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   Extended Play: Your Ultimate Guide to Videogames
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Dance Dance Revolution Strategy (PS/Arcade)
    

Get tips from some DDR masters.

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Dance Dance RevolutionIf you don't know "Dance Dance Revolution," you obviously haven't been in the arcade this year. This popular game and lifestyle is currently sweeping the globe, whipping kids and adults back into shape.

"It's cool and it's good exercise and it's better than fighting games. It stands out and has its own personality," says DDR dancer Samantha.

To play DDR all you have to do is match your feet with the corresponding arrows. Sounds easy right? Wrong. You're probably going to look like a big dork your first couple of tries.

But that's okay.

Fortunately, "Extended Play" caught up with some of California's best DDR dancers and tournament winners at San Francisco's Metreon. We asked them for a few basic tips on how to look less like a fool your first couple of times out.

Jason Ko, alias j-dog, gives us a couple of DDR tips.

Don't rely on one foot. Some players use just one foot for the up/down. You should try to learn to use the other foot as well. This tip is really helpful for the beginning of the game.

Some people return to the middle of the dance pad. If the arrow isn't there, they feel like they have to return to the middle. Don't return to the middle.

"My tip? Count to four," says DDR Tournament Champion Cyan. "One two three four. If you count to four, it's much easier to keep the beat. One, two, three, four. Counting to four helps you keep the beat and tells you when to step on the arrows."

Samantha, aka Butterfly-One, says, "When you are playing always listen to the music because the steps always go with the rhythm of the song. Every song has a beat or a base. Usually the arrows go with that.

"Always start off on the [most] basic of basic songs that you can. 'Have You Never Been Mellow' is as basic as it gets. Also, look like you are dancing. Look like you are in a club. Move your arms a little bit. That helps. Actually that helps a lot. If you want to go B-boy style, you can do that. If you want to rave, good god you can do that too. One thing I don't like, it's bar hugging. Never hold onto the bar."

We also received a few tips from ExP viewer Mike Scuito for the home version of DDR. Here are his tips for being a DDR master.

  1. Play through the training mode completely at least once. You'll most likely come across something you've already mastered, but if you haven't tried everything yet you might find an easier way to handle difficult steps.

  2. For first timers, play at the beginner level just a few times before jumping straight into the normal game. Playing at this level should provide a stronger sense of when to step on the arrows at the right time.

  3. Do whatever it takes to become familiar with where the arrows are on the pad and where your feet are at all times. It helps to not have to look down at the pad to check your position, because doing so can cause you to lose your concentration on the tempo of the song.

  4. Some key notes in the song indicate when an arrow needs to be pressed. Be sure to listen for bass, vocal, or odd notes in the song near particular steps. Hitting the step right when the note occurs is the idea. It may feel like you're going to hit it too late, but once you get a feel for it, it's not so complicated. The beginning and end parts of the song "Brilliant 2 U" (Orchestra remix) on the normal game setting is a good example of this.

  5. When performing continuous steps, don't return to the center of the pad. Moving around the dance pad is easier than returning to the center before and after each step. Using both feet equally should help in some way on every song. Even when steps are spaced out, you can get a better feel for the song when you put a little extra effort into it.

  6. Have fun. If you've ever played it in the arcade, or if you own a copy on PlayStation, you know there's nothing like it in terms of interaction. As in any other game, you must practice if you hope to improve. Don't get discouraged, and again have fun!

    Posted June 22, 2001

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