The last time we saw Dance Dance Revolution on the Wii, we were almost killed. Giving game journalists alcohol and then asking them to dance is dangerous enough. Requiring that they use their hands in addition to their legs - as Hottest Party does - should qualify as accessory to murder. Wiimotes and Nunchuks were whipping through the air at an alarming rate and we were lucky to avoid serious injury.
Now that we've seen and played a much completer version of the game, the potential for fun is more apparent. Before, all players had to do to hit the hand arrows (as opposed to foot arrows) on the screen was shake the Wiimote or Nunchuk. It felt more like a country tambourine jig than true dancing, and moving your right hand to nail a left arrow felt very disorienting. Thus, the wild swinging of controllers.
But when the left hand arrows are mapped to the Nunchuk and the right hand arrows to the Wiimote, as they were during our recent demo, the whole experience comes together. Coordinating your entire body's movement to the song is still a challenge, but it's no longer the game design's fault... just your embarrassing lack of talent's. And if you're skilled, Hottest Party could be the most satisfying Dance Dance Revolution yet because it's closest to the real thing.
Showing off won't be easy, though. The developers are throwing in some new tricks to keep you off balance. One is a double tap arrow that forces you to hit the mat or swing your arm twice in quick succession. The other is a trick arrow that's not actually meant to be followed. Get too lost in the music, stop paying close attention to the screen and you could end up losing major points.
Dance Dance Revolution Hottest Party is set for release this October. Start clearing space in your living room now.
July 20, 2007