Extreme, eh? So what's so "extreme" about Dance Dance Revolution Extreme? Well, I don't know, but what I do know is that it kicked my ass, and far too easily at that. I'm completely new to the DDR series, retaining my self respect by never embarrassing myself in an arcade and, until recently, never bothering to play at home. Perhaps I shouldn't have started the series with the one game with "extreme" in the title, but I somehow think that whatever version I could have played, my ass would have been kicked just as easily.
I'm sure everyone knows the premise of Dance Dance Revolution, which is, of course, to dance. If you haven't played, however, you probably didn't know that you'll wind up stomping on the mat in frustration as you contort your lower body in ways you never thought possible. DDR takes patience, dedication, and a lot of practice. I've got a little bit of the first, rarely any of the second, and I hate the third. Put it all together, and it doesn't take Stephen Hawking to realize that I wouldn't be very good at DDR. To make matters worse, I can't dance normally, let alone when instructed with specific steps.
With that out of the way, let me say this: Dance Dance Revolution Extreme is fun. Alot of fun. I can't think of a much better game to take out when a few friends are over to just be stupid and have fun with. The dances will inevitably lead to each person laughing at each other as they mindlessly spin and jump and stomp and just look generally stupid, assuming of coarse noone has dedicated the time to learning the steps. Adding another aspect to the mix, DDR Extreme also includes some fun multiplayer mini games, including Hyper Dash which has you stomping on the left and right arrows as fast as possible in order to win a race, occasionally slapping up to jump or down to throw stuff at your opponent. As you might expect, the game is quite a workout and even includes a diet mode that counts calories as you dance. *Note to self: Have bottle of water handy during DDR sessions.
One of Dance Dance Revolution Extreme's most innovative additions involves the PS2's EyeToy. The EyeToy modes range from simply placing you as the background on the screen to dance modes involving both hands and feet. In the latter, you'll be forced to play the normal DDR as well as move your hands to two different spots on the screen. Yeah, yeah, I suck at it. Heh, and I thought just using my feet was difficult. Yet another mode has you dancing to the music while cleaning random crap off of the screen with your hands...novices, stay away, far far away.
When all is said and done, if you're shy or don't play many games with friends, Dance Dance Revolution Extreme probably isn't for you. As a complete neophyte to the series, I found that I only enjoyed myself when me and some friends were making fools of ourselves. If you want to play it alone, expect to invest some time in learning how to dance to a rhythm before the game becomes fun. Series veterans, from what I'm told, Dance Dance Revolution Extreme is more of the same with over 70 new songs that don't disappoint. And for everyone...the dance pad is a must. I tried using the controller out of frustration once, and pressing right and left at the same time, to say the least, is difficult.