Dance Dance Revolution (General Comments)
Categories: Interactive/Gaming System Workouts
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I can't say enough about DDR. This video game may have been made with hyperactive kids in mind, but it helped this 40-plus mom lose 60 pounds and 4 sizes in just 1 year while loving every minute of it. As word spreads of this weapon of fat destruction disguised as a party in a box, adults everywhere are hijacking their kids' game consoles and even buying them for themselves. DDR is not only a superb way for the whole family to play together, it's spearheading a new wave of "exergames" that get gamers off the couch and fight real-life obesity and related illnesses instead of imaginary aliens.
DDR, like Tetris or Pac-Man, is simple to learn, tough to master. A row of four arrow outlines - left, down, up, right - is at the top of the screen. When the song starts, colored arrows scroll up from the bottom of the screen. Try to step on the corresponding arrows right at the instant they cover the arrow outlines at the top, usually on the beat of the music. Sometimes a "freeze" arrow requires you to stand on the arrow for several seconds. That's it! (It doesn't matter if you step on an arrow if there is none. You only get penalized for NOT stepping on an arrow that does appear.) On game mode, you'll get a numerical score and letter grade depending on how many arrows you correctly pressed, and announcers will cheer great performances and heckle bad ones. On workout mode (on all the PS2 and Xbox DDRs), scores don't count but steps do, and the game tracks your calories expended and weight change over time.
There are lots of technique hints out there, but the basics are: practice, stay out of the center square, keep practicing, try to alternate your feet, don't step too hard, keep on practicing, and don't give up too soon! DDR can give one heck of an intense interval workout, with lots of jumps, rapid-fire repeat steps, and chaotic combos that make you feel like Steve Martin and his "happy feet".
My reviews of DDR concentrate on the workout modes, since that's what VFers are most likely to be interested in. For more info on choosing a dance pad or whether DDR is right for you, see my "Everything DDR" thread in the Video/DVD FAQs part of the forum, or do a forum search on "DDR" or "revolution". The sites GameFAQs (www.gamefaqs.com) and DDR Freak (www.ddrfreak.com) contain more details regarding game descriptions, song lists and gameplay techniques. DDR 4 Health (www.ddr4health.com) is another very useful site that contains video clips, screen shots and descriptions of the workout modes, plus calorie charts for individual songs.