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Dance Dance Revolution
Preview By: Rich Varall
Developer:   Konami
Publisher:   Konami
Genre:   Dance
# of Players:   1-2
ESRB:    Everyone
Estimated Release:   March 21, 2001
Posted:   2-28-01

In the US, Konami is known as a great publisher - famous for such hit franchises as Metal Gear, Castlevania, and Silent Hill. In Japan; however, itís a different story. While still famous for the above mentioned hits, theyíre also loved for their music and dance games, mainly itís amazingly infectious dancing game Dance Dance Revolution. This series has been a hit in the east for years but hasnít really been introduced to US gamers until recently. Dance Dance Revolution (or as many refer to it: "DDR") will finally make itís was to US PlayStations next in March.

Dance Dance Revolution works like many other music games on the market. In a "Simon Says" manor you follow different directional arrows as they pass above a permanent set of arrows at the top of the screen. It sounds easy enough but with DDRís techno pumping soundtrack, youíll find yourself having to break more than a sweat to keep up with the gameís dance moves.

So, if DDRís main idea works like many other music games out there, what makes it so special? A big part of it most defiantly the dance pad you play the game with. Standing in the center, you have four arrows surrounding you, one to your left, one to your right, one in front of you, and one behind you. Stepping on the buttons in time with the music is key and takes more than a little practice if you plan to look smooth in the process. In fact, if youíve ever witnessed someone who really knows what theyíre doing play DDR then you know that things can get really flashy. Dancers have gotten really into it, throwing their bodies left and right with the music, spinning, and adding their own moves to the fray. Itís easy to gain a following in back of you if youíve good enough.

The DDR Dance Pad

Hopefully, what youíve read so far has convinced you that you must purchase Dance Dance Revolution when it is released for PlayStation on March 20th. As you can imagine, this game can has been expensive in Japan since you need the dance pad to truly enjoy yourself. Luckily, for the US, Konami has packaged the game with the pad for the low-low price of $59.99. This is a big relief for those gamers on a budget.

As for those of you who are experienced in the zen of Dance Dance, youíre probably wondering whatís included in this domestic release. The songs are a mix of tracks from Japanís first, second, and third releases. They are as follows (F.Y.I. the top name is who the song is by and the second name is the song name, yes techno and dance music can get confusing):

1. The Olivia Project
Have You Never Been Mellow

2. King Kong & D. Jungle Girls
Boom Boom Dollar

3. Dixies Gang
El Ritmo Tropical

4. N.M.R.
Let Them Move

5. N.M.R. feat. DJ Nagureo
20, November

Put Your Faith In Me

Put Your Faith In Me (Jazzy Groove)

8. Naoki

9. Naoki
Brilliant2U Orchestra-Groov

10. Mr. Ed Jumps The Gun

11. Mitsu-O!
Make It Better

12. X-Treme
My Fire

13. Jennifer
If You Were Here

14. Me & My
Dub I Dub

15. N.M.R.
Keep On Moviní

16. Captain T
Le Senorita

17. Scotty D.
Drop The Bomb

18. S&K
Get Up ĎNí Move

19. Hi-Rise
I Believe In Miracles

20. KTZ

21. Naoki
Dynamite Rave

22. Re-Venge

23. De-Sire
Trip Machine

24. De-Sire
SP-Trip Machine Jungle Mix

25. 180

26. 190
Paranoia MAX Dirty Mix

27. 2MB
Paranoia KCET Clean Mix

Overall, thatís 27 songs total, 16 from the original, 8 from 2nd mix, and a disappointing low total of 3 songs from 3rd mix. The track selection is pretty good but whereís my "End of the Century" from 3rd mix? Some obvious choices arenít represented. Iím sure everyone will find a favorite among these though.

As for the game modes, itís mostly standard fair with a few extra goodies thrown in for good measure. Thereís an arcade and training mode, multi-player - the predictable stuff - but also the unique "Diet Mode". This mode keeps track of the amount of calories you burn as you play. Howís that for quirkiness?

Dance Dance Revolution has the opportunity to leave a mark on the US next month. Itís up to us, as gamers, to make sure this uber-fun title brings in enough money for Konami to continue the series in the states. Who knows, maybe weíll start getting every DDR release for Konami. Disney Dance Rave anyone?
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