Dance Dance Revolution: Difference between revisions

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[[Image:Dance Dance Revolution logo.gif|300px|thumb|right|Current Dance Dance Revolution logo]]
'''''Dance Dance Revolution''''' (abbreviated '''DDR'''), previously known as '''Dancing Stage''' in [[PAL]] territories until the announcement of ''[[Dance Dance Revolution X]]'', is a long-standing [[music video game]] series produced by [[Konami]]. Introduced in [[Japan]] in {{Vgy|1998}} as part of the [[Bemani]] series, and released in [[North America]] and [[Europe]] in {{Vgy|1999}}, ''Dance Dance Revolution'' is the pioneering series of the rhythm and dance [[Music genre|genre]] in video games. Players stand on a "dance platform" or stage and hit colored arrows laid out in a cross with their feet to musical and visual cues. Players are judged by how well they time their dance to the patterns presented to them and are allowed to choose more music to play to if they receive a passing score.
''Dance Dance Revolution'' has been given much critical acclaim for its originality and stamina in the video game market. There have been dozens of [[Arcade game|arcade]]-based releases across several countries and hundreds of home [[video game console]] releases. The series has promoted a unique music library of original songs produced by Konami's in-house artists and an eclectic set of [[Music licensing|licensed music]] from many different genres. DDR is viewed as an exercise tool and is in use as such in many gyms and schools. The series has also inspired many [[Video game clone|clones]] of its gameplay and a global fan base of millions that have created [[Simulation game|simulators]] of the game to which they contribute original music and "simfiles", collections of dance patterns to a specific song. DDR will celebrate its 10th anniversary this [[November 21]] [[2008]].
[[Image:Dance Dance Revolution Extreme arcade machine left side stage.png|thumb|right|170px|The dance stage, divided into 9 sections, 4 of them in the cardinal directions contain pressure sensors for the detection of steps.]]
The core gameplay involves the player moving his or her feet to a set pattern, stepping in time to the general rhythm or beat of a song. Arrows are divided into 1/4 notes (base red notes), 1/8 notes (blue ones with a shorter gap than regular notes), and so on, up to about 1/32 notes. During normal gameplay, arrows scroll upwards from the bottom of the screen and pass over stationary, transparent arrows near the top (referred to as the "guide arrows" or "receptors"). When the scrolling arrows overlap the stationary ones, the player must step on the corresponding arrows on the dance platform. Longer green and yellow arrows referred to as "freeze arrows" must be held down for their entire length for them to count. Successfully hitting the arrows in time with the music fills the "Dance Gauge", or [[life bar]], while failure to do so drains it. If the Dance Gauge is fully depleted during gameplay, the player fails the song, usually resulting in a [[game over]]. Otherwise, the player is taken to the Results Screen, which rates the player's performance with a [[letter grade]] and a numerical [[score (video games)|score]], among other statistics. The player may then be given a chance to play again, depending on the settings of the particular machine (the limit is usually 3-5 songs per game). On some DDR games, there is an option to use two pads at once, making it harder to play but increasing the number of moves to incorporate into songs.
Depending on the version of the game, dance steps are broken into varying levels of difficulty. The main difficulty levels are "Basic/Light/Standard", "Another/Trick/Standard/Difficult" and "Maniac/Heavy/Expert". Some versions also include "Beginner" and "Challenge", which typically fall on the lower and higher ends of the difficulty scale, respectively. Once difficulty is switched to Heavy/Challenge, the steps begin to really resemble real dancing (albeit on 4-8 arrows). Songs are also given a "foot rating" (which is represented by a row of colored footprints), ranging from one to ten feet to indicate the overall difficulty of the step sequence. Typically, songs with 10 foot ratings are very fast, with one exception being ''bag'' on [[Dance Dance Revolution Extreme]], which is rated a 10 due to its low speed and high density of arrows. Extreme also introduced a rating referred to as a "flashing 10" (named for the difficulty indicator glowing yellow when selecting a song with this rating), considered to be tougher than a standard 10.
On [[Dance Dance Revolution X]], the foot rating system was given its first major overhaul, now ranking songs on a scale of 1-20, the first 10 represented by yellow blocks, and the second 10 represented by additional red blocks shown in place of yellow blocks. All songs from previous versions have been re-rated on the new scale, including the flashing 10's, whose true difficulty in comparison to other flashing 10's is also now known as a result.
Beginning in 6thMix, a "Groove Radar" was introduced, showing how difficult a particular sequence is in various categories, such as the maximum density of steps, how many jumps are in the steps, etc.
===Groove Radar===
{{Main|DDRMAX Dance Dance Revolution 6thMix#Groove Radar}}
The foot-rating system was completely removed for 6thMix, and replaced by the Groove Radar. The Groove Radar is a graphical representation of the difficulty of a song based in five different areas: Stream, Voltage, Air, Chaos, and Freeze. The Groove Radar was not very popular among seasoned DDR veterans. The foot-rating system would be restored to work with the Groove Radar in the North American ''[[DDRMAX Dance Dance Revolution]]'' and in the next arcade version, ''[[DDRMAX2 Dance Dance Revolution 7thMix]]''. The Groove Radar and foot ratings are both used in Xbox and PS2 versions of the game. All of the 6thMix songs on 7thMix received foot-ratings, including the boss song ''MAX 300'', which was now revealed to be a 10 on Heavy). But due to the removal of "Follow Me" and "Flash in the Night", these 2 songs have never received foot ratings.
Modifiers are changes that can be made to modify the step routine. Prior to 6thMix, codes were entered with the pad to activate modifiers. 6thMix replaced these pad codes with a new options menu accessed by holding down the start button when selecting a song.
Some of the available modifiers include:
*''Speed'' mods change the speed at which the arrows scroll on the screen. It can be increased by multipliers of x1.5, x2, x3, x5 or x8. The default is "x1". This option was introduced in 6thMix and was the only mod that had no equivalent code that could be entered on the pad.
*''Boost'', when turned on, causes the arrows to accelerate as they near the step zone. The default is "Off". This option was introduced in 6thMix.
*''Appearance'' mods change how the arrows appear on the screen. The default is "Visible". "Hidden" makes the arrow fade out halfway up the screen. "Sudden" makes the arrow fade in halfway up the screen. "Stealth" means the arrows are not visible at all.
*''Turn'' mods affect the pattern of the arrows themselves. The default is "Off". "Left" turns all the arrows 90 degrees left. "Right" turns all the arrows 90 degrees right. "Mirror" flips the step pattern so that all left and right arrows swap, and all up and down arrows swap. "Shuffle" creates a random swap of the arrows, and can vary from turn to turn.
*''Other'' mods affect the difficulty of the step routine. The default is "Off". "Little" eliminates all steps that are more frequent than standard 1/4 steps. "Flat" makes all the arrows appear the same color, regardless of their step fraction. "Rainbow" (or "Solo" before SuperNova) changes the colors of the arrows to the colors used in ''[[Dance Dance Revolution Solo 2000]]''. "Dark", a new modifier in 7thMix, removes the "step zone", forcing the player to rely solely on the beat to determine when to step.
*''Scroll'' mods affect the direction in which arrows scroll. The default is "Normal". "Reverse" makes the arrows scroll from top to bottom instead of bottom to top. The health bar is also moved to the bottom. This option was introduced in 6thMix.
*''Freeze'' can turn the Freeze Arrows on or off. The default is "On". This option was introduced in 6thMix, as Freeze Arrows did not exist prior to this mix.
*''Step'' allows a last chance to change the difficulty of the song. The default is whichever difficulty was selected before choosing the song.
===Extra Stage===
The Extra Stage, introduced in 6thMix and appearing in subsequent arcade versions, rewards a player for receiving a grade of "AA" or higher on either Heavy or Challenge difficulties on the final stage. The player receives the opportunity to play a free extra song, which is often a very difficult song with difficult song modifiers. Originally, the song for the extra stage was predetermined ("Max 300" for 6thMix, "Maxx Unlimited" for 7thMix). The option of choosing any song was not available until Extreme. A player who attains a grade of "AA" (or "A" as of SuperNova) on the Extra Stage is invited to play "Encore Extra Stage", which is usually a somewhat easier song, but with much more difficult modifiers, and a single mistake will cause the player to fail the song. A player who chose a song other than the default song was not eligible for Encore Extra Stage.
===Modes & other features===
Several other gameplay modes have appeared throughout the DDR series.
*Nonstop Mode, introduced in the [[Dreamcast]] version of [[Dance Dance Revolution 2nd Mix]], allows the player to play several songs in a row, with no rest period in between.
*''[[DDRMAX2 Dance Dance Revolution 7thMix]]'' introduced a more challenging variant of Nonstop mode, known as Challenging Mode or "Oni" Mode (Japanese:鬼). In arcade versions of the game, these courses range from five to ten predetermined songs in length, and can reach upwards of twenty in home releases. Unlike Nonstop Mode, a battery divided into three segments is displayed at the top of the screen, with one segment disappearing every time the player scores less than a "Great" judgment, or receives an "N.G." on a freeze arrow. If one of these errors is made while the battery is empty, the player immediately fails the course. The battery is replenished upon successful completion of each song, although the amount given back is dependent on the unique settings of each course.
*Another "Challenge Mode", unrelated to the "Oni" Challenging Mode, is only featured in certain home releases. Gameplay consists of several "challenges" that may be attempted one at a time. In each challenge, the player must complete a certain song or section of a song while meeting certain conditions, sometimes with various gameplay modifiers applied to the song.
*Endless Mode is another mode exclusive to home versions. Similar to Nonstop Mode, this mode allows the player to play through numerous songs one after another. However, Endless Mode continues to queue up songs indefinitely, until the player quits or the Dance Gauge is depleted. The song order is random, but options are available to limit the songs to a certain difficulty or category.
*Event Mode is a game option whose function differs between arcade and home versions of DDR. On arcade machines, Event Mode is an operator setting that disables all menu timers, and not cause a player to fail a song immediately even when their dance gauge drops to zero. This setting is used primarily in tournaments, to give judges more time to take an accurate tally of the players' Dance Points.
*Unison Mode appears in 3rdMix, in which both players must dance to a special set of steps for a song. Steps are a single color and fly out from the bottom-center of the screen to each player's guide arrows. Players are not necessarily guaranteed to have the same set of steps.
*Battle Mode, introduced in ''[[Dance Dance Revolution Disney Mix]]'' as Dance Magic mode but revived as Battle Mode on SuperNova, is a competitive mode between two players. Each player must play on the same difficulty and is given a shuffled version of the step chart. Creating combos can send one of many different attacks to the other player's side to make it more difficult for them to read their notes. Creating longer combos results in more damaging attacks. These attacks (especially the stronger ones) can include strange modifiers that cannot be selected under normal circumstances. The health bar is replaced by a balance meter on the top of the screen; whomever side of the bar is longer at the end of the song wins.
*Shock Arrows, introduced in DDR X, are "walls" of all four arrows that must actively be avoided. Stepping on one will break the combo, reduce the Dance Gauge, and will cause the stepchart to disappear momentarily.
{{Main|List of Dance Dance Revolution games}}
''Dance Dance Revolution'' has been released in many different countries on many different platforms. Originally released in Japan as an [[arcade game]] and then a Sony [[PlayStation]] game, DDR was later released in North American, Europe, Korea, the whole of Asia including China, Australia, New Zealand, South America and Mexico on multiple platforms including the Sony [[PlayStation 2]], Microsoft [[Xbox]], Nintendo [[Wii]], and many others. Due to demand, Japanese versions of the game, which are usually different from the games released in other countries, are often [[import]]ed or [[Copyright infringement|bootlegged]]. DDR fansites make an attempt to keep track of the locations of arcade machines throughout the major regions.
*[ DDR Freak machine locations] A collection of ''Dance Dance Revolution'' arcade machines in the United States.
*[ DDR:UK machine locations] A collection of ''Dance Dance Revolution'' arcade machines primarily in Europe and other worldwide locations.
===Arcade machines===
[[Image:Dance Dance Revolution North American arcade machine 3.jpg|200px|thumb|right|An original ''Dance Dance Revolution'' machine.]]
A standard ''Dance Dance Revolution'' arcade machine consists of two parts, the [[arcade cabinet|cabinet]] and the dance platform. The cabinet has a wide bottom section, which houses large floor speakers and glowing [[neon lamp]]s. Above this sits a narrower section that contains the [[computer display|monitor]], and on top is a lighted marquee graphic, with two small speakers and flashing lights on either side. Below the monitor are two sets of buttons (one for each player), each consisting of two triangular selection buttons and a center rectangular button, used mainly to confirm a selection or start the game.
The [[dance pad|dance stage]] is a raised metal platform divided into two sides. Each side houses a set of four [[acrylic glass]] pads<ref>[ Betson Enterprises Online Catalog - Konami]</ref> arranged and pointing in the orthogonal directions (left, up, down and right), separated by metal squares. Each pad sits atop four pressure activated switches, one at each edge of each pad, and a software-controlled [[cold cathode]] lamp illuminating the translucent pad. A metal safety bar in the shape of an upside-down "U" is mounted to the dance stage behind each player. Some players make use of this safety bar to help maintain proper balance, and to relieve weight from the legs so that arrows can be pressed with greater speed and accuracy.
Some DDR cabinets are equipped with Sony PlayStation memory card slots, allowing the player to insert a compatible memory card before starting a game and save their high scores to the card. Additionally, the equivalent home versions of DDR allow players to create and save custom step patterns (edits) to their memory card &mdash; the player can then play those steps on the arcade machine if the same song exists on that machine. This feature is supported in 2ndMix through Extreme. It was expected that SuperNova would include memory card support. However, the division of Konami which handled the production of the memory card slots shut down, causing Konami to pull memory card support out at the last minute. SuperNova however, introduced Konami's internet based link system ''[[e-Amusement]]'' to the series, which can save stats and unlocks for individual players (but cannot store edits) using a globalized smart card inserted into a slot unit installed atop the sides of the cabinet on top of the speakers. This functionality however, could only be used in Japan. During the North American release of [[Dance Dance Revolution SuperNOVA 2]], an e-amuse capable machine was made available at a Brunswick Zone Arcade in [[Naperville, Illinois]]. It, and one other machine located in the Konami offices of [[El Segundo, California]], are currently the only e-amuse capable machines in the United States.
The Solo arcade cabinet is smaller and contains only one dance pad, modified to include six arrow panels instead of four (the additional panels are "upper-left" and "upper-right"). These pads generally don't come with a safety bar, but include the option for one to be installed at a later date. The Solo pad also lacks some of the metal plating that the standard pad has, which can make stepping difficult for players who are used to playing on standard machines. An upgrade was available for Solo machines called the "Deluxe pad", which was closer to the standard cabinet's pad. Additionally Solo machines only incorporate two sensors, located horizontally in the center of the arrow, instead of four sensors (one on each edge).
===Home releases===
DDR has been released on PC, as well as a number of [[video game console]]s, including the [[PlayStation]], [[Dreamcast]], [[Nintendo 64]], [[PlayStation 2]], [[GameCube]], [[Wii]], [[Xbox]] and [[Xbox 360]]. Home versions often contain new songs, songs from the arcade version, and additional features that take advantage of the capabilities of the console. For example, Xbox 360 versions such as the [[Dance Dance Revolution Universe]] series include support for online multiplayer and downloadable songs over [[Xbox Live]], and high definition graphics. The Nintendo Wii version, ''[[Dance Dance Revolution Hottest Party]]'' have additional game modes with support for the [[Wii Remote]], allowing players to use the Wii Remote as an addition to regular play, and the sequel ''[[Dance Dance Revolution Hottest Party 2]]'' will allow [[Mii]]s to be used as a character.
Home versions are commonly bundled with soft plastic [[dance pad]]s that are similar in appearance and function to the [[Nintendo]] [[Power Pad]]. Some third-party manufacturers produce hard metal pads at a higher price.
DDR has even reached Nintendo's [[Game Boy Color]], with five versions of ''[[Dance Dance Revolution GB]]'' released in Japan; these included a series of three mainstream DDR games, a Disney Mix, and an Oha Star. The games come with a small thumb pad that fits over the Game Boy Color's controls to simulate the dance pad.
A version of DDR was also produced for the PC in North America. It uses the interface of ''[[Dance Dance Revolution 4thMix]]'', and contains around 40 songs from the first six mainstream arcade releases. It has not been as well received as the console versions.
The most common criticism of DDR home console versions is that they tend to provide a more limited selection of songs than in the arcade, despite the increased capacity of DVD storage media in more recent releases. In addition, many fan-favorite songs don't make it to the home versions, usually due to licensing restrictions. This is especially true of North American home versions of DDR. Japanese home versions, however, are usually released for every arcade version, and contain a complete selection of the new songs from that version, along with other new songs.
Another common criticism points to the relatively poor quality of most home dance pads, though dedicated fans of the series can find high-quality pads from third-party manufacturers. Some also modify stock pads or build their own pads from raw parts (see the [[dance pad]] article for more information).
==Similar games==
[[Image:StepMania 4 Gameplay.png|200px|thumb|right|Gameplay screen in StepMania 4, an open source DDR clone.]]
Due to the success of the ''Dance Dance Revolution'' franchise, many other games with similar or identical gameplay have been created.
Commercial [[Clone (video games)|clones]] of DDR include the popular [[Korea]]n series [[Pump It Up]] by [[Andamiro]] and the [[United States|American]] series [[In the Groove (series)|In the Groove]] by [[Roxor]], which was met with [[In the Groove (video game)#Lawsuit|legal action by Konami]] and resulted in Konami's acquisition of the game's [[intellectual property]].<ref>{{Cite news|url=|title=Publisher acquires rights to Roxor game |accessdate=2006-10-20|}}</ref> As well as [[TechnoMotion]] by [[F2 Systems]], [[EZ2Dancer]] by [[Amuseworld]], and [[MC Groovz Dance Craze]] by [[Mad Catz]].
Fanmade versions of DDR have also been created, many freely available to the public under the [[open source]] license. The most popular of which is [[StepMania]] (pictured), upon which the game In the Groove is based. These simulators allow for players to create and play their own songs to their own programmed steps. As a result, many DDR fans have held contests and released "mixes" of custom songs and steps for these simulators. Notably the [[Japan]]ese [ Foonmix] series and the [[DDR East Invasion]] [ Tournamix] competitions. Other simulators include [[Flash Flash Revolution]], an online [[Adobe Flash|Flash]]-based simulator, [[Dance With Intensity]] and [[pyDance]] for [[Microsoft Windows|Windows]], both of which are no longer developed, and [[Feet of Fury]], a [[Homebrew (video games)|homebrew]] game for the Sega [[Dreamcast]].
Besides direct clones, many other games have been released that center around rhythm and dance due to DDR's popularity. [[Dance! Online]] released by [[Acclaim Entertainment|Acclaim]] combines [[dance pad]] play with an [[MMO]] element. [[American Broadcasting Company|ABC]]'s [[Dancing with the Stars (video game)|Dancing With the Stars]] and [[Codemasters]]' [[Dance Factory (game)|Dance Factory]] are more recent examples of games that pay homage to DDR and the genre it created. Konami itself also mimics DDR in many of its other music games. Taking music to and from DDR and other series such as ''[[Beatmania]]'' and ''[[Pop'n Music]]'', as well as making references to DDR in its other games and vice-versa.
"Jump Jump Dance Party!" is the name of the fictional Dance Dance Revolution-esque game featured in the episode of [[Malcolm in the Middle]] entitled "Dewey's Special Class"
==DDR Today==
Tournaments are held worldwide, with participants usually competing for higher scores or number of Perfects (referred to as "Perfect Attack" tournaments). Less common are "freestyle" tournaments, where players develop actual dance routines to perform while following the steps in the game. <ref>IGN Staff [ IGN: Dance Dance Revolution Tournament Report], Retrieved on 2008-05-23.</ref>
===Playing styles===
Many DDR players, in order to better focus on timing and pattern reading, will minimize any extraneous body movement during gameplay. These players are commonly referred to as "technical", "tech" or "perfect attack" (PA) players. These technical players usually play the most difficult songs on the highest difficulty levels in an attempt to perfect their scores.
Other DDR players choose to incorporate complex or flashy techniques into their play movements, and some of these "freestyle" players develop intricate dance routines to perform during a song. Freestyle players tend to choose songs on lower difficulty levels, so that the player is not restricted in their movements by large quantities of required steps. Some players can even dance facing away from the screen. A freestyling act can also involve preforming other stunts whilst playing. On an episode of [[American Broadcasting Company|ABC's]] short-lived series [[Master of Champions]], Billy Matsumoto played 5thMix's "Can't Stop Fallin' In Love (Speed Mix)" on Heavy mode while juggling three lit torches, and ultimately won the episode.
===As exercise===
Many news outlets have reported how playing DDR can be good [[aerobic exercise]]; some regular players have reported [[weight loss]] of 10–50 pounds (5–20 kg). In one example, a player found that including DDR in her day-to-day life resulted in a loss of 95 pounds. Another example would be Matthew Keene's account of losing upwards of 150 pounds. Also Yashar Esfandi had witnessed losing 85 pounds in four months through incorporation of DDR as well as the first law of thermodynamics<ref>[ Welcome to Get Up Move!]</ref> Although the quantity of calories burned by playing DDR have not been measured, the amount of active movement required to play implies that DDR provides at least some degree of healthy exercise.
Many schools use DDR as a physical education activity in gym,<ref name="MTVNews">{{Cite news|title=West Virginia Adds Dance Dance Revolution to Gym Class|publisher=MTV|url=|accessdate=2007-09-22}}</ref> and in [[Norway]], DDR has even been registered as an official sport.<ref name="DDRNorway">{{Cite news|title=Positive Gaming: Machine Dance as Fitness and Sport|url=|accessdate=2007-09-22}}</ref>
Many home versions of the game have a function to estimate calories burned, given a player's weight. Additionally, players can use "workout mode" to make a diary of calories burned playing DDR and any self-reported changes in the player's weight.
===Use in schools===
At the start of 2006, Konami announced that the DDR games would be used as part of a fitness program to be phased into [[West Virginia]]'s 765 state schools, starting with its 103 middle schools, over the next two years.<ref name="MTVNews" /> The program was conceived by a researcher at [[West Virginia University]]'s Motor Development Center.
[[California Institute of Technology|Caltech]] allows its students to use DDR to fulfill its [[physical education]] requirements, as students may design their own fitness program.<ref name="WashPostVirginia1">{{Cite news|title=Dancing video game helps kids avoid weight gain|work=[[The Washington Post]]|date=[[2007-02-01]]|url=|accessdate=2008-02-25}}</ref>
The success of the Dance Dance Revolution series resulted in Guinness World Records awarding the series 5 world records in the Guinness World Records: Gamer's Edition 2008. The records include, "Longest Dance Dance Revolution Marathon", "Most Widely Used Video Game in Schools", and "First Video Game Recognized as an Official Sport", when on December 9, 2003, the country of Norway gave "Machine Dancing" official recognition.
==See also==
*[[Dance Revolution]] A television series inspired by the ''Dance Dance Revolution''.
*[[Dance pad]]
*[[Music video game]]
==External links==
*[ Betson Enterprises]
*[ BeatSpace International Machine Dance Community]
*[ Dance Dance Revolution Online Community]
*[ Dance Dance Revolution Global gateway]
*[ Konami of America]
{{Bemani series}}
{{Dance Dance Revolution games}}
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Revision as of 18:12, 13 October 2008