Dance Dance Revolution X Review «

“Ten years of dancing wonder!” proclaims Dance Dance Revolution X’s title screen. The series may have put rhythm/music games on the map, but it’s frustrating that Dance Dance Revolution X still hasn’t learned many new steps.
In the unlikely event you’ve never heard of the Dance Dance Revolution series, the games revolve around shuffling and hopping atop a dance mat in time to left-, right-, up-, and down-scrolling arrows. Sure, it may be no more similar to dancing than Guitar Hero is to playing guitar, but that’s entirely forgettable at the height of motion and music synchronicity. At that point, you’re just having fun.

Click the image above to check out all Dance Dance Revolution X screens.
Unfortunately, this entry’s still plagued by a clutter of uninspiring off-brand dance tracks, with captivating licensed songs few and far between. Some standouts include the Motion Sick’s gamer-love anthem “30 Lives,” OK Go’s “Here It Goes Again,” and Fischerspooner’s “Happy,” but a poorly-charted incarnation of MC Hammer’s “U Can’t Touch This” almost single-handedly undoes that good will. (That one could have been a smash hit if the step patterns felt like you were doing “the typewriter,” at least on expert difficulty — alas, they do not.)

To its credit, Dance Dance Revolution X does include a wide variety of play options, like Endless mode and Dance Battle (where good performances result in attacks that obfuscate your opponent’s steps) for quick, jump-in-and-dance action. The game also reprises its predecessor’s highly customizable Workout mode, which generates a helluva lot more sweat than Wii Fit at higher difficulties. Party mode promises the potential of online play, but good luck finding opponents (I couldn’t). Street Master, the only truly “new” mode, offers a painfully dull and repetitive series of challenges interwoven with the individual characters’ backstories, à la Quest mode from the DDR Universe installments.

Click the image above to check out all Dance Dance Revolution X screens.
Finally, I’d like to make special mention of the announcer, who spouts such gems as “Make some noise! Holla! Whoop, whoop!” and “Bling bling! Yo, how many carats you got on? That was golden!” — this is either some of the most unintentionally hysterical voice work of all time…or the most grating. Thankfully, you can disable his voice — and I expect you will.

Dance Dance Revolution X broadly sidesteps innovation and serves up another entry where enjoyment’s purely a function of how much you like the set list. If you own any other DDR games, particularly last year’s SuperNOVA 2, it’s hard to recommend shelling out cash for this one — aside from the new tunes, I’ve seen it all before.


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