Dance Dance Revolution (DDR) Universe
From "Rapper's Delight" to "Run It," DDR
Universe has tracks to surely delight a vast audience. For some people,
they've been waiting for a 360 DDR game to come out for a while. How
well does this new mix measure up to the older Xbox and PS2 versions? A
mixed bag of reactions sounds appropriate. In terms of music, there are
only a handful of songs to survive the transition into the new game.
"Ignition," "Put Your Faith In Me," and "B4U" are a few examples.
Another mix of "Tsugaru" appears in this one as well. With the
downloadable content, if you don't want to wait to unlock the songs, you
can download them all in one swoop. There is a good array of very, very
easy songs to very, very difficult ones. There is a beginner mode for
those getting their groove on for the first time, and after that it
spans through basic, difficult, expert and oni. Unless you have
absolutely no life, never eat, drink or sleep, and devote all of your
time and energy into DDR, don't even think about attempting oni. In the
game manual it says, "Oni: Strictly for DDR pros." They are right, so
listen to the nice people at Konami. Thankfully though, us humans who
won't try that level for a while, we can have our fun learning the game
with beginner, and eventually build up to tiring out at expert. Then, we
might think about attacking the oni level . . . maybe.
One rumor I heard about DDR Universe is that the animation in the
background is sometimes distracting. I thought, "Oh, there were
animations in past ones, how can this be distracting?" Well, I started
playing, and realized that the rumors were true. I sometimes had
difficulty focusing on the arrows because my eyes kept automatically
wandering to the pretty moving pictures. What can be more distracting
than the animations in the background? The dancers. Yes, the dancers.
You can choose your dancer, and you can choose an outfit for them from
the selection. After choosing mine, I immediately noticed that the
dancer wasn't just moving around, looking like she can possibly be
dancing to the music, even if she was a little off. No, she was dancing,
and I couldn't believe it - they actually succeeded in making the
characters dance like real people do!
Having been a long time fan of the Dance
Dance line of games, I was more than a little surprised at how much fun
this 360 version is. Combining some pretty visuals with some off the
chain tunes DDR Universe is still one thumping fun game. Unless you're
in fare health though, have some caution because you will definitely get
a work out. That is in fact one of the features in this game. A workout
mode where you can track your calories!, there is a challenge mode that
will test just about anyone's coordination. Surprisingly there is also a
Quest Mode that I was not really sure how that would play out, but is
kind of fun as you travel to different cities and recruit an ultimate
dance team, in this mode you can also unlock songs and new videos.
In past versions, there were tasks to do, which gave you the ability to
unlock songs. This version is a bit quirky. You can do tasks and even
get a songs dance steps perfect, if you do not have your fan base up,
you fail the task. What's up with that?
Perhaps the best thing about DDR Universe
is it has an edit mode, if you happen to have mastered what the game has
to offer you can now edit the back ground videos as well as the dance
steps to any of the songs. Other online content for Xbox live includes
downloadable new songs and dance steps and internet rankings. Now your
friends you always met up with at the Mall can put their money where
there mouth is by showing their skills on the leader boards. If I had to
talk about the good with the bad, the music selection does not seem as
varied, seems to be a lot more hip hop. Like I said the High Def
graphics don't enhance it, in fact they tend to detract from it since
they tend to be pretty distracting. With the screen seeming to get
pretty busy and all the movement and flashing makes it hard to keep
track of the arrows some times.
As fun as always with a few Xbox 360 twists, Dance Dance Revolution
Universe is a keeper, even with the pretty distracting backgrounds, and
slippery dance pad it comes with.
Kick back, relax, Let's play!