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What is Dance Dance Revolution?

Written November, 2001
By Gabriel Ramuglia a.k.a. the FunkyWizard
with leet help from ProfStefan

Dance Dance Revolution is a video game unlike any you have ever seen before. You actually get to dance on a stage to the beat of various songs. This is one of a new lineup of music games by konami known as the "bemani" series of games. Other games in this series allow you to be a dj, play guitar or drums, or other stuff too. Whatching someone play Para Para Paradise for instance looks like watching someone have a synchronized epileptic seziure =P

On the stage there are buttons one each for up, down, left and right. On the screen it tells you when you need to hit these buttons with your feet. The closer to being in sync with the music you are, the better your score. Also available is double mode where you play both pads for one person. You have to switch back and forth in the middle of the song.

You can control the difficulty by choosing a different song, or choose one of 3 difficulty levels for each particular song, so it can be easy enough for beginners, but can be difficult enough even for someone whose entire life is ddr =P The difficulty is ranked in feet, from 1 to 9, 1 being beginner, 9 being catastrophic. Not all levels are available from all songs, but most songs have fairly easy and fairly hard difficulties available.

What is so fun about ddr is that you get to dance along to mostly techno music wihtout having to really worry about being able to dance. After a while of playing, however, you can develop your own style, and it actually looks cool for others to watch. Some people will always think it is dorky, but many people are genuinely impressed by good ddr skills. This is especially true if you learn some special "freestyling" moves. See "how to dance part 2" for more information on that.

In addition to the fun factor, ddr is also quite a workout. On harder difficulty songs, you will easily sweat and get out of breath. As a matter of fact, in the home usa version of ddr, there is actually a "workout mode" which tells you how many calories you have burned playing ddr.

You can play ddr in the arcade or at home. There are many versions also known as "mixes" of ddr. The arcade has the best ddr experience available, but there may not be an arcade near you, or you may not want to always pay $1 or so for 6 minutes of ddr goodness. For this reason there is also available dance dance revolution for the playstation, dreamcast, and unofficially for the pc.

In any of the home versions, you can buy a ddr mat, which has the foot arrows on them so that you can dance along even at home. If you dont buy one, you can still use the arrow keys on whatever particular system you are using in order to play the game. The soft ddr mats, however, slide around a lot and therefore are sometimes hard to use. some companies do sell superior pads, but they are often difficult to locate and expensive to buy.

DDR started out in Japan a few years ago, where it was an instant hit. It has only recently made its way to the united states, at least in a legal form. Many people play imported versions of the game from Korea or Japan, where ddr has better song selections. Since getting to America, demand for the game has well exceeded supply both for the home version and for the arcade machines. To my knowledge, ddr is most popular in Asia (Japan, Korea, etc), Canada (primarily Alberta), California, Las Vegas, and Texas in that order. I may be wrong on this, so please don't bite my head off about it, it's just what I've observed.

I hope this answers the question "what is ddr, and why would I care?" adaquately. If not, please email me, letting me know what questions still need to be addressed. Thanks!

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250k from Dec29, 2001 Dec29, 2002