|The music wheel and Groove Radar are back.|
|A new graphics engine loses the cel-shading on the characters, but adds new video backgrounds.|
At 74 songs, Extreme 2 has more tracks than any of the American DDR home games that came before it (but still short of the Japanese Extreme, which boasted over a hundred songs). Notable songs include:
- "In the Heat of the Night" by E-Rotic. A revival from 4thMIX, this is notably the only song from this German dance-pop band to appear in an American DDR title. They've had numerous songs used from 3rdMIX to 5thMIX, however their overtly sexual lyrics may not have been in the right taste for American audiences. To be fair, this is one of their least suggestive songs, but it was enough for this to be the first DDR game to get an E10+ rating from the ESRB (the classification was just created earlier in 2005).
- "Injection of Love (Hina Mix)" by Akira Yamaoka. A dark techno song which uses 12-beat rhythms. The interesting thing is that the North American and European versions of the game use an instrumental version of the song, while the Japanese version adds English lyrics to the song - and fairly sexual lyrics, at that. Fun Fact: There's also a Japanese version of the song, with vocals by Sana Shintani, which crossed over to one of the beatmania IIDX games.
- "Passion of Love" by Naoki & Paula Terry. I don't know about you, but it was a glorious moment hearing these two together again - but little did I know it would be their last work together. The Australian singer also appears in "Maria (I Believe)", a transplant from beatmania IIDX 9th Style.
- "Polovtsian Dances and Chorus" by Naoto Suzuki feat. Martha Matsuda. A trance arrangement of an 1890 composition by Aleksander Borodin, as used in Konami's PS2 game The Sword of Etheria. Interestingly, this is one of only two songs to have a dedicated music video in-game, the other being "Get Busy" by Sean Paul.
- As in the 2004 Extreme, some of this game's licenced songs are covers of tracks that have appeared in the Karaoke Revolution series. But while some of them are direct re-creations ("Crazy In Love" and "Play That Funky Music"), some of them have been remixed into other genres ("Genie In A Bottle", "I Will Survive", "Oops! I Did It Again"). The trance remake of Christina Aguilera's "Genie In A Bottle" is my favourite.
- Revivals from Ultramix include "Absolute (Cuff-n-Stuff It Mix)" and "INSERTiON (Machine Gun Kelly Mix)" by Thuggie D., "Infinite Prayer" by L.E.D. Light feat. Goro, "Quickening" by DJ Taka, and "Sana Mollete Ne Ente (B.L.T. Style)" by Togo Project feat. Sana.
- The boss songs are "PARANOiA Survivor" and "PARANOiA Survivor MAX", revivals from the 2002 Extreme. Yes, the latter's Challenge chart is present, but thankfully you are never required to play it in Dance Master Mode.
- Amazingly, there are only six songs revived from American home versions: "Brilliant2U", "Dynamite Rave", and "PARANOiA" from DDR, "Afronova Primeval" and "Dive" from Konamix, and "Look to the Sky (True Colors Mix)" from MAX. And for the most part, they're popular classics, at that.
Speaking of which, the core series is about to welcome its first new arcade game in almost four years, but before we do so, let's take a look at the challengers to Dance Dance Revolution's throne, next time on Dance Dance Retrospective!