Dance Dance Revolution Universe Reader Review
Before I begin, I would like to say that this guide is directed entirely towards people who enjoy DDR (or Dancing Stage). If you don't enjoy the Dancing game genre, then this review won't be of use to you at all. If you would like to try DDR, this is an okay place to start, although there are a few bugs one must deal with.
The foundation of the genre, the music of any DDR game is of the utmost importance. So, how does this compare to the others? To be honest, it's completely new, and has some very nice songs in it. With a few hits such as Jamiroquai's "Feels Just Like it Should" and Pendulum's "Slam", you might find a song you knew before playing it, but for the most part the songs are no-names. Despite their anonymity, most of the songs achieve a listenable status, and they all seem to fit together, unlike in many other DDR games (iFutureList, anyone?) There is a definite lack of series songs, like PARANOiA, Trip Machine, Max, Afronova, etc, but this is a minor thing. Altogether, there is a very nice mix of music in this game. 9/10
The other foundation of DDR, and in fact any game. If you are a DDR fan, Universe's gameplay will seem a little out of whack. The arrows are rediculously smaller, which can be a bother, especially for those with small TV's. Not only that, but the vivid arrow is nothing at all to write home about. The colour changing scheme is total rubbish, and this is unacceptable when you get to songs loaded with chaos and offbeats.The framerate of the game is also poor, and that really shows on speedy songs like 8-bit, in which the arrows move in obvious jumps up the screen. On a different note, the standard pad that comes with the game is a good, sturdy pad, and it delivers as well as any PS2 pad I've seen. Universe's gameplay is good, but little inconsistencies, such as the aforementioned ones, are quite distracting and take away from the overall experience. Even if you can do a 10 footer on another DDR, you probably can't do a 9 footer on this one from the start. Finally, I'll touch on Quest Mode. This mode is completely unexplained when you start, and it is the only way (to my knowledge) to attain new songs. Basically, it's a necessity. It is confusing and rediculous, and altogether the lowest part of the game. Gameplay is lacking in Universe, and will be a disappointment to DDR veterans. 5/10
This is not one of the more important parts of DDR, although this game passes with flying colours. Vibrant colour schemes, inventive backgrounds, and a fresh appearance in general complement the graphical integrity that the 360 can provide. It can be distracting when you have 5 different backup dancers rapidly changing colours and moving about in the background, but not much. I really haven't found any negatives in the graphics department. 10/10
For those who enjoy DDR and are looking for a new set of songs, I would recommend this game, despite it's problems. For new DDRers wanting to get into the genre, I would suggest you get SUPERNOVA or a different game (perhaps try the arcades.)
8 / 10