posted 10/8/2003 by Charlie Sinhaseni
other articles by Charlie Sinhaseni
One Page Platforms: PS2
I admit it, I’m willing to bite at most of the stuff that comes out of Konami’s doors. I’m head over heels for the Metal Gear Solid franchise and Boktai is one of the best GBA games that I’ve ever played. Hell, I even used to play Beatmania and Guitar Freaks back in the day but one game that I could never take seriously was Dance Dance Revolution. I mean, I felt like a jackass while playing it. I’ve spent hours and hours researching it and it’s physically impossible to look cool while simulating jumping jacks. I laugh at the people in the arcades who step up to the machine with their wannabe raver gear as they select the same three songs over and over again. Oh yes, I’m a huge DDR skeptic, and then I had to go and fall in love with a DDR fanatic.

So my girlfriend is a huge DDR fan, even prompting me to dole out some cash in order to buy her some new dancepads every so often. If you’re like my girlfriend then you’ll be able to appreciate what DDRMAX2 brings to the table. Making a return are the workout, arcade, practice and edit modes. If you’ve seen the game in the arcades then you’ve seen the Arcade Mode. Basically you select three songs and have to complete them all without losing. Beating harder songs and netting higher scores will gain you points that can be used towards the unlocking of new songs. The Workout mode is a nice addition for anyone who wants to workout while playing video games. It comes with a little counter that tracks the number of calories that you burn while playing DDR. Rounding out the features are edit and practice, both of which are pretty self-explanatory. But then again, my girlfriend and I are separate individuals and we have varying ideas on what makes an excellent video game.

Simply put it’s a rehash of all of the other DDRs but this time some Western-style licensed tracks come along for the ride. It’s not that American songs haven’t appeared on previous DDR titles, just that this is the first to feature them in such volume. There are a whole host of new tracks available for the gamer, it’s just a shame that the track listing becomes repetitive fairly quickly. New to the roster are songs from Kylie Minogue, K.C. and the Sunshine Band, Dirty Vegas and more. Their tracks have been specifically mixed for the game and feature music videos that play in the background when you’re dancing to them. In all there are about 60 songs but since the majority of them sound the same and many of them more or less are remixes or variants of each other, it seems like the game really only has about 20 different songs to dance to and of them probably only six or seven will be worth playing again and again. The rest of the game is virtually unchanged; the edit, workout and training modes still remain as does the core arcade play mode. Single-player action is starting to get pretty bland but the multiplayer action has just as much life as ever.

Unlike DDRMAX there are very few new gameplay additions this time around. All of the facets from the first title have made a return, including the freeze arrow, but the gameplay is nearly identical. With the exception of a mode that allows you to play up to 20 songs continuously the game is virtually unchanged. Step on the directional arrows as they reach the top of the screen, try to do your best not to mess up and hope to God that you’re in good enough shape to play the faster songs. For playing you’ll want to use a good dancepad, Konami’s first-party pad is pretty decent as are some of the pads that are available from Red Octane. Playing with the standard dual shock 2 controller isn’t all that bad but it kind of leaves you on the outside looking in.
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