Review by Phange
"It's not the best DDR, but it's the best for learning how to play"
First of all, I'd like to say that since this game launched in March, I've lost 20 pounds, none of my clothes fit anymore, and I've become a happier person overall now that I'm slim and healthy. It's one thing to be a good game; but it's entirely something else to impact someone's life positively, and for that I must thank this game.
Why this DDR and not the previous ones? Because, let's face it, DDR is daunting and if you don't know how to play or move around the mat, you don't have a chance, even on the easiest setting. This version of DDR goes out of its way to teach you every nuance of playing, divided up into very convenient and informative chunks. I went from the worst DDR player you could possibly imagine to acing this game on Difficult (otherwise known as Heavy) difficulty. I play DDR in the arcades and huge crowds come up and applaud me. This game is the reason why.
Graphics are the least important facet of a DDR game, and this version is no exception. The character models are decent, and the backgrounds are expectedly funkadelic and trippy. And, of course, the rainbow arrows are as slick as always. It is nice to note that this game can be played at 1080p, for those of you lucky enough to have a high-end HDTV.
There's no doubt that this is one of the most average song lineups out there for DDR, but they work well, and there are a few gems here and there. The announcer is annoying, but not quite as annoying as the previous DDR games.
The most important feature of this game is the tutorial mode, which utterly decimates the previous DDR games' attempts at teaching you how to play. This game goes over EVERYTHING you need to know, without overloading you with information. Because of that, DDR Universe is likely to be the breakthrough DDR for those who couldn't play DDR before (like me). Like I said, I moved from "DDR inept" to "DDR god" in two months flat, and it really only takes you a few days at most to get good enough to ace songs on Basic (Standard). The jump from Basic to Difficult is a large one, and it'll take time, but the game prepares you for the new things you'll face.
So while the game lacks some of the charm and music quality of the previous DDR's, you'll find this version to be easily the most accessible.
People who are already good at DDR might want to sit this one out, but those people who have always wanted to be a pro at DDR but could never quite "figure it out" absolutely must give this one a shot.
Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 05/23/07
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