I can’t play DanceDance Revolution II, now available for Wii, with anyone else in the room. Even better, I prefer no one to even be in the house at all. I feel inescapably humiliated when jumping around on the flimsy controller mat (included in this bundle). Don’t get me wrong, I’ve seen videos of hot girls playing DDR while wearing mini-skirts — they look great — but no one needs to see a clumsy oaf like me trying (usually with poor results) to succeed at matching the rhythmic patterns. Plus the soundtrack to this newest edition to the franchise makes me cringe.
Personal hang-ups aside, Wii’s DanceDance Revolution II can be a lot of fun. Longtime DDR enthusiasts were generally negative in their reactions to recent attempts at roping other Wii hardware into the experience. The idea was to make DDR about more than just fancy footwork, using the nunchuk and balance board for what was intended as a full-body experience. DanceDance Revolution II dispenses with these expansions, allowing players to focus on keeping their feet flying as they follow the arrow patterns. The mat is really pretty cheap and may pose some problems if used on high-pile carpeting. If you don’t have hardwood flooring, you might try putting one of those hard plastic office chair mats underneath.
The game offers four modes of play. For beginners, the DDR School will be the best place to start. Here you’ll be able to get accustomed to the gameplay before jumping into the Dance Mode, which will likely frustrate anyone who hasn’t played before. Dance Mode can be played, of course, by one person, but it can be even more fun with additional players (that is, if you – unlike me – aren’t mortified to be seen playing). The game will accommodate up to four, but remember you will need additional controller mats. One optional feature of DanceDance Revolution II is the Double Mode, which allows a single player to join two mats and jump back and forth between them. Again, this bundle includes only one mat so Double Mode requires an additional purchase. Workout Mode allows the player to work up a sweat while tracking how many calories have been burned during a timed session.
About that cringe-inducing soundtrack I mentioned, it’s worth pointing out that players much younger than myself will likely dig the tunes considerably more. There are songs by Justin Bieber, Selena Gomez, Miley Cyrus, Willow, and other current tween pop stars. Most of the songs are generic-sounding Japanese dance pop songs, but kids should get a kick out of the 20 or so current hits that are included. All things considered, DanceDance Revolution II feels like a throwback to something that might be considered old school when compared to the Just Dance series. But that doesn’t necessarily make it less enjoyable. Besides caveats about the cheaply made controller mat, this Konami produced game is recommended.
DanceDance Revolution II is rated E10+ (Everyone 10 and older) by the ESRB for Lyrics, Mild Violence, Suggestive Themes.