By Spencer . July 26, 2007 . 12:58am
Besides adding new songs and online play, the last “revolution” Dance Dance Revolution had was freeze arrows. That was way back in Dance Dance Revolution MAX and most fans have mastered standing still on an arrow by now. Dance Dance Revolution: Hottest Party throws veterans a curve ball, it adds in new arrows. The first twist is hand movements with the remote and nunchuck. Replacing the usual green arrows are orange diamonds that instruct you to shake the remote. When an orange diamond crawls to the top of the screen over the left arrow you need to shake the nunchuck. If it’s on the right hand side you shake the remote. If you’re a DDR purist you can turn the shaking off, but the extra motions are part of what makes Dance Dance Revolution: Hottest Party unique. Also the hand motions aren’t terribly difficult to pick up, it’s the brand new arrows that throw players a curve ball.
Some songs have encased double stomp arrows. Once you hit one of these they bounce back a beat and you have to stomp on it again. The double stomp arrows have a knack for tricking players by purposely aligning themselves to make the next step a two arrow jump. Also in the mix are spiky, blue foot destroyer orbs. These fly quickly to the top off the screen, faster than the other arrows. You have to make sure you don’t step on one of these. If you happen to land on one you break your combo and loose energy from your dance meter.
While the new arrows sound like a minor addition on paper, they completely change how Dance Dance Revolution: Hottest Party plays. It’s hard to notice the difference when you play a song on beginner mode. The few additional hand motions in “Blue Monday” didn’t throw me off, but I was overwhelmed by “99 Red Balloons” in expert mode. The first part of the song started out like classic Dance Dance Revolution, just with arrows. No problem. Then hand motions were thrown in and things got a little more complicated. Finally the new arrows started appearing and I was flustered as if it was my first time playing a song in Heavy mode. I lost the song, but I left pleased that I had to learn something new.