Review by Mageknight
"Dancing Mario? No, Nintendo hasn't gone crazy!"
Mario has done so much in his career that you would think he would take a breather. NOPE! Instead, he's pursuing new things to do and he has come across the arts of dance. Will Mario being in a DDR game be a hit or a bust? Personally, I find it in between.
The game comes with a dance mat, but you can also play the game with a controller. Using the dance mat is more fun and satisfying than pushing buttons on the controller. The mat has the 4 directional arrows, A, B, Z, and START buttons. Although it is possible to use the mat to play other games since it acts like another controller, don't do it! SSBM would be no fun and silly on a dance mat. When a song starts, a bunch of arrows scroll up the screen. Step on the arrows with good timing to score points and rake in the combos. If you miss a step or step on an arrow too soon/late, you will have to start your combo all over again. Missing an arrow drops your dance meter and if the meter empties, you lose. The speed of the scrolling arrows depend on the song. On harder difficulties, you'll be forced splits (horizontal and vertical) and even some back-to-back splits. If you're a DDR newbie, then the easy settings are for you. If you're one of the experts, then kick it up a notch and you will give your feet a workout.
Mario DDR has a Story Mode. Just like Mario Party, the story is cheesy and makes you even wonder why you're even playing it. Story Mode is basically a bunch of songs to dance to with some mini-games thrown in. You can also buy items to help you, such as buying an extra life or buying a potion to restore your dance meter.
Free Mode lets you play any song you've unlocked. You can play alone or with a friend. If you go against a friend, it's more satisfying to have two dance mats so you'll have a true dance-off. Although both players can use controllers as an alternate, where's the fun in that?
Mini-game mode lets you play mini-games you unlocked. They range from whacking Goombas with a hammer to running away from a Chain Chomp. There's a handful of mini-games, but not enough of them.
In some songs, you can turn on Mush Mode. This puts enemies and other elements in the songs. For example, you have to stomp on Goombas when they scroll over an arrow, otherwise it counts as a miss. Stuff like Spinies cannot be stepped on, otherwise your Dance Meter will really drop. Mush Mode is a nice touch and keeps you on your toes.
The graphics in this game are great. All the characters look great and they look just as good while dancing. Although you may not notice since you'll be paying attention to the arrows on-screen.
Of course why would you dance to no music? Most of the music in the game are remixes from classic Mario games, like Dr. Mario and Super Mario Bros. 3. The game also has some non-Mario tunes and they sound just as good. It's a shame that each song doesn't last that long to enjoy.
The game is fun and simple to play. It is also challenging at harder levels. Sadly, there isn't enough songs to dance to and not enough Mini-games to play with. The characters are also lacking. Since the game is based on Mario, you would think that there would be a lot of Mario characters, but there's only a handful. Being able to play as only Mario or Luigi also blows. What about Peach or Yoshi? I would like to see them get their groove on! If you really like to dance or just see Mario shake his thing, then you should get this game. If you're not a fan of dancing or just don't like Mario, then stay away from this game.
Reviewer's Rating: 3.5 - Good
Originally Posted: 11/07/05
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