Xbox

  News 
  Reviews
  Previews
  Hardware
  Interviews
  All Features

Areas

  3DS
  Android
  iPad
  iPhone
  Mac
  PC
  PlayStation 3
  PlayStation 4
  Switch
  Vita
  Wii U
  Xbox 360
  Xbox One
  Media
  Archives
  Search
  Contests

 

Dance Dance Revolution: Ultramix 2

Score: 90%
ESRB: Everyone
Publisher: Konami
Developer: Konami HWI
Media: DVD/1
Players: 1 - 4 (2 - 16 Online)
Genre: Rhythm/ Online

Graphics & Sound:

Youíve played one DDR game, youíve played them all. Dance Dance Revolution: Ultramix 2 is the latest version of the game to come out for the Xbox, offering more songs than the original and a few new graphical touches, but other than that, itís the same old DDR fans have come to love.

DDR games arenít something you play for the graphics. In fact, if they were any flashier, they might detract from the game, making it harder to play (and giving players massive headaches). Ultramix 2 delivers a club-type atmosphere, complete with flashing lights, some trippy background images and the ever present scrolling arrows. A few more cel-shaded dancers, as well as some video clips are also thrown in.

Other than the addicting gameplay, music is one of the real reasons people play DDR. With every ensuing release, song lists usually hit the net with fans cheering and booing which songs are included. Given that Iím not in one of these elite circles of DDR players, Iím not one to judge if the ďrightĒ songs have made it onto Ultramix 2. What I can tell you is that thereís something here for everyone, ranging from techno to hip-hop to J-pop, even a little classical is thrown in. The mix is varied and should give players more than enough to work with. As with the last version of the game, new songs are available for download over Xbox Live.


Gameplay:

Dance Dance Revolution: Ultramix 2 offers several modes of play which include both single and multiplayer aspects. Thereís really nothing new or revolutionary about any of the modes offered, but the addition of new songs makes the game a great addition to the series.

Game mode is the main gameplay mode. Here you choose songs from a list and dance. As you hit arrows at the correct time, a meter goes up and you gain points. Failing to hit arrows decreases the bar. If the bar becomes red or empty, you lose. After your performance, youíre graded on how many combos you were able to pull off, as well as your accuracy in hitting arrows. Challenge mode gives you specific tasks that you must complete before moving on to the next song. Battle mode is a neat two-player game where players can compete for the highest score or in a Last Man Standing competition.

One of my favorite modes is Party mode. This mode, which is split up into several sub-modes, is great for parties (provided no one has been drinking and your friends have no problem with making fools of themselves). Party modes include Attack mode, which has players launching attacks and combos against each other, and Bomb mode, where two players are trying to blow each other up. For those with really coordinated friends, Quad mode has one player trying to play the game on four dance pads. Or, you could also try Sync mode, which requires friends to time their steps in sync with each other, or otherwise lose.

Multiplayer games can also be played online via Xbox live. The game pad even includes a port and extension cord for the Xbox communicator. However, this adds an additional hazard to playing the game since itís possible to get a leg tangled in the extra-long cord. An Edit mode is also available for players who want to set their own steps to songs. These can later be played back for friends or shared with players on Xbox Live.


Difficulty:

How well you do in the game depends greatly on how coordinated you are. This game is not for the clumsy or aloof. This doesnít mean that you still wonít be able to enjoy the game, since there is a Beginner setting. Pros will want to go for the harder settings. Overall, the game is enjoyable; although even on some of the easier songs it seems like you need a third leg or tail to complete some of the patterns.

Trying your skills online will provide a real challenge. There are some really good players out there, so donít get discouraged if you have a hard time beating some people. My experiences online were mixed. Some were very helpful and gave me hints on how to hit complicated combos while others seemed to get a real rush out of showing just how great they were. But, if your life is defined by how great you are at DDR, you might have a few other things you may want to come out with...


Game Mechanics:

Understanding the basics behind DDR isnít difficult. Arrows scroll; you step on that arrow on the dance pad. Arrow patterns and combos increase in difficulty level with the difficulty level of the song. A few arrow options are available which will make the game easier or harder. These include the option to have the steps appear at all times to having them phase in and out or disappear altogether. The arrows can also be set up to rotate 90 or 180 degrees, offering new challenges during songs.

The dance pad that comes with the game is very well made and, in my opinion, one of the best pads Iíve played on in awhile. The traction on the bottom of the pad is great and keeps it from slipping. I was also pleased with the response I got from the pad and never found myself stepping on a button and not having it register. Hardcore players will want to invest in a sturdier metal pad, but these are pricey and not recommended for casual players.

Although it doesnít offer anything new, Dance Dance Revolution: Ultramix 2 is still a solid game. Fans will certainly want the game for the new songs, while others who have been wanting to check out the game (but been too afraid to try it at their local arcade) should find this to be as good a starting point as any.


-Starscream, GameVortex Communications
AKA Ricky Tucker

Nintendo GameBoy Advance World Championship Poker Sony PlayStation 2 Alien Hominid

 
Game Vortex :: PSIllustrated