Red Octane Ignition Dance Pad

Review

posted 12/6/2004 by Charlie Sinhaseni
other articles by Charlie Sinhaseni
One Page Platforms: PS2
Tell me if this scenario sounds familiar; you’re in the midst of an intense song when the game starts telling you that you’re missing steps. You’re hitting the motions correctly and you’ve completely mastered the game in the Arcade so you know it’s not you. That’s when you look down and see that your mat has shifted beneath you, throwing your entire game out of whack. You take the time to smooth out the mat and orient it so that it’s even with your television, but it’s too late, the song’s already over and announcer has taken the opportunity to tell the entire world how big of a loser you are. People have gone to great lengths to remedy this situation, even going so far as to nail their dance mats to pieces of wood to stabilize the base. I’m all into home improvement and working with my hands, but I’m not exactly amped about nailing my old dancepad to a piece of wood. I mean seriously, there has to be a better solution than this.

And there is.

My girlfriend told me that her old roommate used to have two Red Octane Ignition dance pads and that she never ran into any problems when using them. I decided to test the myth by getting one for review and after just a few minutes with the pad, I could see where she was coming from. The Red Octane Dance Pad is not just the best dance pad available in its class, it’s also one of the best dance pads ever made. It is able to do what so many competitors are unable to do, provide gamers with an affordable solution that performs well and stands up to the normal wear and tear of casual use. Sure the $110 price tag might look pricey now, but if you’re a DDR fan, it’s well worth every penny.

When you open up the box you’ll get the vinyl pad and what appears to be a gigantic jigsaw puzzle. Using a simple number system, you piece the puzzles together to form a solid surface that rests beneath the dance mat. Unzip the mat, place the puzzle inside of it, zip it up and you’re ready for action. Before I tried out the game I couldn’t resist stepping on the pad to see how it compared to my old Konami pad. From the beginning I could feel the quality underneath my feet; the solid base recreates the feel of the arcade game and the feel of the pad against my feet was smooth and rich. To take things a step further, the actual arrows that you can step on are elevated and have a more solid feel to them. When your feet make contact with them you’ll actually feel a satisfying amount of resistance, indicating that you scored a clean hit. As a latent bonus, the pad also provides excellent arch support so that your feet don’t hurt after extended amounts of play. Wisely, the contacts reside on the surface of the mat as opposed to the little puzzle pieces. This allows people who like the soft pad feel to remove the padding and play without all of the hard resistance.
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