Admittedly late review: Dance Dance Revolution

A while back, Tech-Out received a review copy of Dance Dance Revolution. Sun staffer Mike Cruz shared the game with his brother in law Chris Durgin, who produced this review for us.

By Chris Durgin

Dance Dance Revolution for the Xbox360
hasn’t changed much since its debut years ago in arcades across the
world. With some advances in video game technology, such as Xbox
Kinect, there are some interesting questions about why this latest
version of the game was even released.

First, this game has a dance pad. Yes I
said dance pad, circa 1990s style. It reminds me
of World Class Track Meet and Power Pad for the original NES. This is a
very dated marketing ploy,
in light of the creation of better technology in the Nintendo Wii and
XBox 360 Kinect.

The dance pad is a wired controller
made of vinyl and plastic. It boasts 4 arrows, A and B buttons at the top, and the X and Y at the bottom. The size of the dance pad leaves
much to be desired. Each square is 12 inches by 12 inches, and I
have size 11 feet. So I had to have precise balance to keep from
unintentionally stepping on another button.

Designers of the dance pad likely had
children in mind than adults. I’m not a gymnast, so it was hard to
keep my balance. As soon as I stepped on the wrong button, it
affected my score and I lost points.

The gameplay is similar to the arcade
version of Dance Dance Revolution, except you have a few more game
modes. The Xbox 360 version comes with five game modes: Free play,
Club Mode, Dance-off, Training and How to Play. There’s also four
levels of play: beginner, basic, difficult and expert.

Free play is exactly like it sounds,
pick a song and difficulty, and then do your best. Club Mode is
similar to the Arcade mode where the songs change and depending on
how good you are the difficulty changes. You can pick the number of
songs you want to dance to, but cannot pick songs themselves.

Dance-off is a multiplayer game mode.
This can be fun, except that you can only use one dance pad and the
game comes with a warning to let you know. Some nice things about the
Dance-off mode make the game more interesting and challenging, such
as power ups, reversing the arrows and making the arrows partially
hidden. But one dance pad for up to four players slows down the joy
of competition.

The Training and How to Play modes are
different despite the similar titles. Training is exactly like Free
Play except no score is given, so the user can practice a specific
song on a specific difficulty to increase their proficiency. As
expected, the How to Play mode takes you step-by-step through how the
game works.

The game comes with a couple dozen
preloaded songs, featuring pop stars like Lady Gaga, Kelly Clarkson,
Kesha, Leona Lewis, Sean Paul and Jason Mraz. Of course, there’s also
a couple of oldies from Kool and the Gang and Marth and the
Vandellas, as well as some 80s hits from Duran Duran and Bananarama.

If you want more songs, you’ll be out
of luck. Xbox Live Marketplace only offers six downloadable songs for
a staggering 400 points each. Again, I believe it would be cheaper to
get a Kinect and try a different game, such as Dance Masters.

Overall, Dance Dance Revolution for the
Xbox 360 might serve as a great kids game, though teens appear to get
bored after a while. For people looking for a more challenging and
entertaining experience, the game really isn’t worth the time or
money. Wii and Kinect games make better use of technology.

Dance Dance Revolution


Nintendo Wii, PlayStation 3, XBox 360

Rated E for Everyone 10+