And it sucked.
I assume. Yeah, as with the previous entries, I've yet to play this one, because it's not doing a heck of a whole lot to interest me. First of all, let's start with the title: no number, no subtitle, just "DanceDanceRevolution". I'd like to state for the record that I hate when people recycle a title with little to no changes when making a sequel to some form of media. I hate this practise so much that I might even write a top-ten list on the subject. To be fair, it is just one word in CamelCaps this time around, unlike the 1998 arcade game, its home port for Japan, and the 2001 home game which used a somewhat different engine. And yes, I guess they did it to ring in a new console generation... Oh wait, there was the DDR Universe series! ...Oh wait, that was an XBox 360 exclusive. Never mind. Meanwhile, over in Europe, the game was blessed with the subtitle "New Moves" on the PS3 and 360, and "Hottest Party 4" on the Wii. And I'm like, why couldn't you have done that over here!? *sigh* As it stands, I shall collectively refer to the new games as DDR 2010.
So enough about the title, what's the game itself like? Well, speaking at least for the "New Moves" versions, the interface colour scheme is dominated by reds and blacks, and the music-select screen brigns back the 5thMIX-through-SuperNOVA2 "music wheel" layout. Oh, and the rating scale is once again brought back to the old 1-to-10 standard. But not well, mind you. For example, the Basic chart for "Let's Get Away" is ranked a 4, but it's really more like a 2, 3 tops. After playing second-banana to the Guitar Hero / Rock Band duumvirate for some years, DDR 2010 attempts to incorporate some features from those games. "Groove Chains", or short sequences of notes that offer bonus points when completed without error, and "Groove Trigger", which you can activate at full health to get bonus points, both borrow elements of the Star Power/Overdrive systems from those rival games. In theory, I do admire these embellishments as attempts to liven up gameplay which has for the most part remained stale since 2001 (when they invented Freeze Arrows). But the execution leaves something to be desired. To use Groove Trigger, for example, you have to press Up and Up-Right or Up-Left immediately after, or flick the right analog stick on a separate controller. And the game still tallies the bonus points earned from these gimmicks separately from your base score (out of 1 million), so in the end it's kind of pointless.
|Club Mode in the PS3 version.|
|Choreography Mode in the Wii version.|
As for the Konami originals, well, I guess they're okay; they're pretty much going through the same motions by now. For the bosses, there's another level-10 happy-hardcore song, and another "Evolved" song. Also "MAX 300" again. Oh right, I forgot to mention, there are 5 revival songs in this game, the other four being "Afronova" from 3rdMIX, "Sweet Sweet Magic" and "Tsugaru" from MAX2, and "Hana Ranman (Flowers)" from SuperNOVA. Plus, there are even more songs available as downloadable content: 30 songs across 6 packs, all revivals spanning the classic through the SuperNOVA eras. This arguably makes for the most interesting material in the game, but if that's so, it's pretty sad when you think about it. For one, you have to pay extra for the best content, and two, the best content is stuff you've already seen before. So is the 2010 DanceDanceRevolution the worst game in the series? It'd be hard to say that for certain, what with all those pint-sized spin-off releases Japan got back in the day, but at least among the full-budget, worldwide (at least for more than one region) releases, it'd be easier to make that accusation. And for what we were promised in 2009, it's easily the most disappointing.
Next episode is on both an arcade and a home game... I do hope this next installment of Dance Dance Retrospective will bring something more interesting to the table.