PlayStation 2
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PS2 Rated E, mild lyrics In The Groove is a Dance Dance Revolution game designed by hardcore dance gamers for hardcore dance gamers. Not to worry, if you're a beginner there are novice and easy dance steps for the songs too! The grading on the other hand is quite strict unlike other DDR titles; a few mistakes will cause you to fail a song/round.

So what makes this game different?

As an owner of every American DDR PSX game out there I?m happy to see a fresh (70+) song list without the recycled songs from other DDR games. For those who like the Paranoia songs the similar difficult song in this game is called Disconnected and there are a few mixes of it to try. As I mentioned earlier the grading is harder and I saw a new grade that better than an A, there is an S letter grade. For hardcore DDR gamers there are harder difficulty levels to enjoy. I haven?t ventured into those yet I?m still doing easy/medium. If you want to add a new twist to things there are modifiers where you can change the behavior of the dance arrows, have them wave, sway, fade in or out, or even alter the arrows on top to wave or even slant.

What game modes are there?

The typical arcade style dance mode is available where you can dance to three songs. You will get graded on each song and your high scores will be recorded. Battle mode is very fun; in this mode the dancer who is doing better will unleash modifiers on the other player giving them a harder time to beat the leader. The winner is the one who got a better score. Marathon mode has you playing 4-5 songs in a row without any breaks or loading times to allowing you to catch your breath. You will use the same life meter throughout the set so don?t mess up too much! Many of the Marathon/Fitness courses use modifiers so pay attention. Fitness mode is a calorie counting mode, your goal is to burn calories, not pass the songs. I think it?s a bit generous on what it?s saying you?re burning (270 calories in 10min?) but hey it?s still good/fun exercise.

Graphics

The graphics in this game are very smooth. The arrows have a unique look to them and have a different color if they are a different tempo. The modifiers look pretty nice too, but like guitar hero the engine sometimes slows down, this doesn?t happen nearly as often as it did in guitar hero though. Many of the songs have an animated background, which adds a nice touch.

Sound

This game is as much about music as rhythm. I like the fresh song list; a majority of the songs are dance/techno. Many of them don?t have lyrics. There is an occasional rap, rock, or a remixed classical song. There were a couple radio songs I recognized too.

Controls/Interface

You can buy this game with a dance pad for $40 on red octane's site. The dance pads are easy to use (unless you want to do double mode and use two at once!), I like the interface in this game. You know exactly what you are getting into before you select a song. It has a break down of how many steps, jumps, holds, mines and even if hands are required. It will also tell you the beats per minute and the highest score too. A very nice touch!

Appropriateness

As the ESRB suggests there are mild lyrics. There are both sexual and drug references. There?s a song called ?Touch Me? by a band called E-rotic. There?s also a song called ?Mellow? that references Cuban cigars and their effects. In the song ?Torn? the word naked was taken out so I?m a little baffled as to why there is some censorship but it?s not thorough.

Final Thoughts

This is a great game for any DDR gamer, but more so for the hardcore dancer. The song selection is good and as for appropriateness it?s better than other DDR titles out there but it?s not perfect. I?ll definitely be on the lookout for a sequel. It will be coming to PC and Mac soon!

Final Ratings

Game Play 19/20 Graphics /8/10 Sound 9/10 Controls 5/5 Stability 4/5 Appropriateness 44/50

Overall 89/100

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Christ Centered Gamer looks at video games from two view points. We analyze games on a secular level which will break down a game based on its graphics, sound, stability and overall gaming experience. If you’re concerned about the family friendliness of a game, we have a separate moral score which looks at violence, language, sexual content, occult references and other ethical issues.

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