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DDR Extreme 2′ a groovy dance-fest

Mark Bemenderfer | Tuesday, January 24, 2006

The latest iteration of the college party game of choice has been released. It’s not the next “Halo” or “Smash Brothers,” however. It is “Dance Dance Revolution Extreme 2” for the PlayStation 2 and continues the brand’s tradition of excellence.

“Dance Dance Revolution,” or as it is more commonly known, “DDR,” is a rhythm-based video game in which players are encouraged to groove to a gamut of different songs. While it is possible to play the game using the standard controller, that is generally not the preferred method by any “Dance Dance Revolution” fan. Dance mats can be purchased and used in conjunction with the game, which is the tool of choice when playing the game.

A new tool was added, however, with the original “Dance Dance Revolution Extreme.” The Sony Eyetoy can now be used with the game to increase the depth of the gameplay. Instead of simply using feet to play the game, hands are also used. The Eyetoy plays a real-time video of the player, casting them upon the screen. This increases the game’s usefulness as a social event.

However, the main draw for every “Dance Dance Revolution” game is the music. Previous versions were known for their use of Japanese pop, and remakes of famous songs. Some Western music was employed, such as with the use of Dirty Vegas and Kylie Minogue. But the majorities of the songs were techno, or of the aforementioned pop variety.

“Dance Dancer Revolution Extreme 2” knows its history and follows this trend. The majority of the songs are once again techno remixes and Japanese pop. Fan favorites such as “Dive,” “Brilliant 2U” and “Dynamite Rave” all make reappearances, among other returning favorites. Other favorites have been remixed, such as Captain Jack, “Candy <3" and "Sana Mollete Ne Ente (B.L.T. Style)."

Despite this emphasis on techno and pop, some of the new songs will appeal to fans of popular American music. Sean Paul makes an addition to the music library with “Get Busy,” while Beyonce Knowles lends “Crazy in Love.” There is a grand total of 74 songs in the game, with 50 of them initially locked. They can be unlocked through completing challenges of varying difficulty in the game.

The only truly new addition to the series is the use of an online mode however. For the first time, “Dance Dance Revolution” fans on the PlayStation 2 can play the game online. However, the game is vastly more fun and entertaining when played in a group, so this new mode may not find much use. However, for those lonely nights, this added competitive mode may add a better spark to the game.

An updated mode to the game is the digital avatar. This character is chosen when the player starts the game and will dance on-screen as the player plays through the songs. The avatars do not show up for every song, and their inclusion is purely cosmetic. However, there are several from which to choose, half of which are initially locked. Playing through the game and accumulating points is the only way to unlock them.

“Dance Dance Revolution Extreme 2” is a solid addition to the already large library of games bearing the name. There are not too many new additions to the game, but that’s not where the main draw for the game lies. The core gameplay has remained intact, and with the added new songs, this game should find space in any gamer’s library.