Mario shimmies onto Dance Dance Revolution

Nintendo's top mascot and friends make their way to Konami's dancing game.

TOKYO--For the second time in as many weeks, Nintendo revealed its trademark characters will appear in a non-Nintendo game. Nintendo and Konami today announced that the two gaming companies are codeveloping a new Dance Dance Revolution for the Nintendo GameCube. Titled Dance Dance Revolution with Mario, the game will be released in Japan this summer. No American release plans have been disclosed.

As the title suggests, Dance Dance Revolution with Mario is a new installment in Konami's DDR dancing game series, and it features characters from the Mushroom Kingdom. Details on the game haven't been disclosed yet, but from the released images, DDR with Mario seems to play similarly to DDR, with familiar backdrops featured in the 3D installments of the Super Mario series.

As in other DDR titles released by Konami, in DDR with Mario, gamers will play the game using a step-sensitive controller mat upon which they must time steps with the beat as dictated on the screen. Aside from the standard dancing game mode, DDR with Mario will also feature various original minigames.

It seems as though Nintendo is loosening its iron fist-like grip on its exclusive characters. It's rare to see Nintendo characters in games not published by Nintendo, but this news and Wednesday's announcement of Mario and friends being featured in the GameCube version of Electronic Arts' NBA Street V3 may prove that Nintendo is trying to give its favorite plumber a little more exposure.

Dance Dance Revolution with Mario will be on display at the Next Generation World Hobby Fair 2005, which will take place in four locations in Japan starting January 16.

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