|System: X360||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Konami||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Bemani||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: March 1, 2007||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-4||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: E 10+||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
by Philip Hanan
Shadowrun is a title that many of the older gamers remember fondly from the classic 16-bit days. Whether you were a fan of the SNES version or the Genesis version, most gamers had an opinion and a video game memory of Shadowrun, even though the game was originally a pen-and-paper RPG. Now, after years of gaming stagnation, gamers will finally be able to see a new vision for the technopunk world of Shadowrun, although the presentation is a far cry from either 16-bit version.
DDR is sweeping the nation, but can it really deliver a universe's worth of freshness? Not really, but it does deliver enough for at least a full moon.
When DDR hits the 360, it will hit hard as it's cram-packed with some meaty features that no DDR game has ever featured. Yes, it has new songs, of course, but how you dance to the songs is even better than ever as it provides new modes for both experts and noobs.
For example, instead of just watching the computer teach you how to play, now you practice your movements along with it, so you can make certain you dance properly before you try starting the game itself. After that, you can play part of a song with trial mode so you will know if you're ready for a full song. If you feel you're ready to dance, then you can play Super Easy Mode which is a lot slower and features much less jumping.
Of course, DDR Experts can just jump right into the Arcade mode at Hard and start unlocking those awesome tracks! Another great feature is that after getting that high score, you can upload it online. Of course, if you aren't that great at DDR just yet, you might feel bad seeing your D+s online, so please stick with a difficulty until you master it.
Now, for those who enjoyed all the past new additions that the previous DDR releases had, you will still be satisfied because they're all returning, and most of them have great improvements. Arcade, of course, has new difficulty levels, as I mentioned, but the most fun will come from the other modes the game has to offer.
If you're looking to challenge someone in Vs. mode, now you can find gamers more easily online with Xbox Live and you can chat with them via e-mail, instant messaging, and through the headset. If you don't have Live access, then I recommend gathering some friends or rivals in a large space with some dance pads and then going at it in Four Player Vs. mode. It is rumored that everyone can choose a different difficulty.
Another interesting mode for multiple dancers is Relay mode in which dancers switch off with each other in order to keep a marathon of dancing going. You could probably have a hundred people in your household switch off, but it isn't known yet if the number of dancers is limited or if it features a multiplayer mode.
If you don't feel like gaming online, Live still offers lots of great extras such as song downloads, and even downloadable custom dance steps so you don't have to enter Edit mode if you don't feel like it.
For more challenges, you can still enter Quest mode to prove your skills, but whenever you want to take a break, I still recommend Party mode which should be compatible with the Live Camera.
Now, if you really want to use the game to show how much better the 360 is over the Wii, show them how much weight you lost using Workout mode. DDR is the ultimate video game tool for losing weight, especially compared to the weight you lose simply waving your hands around with a Wii-mote. It's especially made for weight loss and tracks your current weight and how many calories you burn per song. Who says the traditional 360 is for couch potatoes?
I know some DDR dancers prefer certain DDR titles only or just the newest releases, but no matter whether you just like the arcade ports, the home console ports, the PS2, GCN, or Xbox 1 ports, or you just think you need one DDR game, you have to get this one. It's the biggest DDR package available and it will keep growing in time thanks to Xbox Live Arcade.
Look for DDR Universe exclusively on the Xbox 360 March 1st, 2007.
Remember: DDR Universe is the only 360 DDR game available and with a dance pad bundle available for just $79.99, it's the copy to go for! (Dance Pads are not yet sold separately, so don't buy the $49.99 game without it if you want real dancing fun)
CCC Freelance Writer