Dance Dance Revolution, often abbreviated to DDR and known as Dancing Stage in Europe, is a series of arcade rhythm action games produced by Konami. Initially introduced to Japanese arcades on the 21st of November 1998 as part of their Bemani franchise, Dance Dance Revolution was unique in how players used their feet to play the game. The newest Arcade version of Dance Dance Revolution is Dance Dance Revolution X (Also knowns as DDRX), which was released to Japanese arcades on the 24th of December 2008, and will most likely be released to American and European markets during the course of 2009. The Playstation 2 version of DDRX was released in America on the 16th of September 2008, and will be released in Japan on the 29th of January 2009.
Dance Dance Revolution is typically played using four panels, arranged with panels pointing up, down, left and right on top of a 'dance platform'. The dance platform, a raised metal surface, there are two sets of panels to allow for either two players to play at once, or for advanced players to use both sets of panels. The player is shown a set of arrows near the top of a video screen that correspond to the respective arrow panels on the dance platform. Additional arrows rise from the bottom of the screen to meet these arrows, and when they pass over the top arrows, the player hits the corresponding panel with their feet. Points are awarded for how well timed the press is; the better the timing of the player, the more points they score. Timings are grouped together, and every time the player hits (Or misses) an arrow, the game gives the player a judgement level. These vary from 'Marvelous', the most accurate timing level that is only available in specific versions of DDR, to 'Perfect', 'Great', 'Good', 'Boo', 'Miss' and 'OK. Players also have a Dance Gauge, a form of life bar that decreases should they miss any arrows, and increases if they correctly hit other arrows. Should the Dance Gauge reach zero, the player either recieves an instant game over, or the machine waits until the end of the song where it ends the players game. This varies dependant on the game version, game mode or operator settings on the arcade machine itself. At the end of a song, the player is given a rating. The highest rating is a AAA, where, excluding versions of the game with the Marvelous timing level, the player has to get a Perfect rating for every step in the entire song.
DDR features different types of arrows; there are standard arrows, that just need to be stepped at the right time, freeze arrows, that need to be held until the game indicates to let go, and as of DDRX, shock arrows, a horizontal line of arrows that cause the player to lose energy from the Dance Gauge, break their combo of sucessful arrow steps and also hides the arrows on the screen for a brief moment, but only if the player has a foot on the panel as it passes the target arrows at the top of the screen. DDR also features various different game modes. Standard play involves the player selecting songs of their own choice to play on the machine. This normally allows for three songs to be played, providing the player does not recieve a game over, however it is possible in some versions to achieve certain scores that allow for as many as two extra songs to be played. These songs normally take the form of Extra Stage, where the arrows scroll from the top of the screen to the bottom a 1.5 times the normal speed, and One More Extra Stage, where the player cannot miss a single arrow or the game ends straight away.