. . . in that sense, this game is great, as expected. There are a bit fewer of the hyperactive Jpop songs that I like, but I'm not sure those had much domestic appeal.

One major warning: third party dance mats are not...
Published on September 23, 2008 by azariah


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241 of 245 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Better than the first, still could use improvements, October 10, 2008
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Dance Dance Revolution Hottest Party 2 with Dance Mat - Nintendo Wii (Video Game)
DDR2 fixes some of the problems from the first version. First, it actually saves your settings (I personally got tired of having to turn off the hand markers every time I started up the game). Also, it allows you to start the groove arena over as a different user if multiple people want the challenge. And other seemingly broken aspects of DDR1 are also fixed -- the timing of arrows, difficulty level, etc actually WORK. I wish this had been the case in the original release. There's also more help for beginners, like bars to show the beat/arrow timing you can turn on, and the ability to slow down the song and arrows to take on a new challenge.

The songs - well, there's a mix of good and not so good. But I think that's to be expected. I got tired of dancing to the same songs over and over, so it's refreshing and welcome. It also seems like they're targeted towards easier play, with less difficulty on Difficult and Expert level. I haven't unlocked every song yet.

The graphics look better - both the dancers and stages. The Mii addition is kind of funny, but not that bad. You get a choice of certain Mii bodies to stick with your head, some better than others.

Basically this is what DDR1 should have been. If you've got DDR1 and felt shorted, I think you'll be glad to pick up DDR2. And if you're a beginner, I'd skip DDR1 and go straight to this version.
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156 of 165 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Warning: no third party mats, September 23, 2008
By 
azariah (Cambridge, MA) - See all my reviews
= Fun:4.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Dance Dance Revolution Hottest Party 2 with Dance Mat - Nintendo Wii (Video Game)
I play these games because they're fun. . . I don't care about the quality of the covers or whatever, so long as they're fun to dance to. . . in that sense, this game is great, as expected. There are a bit fewer of the hyperactive Jpop songs that I like, but I'm not sure those had much domestic appeal.

One major warning: third party dance mats are not compatible with Hottest Party 2, even if they worked on Hottest Party 1. You can confirm this with complaints all around the internet. Those extra dance mats you bought for parties? Sorry. The fancy high-end mats you bought to improve your gaming experience? Sorry. You're stuck with the soft mat that comes with the game. Since most players "graduate" to high end mats and Konami doesn't make high-end mats, you're somewhat precluded from that. It's disappointing, but I'm returning my copy and sticking to Hottest Party 1 because of this issue.
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49 of 49 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars For workout purposes: If you could do Jazzercise, you can do this (with the right option settings), even with joint disease, February 13, 2009
By 
AC (United States) - See all my reviews
= Fun:4.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Dance Dance Revolution Hottest Party 2 with Dance Mat - Nintendo Wii (Video Game)
Okay, I am not a huge gamer, and our Wii hasn't even had time to gather dust. But friends with PlayStation have been telling me about DDR for several years, and how much I would enjoy it, especially for the exercise aspect.

So I bought this package - game + mat. After a week or so of this, I know I will be making this part of my workout routine. However, I am not using it as it came straight out of the box.

First - this is a moderate to high impact routine (once you get into it). The thin mat it comes with is not up to the supporting older joints, especially when it looks like supportive sneakers would tear it up. (I've been using bare feet with much success.)

However, this is easily remedied by placing the pad on foam floor tiles (making sure to put something antislip under the tiles themselves if placed on carpet - I bought mine at Sam's Club in years past, don't know if they still have them now). Since you cannot use the high-end third party mats that have foam like this inside them with this particular game, this is a quick, affordable alternative, and seems to offer good protection (my diseased hip joints aren't aching much after doing this every other day for the past week - for the level of impact, this is amazing for me).

Second - treat it like a workout. If you have knee and/or ankle braces, wear them. Stretch out, and do five minutes or so of lower-ranked routines to loosen up. If you have a BOSU, do a little balance warm-up, too.

Third - you will want to tweak the options, but be aware you're not going to do that until you pick your mode (I haven't tried anything but the workout mode yet), your player format, your dancer, etc. Make sure you're not registering as a guest - otherwise you'll have to do this every time - make your own account inside the mode. When you finally come to the menu, you will want to turn off the hand shakes (unnecessary - you're going to be using arm movements to help balance anyway once you get to higher levels), you will want to turn off the gimmicks (i.e. - the special arrows), turn off the jumps (i.e. when you have to hit two arrows at once) and - counter-intuitively - you will want to turn on the cuts (i.e. - the quick taps) to get rid of them.

Now, is this how a real DDR game is played? I'm guessing not. However, for the DDR/Wii newbie in the workout mode who has some joint issues, you will find you'll get to the more difficult levels - which are more challenging - much faster and without messing up your joints. It's not about being a DDR champion, it's about the workout.

As for the footwork - if you are an old-hand at taking aerobics classes, you can handle the footwork with the option changes I noted above. It will take practice, but within a week, I've been able to go from "beginner" to "difficult" (I haven't tried "Expert" level yet) fairly quickly.

I haven't been in the main parts of the game, only workout mode. I'm not sure how it differs, only that it has the silly little calorie counter and the timer, which to me is the best part. I shouldn't do this more than 30-45 minutes until my joints get used to it, and it would be so easy to do this for 90-120 minutes without blinking.

While more fun than an elliptical machine, treadmill or stationary bike, DDR will not replace a really hard workout - I sweat, but not terribly much. And the gaps in between routines - even when you repeat the same routine - is annoying. (I would love for Konami to perhaps note when someone has turned off gimmicks and therefore turn off the informative screens about them that plays every time you start a track.) But for a general, getting-off-your butt-and-moving-around routine? It's solid.

And watch yourself on the mat controls. If you're in the menu picking out a song or level, it is way too easy to drift into the wrong track or select the wrong level. There is no way to go back once you picked a track and difficulty, so you're stuck with what you've chosen. More fun is the first time you're standing on an arrow and don't realize it, and the tracks just whiz right by or the difficulty scrolls at the speed of sound. And I have really little feet that easily fit inside the squares on the mat!

So as a late 30-something with damage to hips, ankles and knees (from former workouts ;) ), I'm really enjoying DDR as a way to shake up my workout routine. I'm looking forward to unlocking some other music (some tracks I like more than others, but I'm finding as I advance through the levels, I hear the music less - the arrows are coming up too fast to do anything more than concentrate on the beat), and trying some of the other modes once I'm sure I've got the hang of things.
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65 of 67 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great exercise and fun, November 27, 2008
By 
= Fun:4.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Dance Dance Revolution Hottest Party 2 with Dance Mat - Nintendo Wii (Video Game)
I've owned Hottest Party 2 for about a month now -- what a great buy!

I bought the game as a way to provide exercise without having to go to a gym. It definitely does the trick for cardio. I breath heavily, I sweat, and I feel lighter on my feet.

I'm a big guy, and I was worried that this might make ddr the wrong choice for me. Not so - there is an option to turn off "jumping" in the game. After doing so, I find it is pretty low impact. That is, unless you've twisted your feet in knots and have to hop a bit to make sure you don't miss an arrow.

I've never been a great dancer, and I doubt this game will fix that. (I've only made it to "basic" mode after a month.) Basic is plenty to get your heart pumping though. No particular expertise required.

Overall, this is a great game and definitely worth the cost.
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50 of 53 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars We love it!, September 25, 2008
By 
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Dance Dance Revolution Hottest Party 2 with Dance Mat - Nintendo Wii (Video Game)
I have to tell you how much our family loves this game. We love the first too. Our boys are ages 5 and 6, and they would play it non-stop if we let them. It's a great cardio workout and a lot of family fun. Watching the boys stomp to "I Want Candy" or "Black and White" makes for a really good time. The Workout mode is better in this version as you can string several songs together. I knew most of the songs, although there were a few I didn't recognize. Overall, it's just a good time with levels for everyone to play. Don't take it so seriously! Just move!
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31 of 32 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Don't give up, there IS a fun game in here somewhere..., March 28, 2009
= Fun:4.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Dance Dance Revolution Hottest Party 2 with Dance Mat - Nintendo Wii (Video Game)
This review is primarily for people like me who:

1) See the video for this game and think: "Wow! this will turn me into John Travolta in the privacy of my own living room!"

-or-

2) Bought the game, got extremely frustrated/confused in less than 15 minutes and haven't used it since.

The bad news is: this game will not teach you how to dance per se.

The good news is, if you haven't yet turned the mat into a tarp and you give this game a chance, it's a lot of fun!

I really thought I'd made a mistake when I bought DDRHP2. I found it confusing to navigate. Worse, I naively thought you were supposed to actually dance like the characters on screen. I was ready to mourn the loss of my money, then I dug a bit deeper and found this game to be addictive once I dumbed it down to my level.

First, realize the game is a "rhythmic action game," meaning it's about hitting the hand/foot markers in time to the music, so it doesn't teach you to dance, but it does give you a better sense of timing/rhythm/left/right. If you're a dancer to begin with, the on screen characters may be instructive, but for rank and file "rhythmic action" players, they are just window dressing (after a while you can unlock your Mii as a dance character, and if your Mii looks like you then you (as your Mii) will actually dance better than John Travolta).

Second, it isn't you - the navagation/instructions on this game aren't the best, and even once you kind-of know your way around, things (like the Groove Arena Mode)can still be obtuse. Also note,if you're standing on the mat whilst making changes in certain areas (like song selection), the game might go through a rapid-fire cycling of selections, leading you to think something is malfunctioning. Get off the mat!

Third, if you are a klutz like me, the best thing to do is to turn OFF the Gimmicks and turn the guideline bars ON for all difficulty levels, and make sure you have the beginner level chosen. Less thinking = more fun.

Fourth, I found it best to learn the game by going to the Free Play Mode and trying the "Lesson by DJ" tunes to get the general idea. It may also help when first starting out to listen to the different tunes available and pick out the ones that have a slow tempo (lower bpm).

Fifth, since points aren't taken off for taking extra steps, just keep moving in time to the music and you'll find it easier to hit the markers correctly than just standing there and waiting for the markers. In this sense, you are "sort-of" dancing. Just keep your drapes closed.

It might just be me, but I think it would help if the area the markers scrolled in had a dark/contrasty background. Part of the problem I run into is, with the more flashy dance stages, the markers can sometimes get camouflaged.

That said,you can have a lot of fun with this game just going to Free Play Mode, picking a song and trying to get an "A" ranking in Beginner mode, then trying the same tune in Basic mode. My hat's off to anyone who can go beyond that.
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37 of 40 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Deserves more than a 2., September 21, 2008
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Dance Dance Revolution Hottest Party 2 with Dance Mat - Nintendo Wii (Video Game)
You can't set your expectations too high for a DDR game. The songs are picked for danceability, and mixed as such. I'd love a DDR game that featured Nine Inch Nails remixes, and Foo Fighters, and Infected Mushroom. But that isn't going to happen. And I have yet to see a DDR track listing that made me excited about the music. That being said, they do a good job with taking whatever songs and making them into fun, danceable 2 minute blips.

Anyway, DDR Hottest Party 2 has a few more features than the original. They layer the gimmicks this time. If you're not clear on what I mean, then you should probably pick up DDR Hottest Party 1 and make yourself familiar with it, because the layered gimmicks does make it a bit harder. That's kind of the point, though, I think. Besides, if you really don't like it, you can always turn them off.

What I really like best about it, and this is a really big deal, is that the workout mode is vastly improved. You can still do the workout by individual songs, or combos, but now they have another option where it will run a series of probably 4 or 5 songs back to back with no real break in between. I didn't expect this to make a big difference, but it really does.

PS - AT LEAST SOME THIRD PARTY MATS *DO* WORK WITH THIS GAME, just make note.
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Additional info, December 2, 2008
By 
Amazon Customer "bkwrm" (Milwaukee, WI United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Dance Dance Revolution Hottest Party 2 with Dance Mat - Nintendo Wii (Video Game)
I just got DDR Hottest Party 2 last weekend. I thought it would be wireless like the Wii controllers. Unfortunately, it's not. I haven't used it yet because the cord on the dance mat is too short. We have a 50" big screen TV. There's no way we can put the Wii console on the floor. If you have a TV big enough that you have to put all your tech on top of it, make sure you buy an extension cord for the mat. You can find the cord online under Gamecube controller extension. They run between $3.25 and $20 depending on the site, shipping is extra (of course). Amazon doesn't have it but they do post a link to a seller as of 12/2/08. Everyone I know who has this game loves it. I look forward to swapping it off with Wii Fit. Fit gets a little boring after you've unlocked all the levels.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars New to DDR? Me too. Here's my review!, March 30, 2009
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Dance Dance Revolution Hottest Party 2 with Dance Mat - Nintendo Wii (Video Game)
I'm 26 years old and brand new to DDR. I bought DDR because I enjoyed "exercising" while playing a game and Wii Fit wasn't the heart-racer I needed. If you're looking for that heart-racer/calorie burner, DDR is an awesome game! My Mio Heart Monitor watch says I burn between 400-500 calories an hour playing Free Play Mode and Groove Arena Mode. Not bad!

I did not find learning how to play DDR very difficult. I did turn off the hand gestures and all the "tricks" and just played the conventional DDR so I could concentrate on my foot coordination. After playing Lesson by DJ and Lesson 2 by DJ, I was ready to try it on my own! YES, I had to work on moving around the mat for about 20 minutes...but then everything clicked! I've played 12+ hours on Basic and I have an A in almost every song. (I'm on the last stage of Pinnacle in Groove Arena. Silver*Star is a doozy!!) I think I might just turn on the hand gestures to challenge myself.

I found Difficult to be VERY difficult and it's true, the game does not teach you how to play this level. I see 3 arrows all on the same line and I'm not sure how I'm supposed to hit all 3 when I have only 2 feet.

Workout Mode is okay, but I prefer just to play Free Play and count the calories myself.

I think the song list is pretty good! I like about 75% of the songs. Some of them are strangely slow! VERRRRRRRY SLOW that it almost gets confusing when to hit the arrows. But there are some awesome songs like Nite-Runner and Umbrella which I play over and over and over again!

The DDR Dance Mat is all right, too. Sometimes it has "issues." The directions say to fold it in the creases already made on it to put it back in the box or you could damage the sensors. I've done that and when I lie it down on the floor and stand in the middle, it thinks I'm pressing one of the arrows. You REALLY need to flatten the creases before standing on it to correct the sensors. At least it's fixable!

All in all, it's REALLY fun, it's a great workout, and you can make it as easy or as impossible as you want :-)
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Better than DDR I, November 17, 2008
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Dance Dance Revolution Hottest Party 2 with Dance Mat - Nintendo Wii (Video Game)
I had become a big fan of DDR, so I just HAD to have DDR 2! Love that the grading seems to be easier and that I can play six songs as a set and can even pick what six songs to play. A great work out! I had already lost 15 pounds playing DDR for the past year. I have finally found a workout that's fun! Keep them coming, please
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