With a high-contrast color scheme of pinks and greens on black, the UI has received the majority of this game's changes. Right off the bat, you get to choose your play style without having to hold the Start button after putting your money in the machine. (The 2-player Versus and 1-player Double modes, which use both sets of panels, require you to pay a second set of credits.) Double-tapping the Right panel switches you to Link Mode, where you can play the Nonstop courses or use edit data from your memory card. Otherwise, you then select your character and setlist. The 136 songs in this game (plus 14 new songs in 4thMIX Plus) are broken up into seven setlists of roughly 20-30 songs each, with a different character used for each. I'm guessing it was designed to keep you from getting lost in the massive (for its time) array of songs, but I'm not a real big fan of this decision. Even if you know what songs you want to play, they may not all be in the same category. Fortunately, 4thMIX Plus and the home ports add an "All Music" option, which does what it says.
|Too much music for one setlist. (From Konamix.)|
Surprisingly for a PSone-era game, 4thMIX outputs a display size of 480i, double that of the previous games, and it would be the only one to do so for a while. But let's face it, not everyone's gonna notice that. You might notice the all-new background animations, on the other hand. Oh, and the scoring system drives me bonkers. Rather than being a percentage of a maximum score, it's some kind of absolute number which quickly skyrockets into eight digits on harder charts. They don't even give us the courtesy of ending it in a zero digit like good video game scores should (?). I think it's supposed to be based on 777 points for a Perfect mark and 555 for a Great, but when you throw a combo bonus on top of that, things get really crazy. The letter-grading system is also consolidated a bit; it only goes from E to AA, where A is awarded only for a full combo performance and AA is for all perfect marks (AAA in the other games).
|The new scoring system on a roll. (From Konamix.)|
- "B4U" by Naoki. Another speed rave song in the vein of "Brilliant2U" and "Dynamite Rave", this track was deemed by Naoki Maeda himself to be his favorite song in DDR Konamix (see below) "because this song best portrays the image of DDR by capturing the perfect blend of performance and physical activity from the player"1.
- "Love Again Tonight (ForMelissaMix)" by Naoki feat. Paula Terry. This song marks the DDR debut of this Australian singer, who would collaborate with Naoki Maeda for a number of years afterwards.
- "My Summer Love" by Mitsu-O! with Geila, and "Orion.78 (AMeuro-Mix)" by Re-Venge. The first is a pop song in the vein of Ace of Bace's early/mid-90s hits, whereas the second is a heavily Okinawan-flavored trip. Both tracks are slow, at 100 BPM, but manage to pack lots of notes in their level-9 Maniac charts. The home version adds an exclusive remix of the latter, "Orion.78 (Civilization Mix)" which runs at twice the speed and is even harder.
- 4thMIX adds a host of songs transplanted from the beatmania IIDX game series, but they must be unlocked by the operator. ".59", "era (nostalmix)", and "Holic" are some of the most well-known.
- This game also has the first songs in the core series with tempo changes. In addition to "Wild Rush" from Solo 2000, ".59", "era (nostalmix)", and "Saint Goes Marching (Remix)" all change their speed at least once during the song.
1Dance Dance Revolution Konamix instruction booklet. April 2002.