First of all, let me describe my skill level at DDR. I have been playing for a few months now, and I have progressed pretty rapidly. I can do any 7-foot song relatively easily and most 8-footers by sight. I have passed my share of catas (15-20), so I am by no means a bad player. My biggest troubles are long series of jumps or jumps mixed in with extremely quick runs (I hate jumps!).
Anyway, I recently got a chance to check out DDRMAX2, or 7th mix. The FMV and intense amount of jpop songs made me wish it was available on the PS2. Anyway, I have played for about 15-20 hours now, and here are my impressions, song by song.
Naturally, I started out with Afronova. The only other incarnation of this song I have played is 4th mix, and I pretty much hate it. The insane amount of jumping in the middle of the song always winded me too badly to finish it. Luckily, these jumps are gone in 7th. The song starts out quick and easy ? lots of quick RDR and UDU steps. These end with a U+D jump. Next are lots of easy 3-steps separated by jumps. The rest of the song is basically tons more quick RDR type runs, then some 1/8 note, 2-step runs, and finally some freeze arrows. The end is one long L+R freeze arrow. The song hasn’t changed much, it’s still a stamina killer, and I love the insane amount of running. Great song and well adapted to the new mix.
I have had the mp3 to this song forever, and I was glad to finally get to play the real thing. The song starts out with lots of RDL then LRD combinations, so your body is twisting everywhere trying to hit the arrows. Then a bunch of 1/8 notes come up! Too much for me. So, I missed the 1/8 notes and continued on. Next, a bunch of quick 3-note runs (to the whistle in the background) followed by jumps. At this point, I was wondering why this song was an 8-footer. The beat picks up a little, with a huge LRLRLR chain with D and U thrown in all over. An U+D freeze arrow next, and then chaos. Not sure how to describe it, because I couldn’t tell what was going on in the slightest. Take a look at a step chart. So, I didn’t finish this song, but its lots of fun up to this point.
Burnin’ The Floor
My favorite song from 4th mix is in 7th as well, and not much has changed from 4th. Tons and tons of dual 3-note runs followed by 6-note runs. The freeze arrows were implemented poorly, in my opinion. They are long freeze arrows with some double-taps with the opposite floor. Not too much jumping, lots of running, perfectly in synch with a great song! Got an A on it, as well.
This is a pretty short song. It starts out with some easy freeze arrows and instantly transitions into some chaos that I could not interpret. After this, the song is easy, however. Once the vocals kick in, it is almost nothing but quick 3-note runs with long gaps between them. When the female starts to sing, the song becomes incredibly easy until the end. The end is a series of jumps (grr), finishing up with some very quick tapping mixed with jumps.
By far my favorite song so far in 7th! This song is wonderful! It starts off with extremely easy steps as the tempo nears down to a complete stop. The song goes silent and a piano starts playing and the tempo really starts to pick up. It is 1/8 note gallop after gallop as the song peaks; it makes for some really intense dancing, and never straying from the beat (which I think makes the song much more interesting). At this point, the song gets easy for awhile, probably to give the player a little rest. Some freeze arrows come up and the song goes crazy! Random arrows everywhere! I don’t even know how to describe the rest of the song, as my brain takes a backseat to my reflexes as I dance like crazy trying to hit as many arrows as I can. It is basically extremely chaotic ? notes with some 1/8 note 2-steps mixed in. Very fun. This is by far my most played song.
Ok, well that sums up my first experience with DDR7. Overall, it is very fun. The songs I played were all fast; no slow garbage. The freeze arrows were interesting; I definitely need to work on them though. This version was definitely made for players above my skill level however, as there are many songs I could not even come close to passing. Tsugaru, for example, was so confusing that I eventually just gave up. It seems like Konami is taking the expert players into consideration more, which is probably a good thing given the game’s longevity.