The Dance Dance Revolution wiki last edited by Marino on 02/27/13 04:48PM View full history

Releases

Dance Dance Revolution (DDR) was originally released as a Japanese arcade machine in November 1998. Following the release of the Japan-only DDR 2ndMix arcade machine, DDR was released to other regions in March 1999 containing a mixture of songs from the two editions. Releases in Asia and the US were identically titled, but the European machine was branded as Dancing Stage. The original machine is commonly referred to as DDR 1stMix (or simply 1stMix) in keeping with the naming scheme of subsequent releases. Except for a very small selection of special releases (DDR USA, Dancing Stage EuroMix, etc.) this was the only DDR arcade machine released outside of Asia until the muti-region arcade release of DDR Supernova.

The home release that started the phenomenon

April 1999 saw the Japanese home release on the Playstation featuring additional songs and enhanced gameplay. The game was packaged with a thin foam pad very similar to recent DDR releases. Home versions were not released outside of Japan until May 2001. By that point there were many home and arcade versions available in Japan on Playstation including a major release DDR 3rdMix. The US and European releases included a selection of songs from across the existing Japanese versions as well as the gameplay enhancements introduced since the first arcade release.

Hardware

Arcade

An original DDR machine

The arcade machine features a wide raised metal stage for two players to stand on while playing. Each player has a set of four recessed pads (up, down, left, and right) which are stepped on in coordination to the arrows displayed on the screen. Each pad has lights underneath which illuminate when activated. A railing behind each player protects from a loss of balance while playing.

The base of the machine contains large speakers surrounded by neon lights and the top has colored spotlights aimed at the player both of which flash in coordinated patterns during gameplay. Buttons on the face of the machine are used to navigate menus and select songs.

Playing in arcades was a social event. Because machines were frequently located in movie theaters and in malls, people would often gather around the player to watch them. Often, people standing behind the player would play the game as well, stepping on imaginary dance pads. Competitive play was quite rewarding, because of the social element.

Console

The original DDR dance pad.

The pads provided with the home edition are similar to the Power Pad. They feature a thin foam matting covered by a plastic top layer with the pressure sensors sandwiched between the two layers. Small Start and Select buttons are positioned at the top of the pad and the diagonal spaces are used for the traditional Playstation face buttons (X, circle, square, and triangle). The pad is used for both the gameplay and menu navigation.

Common complaints about the foam pads often stem from the fact that one must look down at the pad to assure that they still have their feet aligned with the sensors when the recessed pads on the arcade version do not present this problem. Another common problem with home pads is "traveling", where pads shift across the floor during play due to poor traction. In addition, the thin mat failed quickly when used with shoes, yet provided little padding when playing on hard floors, making barefoot and sock play an uncomfortable alternative.

Because of widespread dissatisfaction with the foam dance pads, "hard" versions were sought out by players. They allowed for more precise inputs, despite their higher expense. They could be found on eBay for between $100 and $500 dollars.

Gameplay

Players could access other difficulties by double tapping up or down

As the first game in the series, the gameplay was much simpler than recent DDR games. The only elements of gameplay present were the scrolling notes and life meter. On harder difficulties notes could come two at a time, asking the player to jump to hit both simultaneously. A single "credit" allows 3 songs to be played.

Different difficulty songs had different steps. The higher the player pushed themselves, the higher their score. Players could also select their dancing "avatar" from a very limited list. In later DDR releases, the avatars would become official Konami characters, and would appear from game to game.

Failure came with a slamming noise, and ended your game.

Successfully timing footsteps to the arrows adds to a life bar. Missing them completely will subtract from it. Steps were graded in the accuracy of their timing. Scores ranged from "perfect" to "miss." Anything lower than a rating of "good" on a step would break the combo chain, lowering the player's score multiplier.

If the life bar is ever emptied, the player fails and play of that song ends immediately. At the end of a song, the player is given a summary of their performance and a letter grade in addition to the score earned. The biggest penalty in your score came from missing notes entirely.

Playstation Release

The PS1 version opened with terrible CGI.

The console release of Dance Dance Revolution could be said to be the beginning of the mainstreaming of dance games (or the even the wider genre of music games) in the United States market. Fans had been clamoring for the game for almost three years. The widespread success of the game would ensure almost a dozen sequels on the Playstation platform alone.

The game could only be purchased with a bundled dance mat for under $100, though later entries in the franchise could be purchased with the game alone. The mat came with rubber stickers to help it to adhere to the floor and prevent "drifting" during gameplay.

This was the hardest difficulty level for the original DDR

The gameplay is surprisingly simplistic when compared to modern Dance Dance Revolution games. Many of the more complex moves are simply not present, such as cross directional combinations like Up and Left, or Down and Right. Triple note steps, meaning three steps that must be taken on a single beat , are only present on the hardest difficulty.

The songs of the PS1 release are a mix of multiple games from Japan. The songs are all very short and quite compressed. The default song is "Have you never been Mellow," by the Olivia Project. The game features no unlockables, which would be a staple of DDR in later home releases.

New Dance Modes

Female dancers were only playable in workout mode

The Playstation release of the game came with three included dance modes which would become staples of almost every subsequent DDR game.

Workout mode was included to market the game as a fitness activity. Interestingly, there are no female dancing avatars present in the "Arcade" mode of the game. But, in workout mode, where the goal is to burn as many calories as possible, the default dancing model is a more voluptuous dancer.

Gamespot reviewer Ryan Davis noted of the new workout mode, "It's a weird addition, and the calorie count is highly questionable." Even on the easiest modes, the game may report that over 100 calories were burned by playing through several songs. Players could create their own workout mixes, and enter their weight in kilograms.

Lesson mode taught you the basics of DDR

Dance Dance Revolution also featured a "Lesson mode" set to an urban drum beat with rap vocals. It explained the basics of the game, such as stepping on panels to the beat, and simple jumping combinations like Left and Right, or Up and Down. When mastered, players would get a crown icon added next to the level. Unfortunately, the mode was so simple compared to the other modes of the game that it was not helpful as anything more than a primer. As later entries in the franchise added more complex gameplay, they also included more complex lesson sequences and easier difficulties in the main modes.

Training mode came with many options for honing your skill.

Training mode was probably the most helpful addition to the home release. Players could choose any song in the game and practice it with various tools to help them learn the steps. A song could be slowed down, difficult sections of songs could be isolated and practiced, and a metronome could be set.

This feature was less important for the original DDR, but would become much more important in subsequent releases of the game, as the difficulty increased. Later additions of Dance Dance Revolution would add various types of quest modes, rewarding players with new songs for playing as higher and higher difficulties.

Reception

The home version of DDR was well received in the United States, despite the long delay in its arrival. Gamespot reviewer Ryan Davis gave in an 8.3. He noted, "Dance Dance Revolution is a great introduction to a truly unique series, with incredibly addictive gameplay. The soundtrack will have you humming for days."

IGN reviewer David Smith gave the game a very high score of 9.3, but was more impatient at the timing. "At long last, Dance Dance Revolution is here. What is there left to say, exactly?" He went on to unabashedly praise the game. "I love Dance Dance Revolution. I think it's just about the best game to ever hit arcades or a home system." He added, "I have some pretty frickin' big problems with the North American song list, but I absolutely recommend this to American players."

Soundtrack

The various releases of the game in different regions have different songs available.

Arcade (Japan)

Song TitleArtist
ButterflySmile.dk
Have You Never Been MellowThe Olivia Project
Kung Fu FightingBus★Stop featuring Carl Douglas
Let's Get DownJT Playaz
Little BitchThe Specials
Make It BetterMitsu-O! Summer
My FireX-Treme
Paranoia180
Strictly BusinessMantronik vs EPMD
That's the Way (I Like It)KC & The Sunshine Band
Trip MachineDe-Sire

Playstation (Japan)

Song TitleArtist
BoysSmile.dk
ButterflySmile.dk
Have You Never Been MellowThe Olivia Project
I Believe in MiraclesHi-Rise
Kung Fu FightingBus★Stop featuring Carl Douglas
Let's Get DownJT Playaz
Little BitchThe Specials
Make a Jam!U1
Make It BetterMitsu-O! Summer
My FireX-Treme
Paranoia180
Paranoia KCET ~Clean Mix~2MB
Paranoia Max ~Dirty Mix~190
Strictly BusinessMantronik vs EPMD
That's the Way (I Like It)KC & The Sunshine Band
Trip MachineDe-Sire

Arcade (Asia)

Song TitleArtist
AM-3PKTz
Brilliant2UNAOKI
Brilliant2U (Orchestra-Groov)NAOKI
ButterflySnile.dk
Have You Never Been MellowThe Olivia Project
Make It BetterMitsu-O! Summer
Make It Better (So-Real Mix)Mitsu-O! Summer
My FireX-Treme
Paranoia180
Put Your Faith In MeUzi-Lay
Put Your Faith In Me (Jazz Groov)Uzi-Lay
Strictly BusinessManronik vs EPMD
Trip MachineDe-Sire

Arcade (US & Europe)

Song TitleArtist
AM-3PKTz
Boom Boom DollarKing Kong & D. Jangle Girls
Brilliant2UNAOKI
Brilliant2U (Orchestra-Groov)NAOKI
ButterflySmile.dk
Have You Never Been MellowThe Olivia Project
Make It BetterMitsu-O!
Make It Better (So-Real Mix)Mitsu-O! Summer
My FireX-Treme
Paranoia180
Put Your Faith In MeUzi-Lay
Put Your Faith In Me (Jazz Groov)Uzi-Lay
Trip MachineDe-Sire

Europe v2 (Sept 1999 arcade re-release)

Song TitleArtist
AM-3PKTz
Boom Boom DollarKing Kong & D. Jangle Girls
Brilliant2UNAOKI
Brilliant2U (Orchestra-Groov)NAOKI
ButterflySmile.dk
Have You Never Been MellowThe Olivia Project
It's Like ThatRun DMC vs Jason Nevins
Last Thing On My MindSteps
Make It BetterMitsu-O!
Make It Better (So-Real Mix)Mitsu-O! Summer
My FireX-Treme
Paranoia180
Put Your Faith In MeUzi-Lay
Put Your Faith In Me (Jazz Groov)Uzi-Lay
Trip MachineDe-Sire
Uh La La LaAlexia

Playstation (US)

Song TitleArtist
20, November (DDR Version)N.M.R.
AfronovaRE-VENGE
AM-3PKTz
Boom Boom DollarKing Kong & D. Jangle Girls
Brilliant2UNAOKI
Brilliant2U (Orchestra-Groov)NAOKI
Drop the BombScotty D.
Dub-I-DubMe & My
Dynamite RaveNAOKI
El Ritmo TropicalDixies Gang
Get Up'n MoveS&K
Have You Never Been MellowThe Olivia Project
I Believe In MiraclesHi-Rise
If You Were HereJennifer
Keep On Movin'N.M.R.
La SenoritaCaptain. T
Let Them MoveN.M.R.
Make It BetterMitsu-O!
My Fire (UKS Remix)X-Treme
Paranoia180
Paranoia (KCET Clean Mix)2MB
Paranoia Max (Dirty Mix)190
Put Your Faith In MeUzi-Lay
Put Your Faith In Me (Jazz Groov)Uzi-Lay
SmokeMr. Ed Jumps the Gun
SP-Trip Machine (Jungle Mix)De-Sire
Trip MachineDe-Sire

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