In an attempt to cash in on the dancing-game craze that Konami monopolizes with its Dance Dance Revolution series, Jaleco released its own dancing game to Japanese arcades last year. The game, known as Stepping Selection, essentially steals the Dance Dance Revolution concept and adds two extra steps to Konami's winning formula. But the interesting aspect of Stepping Selection definitely isn't its gameplay.
Rather than render a polygonal dancer behind the instructional dance steps, Stepping Selection plays video clips. Have you ever seen those really bad videos that come with karaoke laserdiscs? They're on that level of quality, complete with bad blue-screen effects and amazingly poor lip-synching from "actors" that look as if they don't speak a word of English and are simply phonetically mouthing the words to the song. Musically, Stepping Selection eschews Konami's techno-laced offering in favor of two CDs full of pop music. With the exception of 5, 6, 7, 8, and Love's Got A Hold On My Heart by Steps, Scatman by Scatman John, ...Baby One More Time by Britney Spears, The Galaxy Express 999 by Yukihide Takekawa, and Larger Than Life by the Backstreet Boys, the songs aren't performed by the original artists. Other songs on the two-disc collection include Footloose, Ghostbusters, Saturday Night (originally performed by the Bay City Rollers), The Neverending Story, My Sharona, Maniac, Girls Just Want To Have Fun, and Surfin' USA.
The gameplay uses six buttons rather than the four required in Dance Dance Revolution. The onscreen instructions are broken up into left and right feet, color-coded either red, blue, or yellow to let you know where to plant your feet on the dance mat. Depending on the difficulty setting, the steps will be easier or harder, and your timing on the pad determines your score. Miss too many steps, and you might not even make it through the entire song. The only real complaint is that the big feet that show you when you need to hit the buttons on the pad move up and down depending on how well you're doing. So if you start doing poorly, the feet move downward, giving you less time to prepare for upcoming steps. This gives the game a downward spiral effect, in that if you start to do poorly, it's likely that you'll continue to do poorly. Different gameplay modes mix things up, such as a challenge mode that automatically makes the game harder or easier depending on how well you're doing and a movie mode that gets rid of the silly "game" part of the game and lets you watch the hilarious video footage.
Overall, Stepping Selection is a good game, but it lacks the varied, up-tempo music that makes Dance Dance Revolution great. If you're a PS2 owner looking for some dancing action or some pretty funny video footage, then Stepping Selection is where it's at.