DanceDanceRevolution (Or as its abbreviated to: DDR) refers to the series of games that were created by Konami in 1998, which began with Dance Dance Revolution (usually named Dance Dance Revolution 1stMIX.)
It was released in the US and Japan territories as Dance Dance Revolution, but released in the UK as the Dancing Stage series. As of 2008, the European versions have ditched the Dancing Stage title for DanceDanceRevolution.
The game is played with an 8 paneled pad, split into two sections with 4 panels for each player, or the full 8 for doubles. The panels are made into a cross formation with an Up, Down, Left and Right direction on each side.
After inserting the correct amount of credits and (in most cases) pressing the green start button on the front of the cabinet, difficulty and style can be selected during the first initial screens, until a song wheel appears.
The Song wheel can be scrolled with the left and right buttons on the machine (2 yellow arrow shaped buttons), if the games engine allows, you can sort the songs by different categories (again, engine dependent), it can be by Letter, BPM, Artist letter, Game of Origin, etc.
Once a song has been found, the player presses in the green select button, or can hold it in to access the mods menu (engine dependent). The song is selected automatically if the timer is allowed to reach zero. The song begins with the Background Graphic and usually a graphic dancer, the arrows then begin to scroll up the screen, at which point a background animation of FMV will usually begin (as of DDR SuperNOVA, only a dancer on a stage now shows). When an arrow reaches the gray markers the player must step on the corresponding panel, and the player will get a rating in the middle of there play area. If the player's life bar (displayed at the top of there play area), does not empty, they have cleared the song, and will get a rating between D and AAA (or D and SS in older games). If the player "dies" (i.e. the life bar reduces to zero), then they have failed the song, and depending on the difficulty and arcade operators options (engine dependent) the song may cut off abruptly or may continue until the end. In the case of the latter, the score will increase by a tiny amount, unless the machine is a Dancing Stage SuperNOVA, in which case your score will still go up normally. If someone fails they get the rating E. The E rating was F in the console version of DDR 1stMIX.
It was first shown at the Tokyo game show in 1998, which as the name states, is in Japan. It was released into Japan's arcades later that year and gained some initial success. It garnered enough popularity for a sequel to be created, Dance Dance Revolution 2nd Mix in 1999.
Over the pond in the USA, interest was developing in the Dance Dance Revolution series, and just after 2nd Mix was released in Japan, DDR 1st mix made its first hit in the US, It wasn't a true 1st mix however, but rather a hybrid between Japan's 1st and 2nd Mix, featuring songs from both.
Europe got Dancing Stage in 1999, and with Dancing Stage Euromix 1 coming the same year, they got a rather good launch, but then things went quiet.
Dance Dance Revolution had a great run with Max introducing the 10 Footer, Max2 introducing Challenge steps (and "It's Raining Men") and finally Extreme. Released on the 25th of December 2002 in Japan, the game we seen as a fantastic kick off with 240 songs, 14 of which are hidden and unlockable. 59 were new to DDR, and 23 were never seen before in any other Bemani game. The Home version featured the rather strange Max.(Period) which featured the rather ambiguous line of "Why do you need Konami Originals?" The title lay dormant.
In Europe however, the series had been asleep since 1999, with 2 arcade releases (2 upgrades to internet versions) and 2 home versions. Getting Euromix 2 in 2002 was a huge boost. After this a steady stem of Home releases were made, which all got less than fantastic scores from fans of the series. Even Fusion caused disgust with players shunning the new song wheel and often dodgy pads.
In 2006 it was announced that a new Dance Dance Revolution game would be created, this would be called SuperNOVA, on the 28th of April 2006 it was released. In a new twist to the series it was the same for all territories, although Europe still got the Dancing Stage title tagged to it. A PlayStation 2 version was released for North America, Europe, and Japan.
Today there are multiple versions of DanceDanceRevolution that have been released, with the latest being DanceDanceRevolution X3 VS 2ndMIX for arcades. While each console version has the fundamental gameplay used on arcades, they have gameplay modes of their own. A spin-off title is DDR S (and the sequels DDR S+ and DDR Freedom) for iOS devices (iPod touch, iPhone and iPad), which make use of the device's touch screen input.
- The Playstation versions have served as the primary home ports for the arcade versions up to DDR X for the PS2.
- Contained Edit Mode which allowed players to create steps of their own to the songs available on the home version. With a PS1 memory card, these edits can be played on the arcade versions of DanceDanceRevolution 2nd Mix Link Version up to DanceDanceRevolution Extreme.
- Starting with DDR Extreme, home versions included a mode which allowed players to unlock songs by fulfilling certain conditions.
- The North American and European home versions do not contain the same songlists as that of the Japanese home versions. Some of them has been viewed by the community as inferior, and instead choose to buy and play the Japanese versions.
- These games are the first to include online play and DLC (via song packs) using Xbox Live.
- Taking into account the more powerful hardware, the visuals are more attractive.
- While they partly share the songlist of the PlayStation versions, they have unique songs of their own and have songs exclusive to their releases, as they are made by a different Konami department, and headed by a different producer.
- Starting with DDR Universe, the games are able to be played on 1080p (full HD).
- They do have a knack for causing lag. From the initial Ultramix release on Xbox up to Universe 3 for the Xbox 360.
- Incorporated the Wii remote and Nunchuk into the gameplay. Features called gimmicks give challenge to the songs. Included Balance Board gameplay in HP3 and Choreography Mode in HP4. However, this has been dropped as of DDR II because the Challenge difficulty is now available.
- Included unique songs for two releases. The licenses are aimed at players of all ages, containing music spanning the last four decades.
- Songs are unlocked by either a Circuit Mode (HP1 and HP2) and simply Dance Points (HP3, 2010, and II).
Aside from the composers of the licensed content, original music for the games was composed by two Bemani musicians Naoki Maeda and Yuichi Asami, as the series progressed, other musicians from Bemani have composed DDR songs or transplanted their songs to DDR from other Bemani games. In addition, musicians not part of Konami (referred to as commissioned artists) are able to compose an original song or a remix of any existing song to be included in the games.
- Naoki Maeda (NAOKI)
- Yuichi Asami (U1)
- Sota Fujimori (Sota F., SySF)
- Akira Yamaoka (Akira Yamaoka)
- Junko Karashima (jun, TЁЯRA)
- Takayuki Ishikawa (dj TAKA, DE-JAVU, Amuro)
- Yoshitaka Nishimura (DJ YOSHITAKA, Spriggan)
- Jun Wakita (Mr. Saturn, Wendy Parr, Cheryl Horrocks)
- Tatsuya Shimizu (Tatsh)
- Yasuhiro Taguchi (formerly a stepchart writer, TAG, CAPACITY GATE, CLIMAX of MAXX 360)
- Hiroyuki Togo (Togo Project)
- Osamu Kubota (D-Crew)
- Bill Shillito (DM Ashura)
- Tomosuke Funaki (Tomosuke, Orange Lounge)
- Hiroyushi Kato (nc)
- Daisuke Asakura
- Bill Hamel
- Tommie Sunshine
- Rena Jones (Jena Rose)
- Drew Campbell (DKC Crew)
- J-Mi and Midi-D (Cusimo and Co.)
- Shoichiro Hirata (Sho-T, Shawn The Horny Master)
- Akira Ishihara
- Harmony Machine (OR-IF-IS, ZONK)
- Lea Drop (Black Rose Garden)
- Jondi and Spesh
- Big Idea
- List of DDR Games