Review by Garbol Shora
"While it was indeed a revolution for its time, 'Dance Dance Revolution' is far surpassed by Konamix and Max that this one should be passed up..."
Dance Dance Revolution is a dancing game which incorporates the movement of your feet (in-depth review available for DDRMAX). You see the up arrow on the screen, you press the up arrow on your pad with your feed and etcetera.
This type of thing wasn't very common in the US, nor did it really matter, considering most didn't care. But Dance Dance Revolution finally came out for US, and it really didn't amount to much compared to the far superior songs in the Japan Imports. Nevertheless, it was indeed a pleasant surprise. While it was a revolution for its time, 'Dance Dance Revolution' is far surpassed by Konamix and Max that this one should now be passed up for the better releases.
It is generally a stepping game. Dance Dance Revolution had a small collection of songs, nothing compared to the newer mixes that were released for exclusivity in Japan. It was a meager supply, but it was a good collection in terms of introducing people to the dancing genre. You had the oldies like a remixed version of good 'ol Olivia Newton, along with some bizarre trance and techno like Afronova.
When I first bought this game far when it was released for the PS1, I couldn't help but be fascinated by the dance pad, and mind you, you need a dance mat to get anywhere in this game. First song - I failed. The whole coordination of it all seemed far too bizarre. But at that time, I was far too busy staring at the screen, trying to slam my feet on the pad at the exact moment... this wasn't the case however. It turned out that it wasn't feet precision that made the game, it was the rhythm.
Dance Dance Revolution, in that regard, is a type of game one must actually get INTO, not only by superficially staring at the screen and trying to line it up with the arrows, but by listening to the rhythm and solely looking at the arrows as a type of guide.
The minute the game started, I had a choice of selecting a spiffy cool character that really had no inherent importance ot the game itself. These ranged from the cute Emi to the disco Johnny. However, I felt myself feeling kind of peeved to see that the first player was only male characters and the second player was only female characters. What if I wanted to see the sexy space-chic Charmy strut her stuff instead of her less-interesting male partner? But truly, that didn't have much importance to it all.
I can't help but say that the songs weren't at all very impressive. The collection was small and the songs for the most part didn't amount to much. Yes, the collection was small, but it wouldn't have mattered if the songs were catchy or had some really rhythmic songs. Who exactly needs three remixes of Paranoia, two remixes of Trip Machine and a variety of god-awful NMR anyway?
The overall gameplay, however, interested me, the basic concept of moving your feet at the precise spot. But I can't help but say that this was hindered by uninteresting songs that just didn't match up to the creative concept. I just felt somewhat cheated, as while the footstepping was fun, the songs weren't. Gameplay with Dance Dance Revolution truly matters only with good songs, and Dance Dance Revolution at a fairly mediocre selection of it, and now that newer better releases have arrived, Dance Dance Revolution is only better than the Disney Mix (which was a god-awful presentation of it by itself). 7/10
The visual presentation for Dance Dance Revolution was nice for the PS. You would see pretty arrows and some animations in the background. The animations in the background weren't very pretty, but I have to mention that it was fun watching your 'character' strut their stuff along with you through the dancing.
You had your character and you would literally see them grinning when you the announcer was cheering you on (which was only possible by getting many Perfects and Greats). I just felt great watching Jenny show her pearly whites as she moved her polygonal stuff! This worked the same way when you were in Danger, of which you made many mistakes. Your character would look a bit stressed out, seeming to be under pressure. The emotions on these dancing bimbos were a great little bit to watch in variation to how you did on your dance.
The overall presentation, however, wasn't much. For the most part, they were basic, but were colourful nonetheless. At the time, Dance Dance Revolution really didn't matter for its visual presentation, heck, you'd be watching the arrows far more than you would watching the backgrounds. But I have to mention that the characters were pleasant to watch! 6/10
This is an acquired taste, but I really didn't like it. I can't really understand how Dance Dance Revolution would be so critically acclaimed with such an uninteresting variety of songs. For example, there were a lot of oddballs in this game, and if you like vintage 80s and oldies, than I guess you would enjoy the themes in this game... but it just didn't get to me.
I did have to say I liked the beats and rhythm in Dub I Dub although I can't say much for the singer of the song. It was catchy and that was one of the songs I played most. I didn't like Jennifer - If You Were Here for the most part, as it sounded more like the melodrama pop of now, but I got used to it. Techno difficult songs like Paranoia and Afronova were still in there, and I have to say that, while they aren't very interesting in terms of melody, they have excellent rhythm and was entirely suitable for a difficult dance song.
The announcer was what got me. While you CAN turn the annoying bastard off, I couldn't help but feel so irritated just hearing him constantly bash my moves, or even worse, cheer them on! The announcer was poor in terms of trying to create a dance club DJ and I really didn't like it. Like all the other DDR games, you can turn the announcer off, but there are still some quirky spots where he may utter some irritable unintelligible crap.
Overall, the audio presentation had good points and bad points. The song selection was boring and somewhat disappointing, but at that time, I didn't really know what I was missing out on as this was the first collection of DDR songs I heard. But there is much better out there now that DDRMAX and DDR:Konamix has been released. Choose one or both of them, as the audio presentation for Dance Dance Revolution isn't up to snuff. 7/10
Story and Composition:
This is a dancing game.
There is no story nor composition. There is a 'Your Dance Will Save the World' somewhere in there, but other than that, I don't think your dance will save much. N/A
Replayability and Extras:
While DDR games usually earns high scores in this, and while the original Dance Dance Revolution is really not that big of an exception, I couldn't help but think about the song selection again.
You have some good ones and you have some bad ones, but indefinitely you'll find more oddballs in this soundtrack than you will finding good ones. The game was good when Konamix and MAX weren't released, but now that they are, Dance Dance Revolution really doesn't offer much for one to feel truly fulfilled. Granted, you'll have a healthy track of Green modes (I forget if they call it Heavy or Maniac, which is the hardest mode) to practice on, but there really isn't much after that.
There is a workout mode, but the workout statistic is highly suspect. There is also a song list, but its predetermined lists might make you wanting more. 8/10
Dance Dance Revolution was a great game awhile ago, but it's been outdated as time passed by as all games were. However, while some games might still retain their excellence although sequels are released, Dance Dance Revolution is primarily about the quality of the songs.
The songs were great back then when there was only Dance Dance Revolution and the Disney mix, and yes, this version far surpassed the childish songs of Disney nostalgia, but now that Konami has recognized that there ARE DDR fans out there in America, this one somewhat feels short-handed. It's a great game in terms of the concept, but the songs just don't back it up as much as it did a few years back.
How it stacks up!
(Average is determined through the importance of the criteria. In this case, gameplay is the most important, followed by Audio Presentation and Replay, followed by Visual Presentation)
Gameplay Elements: 7/10
Visual Presentation: 6/10
Audio Presentation: 7/10
Replayability and Extras: 8/10
Final Score: 7
Reviewer's Rating: 3.5 - Good
Originally Posted: 02/08/03, Updated 02/09/03
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