Review by daisythebest

"It's time to dance, Mario-style!"

So, Mario finally decided to hit the dancefloor. And Nintendo finally decided to make a dance-game out of it. But is this a game worth getting or not?

This game looks beautiful. Of course, it's nowhere near the Metroid Prime series, but dance-games don't need high-fashioned graphics, right? It's very Mario-style, so if you've seen other Mario games such as Mario Party 4-7 or Mario Kart, then you know what to expect.

Rhythm-games are all about the music, right? Luckily, both Nintendo and Konami were aware of this, so the music is just fine. If you're more into DDR, then this game's music may just disappoint you (or not), because there aren't that much different genres than in other DDR games.

Well, I'm not going to discuss the standard controller-controls here, because this game was made with use of a dance mat in mind. There are three types of dance mats: Metal (as seen in arcades), Foam (simple dance mats with foam inserts) and Simple. This game is delivered with one simple mat. If you're going to play with the mat, make sure that the ground you're playing on is suitable for it, otherwise you'll end up in a totally different place than where you started. The problem with this mat is, however, that you have no idea where you are actually stepping on the mat, unless you are looking downwards all the time. If you play this game for a long time, then you may be able to feel where you are stepping exactly. If you don't, however, you won't like the game that much.

You probably know what the game is all about. Arrows pointing in four different directions will scroll from down to up and it's your job to step in the correct directions with the best possible timing. Timing is rewarded with: "Perfect", "Great", "Early/Late" and "Miss". After each song, you'll get a grade based on your timing. These are: A, B, C, D and F. F was supposed to be the failing grade, but it is easily possible to fail with a D as well. Of course, you also get points for your timing for each arrow you stepped to individually.
There are five different difficulties, of which the first one is ridiculously easy (even for DDR-newbies) and the final one needs to be unlocked for each song individually. The game has a quite good difficulty, for beginners, because it introduces types of stepping (for example: jumps and crossovers) rather than trying to crush you right from the start as in regular DDR mixes.

What makes this game unlike any other DDR are three things. I will cover these now:

1. No Modifiers
If you know a thing or two about DDR, then you know that there are modifiers to make a song more or less difficult than with the standard settings. Unfortunately, there are no modifiers in this game, which is a bad thing.

2. Mush Mode
In Mush Mode, certain arrows won't appear as arrows but as other Mario-styled things. Koopas, Goombas, Bullet Bills, and so on. Each of these has a different function and should be handled differently, but they will be explained before the song starts. There are two drawbacks on this mode:
1. Mush-appearances don't appear at random. If you've seen them once you know when and where to expect them.
2. Each song has only one or two Mush-appearances instead of a random set each time you play.

3. Story Mode
Story Mode is not much different than Free Play, but it gives you even more chances to prevent you from failing a song. Plus, it's actually quite hilarious. Easy won't give you much trouble here, but from Normal difficulty on, (almost) all songs will have Mush Mode-appearances. Unfortunately, there is no Super Hard-difficulty for this mode. Story Mode is also filled with simple mini-games that all use the dance-mat.

DDR:Mario Mix is a great game, but is not great enough to keep you busy forever. It's difficulty is nowhere near the regular DDR mixes, so even for beginners there are no real challenges left after playing it for a while. If you like DDR and/or Mario a lot, or if you're a DDR expert who also likes Mario a lot, then this game is meant for you. But, if you want to impress people with your awesome moves just like others in the arcades, then get yourself a Playstation 2 and any of the DDR mixes (I'd recommend DDRMAX or DDR Extreme).

8 out of 10

There is also a workout option in the game, but it doesn't do much actually. It keeps track of your total calories burnt by dancing, but don't rely solely on this game to lose weight (it didn't work for Mario either!) ;-D

Reviewer's Rating:   4.0 - Great

Originally Posted: 07/05/06

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