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Zoinks! Magazine | Nerdflood

Sunday, July 10, 2005

In The Groove review w/ side notes of Dance Dance Revolution

Posted by Dacquin at 2:26 PM
GamingI’m sure you all know about my Dance Dance Revolution addiction. I've recently rented In The Groove and, in comparing it to DDR Extreme, it won hands down, but the main reason is because ITG allows you to turn off the corners on your pad, while there’s a lengthy process to upload a save file for your PS2 to turn off the corners in DDR Extreme, and the technique isn’t foolproof. I’ve played the other DDRs, so I wanted to take some time and compare ITG to DDR.

Similarly, both games have those songs that you'll want to play over and over again, and those songs you'll never play in your life. There are plenty of unlockables in both games (although I hate having to do so). Both games features a screen that allows you to change the game with modifiers that mess with how your arrows act.

What isn't similar is what makes ITG better. In The Groove has an Expert difficulty, for those crazy people who like extreme game play (I only play on Hard, because I like to keep some feeling in my legs after playing one stage). In changing your arrow speed, you can keep the BPM of the arrows to a constant 300 or 450, which means you don't have to constantly change your arrow speed when playing songs with different BPMs on DDR (although, changing the speed is game play heresy to a few DDR players).

If you watch the arrows, you can easily tell the difference between the games. It’s hard to tell what kind of steps you’re stepping on in DDR due to the flashing colors. In ITG, each type of step has their separate colors, making them easier to hit (and I love it for that).

Now, enough about the good points, because there are some things that I don’t like about ITG. First off, there’s the occasional lag that occurs every now and then. This being a game of hitting arrows with perfect timing, this lag can really ruin a combo (so close to a 700 combo, dang it!). Also, the loading times on all the menus are much longer than DDR’s, which hacked me off because I hated waiting to play. This is problematic because both DDR and ITG feature Event mode (which allows you to keep playing after playing a number of stages), however, in DDR if you lose, you can keep playing, while in ITG, you go right back to the startup screen, meaning wasting more time getting back to the song screen due to loading times.

Battle mode and Marathon mode are wasted on me. In Battle mode, you can go up against your opponent (don’t have one of those here) or the computer (I don’t believe in battling a computer in DDR, it’d just seems like it’d get all Fantastics if it wanted to). Also, I tried Marathon mode and I got a bunch of modifiers thrown at me while trying to beat a song and lost all my life. While some courses in Marathon mode don’t have modifiers, it’s still a pain.

All in all, I really enjoyed In The Groove as an alternative to Dance Dance Revolution. If they fixed the loading time and the lag, it’d probably be better than DDR in all aspects of the game. I give it a 8.1/10.


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