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Dance Dance Revolution Universe

Developer: Konami | Publisher: Konami
Players: 1 to 2 Player Game | Release Date: 02/27/07 | Genre: Music

ddr universe.jpgFans of Konami's Dance Dance Revolution series have learned to expect a few things. But after buying yearly releases of their favorite rhythm dancing game and investing hundreds of dollars in costly dance pad accessories, the time has come to start the process all over again on a new console. Ready or not, here comes Dance Dance Revolution Universe for the Xbox 360.

Available exclusively to Microsoft's next-generation console, DDR Universe marks the first time we have seen the awesome series in high definition. Not only is this the best looking DDR game I have ever seen but there are over seventy songs in the final copy and another ten songs are available to purchase, via the Xbox Live Marketplace, on day one. But don't think the downloadable content will end there... expect to see several more song packs become available--for a small fee.

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The biggest problem with the graphics in Dance Dance Revolution Universe is that Konami uses some of the same backgrounds in multiple songs. Do you like 720p horses? I hope so because the same galloping horses will appear in a multitude of the songs found within Dance Dance Revolution Universe. While this is not a deal breaker, I was puzzled as to why there was the need to reuse the backgrounds like this. However, keeping up with the arrows is much more important than what is on the background and the only time I really noticed this was when watching another play dance away.

Unfortunately none of our other stock of Dance Pads was useable on the Xbox 360 version. I was hoping that the super high end Red Octane pad with a USB port would work. But alas the Xbox 360 laughed as I plugged it in. This left us with the stock Dance pad. Hardcore fans of the franchise will probably find the lack of pads on the market to keep them from a purchase. I can understand where they are coming from but was able to use the standard part with only a few minor slipping issues.

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New to the DDR series is the Achievement System. Players will find 1,000 points to unlock by playing through the game. Want to unlock all the songs with at least a D rating or better? That will get you a ton of points. But not all the points are easy to get. The Quest Mode and Challenge mode both offer a much more difficult challenge that will make earning the remaining points truly feel like you have achieved something.

As we mentioned above, the song list is over seventy deep with plenty of paid downloadable content available. The included songs include a techno remix of Castlevania and artists like the Chemical Brothers, Chris Brown, Ozomatti, Goldfrapp, The Sugar Hill Gang, and many more. A few of the songs were annoying but for the most part they were all fun to dance away on. I could also see myself wanting to come back for more--especially if the download able content keeps growing. But how about some free songs Konami?

Konami was careful to include a beginners mode since the majority of Xbox owners probably never spent much time with DDR on the PS2. This is a watered down version of the game that will help you grow accustomed to playing. But once you get your feet wet, prepare for plenty of challenges. Players will find Party Modes, Xbox Live play, standard Single or Two Player modes, a Quest Mode, and the standard Workout mode. Besides the added replay via Xbox Live, the most challenge you will find is in the Quest and Challenge modes.

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While DDR fans may not find a lot that has changed, Dance Dance Revolution Universe is a great addition to the series. I just hope that this is the last time we are asked to repurchase our dance pads. Since all three consoles (PS3, X360, and Wii) have USB ports, can you please make a dance pad compatible with all three of the current consoles? Other than that annoyance and the fact that hundreds of dollars in old pads are worthless now, DDR Universe is most fun you will have dancing in front of your Xbox 360.

By Kaleb Rutherford - 03/06/07
ESRB Details: Lyrics, Suggestive Themes
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Screenshots for Dance Dance Revolution Universe

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