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Gamer Tuesday

March 15, 2011

Pap the Disney Gamer's Highlights: Dance Dance Revolution Disney Mix

Developed by: Konami

System: PlayStation

In the late 90s, a new gaming phenomenon swept arcades all over the world. Once you entered arcades you would see it. A huge, arcade machine in which people were the stars. That's right, I am talking about... DANCE DANCE REVOLUTION! The series was created by Japanese game development house Konami, known for popular gaming franchises such as Castlevania and Metal Gear Solid. The idea behind the series is that it was a music and rhythm title with gameplay that is easy to learn, but very hard to master. The game takes place on a stage with four button pads on the floor: up, right, left, down. When you get on the machine you then must select a song.

When it starts, a series of arrows scroll up. The objective of the game is to hit the arrows by stepping on the arrows with your feet. The tricky thing here is that the arrows are in sync to the rhythm of the song. So if the song is fast, the arrows move much quicker. In the harder difficulty settings you will be hitting a lot of fast paced arrows, creating a fantastic challenge that will make you sweat and lose weight (and I am not even kidding, I have friends who have lost weight because of it). At the end of the game you will be rated according to your performance.

So, it wouldn't take long for Disney to take notice of this new franchise. Disney isn't afraid of spreading its magic across many platforms and media, especially when it comes to their music. With a catalogue of hundreds of the best songs ever written, all they needed to do was remix the songs and presto! You have Dance Dance Revolution: Disney Mix for the PlayStation One console.

The classic DDR gameplay remained intact, though the difficulty was toned down a bit for a more family friendly session. DDR: Disney Mix features 20 songs, both Disney and non-Disney. Some of the Disney classics remixed for a new generation include “Chim-Chim Cher-ee”, “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious”, “The Mickey Mouse March” and “It's a Small World”. Some of the non-Disney songs include “B4U”, “Night of Fire” and “Let's Twist Again”.

The Disney remixes have a distinct Euro Club sound to them that is unique, but may not be everyone's cup of tea. Music appreciation is highly subjective, and some fans may think these songs are too loud and not fully representative of the Disney magic.

Another problem is that the arcade version had more Disney songs, songs that weren’t available in the home console version. These include “Winnie-the-Pooh”, “You’ll be in my Heart” and “Part of your World.” It is disappointing that the PSone version omitted many of them.

In terms of visual presentation, with such a strong emphasis on stepping on the beat the DDR series has sported minimalistic visuals, Disney Mix included. The game, however, has a lot of character thanks to the Mickey Mouse crew playing the role of DJs.

There were a couple of other Disney DDR games released. One of them was a Japan exclusive game for the Nintendo 64, Disney Dancing Museum, and Disney Grooves for the Wii. Those, however, I am saving for another time.

So if you love to dance and love Disney music Disney Mix is the right game for you. Some of the music might not be of your taste; it is interesting to hear how other companies interpret Disney’s musical legacy.



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