DDR and Drummania – They’ve still got it…

It may seem a bit old skool, but I played a bunch of DDR and DrumMania today. I’m in Hong Kong on a visa run and I’ve had to waste the day away. Unlike China with its poor imitators, Hong Kong has got proper DDR and DM machines.

.

Dance Dance Revolution

.


After over a year, I jumped straight back onto DDR on extreme mode. I’ve still got the moves! Well, to be honest I’ve never had the moves… I’ve got terrible footwork and I refuse to hold onto the back bar so it looks like I’m going to topple at any time. Yet I got my sweat on, beat every song I used to beat except Healing Vision Angelic Mix.

.

.

I used to be able to do this one, barely scraping through, and it reminded me of the day I actually did it. In all of gaming, from finding out the truth in Bioshock, defeating raid bosses in World of Warcraft and getting 30 points in a single life in TF2… none of them compare to beating a song on DDR. It’s the sweat, the pain in your legs, the countless repeats until you almost remember the steps without needing them on the screen. Yes you look like an idiot and it’s embarrassing if a crowd forms (although it’s most likely complimentary) but it’s so ridiculously satisfying that I still jump on a machine without practising for a year and just crank it up to extreme and play the old favourites.

.

DrumMania

.

DrumMania on the other hand… well I’d lost it! The game absolutely murdered me if I’m going to be honest. Perhaps it was the distraction of an arcade but I just appeared to lose my timing quite a lot. What’s strange is that I’ve actually had real drum lessons since I last played! I should be better! Like DDR, DM is also immensely satisfying but in a different way. Although you do work up a sweat, it doesn’t feel like the physical battle it is with DDR. However, you are pretty much learning to drum. Once I started my real lessons, my teacher said I was extremely quick advancing through his teachings. Perhaps I’m a natural but I have no shame attributing it to DrumMania. On the hardest levels you are essentially playing the drums for that song. Yes you learn some bad technique, the cymbal is on the wrong side of the kit for example (which really exhausts so much more energy than on a real kit) and you don’t have to worry about stick grip or the strength of your strokes. Ultimately though, if you try for hours and hours to beat a song that’s kicking your ass, you’ll start to pick up time signatures and learn your rolls and base pedal rhythms pretty well.

Why I bring this up? First, it’s been ages since a blog post! Secondly, these are a couple of examples of the most satisfying type of gaming around. This is gaming where you are achieving something. I’ve never really been a fan of the recent motion controller rage, but I am definitely a supporter of physical gaming. It’s fun and gets you active. I’ve burnt countless calories on these games! I don’t think motion will really capture the level of satisfaction and fun I get from DDR or DM but who knows? The potential is there, developers just have to grasp it. Maybe I just need to try and embrace it, buy myself a Playstation Move or Kinect and get into it. I mean, flinging your arms around thin air can’t look much more ridiculous than stamping on 4 coloured arrows to Japanese pop songs.

.

.

Sam

Advertisements
%d bloggers like this: