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"Everything counts a little more than we think..."

08 October 2007 Monday

Getting to know DDR Hottest Party

Dance Dance Revolution on the Wii

slated in consumed at 10:54 pm

I’m babysitting my friend’s Nintendo Wii while he’s away on vacation for the next few weeks, and while he’s left me with several games, I expect the only one I’ll really be making use of is Dance Dance Revolution: Hottest Party. This is my first DDR game ever, and it is pretty thoroughly everything I expected and wanted it to be (yay).

So here’s what I’ve learned about DDR:

  • While you have to hit the arrow at the proper moment, you do NOT have to lift your foot off that arrow. This is incredibly new and useful information to me, as I’ve been hopping back to the center square after every hit, and I’m pretty sure it’s what makes me look especially funny and kills my skill level (I’m totally a Basic). Being able to leave my foot on the arrow is going to be a much calmer experience, methinks.
  • I’m not sure what the rules are on flinging the controllers to register hand movements — I’ve tried forward and to the sides — but apparently pressing the buttons on the controller at the exact moment will also activate the hand triggers.
  • “Screen stompers” does NOT mean you have to stomp incessantly to make the arrow go away — one stomp will suffice (...my bad…)
  • In general, stomping is unnecessary.. To be fair, my excessive stomping is probably related to my thinking I need to be back on the center square every time to keep my feet off of arrows until they’re specifically “called”.

So here’s what I don’t like:

  • No pause feature. What the @*#()$? How could they have programmed a game, and THIS game, without a “pause” option!? Bloody hell.
  • Annoying breaks. Even in workout mode, there are these breaks in between the dances/episodes, which I suppose are good for a bit of rest, but I’d rather be able to really skip those and just keep moving until I feel like pausing, or fast forward more efficiently withOUT then screwing myself over by having hit the wrong buttons incessantly and inadvertently placing myself in Expert mode, thus sending arrows flying everywhere and raising my blood pressure and altogether freaking me out. Thankfully, expert mode kills me lickitysplit, so I can backtrack and exit from there. But in the middle of the game, there is NO “pause” or “exit” option that I have found.
  • No texture/tactile response. The surface of the mat is all the same texture. This means I have no tactile response when I am on an arrow or not. This means that if I shift off center, I’ll be stepping on an arrow unintentionally, and messing up my gameplay. Come to think of it, this has probably been more an issue for me because of that whole “always off the arrows/back to center” thing that I thought I was supposed to do. Anyway, I think I’m going to try laying some masking or removable tap across parts of the mat.. that might take care of that.
  • Disappointing music. I had liked some of the song line-up when I read it somewhere months ago, but even the good music is turned all techno and technofied pop. I like most types of good music, but good techno is few and far between (and tends to be better in Japanese/Asian). Even the familiar/good songs have been technofied. It’s weird. But I guess some of them are alright; some are starting to grow on me…
  • Also, I don’t always agree with the beat choices with the arrows.. but oh well for that. Now, I have not unlocked any new songs yet (which I hear happens) since I have not been playing “Groove Circuit Mode”.. Maybe I’ll be pleasantly surprised by the music selection when I try my hand(s and feet) there..
  • The inevitable sweat. More than a little bit of sweat means I have to wash my hair. This is not something I like, nor ordinarily need, to do everyday. But if I’m playing DDR everyday, then hairwashing it is. Boo to DDR for that. That’s the problem with exercising. ;p

Here’s what I love about it:

  • I’m exercising. Workout mode keeps track of time or calories. I have no concept of calories, but an hour of near-constant movement should be a good start, right?
  • I’m practicing coordination. Practice = improvement. And if I’m flailing and stumbling now, then all the more happy when I’m all balanced and have rhythm/response/and stamina leveled up.
  • I’m playing a game and feeling totally unguilty about it because it is totally healthy for me. I don’t have/spend enough time running around outside; I really need consistent exercise, but I tend to be pretty undisciplined. But I love games and [attempts at] high scores, so I knew this should be a pretty good situation for me. So far, quite good. :)
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