Reviewed: December 3, 2007
Released: September 25, 2007
It is time to feel the rhythm with your soul!!! It is time to get your dance on with the newest version of Dance Dance Revolution on the newest and most interactive video game system out there, the Nintendo Wii.
With a wide variety of songs, ranging from 80’s techno to today’s popular hits, and new dance steps, Dance Dance Revolution: Hottest Party is sure to keep you moving and grooving all night long. DDR: Hottest Party proves to be far more challenging than its predecessors, making it ideal for DDR lover looking for a new challenge.
Before attempting to play the game for the first time, it would be very beneficial for you to at least skim the instruction booklet, since some of the dance moves and signs will be unfamiliar due to the way it is played on the Wii game system.
When first starting the game you have three different dance modes to choose from. These being Groove Circuit Mode, Free Play Mode, and lastly Workout Mode. Each mode is played differently with a different end goal in sight.
The Groove Circuit Mode is the main mode for DDR: Hottest Party and it is very much like the arcade versions of DDR in regards to style of play and difficulty. In this mode you dance at various venues and can compete with up to three additional players. The Groove Circuit Mode opens up with only one song, which is a “Lesson from the DJ.” Upon passing these different levels/songs, the dance routines become increasingly difficult as you travel to the next venue. In addition to increased difficulty, after successfully clearing each venue you will unlock new songs and new dance stages for added fun.
Free Play Mode is perhaps the most common mode among casual dancers. There are 5 different game styles to choose from in this mode. These styles consist of: single, battle, friendship, multi-player, sync. These styles are pretty self-explanatory, and mimic the styles in the previous versions of DDR.
Lastly the Workout Mode, which the previous versions of DDR also had, gives dancers a fun workout. As with the previous versions, in the workout mode you are able to set fitness goals, track records over a period of time, and count the number of calories burned based upon weight during play. This mode coincides with many of the other Wii games that are targeted to the health-conscious, as it provides them with a means of exercising without sacrificing pleasure. However, unlike many of the other games, with DDR: Hottest Party the player is able to track records and set personal fitness goals for themselves.
One of the major differences between this game and its predecessors is the use of your hands. The hands are used throughout all the levels of the game with the help of the nunchuks. However, it can be frustrating because the sensor bar has a difficult time picking up the motion 100 percent of the time. It processes the nunchuk motion approximately 30 percent of time, which can be rather irritating.
Another addition to the gameplay of DDR is the variety of “trick” arrows. These trick arrows add to the new challenge and thinking/reacting aspect of the game. These arrows are intended to throw off your rhythm, which can be overwhelming and discouraging for the beginner dancer. These arrows are more designed to give the experienced player a new twist in their dance routine.
DDR: Hottest Party has graphics that are similar to the graphics seen in previous versions of DDR. However, with DDR: Hottest Party, the graphics appear to be far more vibrant and colorful, accenting the playful nature of both the game and the Wii game system. In this game the player has the opportunity to choose their dancer among a wider, more realistic, variety of characters, which makes the game more personalized.
One of the graphic issues pertains to the fact that the some of the step symbols look too similar to one another, which makes them hard to distinguish when they move quickly on more difficult levels.
The game as a whole appears to be more animated, where as in the previous versions the arrows were the main focus. Because there are backup dancers, more colorful stages, and more realistic characters, this allows the viewing to be fun for the non-player audience members. This in effect makes DDR: Hottest Party a more pleasurable game to play with larger parties.
In this game, you have 50 popular songs from the last 4 decades to dance to. Because these songs are extremely popular songs, it makes it more fun for all age groups to play as they can sing along with their favorite remixed songs. With previous versions of DDR, you would not expect to have songs like “Far Away” by Nickelback, “Yo Excuse Miss” by Chris Brown, and “Lips of an Angel” by Hinder. However on DDR: Hottest Party, it is pop songs like these that make it that much more fun to play because you are familiar with the song, its lyrics, and most importantly its beat.
Each one of these 50 songs is available for play in the beginner, basic, difficult and expert levels. These songs have the typical DDR techno vibe, but are made more unique through various hip-hop and modern rock remixes. In these remixes it is not uncommon to have a song that is extremely slow during some portions and the sped up in other portions. This unexpected variety in pace extremes adds to the dance challenge.
Another one of the unique sound features is when you are performing well throughout the song, the announcer talks to you through the Wii remote. The DJ coaches and motivates you throughout the entirety of the song, complimenting you when you excel and giving you tips when you fall behind. This unique feature, although an interesting concept, was almost more of a distraction from my point of view. Because there are so many new symbols to react to and additional comments coming from the game itself, it’s distracting and startling at first when the nunchuk surprises you with comments and suggestions. But after playing the game more, it becomes less of a distraction.
With DDR: Hottest Party, you are required to purchase the pad and the game together at the same time for an average retail price of $70. The major letdown of this game is that it only comes with one dance pad. To participate in certain styles of the game, like Friendship, you much purchase additional dance pads. These additional pads will be approximately $20. The game, though different, is not worth the $100 it will cost you to get a complete game with accessories unless you are an avid DDR player looking for a more extreme challenge.
I am a huge fan of the original DDR, and was very excited to play DDR: Hottest Party. I think it had some great additions, but the grading was discouraging because it seemed to be a little harsh. There were instances where I would only miss a couple steps and would receive a “D.” This kept me from unlocking new songs and clearing certain levels. I think that if the grading was a bit easier, or if there were an option to change the grading scale, it would be more motivating and overall more fun to play.