Author’s Note: This review was originally published on January 13th, 2003. I’m not even sure where to begin with this one. This review is bad. I remember being on Christmas vacation during the time of its writing. It was highly likely that I finished playing a few songs and felt the urge to write a review. It’s interesting to see that I gave it an overall score at the bottom; something I didn’t start doing until much later.
YAY!! Dance Dance Revolution games are so fun because you listen to good music while getting in good shape! I really enjoy these games, although I don’t have the ones straight from Japan. In any case…review time.
There is no story. You just dance your little heart out during the whole game to tons of songs.
For those of you who have been living under a rock, this game is one in which you use your feet to play. (You have to buy a dance pad controller to really do this. It’s sold separately, but totally recommended!). At the top of the screen, you have four arrows pointing left, up, down, and right. From the bottom of the screen, arrows come up, pointing in these directions. You have to step on them as soon as they reach the top. Sounds easy? It is at first, but when you start doing difficult songs you will have to step on two arrows at once, or step on them at lighting speed. Some arrows are long, and you have to hold your foot in place for them to be counted (these are called Freeze arrows). There are some arrows that come at crazy patterns, and some change speed on you. It’s so much fun!
Also added to the gameplay are three difficulty modes, a lesson mode, a training mode, a workout mode (for those of you who want to keep in shape while keeping track of calories and weight loss) and an edit mode. The edit mode allows you to make your own patterns to songs. It takes a while, but it’s tons of fun!
There is also something new called ”Oni” mode. This is the devil of DDR everywhere. You have to go through a list of predetermined songs without getting the scores of ”Good, Almost, or Boo” three times. If that happens, it’s game over. It’s darn-tootin’ hard!
Other gameplay features are different ways to dance to songs and different ways to help you while training. The gameplay is one of the most important features in any DDR game, and DDRMAX is no exception!
Each song has different backgrounds for you to watch while you dance. A lot of the flashy patterns are used in more than one song, but the backgrounds are nothing short of original and impressive. If they get too distracting you can turn them down. I really enjoy these backgrounds and flashy patterns, but sometimes it gets too hard too watch both the arrows and the background. You will probably feel this way at first too. But, as you get better, you will get used to them.
The announcer is hilarious, and the hand claps and metronomes are accurate (and helpful). That’s really all there is with sound. It’s perfect!
Another truly important part of the game is the music. Many of the songs are awesome. They make you want to get and dance because they are full of energy and great lyrics. DDR has various types of music (Rock, Techno, House…) and there are tons of songs to each genre (65 songs totally I believe). Many of them are upbeat, some are full of weird sounds (Matsuri Japan), and some are even in Japanese (True) for all your J-pop needs. Also, some songs are slow so beginners can get the hang of the flow of the game after they complete the lessons.
However, many of the songs are bad. Seriously, there are way too many R&B songs in this game. You cannot dance to those. What’s worse is that some songs are remixes of other songs that are bad. Argh. But with the wide variety of songs, this may not be as big of a deal to you as it was to me.
Replay value: 10/10
You are going to play this game again and again! There are tons of songs to get, and it will take forever to master them all.
Buy or Rent?
Buy this game! BUY BUY BUY!!!!
If you want it to be an easy difficulty level, then you can play easy songs. If you want a challenge, then you can play the Paranoia songs on Heavy mode. The difficulty level is for anyone, from beginners to pros.
Gamefaqs doesn’t do fractions in the titles. That’s why you see a 9 and not a 9.999 (and I don’t round up). But all in all, this game is a great buy. Buy it, and you will have fun once you become a member of the revolution!