E3 2011: DanceDanceRevolution II First Look Preview
We put on our dancing shoes for a blast on DanceDanceRevolution II.
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If you've ever visited an arcade, chances are you have seen people shaking their groove thing on a Dance Dance Revolution machine. The classic rhythm game with its four-arrow footpad remains a mainstay of the arcade, even if its place in the home has been challenged by the likes of Just Dance and Dance Central 2. Konami's fighting back, though, and is working on a sequel for the Wii, imaginatively titled DanceDanceRevolution II. It might not have been the most prominent game at Konami's E3 2011 booth, but judging from the smiles on people's faces as they played, DDR's still got some moves.
Who's Making It: Konami's been making and publishing the DDR series since 1998, starting in the arcades before making its way across to home consoles. With such a long history, there's the worry that there's little more to add to the DDR series, other than new songs. There's no denying DDR's legacy though, with the game inspiring the arcade-based Guitar Freaks, which itself inspired the likes of Guitar Hero.
What It Looks Like: If you've seen one DDR game, you've seen them all, and there's little different in DanceDanceRevolution 2. The bright Japanese-pop visuals and scrolling foot markers remain, but music videos have been added, which play in the center of the screen. There will also be over 50 songs in the game that are made up of a mixture of licensed tracks and classic Konami originals.
What You Do: You follow scrolling arrows at the sides of the screen and stamp on the corresponding arrow on the dance mat as it reaches a yellow line at the top of the screen. The better you timing, the more points you earn. If an arrow is colored green, it means you have to hold down the corresponding button for a period of time.
How It Plays: We found DanceDanceRevolution II lots of fun, particularly when playing with a friend. You'll need a dance mat, though, so make sure you've got the space before throwing shapes in your living room. Licensed tracks, such as Yazoo's "Don't Go" are a nice addition, but it's the Konami originals that remain the most compelling. The superfast techno beats, soaring synth lines, and cheesy melodies were hilarious to dance to, particularly on harder difficulties with complex simultaneous button presses and pauses.
What We Say: There isn't a whole lot that's different from other entries in the series. The music videos are a nice addition, though, and fans will eat up all the new tracks. And if you're new to DDR, DanceDanceRevolution II's huge track selection makes it an ideal entry to the series.