fooooo...oooo....ooo....l. Dancing foo.....oooooo.....ooo....ooo....l.
by Mike Chasselwaite
18, 2006 - Okay,
that's enough sitting around playing video games.
It's time to get your lazy arse off that couch and
into the hip hop arena where you're required to bust
a move. But since this is breakdancing, the moves
will probably bust you. Are you up for the challenge?
Urban Dance Uprising is an intense dance/rhythm game
and enjoys the distinction of being the first hip
hop version. There are 50 tracks and 10 characters.
The action is fast and fluid. The characters display
smooth animation and will inspire you to pull off
some new moves although breakdancing is not the required
form of action. This game uses a floorpad and requires
that you only use your feet despite all of the head
spinning, hand standing and butt slamming action onscreen.
a street vibe to the game that doesn't feel forced.
A variety of urban locations are available to you
to ply your trade, complete missions and challenge
other dancers. The tracks aren't all commercial. You
can dance to the beats of the Sugar Hill Gang, Kurtis
Blow, and Eric B & Rakim to name a few. There's
a good mix of old-school stuff as well as some obscure
artists but it all boils down to the beat and Flow:
Urban Dance Uprising is down with that. Word.
of the breakdancing moves are performed by your onscreen
character, but that shouldn't stop you from trying
a few of those moves out for yourself. Just make sure
that your insurance premiums are paid up and that
neither UbiSoft or Cheat Code Central are liable for
gameplay is exactly the same as Dance Dance Revolution.
You step on various grids on a mat that correspond
to the onscreen arrows that rise vertically on the
screen. Place your foot on the square the instant
they intersect the beat bar. As long as you're doing
it right, your onscreen characters will perform various
breakdancing moves. If you start to falter, your character
will also falter. If you really screw up your character
might even do a faceplant. It's funny the first few
times but when you start to realize that you suck
you might not find it so hilarious.
are three different difficulty levels. I think I have
pretty good rhythm and I was able to ace the Easy
mode with hardly breaking a sweat. The medium mode
ramps up the difficulty level a lot more than expected.
Suddenly things were not so easy. The third level
is freakishly fast. You've really got to have no life
to master this mode.
further complicate matters, some of the arrows appear
in tandem. That is, they are linked to other arrows.
These combos are linked by a chain so they are easier
to see when they are coming up the screen. They add
some variety to the Easy mode but become more frustratingly
complex in the more difficult modes. You can increase
your score points by pulling off Power Moves that
require you to connect with a lightning bolt icon.
It makes things more complicated but it greatly increases
your score. This feature isn't available until you
Toy support does little except to put your imagine
on the screen. It does not incorporate any special
moves such as hand gestures or head tilts. It works
like a mirror letting you see yourself. You don't
need to go through all this trouble to watch yourself.
Trust me, you're not nearly as interesting or as talented
as the onscreen characters so don' t even bother with
the Eye Toy.
are 10 different characters but you have to unlock
most of them. There are outfits and accessories that
you can unlock for your characters but it's a far
cry from a create-a-character mode. You don't really
have any connection to your avatar other than to make
it perform some incredible moves, which is really
just a reflection on your ability.
to eight people can take part in the Party mode which
is great for competition or just to have a few laughs
at a rookie's expense. There is no doubt that practice
is required to get better at this game and it can
be unfair for beginners trying it out for the first
time at a party. A game such as this is best played
with people of the same skill levels otherwise players
begin to lose interest.
you're not into the story and a party seems like an
unlikely scenario in your bachelor apartment, then
you might want to try the workout mode. It monitors
your energy output and tells you how many calories
you've burned. Of course you don't really need this
mode because as long as you're playing any mode in
this game you're going to be burning off a lot of
calories. Dancing is a great aerobic exercise and
not only will you develop your rhythm skills, you'll
be getting in shape.
backgrounds are decent but not impressive. There's
enough iconic hip hop atmosphere and lexicon to drive
home the urban jungle theme but it doesn't seem as
contrived as it could be. Maybe because it's not rammed
down your throat. There are loads of hip hop cliches
from the overly baggy clothes to the bling and the
street 'tude of the characters but it's no different
from any hip hop video. The backgrounds can be a little
static with limited crowd movement and participation.
The game is colorful but favors darker tones. Some
of the arrows are too similar in shade to tell apart
from off-beat arrows.
Urban Dance Uprising is not an original concept by
any stretch but it does take some practice to get
into the hip hop groove. The hip hop beats are predictable
and as such the game incorporates tricky syncopated
rhythms that follow the patterns of the vocal tracks.
For those weaned on techno and J-pop rhythms this
may be new territory. It's really difficult to connect
with a song first time through if you're not familiar
with it even though you're reading the arrows correctly.
You may have to listen to the track a number of times
to get the feeling down. If you're really committed
to this style of music and dance, the replay value
can be off the map. As a tire kicker, you would be
advised to rent it first.
your skills and style to 50 current, licensed hip-hop
the foundations of Urban Dance in Easy mode, and
challenge yourself with fly power moves as you advance
through Medium and Expert.
your character's rep across town in 100 single-player
challenges and unlock songs, power moves, custom
interfaces, and more.
out your dance pad and master up to 300 moves per
character. Or, try them out with your DUALSHOCK®2
your moves and stamina in three single-player modes,
then battle against friends in Versus, Break Style,
and 8-player Competition mode.
from 10 different b-boys and girls, or watch yourself
dance using the Sony USB Camera Eye Toy.