DDR Hottest Party 3 (Wii)
Available on Wii
ESRB rating: E 10+
Developed by: Konami
Release Date: October 2009
Muliplayer up to 4 players
Retail Price $60 with DDR pad
Strengths: Modern songs, Wii balance board play
Weaknesses: Not many songs, no downloadable content for Wii
Moral warnings: Suggestive songs, swearing and skimpy dancer oufits

It\'s nice to see a DDR game with modern music in it. Hottest Party 3 has many of the same songs as DDR X2 including recent hits like Disturbia, Let\'s Dance, Let\'s Get It Started and more. There are some classics like Ice Ice Baby, Hungry Like The Wolf, Enjoy The Silence and the famous Rick Rolling song Never Gonna Give You Up. Many of the songs have the original music video so I really feel like I\'m being Rick Rolled when I play that song. Moving on...

Hottest Party 3 comes with a dance pad that has a GameCube connector. Unfortunately, as of this writing, the game is only available with the DDR mat bundled. You can have up to four people playing if you have enough pads. The game play is the same as previous entries where you have to tap the arrow on the pad as the arrows line up on the screen along with the rhythm of the song. The number of arrows and combinations of them is determined by the difficulty level you choose. There are four difficulty levels: Beginner, Basic, Difficult and Expert. I was able to play most of the single player game on expert but on some of the songs I had to back down to complete the challenge.

Just like Hottest Party 2, there's an option to unlock Hottest Party 2 content; this does NOT bring songs from the sequel into Hottest Party 3, it just unlocks everything in the other game if you haven't done so already. There are lots of new additions to this game. I really enjoyed the Wii Balance Board inclusion. I found the relaxed mode a bit useless. Here's a breakdown of what you\'ll see in Hottest Party 3.

Tournament Mode: This is the single player campaign where you must prove your worth and dance your way to becoming a National DDR champion. There will be challengers who will challenge you to beat them at a song of their choosing. You will be able to choose many of the songs, but some songs will be forced on you. This is a great way to unlock songs, dancers and outfits.

Free Play Mode: Jump right into dancing and enjoy all of your unlocked songs here! This mode can be played alone or with friends. There are competitive, co-op, and synchronized modes.

Wii Balance Board mode: This mode does not use the DDR Pad but the Balance Board, Wii Remote and Nunchuck instead. In this mode you\'re shaking your hips in all four directions instead of stepping. Instead of freeze arrows you'll have to rotate your hips in clockwise or counter clockwise directions. The Wii Remote and Nunchuck are used for doing punches. I really enjoyed this mode but I think I got a better workout using EA Active.

Workout Mode: Set fitness goals, and see how many calories you burn. You can password protect your profile so no one else can see how much you weigh. You can dance with gimmicks or even workout with the Wii Balance board. The Wii Balance Board weighing is a little flakey and took me a few times to weigh myself some days.

Hyper Move Mode: If you enjoyed the Gimmick modes from the original Hottest Party, you'll want to check this out. Many DDR veterans like myself steer clear of here.

Relaxed Mode: This low pressure mode only has the Basic and Beginner modes available; there\'s no option to choose your dancer, just jump in and dance slowly.

DDR School: If you\'re new to DDR this is the place to start, it'll teach you the basic steps and how to use the gimmicks.

The graphics are decent on the Wii, the PlayStation 2 dancers definitely look better. You still have the ability to use your Miis as dancers. The dance stages are colorful and the dancers are nicely detailed. Many of the older music videos show their age but that\'s not the game or Wii\'s fault.

The song selection is very diverse, ranging from the 70's to the present. The audio quality is good and I have no complaints there. I miss the old announcer because the guy that does the intro now sounds like a total geek.

Some of the songs have sexual overtones and a couple have the word Da*n in it. If you're concerned about the song lyrics, check out the song list and read over them, to see if they fit your family's tastes. Personally, aside from a few songs with d--- words, I found the selection innoffensive. God's Word wasn't attacked and the themes are typical of pop culture.To be honest I was quite shocked at some of the character outfits/bodies that you can use in this game. Some of the outfits are so skimpy that you would expect to find a pole in the middle of the DDR pad. A few of the female dancers look like they are wearing underpants and fish net stockings. One of the dancers is overly metrosexual; you can't even tell he's male.

For the first time in history, I've sided with getting the Wii version over a similar PlayStation version (DDR X2). I really enjoy the new Wii Balance Board mode. It will give you a decent workout, but I don\'t recommend it as your only workout regiment. The music variety and the game play is fun, I'll be playing this game often.

Game Play 15/20
Graphics 7/10
Sound 7/10
Controls/Interface 3/5
Stability 5/5
Game Score: 37/50 74%

Appropriateness 40/50 80%

-3.5 for sexual references
-3.5 for revealing clothes
-3 for swearing

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