You know how about ten years ago, after Dance Dance Revolution (DDR) came out, you would see somewhat sad (but still impressive) people at the arcade who would swagger up to the machine, toss a couple coins in the machine, and perfectly execute a series of memories impressive dance moves? Yeah. I always had mixed feelings about that.
(For those of you who don’t know what DDR is, here is the wiki-page) It’s basically a dance game composed of a dance mat and a screen. The dance mat had four arrows: up, down, left, and right. The machine would play a song (you could select) and then display a series of arrows that correspond to the beat. Then you dance along. It is always funny to watch new beginners – or even people who have been playing for a while – trip over their own feet. But there was always that one guy at the arcade who would play – or practice at home – the same dance over and over again. That way, when the arcade got crowded, they would strut up to the machine and show their stuff to impress everyone. Except it kind of backfired, because as impressive as it was to watch, the only thought that ran through my head was “woooooow… How many times have they practiced this…?”
So that’s DDR.
Dance Evolution Arcade is kind of similar, only much, MUCH cooler (for more arguments, see “Dance Evolution Arcade: Cooler than DDR (Dance Dance Revolution)?”
Except this time, the persona dances. With their whole body.
Let me explain.
The game costs 200 yen ($2.50) for 2 plays. When it’s your turn to play, you drop in the money and step up to the plate with your hands raised above your head. The machine scans your body – noting your height and the position of your hands.
Then you select your song by waving your hands.
And here’s where it gets interesting.
I don’t know how familiar you are with Japanese pop culture, but most famous artists are, in fact, dance groups. That’s not to say they don’t sing, it’s like a sing-and-dance combo of attractive men and women. The most famous band (that most men love) is called AKB-48. The band is composed of 48 attractive (young) women who wear school uniforms and dance.
It’s pretty popular.
Boy bands are equally interesting.
And the reason I’m telling you this is because each band has dance moves associated with each song. If you love a song, you learn the dance (or at least the chorus). Dance Evolution Arcade tests your fandom by having your dance the moves and rating you.
On the screen, it shows an animated character dancing. You’re supposed to follow his/her moves. The game scans for where your hands and feet are on each beat. If they are in the right spot, you get a point. If not, you lose a point.
And it’s interesting, because the game uses the actual, choreographed moves. So when we were watching, we could awkwardly dance along to our favorite songs.
We weren’t the only ones watching, there was a whole crowd (of mostly girls) watching too. I guess you really can pick up chicks this way.
And you’re not supposed to take pictures.
All in all, Weird Japanese Game rating (out of 10):
Cool factor: 9
Possibility of Grace actually trying: 3
(I’ve come back to the arcade several times, there is always some guy tearing up the dance floor with a crowd watching. There’s a limit to how much I can embarrass myself. This is too much)
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