Konami’s Dance Dance Revolution has been a rather successful series since its home release on the original Playstation. Nintendo gamers have only had a chance at DDR with Mario Mix on the Gamecube, which is now a collector\'s item fetching a high price, until the Wii release of Hottest Party. So how does this game utilize the Wii controls? Does it add or subtract from the game play? Read on to find out!
How do I play?
Hottest Party comes with a dance pad that has a GameCube connector. 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.
Groove Circuit is the main mode where you play at various venues and defeat the dance bosses to unlock more venues and songs. Each venue has a requirement that has to be met in order to complete it. For example, you may have to get a certain grade or at least a certain number of combos in order to challenge the boss. A boss battle will have the same type of challenge in a dueling battle mode. Free Play mode lets you jump in and start dancing right away. Free Play and Groove Circuit both offer multiplayer support. If you’re looking to shed a few pounds, then Workout mode may interest you as it lets you know how many calories you burn per song.
What kind of Music is there?
This game advertises fifty songs spanning over four decades. I’ll list a few of my favorites and date myself a little.
99 Red Balloons
Gonna Make You Sweat
Rhythm is a Dancer
You Spin Me Round
Gypsy Woman (la-da-dee-la-da –da)
Half of the fun is unlocking stuff. In Hottest Party you can unlock dancing stages, outfits for the characters, and songs. A couple of the unlockable songs will be familiar to DDR buffs. (B4U and Candy)
So what is different about this Wii version of DDR?
The main difference is the hand controls. You can shake the Wii remote or tap them against your legs. It’s a great concept, except that it doesn’t work very well. It’s hard to get these movements to register without violently shaking the controllers or bruising your legs. There are also Gimmicks like bombs etc that you have to avoid. Both the hand controller and gimmick features can be disabled but you have to disable them every time you play.
The Graphics are on par with the PS2 DDR games. There are some jagged edges but the characters and dance levels look pretty good. The characters are unique but some of them resemble the popular characters from the PS2 games. The levels are very colorful and are fun to play.
Being a music based game, the sound is top notch and will not disappoint. The announcer is decent but not as good as the one used for previous DDR games. Some of the announcer’s comments didn’t line up very well at the end of a song. There were times when I passed a song and the announcer mocked me and vice versa.
The song list is pretty tame compared to the most recent DDR games released. The female dancers had some bikini style tops. Of course the male dancers were modestly dressed. I know some Christians have a problem with dancing, because of its sexual nature, but this is more like a workout than going to a club. Plus, it's just fun to move around and I think God would approve!
Although the uniqueness of this game flopped, you can still play this game in classic DDR fashion. DDR fanatics will find this title rather easy, but there are some challenging songs. I did like the song list and consider this game one of the more family friendly DDR games. I’m glad to see DDR offered on the Wii system.