I used to celebrate my birthdays in the arcade with my cousins and friends. I would play games like Street Fighter, Tekken, Jurassic Park, or House of the Dead but my favorite would always be that Sniper game. Sometimes the arcade would hold tournaments for racing and fighting games. Yet, there was only one game in the arcade that always drew a large crowd of spectators regardless if they were in the arcade or not. Dance Dance Revolution battles proved to be certain crowd pleasers. Not only was it amazing to see people with close to perfect foot-eye(?) coordination, but they can also dance to the groove with flair. I was always so embarrassed to play Dance Dance Revolution in public simply because I felt that I couldn’t be as awesome as those seasoned players. Consequently, my father bought me two dance pads for my PlayStation. I was thrilled because now I have a way to practice without looking like a fool in public.
There were two songs that defined my experience playing Dance Dance Revolution. If I’m not mistaken, one was called Butterfly and the other was Paranoia: Rebirth. I remember it took me a while to master Paranoia, but when I did it was such a thrilling experience. After a month or so of practice, I finally had the guts to play the game in public. Our school held a festival each year, and one club decided to have a Dance Dance Revolution booth. That was one of the most popular and financially successful booths of the fair. I was happy I didn’t make a fool out of myself when it was my turn to play. In fact, I may have gotten some cheers as well. Perhaps this was because I was still a kid then, and everything children do would inevitably be cute.
One of the best things about Dance Dance Revolution was its wide-range appeal to gamers and non-gamers alike. My parents, cousins, friends, and acquaintances have all played the game at one point. Whenever I went to parties, it was there to entertain. Years later, games like Just Dance and Dance Central have joined the scene. I haven’t played Dance Dance Revolution in a while, but my love for Dance games still lives on.
I played Just Dance on the Wii and it was a lot of fun. It’s the type of game that’s fun regardless if you have company or not. Everyone knows that I’m a loyal and dedicated fan of Sony’s PlayStation consoles. However, I eventually bought an Xbox 36o and a Kinect. I heavily preferred Dance Central over Just Dance initially simply because the former was the only one supported by Kinect. Now, I like both games since Just Dance is now available for the Xbox 360. People often scrutinize the Kinect for its flaws, but I personally believe that it is better than the PS Move and the Wii. Yes, it can be inaccurate at times but it’s still a much better experience from the Eye Toy. I love how the Kinect can capture your body movement from top to bottom. A few years ago, all you needed to do was move your feet and dancing was not really required but now every move you make matters. I embedded a video of one of my favorite tracks to dance to in Dance Central. I loved that song so much, I could do it in Hard mode just for fun. Just so you know, it’s not me in the video.
My 19th birthday is less than two months away and I’m planning to spend it in an arcade. One of my choices include a famous arcade in Brooklyn called Next Level but I don’t think they have any games in the dance genre. While it’s nice to have all these high tech technology to enhance the dance gaming experience. Sometimes, it’s nice to revisit its roots and remember how you fell in love with the genre in the first place. So if you’ll excuse me, I have to go and pick up my dance pad from the post office.