When it comes to the Dance Dance Revolution series you really don’t expect any revolutionary gameplay changes from game to game. After all DDR already has it fan base and unique gameplay. Dance Dance Revolution fans expect a good song mix for each new release of the game. Sadly, Dance Dance Revolution Party Mix doesn’t exactly have the greatest song list.
If you’ve never heard of Dance Dance Revolution this may be the mix to get into. This is one of the few Japanese versions that comes bundled with a dance mat and at a semi reasonable price. Dance Dance Revolution is a game that you play with your feet instead of your hands. You can play this game with the standard PS2 controller, which is missing the point of the entire game. Gameplay consists of stepping on arrows at the right time in the song. Arrows scroll smoothly up screen in variable speeds and amounts depending on the level you choose: light, standard or heavy. When you stomp on an arrow you’re given a rating from “perfect” to “miss” to tell you how accurate your steps are. Miss too many steps and its game over. On the other hand you can get a combo by maintaining perfect and great steps. Besides the arcade mode this mix contains two other modes: nonstop and oni modes. Nonstop mode has you tackle four or more songs in a row with one life bar. This allows for higher combos and an added challenge. Oni mode forces you to get “perfects” and “greats”, miss three steps and its over.
Probably the best thing about this mix is that it is suited for new players to Dance Dance Revolution. Many classic Dance Dance Revolution songs are included in this mix like: Butterfly, Joga, Moonlight Shadow, B4U, Absolute, and Paranoia. This mix also features videos, instead of animated backgrounds, which is a first for the Japanese mixes. On top of that this game features a character select screen with more characters than any other Dance Dance Revolution mix. If you haven’t played any Dance Dance Revolution mix before you will probably enjoy the sound selection.
However, if you have played any other Dance Dance Revolution game before a lot of these songs will be familiar to you. Which almost makes this game not worth buying. For new material there’s five new songs to unlock as well as “Wannabe”, which is initially unlocked. The background videos are for Conga Felling and the two Captain Jack songs (Dream a Dream and Captain Jack Grandale Remix). These are the same videos that are featured in the US version of DDRMax2, so it isn’t anything new for import gamers. The new songs include a new track from Be For U, Freedom, Paranoia -respect- and Stars. All of these songs can be unlocked by playing through arcade mode under thirty times. Other unlockable songs include more DDR classics like: Can’t Stop Falling in Love, 511 and Celebrate Nite.
Graphically this version of DDR looks like any other Playstation 2 version. The interface is based on the most recent “Extreme” version. A lot of the background animations that you’ve seen in Extreme and some (like the “fireworks” animation) have been reused since the first version of max. The videos in DDR are pixilated messes, which almost makes the crisp visualizations in B4U look better. Luckily, DDR has never been about the graphics, its been about the gameplay. If you’re watching the graphics you’re probably waiting your turn to play or
If you’ve played any other DDR game you know what to expect from the series. Also if you’ve played any other DDR game you probably don’t want to get this mix. Five songs and a few new dancers aren’t enough warrant paying for a new game when there is Dance Dance Revolution: Extreme for the same price. With all of the recent American mixes sporting more songs, especially past songs it makes this release look pretty weak.
Import Friendly? Literacy Level: 1
Like all other Dance Dance Revolution games this game has the entire song list and all the menus in English. Only the “information” section is in Japanese, but that’s not crucial anyway.
There is no announcement for Dance Dance Revolution Party Collection in the US, and even if it was announced the song list would be different.
+ Pros: Classic Dance Dance Revolution favorites
– Cons: Few “unlockable” secrets and few new songs
Overall: If you’ve never bought a DDR mix before this could be a good starter package, since it’s got many favorites. However, for long time fans of Dance Dance Revolution this isn’t a mix worth getting.