In the Groove 2 is a dance/rhythm arcade game made by Roxor and is the sequel to 2004's In The Groove. While they distributed first-issue ITG2 cabinets, Roxor partnered with arcade distributor Anda Miro and would revise and improve their second-issue machines. ITG2 runs on a DDR-derived, open-source program/engine called Stepmania and is, to this day, still extremely popular in arcades for it's ability to play custom songs through a free-release patch. These "R21" enabled machines allow players to plug in a USB drive into the machine and transfer their custom-made or downloaded tracks as well as save scores to their on-stick profile.
In 2005, Konami sued Roxor for it's distribution of "upgrade kits" which allowed anyone to upgrade any Dance Dance Revolution cabinet into an In The Groove cabinet. In 2006, they settled out court with Konami buying the rights to the In the Groove franchise and marked the series' end. Cabinet distribution and production was stopped and has yet to be revived, despite an incredibly vocal outcry by series veterans and fans.
ITG plays almost exactly like Konami's popular dancing franchise Dance Dance Revolution; there are four directional panels placed on a 'dance platform' that point up, down, left and right. Arrows appear on the machine screen
and scroll upwards, and players have to hit the correct panel on the dance platform as they reach the top of the screen. There are five different difficulty levels; Novice, Easy, Medium, Hard and Expert. Each song also has a numbered difficulty for each difficulty level. In ITG2, the numbered difficulty levels range from 1, the easiest difficulty, to 13, the hardest. As the difficulty level increase the step charts (The name given to the order the arrows appear in on screen) becomes trickier, including different arrows such as holds (Where the player has to hold one particular panel until the game indicates to let go), rolls (Where the player must repeatedly press the panel at least once every 0.3 of a second) and mines (Which the player must avoid hitting, or they will lose some of their score, break their combo of sucessful arrow hits and will also lose energy).
When a player hits or attempts to hit an arrow coming down the screen, they are judged on how close they are to hitting it perfectly on time. A 'Fantastic' is a perfectly timed press and gives the maximum possible score. Down from 'Fantastic', there are ratings such as 'Excellent', 'Great', 'Decent', 'Way Off' and 'Miss', with 'Way Off' being a very poorly timed press and 'Miss' being a complete failure to hit the arrow. ITG also places a dash either before or after any judgement ratings under 'Fantastic', to indicate whether or not the player stepped earlier or later than required. At the end of each song, the player is given a percentage rating of how well they played. A rating of 100% means the player has hit every note exactly on time and has recieved nothing but 'Fantatic' ratings. It also means that they have held down every hold, roll and avoided hitting every mine within the step chart, and as such can be a very difficult score to achieve.
Differences from Dance Dance Revolution
Whilst In The Groove 2 is very similar to Dance Dance Revolution, there are several difference between the two franchises. One of the more noticable differences is the song list within ITG. In DDR, a large proportion of the music is of Japanese origin, with J-Pop being a common genre. ITG2s song list features a more western track list, combining light pop with techno and dance music. The visual interface is also very different to DDR. During gameplay, players are shown how far they have progressed through the song, visible at the top of the screen, and their life bar is visible on the left or right side of the screen, rather than at the top. The song selection screen also features more detail, giving the number of arrows for each song, the number of holds and rolls they contain as well as other details.
In The Groove also introduces a variety of different gameplay changes, such as mines, rolls and 'hands', where more than two arrows need to be hit at once by the player. None of these features are found in Dance Dance Revolution, excluding the 'shock arrows' found in DDRX, similar to mines in ITG. In The Groove 2 is also generally regarded as being more difficult than the iterations of Dance Dance Revolution that were available when it was released. Whilst there is no real way of direct comparison in this regard, songs such as VerTex² have proven to be very difficult for players, featuring a wide variety of steps, hard to avoid mines, changes to the scroll speed of arrows and the use of hands. No player has been known to record a quad star rating on VerTex², which equates to a score of 100%.
On certain In The Groove 2 machines, using software version r21 or r23, it is possible for players to play their own songs off of a USB flash drive. Due to ITG2 being based off of Stepmania, it supports songs created in the .SM file format, using Ogg vorbis .ogg audio files for the music itself. There are several limitations to this system, such as players only being able to load 50 songs at a time and limitations to the length of songs. It is possible to 'patch' songs to allow a songs to be played longer than this limit in the r21 revision of ITG2, however r23 patched machines in order to disable the use of Ogg file patching.
|Agent Blatant||Ernest + Julio|
|Baby Don't You Want Me||Nina|
|Bloodrush||Tekno Dred + Ad Man|
|Clockwork Genesis||Inspector K|
|Disconnected -Disco-||Kid Whatever|
|Funk Factory||Money Deluxe|
|Get Happy||Boom Boom Room|
|Go 60 Go||Takoyaki|
|Habanera 1||Boom Boom Room|
|Hardcore Symphony||Digital Explosion|
|Hillbilly Hardcore||Benga Boys|
|Hispanic Panic||Chucho Merchan|
|Holy Guacamole||Chucho Merchan|
|Hustle Beach||Papa J|
|Ize Pie||Headtwist & Pump|
|Know Your Enemy||Hybrid|
|Life of a Butterfly||Nina|
|Lipstick Kiss||Ernest + Julio|
|Liquid Moon||Inspector K|
|Little Kitty Mine||Ni-Ni|
|Music Pleeze||B. Dastardly|
|My Life Is So Crazy||DJ Zombie|
|One False Move||Dust Devil|
|Out of the Dark||Hybrid|
|Pick Me Up & Tango||Nina|
|Psalm Pilot||Jason Creasey|
|Ride the Bass||DJ Zombie|
|Spacy Crazy Girl||Ni-Ni|
|Spin Chicken||Freebie & The Bean|
|Summer ~Speedy Mix~||☺|
|Summer in Belize||Digital Explosion|
|Sweet World||Omega Men|
|Temple of Boom||Yanis Kamarinos|
|This is Rock & Roll||DJ Zombie|
|Vorsprung Durch -Techno-||Sly/Fly/Badman|
|Wake Up||Kid Whatever|
|Wanna Do ~Hardhouse Mix~||Nina|
|We Know What To Do||Matiloe|