Over the past few years the DANCE DANCE REVOLUTION craze has really caught on with plenty of imported PlayStation mixes, along with a few sparse releases over here. Konami finally caught on that gamers want DDR, and has released both of the PlayStation 2 incarnates in the USA. The first of these was a hit, and the second looks to follow in its footsteps with quite a bit more American flavor.
For those who have never seen DANCE DANCE REVOLUTION either at someone's home, a college dorm, or the most popular place for the game: the arcade, let me fill you in. You have four arrows on the floor, up, down, left and right, and you must move your feet to touch these arrows as they move up the screen. However its not that easy as you must hit them at the exact moment you're supposed to. It wouldn't be dancing if you didn't have to keep a rhythm, right?
The game scores you based on how well you keep the time. You can get a "perfect" for a certain step by nailing it, but there are several other variants like good and fair, or bad. The game tallies these up and gives you a rating at the end. There's also points for keeping a big streak going, and an energy meter that keeps you in the game (if you energy drops to low you automatically lose the song). An arcade set is three songs and by playing plenty of the arcade mode, you'll unlock other songs in the game.
DDRMAX 2 doesn't skimp on the extra modes though. In addition to three difficulty levels you'll find the edit mode, along with a workout and training mode. The workout mode does work pretty well, as I've known people who have lost a lot of weight playing the game.
From a gameplay perspective, DDRMAX 2 doesn't really do anything new at all. In fact, it's pretty much the same as always. The biggest difference is the music mix that is available, and how it caters to the American audience quite a bit more.
Among the songs more tailored for the American audience are The Crystal Method's Busy Child, Dirty Vegas's Days Go By, K. C. & The Sunshine Band's Get Down Tonight, DJ Sammy and Yanou featuring Do's Heaven, and Bus Stop's Long Train Runnin'. Many of the fan favorites are also included in the mix, along with Maxx Unlimited, the new uber-hard song.
In addition to the enhancements to the album list, the visuals have been given an upgrade too. Now some of the songs feature the music video for the song playing in the background. It's really cool and one of the better features to be implemented in the game. I really like the look of it.
If you're not into DANCE DANCE REVOLUTION, DDRMAX 2 won't change your mind. But for fans of the series, it's a great game with an awesome mix of music and some new visuals that will have you playing it over and over again.