Tuesday, November 01, 2005

"Dance Dance Revolution: Mario Mix" - Feet On Impressions

What a game! It mixes two great franchises! Sure Mario's been popping up in pretty much every type of game lately but it's Mario! What's not to like? Dance Dance Revolution - Mario Mix takes a solid game which hasn't done anything innovative in years and injects new life into it. Basic gameplay is just like the DDR games from the Dreamcast, PlayStation or Arcade. You have the dance pad and the arrows flying threw the screen to music that make you jump around like no one's watching. The new stuff here is pretty cool though and makes the game worth playing. In many levels there are new things introduced as basic as Goombas substituting arrows or as annoying as hammers comming at the arrows at angles making it near impossible to predict what diretion to stomp. So much to say the hammer brothers in this game live up to their Super Mario Bros. 1 tradition of not being the obvious main boss of the game but still being the hardest guys you'll have to face off against. At first the only real playable mode is the story mode. Unlocking songs and mini games for other modes is done by playing it through and, once all the basic songs and games are unlocked, extra ones are unlocked by finishing certain modes with certain characters or buying things in shops along the way. A calorie counting mode is kind of cool. But weighing in at a whopping 160lbs at 6'2" I'm don't have the kind of stature which necessitates me actually knowing what a calorie is. I supposse this will come in handy for all the fatties out there. Mini games in this are a cool addition but not all that well executed. There are things like a whack-a-mole game substituted with Goombas, a few that are reminiscent of the old "Track and Field" games using the "Power Pad" for the NES and some other things that might as well be done with a controller as the pad does nothing to facilitate them. They all sort of play out like frustrating Mario Party levels since beat pads are just harder to use than a controller. Still they are a nice short distraction from the dance levels and will probably cause for some fun multiplayer mode... but I wouldn't know because I haven't had the chance to try out multiplayer. Why did Nintendo feel it was unnecessary to sell additinal beat pads as accessories in stores where this game could be bought? This gives people the option of buying two full copies of the game at a prohibitive price or buying the weak sauce Madcatz 3rd party pad and game which I'm sure suck. I suppose it's better than nothing that the pads can be ordered from Nintendo's online store. The price is pretty good at 20$ US (23.50$ for us Canadians). Though shipping is said to take 1 to 4 days at the cheapest option my order status is still shown as "Preparing Order" since my order was placed Friday (4 days ago) so this is obviously not as convenient as just picking one up at the store. I'm still not sure if this is better or worse than last year when Canadians just couldn't order from Nintendo's online store at all... I read on Internet that additional pads would be for sale starting November 14th though I can't verify this. Maybe they're waiting until then to ship my damned thing... The pad itself is good. It's well padded so you won't hurt your feet unless you play too much (guilty). Foolishly they have only included arrows, A, B, Z and start buttons. Why they didn't put x and y in the lower corners is a mystery to me. I know the game doesn't use them but the space isn't used for anything and it's fun to use the beat pad to play other games. I managed to get past the first level of Super Mario Bros. 2 with it... A big downside to the game is the fact that Mario and Luigi are the only playable characters. I was hoping to get down with Peach and maybe look up her skirt! So much to say I highly recommend this game to annyone who likes Dance Dance Revolution in any way. And if you're that one guy who has never actually played DDR then get off your ass and try it out. It might help you drop a few of those pounds.

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