Dance Dance Revolution Ultramix 2 Review
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Title:
Dance Dance Revolution Ultramix 2
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Publisher:
Konami
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Developer:
Konami Corporation
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Release:
11/18/2004
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Xbox Live:
Yes
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ESBR:
Everyone
..............................................





Konami has once again released yet another Dance Dance Revolution (DDR) game for the Xbox console. DDR is a well known dancing arcade game that you will often see in malls or in arcades. With tons of new modes, music, and even Xbox Live support Dance Dance Revolution Ultramix 2 is a game worth looking into even if you are one of the few that have never heard of the game before.

Gameplay

The game DDR is a very simple aspect but is extremely fun with the amount of songs and different game modes. The point of the game is to match the dance moves displayed on the screen. If a right arrow appears on the screen then all you have to do is press the button that coordinates with that direction. It sounds quite simple but DDR will take hours of practice before you will even be able to consider yourself average. The arrows scroll from the bottom of the screen to the top. At the top of the screen is four sets of arrows that are outlined, left, down, up, and right. Once an arrow moves inside one of the outlines, or marks, at the top of the screen this is your que to press that button or step on that directional pad. The best part of the game is that each song is related to the dance steps. So once you get the hang of what you are doing you will pretty much be able to guess what is coming up next and will be prepared. As the game increases in difficulty the arrows will speed up and the songs will be played much faster.

If you buy Dance Dance Revolution Ultramix 2 (DDRU2) separately you will have to play with the Xbox Live controller. It is highly recommended that you spend the extra money for a dance pad or some sort of package that includes both. The game is meant to be danced to and just pressing buttons to a song is not fun at all. The dance pads have all the directional buttons as well as buttons such as A, B, Start, and Back.

The number of songs that you can dance to is quite amazing. DDRU2 actually features over 65 songs which you can play on a number of different difficulties which are beginner, light, standard, and heavy. Another neat thing is that each difficulty has more and more arrows as it increases in difficulty and not just the same exact arrows sped up for different difficulties. The different difficulty levels allow you to get better at the game as quickly as possible. If you just go to the arcade and start playing the game you are not going to learn much about playing the game unless you have some really deep pockets and lots of quarters.

After you complete a song it will give you a letter as a score along with some other information on how you did. The letters are recorded for each song and let you know how well you are doing on each difficulty. If you find that you are getting D's on a certain difficulty such as standard the best thing to do would be to take a step down to the light mode and practice a little more on that level. Once you build up your skill and enjoy the game while playing you can go to the arcades or the mall and show off to all your friends your real skill and then laugh at them when they hardly know what they are doing!

Another great thing about DDR is that it can actually help you loose weight! Who would have ever thought that people would be playing video games as exercise and a way to take off a few pounds!? If you are the kind of person that just sits in your room all day playing Xbox and eating potato chips this is definitely the game you should start playing to get some exercise. There is even a separate mode in the game called Workout Mode that is designed just for these kinds of people. In the Workout Mode you can add fitness goals and it will even calculate how many calories you are burning while playing the game! On top of that it will even give you results on how you are doing over a long period of time. Who needs to go to a gym to work on when you can be playing video games?

Gameplay Modes
Since there are over seven totally different gameplay modes it can become confusing quickly if you are new to the game. Here is a list of the different gameplay modes and what exactly the are used for.

Game Mode The main mode of the game that is most similar to the arcade version of the game. You can pick your own song, difficulty, and many other options before dancing to a song.

Battle Mode In this mode players will duke it out in one of two different battle modes. One of the modes being Score Battle where you can compete for the highest score with two to four people or you can go head-to-head and have a competition based on step accuracy which is called a Point Battle.

Party Mode Party mode allows you to compete against other people in a variety of different gameplay modes. There are a total of four party mode modes that are listed below.

Attack Mode - This is a head-to-head competition where each move is an attack against your opponent. Combos are the key here and the bigger the combo, the bigger the attack is and the more likely you will be able to win the match.

Bomb Mode - This mode supports up to four players and the point of the game is to avoid blowing up and make sure your opponent goes out before you do. By doing combos you can pass the bomb off to another player. If they are unable to do just as good or better they will be blown up and the other player will win the match.

Quad Mode - This is a single player mode where one single person attempts to dance to songs on four (yes 4) DDR dance pads. This is nearly an impossible mode unless you happen to train your pet octopus or have some insane skills.

Sync Mode - supports two to four players where the players have to work together to make one huge combo. If anyone on the team breaks the combo the round ends.

Workout Mode - As stated previously this mode allows you to play the game and workout at the same time. It will help you achieve goals while telling you how many calories you are burning while playing.

Challenge Mode
- IN this mode players will have to complete specific challenges while playing. There are a total of six different challenges on five different difficulties.

Training Mode - This mode allows you to practice certain songs and get better at them before playing them in a different mode.

Edit Mode - This mode allows players to make up their own dance routines to any song in the game. These new dance steps can be played with other people or even shared on Xbox Live.

Xbox Live
- The main purpose of Xbox Live is to dance and compete against other people. However with DDRU2 you can also download new songs, challenges, and even new characters. You can also compare your scores to other people and like most other Xbox Live enabled games there is also leaderboards where you can compare your scores to others around the world.


Graphics

The graphics and visuals in the game are not that important but do give a nice feel to the game. The background of the game playing screen relates to the song and there are a number of different options you can change depending on what you want displayed in the background. If you are playing on beginner there might be a person dancing on a pad in the middle of the screen to help you out through the level. Since these kinds of things can easily become distracting while you are trying to concentrate on your dance moves it is possible to turn everything off in the background and just have the arrows be the only thing moving on the screen. You can customize pretty much every part of the display before you begin dancing to a song. You can even change what the arrows look like and how they are displayed. Overall the graphics are nothing special in this game, but there is really no need for detailed environments or fancy effects.

Audio

Of course the music is a major part of the game. It helps you get into the rhythm of dancing and makes the game so much better with good songs. There are over 65 playable songs in DDRU2 that you can play on different speeds and difficulties. There is also a large variety of music in the game featuring everything from house, techno, drum 'n' bass, R&B, trance, and more.

Often you will also hear people talking in the background cheering you on our just plainly tell you to stop showing off! If you are doing horribly they tend to be nice and say encouraging words. If you are all over the dance pad and hitting every arrow they will start saying things such as "Someone has played this game before."

Overall

So is it really worth buying if you already own the first DDRU on Xbox? If you play the game often and love it then by all means pick up this game as soon as possible or at least rent it to test it out. However if you don't play it as often it really is not worth buying the new game. There are many new game modes and Xbox Live capabilities, but if you just plan on playing this game alone it might be best to stick with the game you currently have. DDRU2 has many of the same songs and is basically the same game with new features. If you have never owned any of the games but have seen them in arcades or at a friend's house it is definitely worth picking up, even if you aren't the dancing type.



 
Sunday, January 09, 2005 


   
8.5
Overall Score
 Fun
 
9
 Gameplay
 
8.5
 Graphics
 
7
 Sound
 
9
 Replay
 
8.5
.







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