3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: DanceDanceRevolution II - Nintendo Wii (Video Game)
I've been a fan of DDR for a while now, and have pretty much every PS2 release. My first game was actually Mario Mix, and although the song selection is pretty simplistic, it was a good introduction into the series. After buying a PS2 (a few years ago, as of now!), I also bought MAX2 and was convinced for the longest time that it was superior to any of the other releases. Since then, I've gotten the rest of the PS2 releases and was pleased with the entire series; I'd switch off games every now and then, with my new favorite being Extreme 2 (mainly because of the originals, like Dynamite Rave and Afronova). I was definitely disappointed with X, and playing through, most of the songs felt generic and unoriginal (save a few, but not enough to convince me). Most of the difficulty that X and X2 provided was from songs that were only hard because of the stops and atrocious stepcharts, and I felt that even the 10-footers from older games were more fluid in their steps than these new "red" songs that Konami had dished out. All that aside, I've played Hottest Party 1 & 2, and after seeing what DDR had become, I decided I'd just stick to the PS2 releases I already had. However, after stumbling on a review of this game that said it had the song "smooooch," I decided to use an old giftcard to buy it on a whim....
First and foremost, the licensed songs: it seems like the DDR fanbase likes to judge the quality of a game on the fact that it contains 1 or 2 terrible songs. For people who buy DDR games SOLELY because they have "Butterfly" or "Heaven," this game might not be all that fun. I'm not the biggest fan of the licensed songs in this release, but to those who like Top 40 hits, then this could be the best DDR for you! It's not like I ever played the licensed songs that much in the other releases, but still, it's nice when a game gives you a little variety, rather than requiring you to play "Crazy in Love" on Beginner a hundred times to unlock a song. This game definitely delivers WAY more: licensed songs have "short" and "long" versions, and you get to choose the level on the few times it requires you to play them. I've already unlocked every song, WITHOUT being entirely sick of the licensed songs (which is a first for ANY of the DDR games for me). A lot of people complain about these songs as being too "American" as opposed to other releases, but I'd just like to say that nobody is requiring you to play these. If you don't like them, don't play them! Other people who actually DO want to dance to Selena Gomez, Justin Beiber, Goldfrapp, and Jason Derulo, will have tons of fun, since there are a bunch of new songs from current artists.
Now, for the rest of the game: The songs....are amazing. Honestly, I was blown away by the inclusion of some of the tracks. Plenty of kors k, plenty of DM Ashura, a LOT of boss songs, and a lot of challenging steps! I don't have crazy DDR skills, I can do most 9-footers (on the old rating system, out of 10) and appreciate a good challenge. I guess my skill level on the new system (out of 20) is around 12/13/14, and seeing as there are songs up to 19 feet, there's definitely a spectrum that I can use to work up my skill. A lot of Bemani originals for all those beatmania fans out there too, and they have pretty challenging stepcharts! What I appreciate about these tracks, also, is that Konami doesn't require you to memorize the song to be good at it (those who have played "CHAOS," "Pluto," and any "Fascination ~eternal love mix~" can attest); these songs are just difficult because of their steps, not because of the tricks they throw at you. This game provides plenty of solid challenges, and gives a new meaning to Expert mode. This isn't to say that there aren't Beginner and Light modes, for those who are new to the game. Overall, I think this game tries to keep ALL playing levels and ALL music tastes in mind, and does a good job at it!
As for gameplay, there are certain things that are lacking, but I think with the N. American audience Konami is aiming for, it's not all that bad. The play screen is a bit changed, but it still functions in the same way and I'm not all that picky about the lack of an Edit Mode (although I know that some people are, and understandably so). It's kinda strange how "Goods" now don't break your combo, but having played the old versions, I know when I did well and I know when I sucked; I don't take the grading system too seriously, since I'm not all that competitive. I'm just playing for fun, and it really doesn't matter to me whether I Full Combo a song or not. I like the old background dancers and animations, but I mean, I'm paying attention to the arrows anyway, so that's not too important.
Whew, that was a lengthy wall of text. Anways, wrapping it up....I'd definitely recommend this game to both newcomers and fans alike! The number of songs that are in this game is well worth the money that you spend for it, and you'll definitely find a bunch that you like!