It’s been close to a decade since Dance Dance Revolution took the world by storm. Who would have thought stepping on arrows could ever been so popular? Now as we’re entering the next-generation of consoles, DDR is following suit with the first DDR game for the Xbox 360, Dance Dance Revolution Universe. Sold alongside a 360-enabled dance pad, Universe displays a lot of qualities seen in the Ultramix series and takes advantage of Xbox Live with online play and leaderboards. Probably what is most evident is that players of any difficulty level can get into the game with the new tutorials geared towards beginners. Although there are a few low spots in the quest mode and online play, Dance Dance Revolution Universe holds a formidable pace in the DDR universe.
Maybe the best way to begin this review is to say that I myself am a complete novice when it comes to DDR. That being the case, it’s a good thing that Universe is probably the most beginner-friendly version the series has seen thus far. Even if you’ve never set foot on a dance pad in your life, Universe dumbs it down to the most basic of concepts by not only adding in a lengthy (if not monotonous) dance pad tutorial but an entire difficulty mode tailored to the dance-impaired. Series veterans will surely want to forego all of this, as things can get right down to hand-holding standards. Seeing as how this is the first next-gen DDR, though, it seems appropriate that Universe makes a point of educating the masses in foot-stepping.
Once you clear through Game Mode Lite, (or just completely bypass it altogether) you’ll have access to the Master Edition, which has a seemingly endless line of game modes to choose from. There’s probably everything that DDR fans have come to expect, including the basic game mode where you play through songs and party mode that allows for local multiplayer. Quest mode is also available, where you go through North America completing challenges to earn money. Challenge mode, workout mode, and even an edit mode where you can create your own step-lists make Universe a pretty large experience.
As for the track listing, it varies between different genres. Tracks by Chris Brown, Goldfrapp, Cascada, Depeche Mode, a remix of Kylie Minogue’s A