Dance Dance Revolution Universe Review

Dance Dance Revolution Universe is the first of what I can only assume will be many DDR games on next-gen consoles. Released for the Xbox 360, Universe looks to continue the DDR console tradition, and keep one of Konami’s big sellers (over 4 million sold in North America alone) rolling.

If you’ve played a DDR game before, you know what to expect coming in. (In fact, most people know what to expect — DDR isn’t exactly low key these days.) The first thing you need to be aware of is that old pads won’t work on the 360, even if they have a USB plug. What this means is that to get the full DDR experience on the Xbox 360, you’ll need to purchase the bundle pack, which includes the game and the official Konami pad. It may cost a decent amount of cash, but for fans the investment will pay off in the long run, as I’m certain we’ll see more DDR games on the 360. (You can always get a 3rd party pad, but in the past it seems the official pads are the best when it comes to soft pads.)

One of the key selling points for Universe is the whopping number of songs included: 65. Not only will DDR fans get some familiar artists in the game, but even new DDR players will find songs they like, as the game includes artists such as Sugar Hill Gang, Chris Brown, Cascada, Steppenwolf and others (you may not recognize the artists, but you’ll definitely recognize the songs).

Konami did more than include some popular hits to help lure newcomers, though. Another new feature is the Super Easy mode, which is…well, it’s super easy. If you’ve ever been one of those people who tried playing DDR but ended up making a fool out of yourself — even on the lowest difficulty — this new mode is made for you. The easier play got several of my friends trying the game, all with no previous DDR experience. Even my most rhythm impaired friend got in on the action. I guess Konami was on to something with the combination of easier play and Earth, Wind and Fire.

Of course, the real feature any DDR loving 360 owner was looking forward to is the Xbox Live compatibility. Using Xbox Live, you’ll be able to accomplish things DDR fans previously had no idea could be done — or would be done. For starters, you’ll be able to download new songs and steps, meaning that you may not have to buy an entirely new DDR game for a few new songs you really like; you can download them! Not only will you be able to add content to the game, but you’ll also be able to compete head-to-head against friends online, view Internet rankings and compete in online tournaments. Don’t have any friends that play DDR, and want to test how good you are without finding an arcade in your area? Now you can! Konami basically upped the ante with all of the online features of the game, making Ultramix’s online capability look silly by comparison.

Two other features help extend the life of the game for those without Xbox Live: Relay mode and megamixes. The relay mode is simple, taking its concept from a marathon relay race. As you begin playing, you switch off with teammates and continue dancing even longer. If you have a few friends who want to play and only one pad, this is a good way to get everyone involved. It’s also a good way to see which of your friends tires the easiest.

The megamix mode is my favorite mode, making the game play like you’re actually in a club. Songs will blend together in what Konami coined a "dj continuous mix," turning one song into several. The quality of the mixing is a little low at times, but it’s not so bad that you’ll want to stop playing if you’re having fun. It can feel awkward playing alone non-stop for an extended amount of time, but it’s more fun than going through the menus time and time again if you want to play for a certain period.

I’ll admit, I’ve never been a huge DDR fan. There have been times in the past I’ve laughed at people who play the game, including some of my friends and a few of the writers here at GamerNode. That being said, this new title has a lot to offer, even to people like me who never really gave the series a chance. The newbie-friendly gameplay, huge song list and possibility to download select songs in the future go a long way towards drawing people in — getting exercise while gaming is also a huge benefit (even if you may look like a fool). The reason I did this review other than someone with a lot of DDR experience was to try and showcase just how appealing Universe is to all gamers, regardless of their past DDR habits. If you’re a fan of the series, you’ll really enjoy the online aspects, new songs and new gameplay modes. If you’ve never really given DDR a shot before, now’s a good chance to see what you may have been missing. Look on the bright side: as long as my friends and I play, you’ll never be the worst one online.


  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Myspace
  • Google Buzz
  • Reddit
  • Stumnleupon
  • Delicious
  • Digg
  • Technorati
Author: Brendon Lindsey View all posts by

Leave A Response

You must be logged in to post a comment.