Beat Pad Pro

Review

posted 8/19/2004 by Charles Husemann
other articles by Charles Husemann
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I’ll admit that in the past I’ve been known to take a cheap shot at the DDR fans. They are an easy target (much like Star Wars geeks…oh wait, I’m in that demographic). However, after playing a little bit of the game, I have to take back a lot of what I’ve said about them. Why would I do this? Because after playing tons of Dance Dance Ultramix to test the Mad Catz Beat Pad Pro I now have a different take on these people. I’ll save that epiphany for a future article since we’re here to talk about the new pad from Mad Catz.

The Beat Pad Pro from Mad Catz is a very nice little pad that will get you dancing on your Xbox, PS One, or PS2 in no time. The pad measures about 3.5 feet by 3 feet when unfolded onto your carpet and has a nice four foot cable so you’re not right on top of your television. This is a good thing since you don’t want to slam into your TV if you loose your balance while dancing. Not that that kind of thing ever happened to me. When not in use, the pad can be folded back into its case and stored out of sight.

The pad itself is made of a vinyl like material on both sides and a heavy wedge shape block at the top that helps weigh it down. The cable to connect the pad to the console comes out of this wedge. The cable ends in a PS2 like connector that allows you to put in the proper connector for your console of choice (PS One, PS2, or Xbox) The material is slightly texturized so you’re not going to slip and kill yourself while pulling off a move. I wouldn’t call the pad thick but it’s about as thick as your average Waffle house pancake. There are 10 buttons on the pad…the four directional arrows, four buttons, back/select, and a start button. A nice little touch for the pad is that when you fold it to store, you fold it along the sides of the buttons which does give you a little bit of a feel for where your feet are at.

The pad worked well with Dance Dance Revolution Ultramix on the Xbox. The buttons responded quickly and there didn’t seem to be any real lag. This was hard to test during game play since I’m not exactly a DDR expert and I’m told by the girlfriend that it looked like I was having a seizure. To better test it, I used the pad to cycle through the menus and checked it with a few other games (though the lack of shoulder buttons kind of limits what games you can use it with).

I didn’t really have a lot of problems with the pad. It did move around and bunch a little during game play but some of that might be due to the fact that I’m not exactly a small guy and I’m not particularly good at DDR. The carpet I put the pad on wasn’t exactly ideal either (Burber carpet is not necessarily the best option if you want the pad to stay in place).

If you’re looking for a good starter pad for your PS One, PS2, or Xbox, then the Mad Catz Beat Pad Pro is a good option. You can find the pad for about $35 and it’s a good way to actually get some exercise out of your console.



B
A solid pad for the money but you’ll want to check out your setup before you buy it.


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