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Dance Dance Revolution: Disney Grooves

Score: 83%
ESRB: Everyone
Publisher: Konami
Developer: Bemani
Media: DVD/1
Players: 1 - 4
Genre: Rhythm/ Party

Graphics & Sound:

Dance Dance Revolution has been around for over 10 years now, so I'm fairly certain you've at least seen it in an arcade or game store. The first Disney release came out almost 10 years ago for the PSone. I loved it back then. It was a wonderful selection of Disney tunes with an added different method of play (attacking opponents) and even a 10 foot song. I was quite glad when I heard there was a new one coming out for the Wii, and I was hoping that it was as much fun and as robust as the first one.

The graphics in Dance Dance Revolution: Disney Grooves are just plain cute. There are a few different characters to choose from, including some Disney characters and a lot of different clothing, including Disney character costumes like the seven dwarves and Ariel. The Disney characters like Mickey, Minnie, and Goofy will dance along with you during the songs. The stages are very much like the previous Wii DDR games. They are quite bright and colorful! Each time you clear venues, you unlock something else new too, along with more venues to play in.

Now as I've said before in previous DDR reviews, the real reason we buy new versions of DDR is the songs. Without unlocking anything, there are 18 songs to start off with, including "Bippidi-Bobbidi-Boo," "Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah," and "I Just Can't Wait to be King." If that doesn't seem like enough music though, you can unlock more easily. There are 41 songs total after you've unlocked them all.


Gameplay:

There are a few different modes of play available in Dance Dance Revolution: Disney Grooves. Groove Mode is where you'll go to unlock more songs and items. This is where I spend most of my time. Inside Groove Mode, you'll find a lot of venues. Each venue has an audience request that you need to pass to clear the venue. Clearing venues unlocks items, new songs, and more venues. You can clear these by yourself or with the help of up to 3 friends (4 players total).

Freeplay Mode is where you go when you want to just hop in and play the game. Here you have your choice of all the songs that have been unlocked so far. You can play them alone or with friends. There are no audience requests or goals that you need to beat. You simply need to play well enough to clear the song.

Workout Mode allows you to create custom workout lists to play to. It also keeps track of how many calories you've burned based on your weight. From using a heart rate monitor, I found that it does a pretty good job of estimating the number of calories burned, or at least it does for me. You can even set a password to keep your personal profile (and weight!) private and secure from prying eyes.

A new addition to this game is My Studio. Here you can go and take pictures of your character solo or with the Disney characters. Yes it is pretty pointless, but shockingly fun. You can view all your song records under Records and change game settings under Options. If you want to turn off the hand markers, you can do that under Options.


Difficulty:

To date, this is the easiest DDR game that I have ever played. In a way, I expected it since the previous Disney DDR game scored easier than the others of its time, but it also had some challenging songs as well ("Mr. Postman" was definitely challenging). That's not to say that there aren't some higher foot songs available. "Turkey in the Straw" for example is a 10 foot unlocked from the beginning. But they just aren't as hard as the 10 foot songs in other versions. Of course, there's always the option of playing with friends to make life more difficult. You can play with 4 players total, giving you a lot of competition if you've got friends that are good players.

There is also the addition of the hand movements in this version as well. Now personally, I just turn those off as I just haven't gotten the hang of them yet and prefer to play the game for the feet movements. But this is the game to learn them on. Since it is just easier overall, it's the easiest place for you to get the hang of the hand movements if you've been having problems with them (like me) in the other games.


Game Mechanics:

Dance Dance Revolution: Disney Grooves plays exactly like the previous Wii version did. You can choose to play it with a dance pad or a classic controller or opt to play with solely the Wii-mote and Nunchuk. If you don't use the Wii-mote and Nunchuk with the dance pad, you'll need to turn off the hand movements. Whichever way you decide to go, you'll see arrows scrolling up the screen and a target at the top. Simply press the correct arrow at the exact same time that it hits the target. Easy, right? Well it is until you get a lot of arrows going really fast and you get your feet (or fingers) all tangled up. It takes some practice and work to get to the point that you can clear those 8, 9, and 10 foot songs!

While I have enjoyed playing this version, I can't say that it is for everyone. It's obviously geared towards kids and beginners. But it is a great game to learn how to play Dance Dance Revolution on. If you're a hardcore DDR fan who only cares about the feet movements, you probably won't like this one very much. But if you're looking for something that you don't have to worry about your kids playing or you want to learn the game at a slower pace, I highly recommend you go get it today. The bundle comes with two dance pads that work quite well for beginning, so everything you need for up to 2 players is in the box!


-Cyn, GameVortex Communications
AKA Sara Earl

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