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Suggestions & Improvements for DanceDanceRevolution (Wii)

20th June 2010; By KnucklesSonic8

After a really good experience with DanceDanceRevolution Hottest Party 3, you could understand my excitement when I found out that Konami will be continuing this sub-series with a new entry. The Hottest Party series has tried to revolutionize the standard franchise, and although there have been some bumps along the way, Konami should feel really proud of what they've been able to accomplish. Each title has had its own share of issues, so I'm hoping that Konami will take all of these to heart when developing the next game. The following is my list of things I'd like to see return or introduced next time.

First, Part 1 discusses things that worked well in other games.

Quality KO's
Hottest Party 2 and 3 featured some really, really good KO's. It was because of these that the song selection in both games was so strong, and in the former game, it's what helped with some of the weaker licenses. The new trailer for this game featured "Let's Get Away", a new KO by NAOKI and it sounds great! I can't wait to hear how it sounds in the game, along with all of the other ones Konami is surely working on.

This feature has done a good job at challenging DDR veterans in making some of the easier songs more of a challenge, so I'm looking forward to seeing it return.

60-Song Cap
HP1 had 50 songs, HP2 had 51, and HP3 had 60! So long as the game has more than 50 songs, I'll be happy but hopefully they can meet the number of songs they included in the lastgame.

Combo Appeal
These animations were excellent and I'm really looking forward to seeing them return! Hopefully there will be more different kinds of animations, but seeing them pop up whenever you reach 50/100 combos was really motivating. 

Strong Mii Support
The look of the Mii's was greatly improved in HP3 as was the sense of customization. I hope that there will be more Mii-exclusive costumes to choose from this time around.

Strong Workout Mode Focus
HP1's incorporation of this mode was pretty baic, but HP3's Workout Mode included charts, and a diary option, the ability to measure weight using the Balance Board and more. I trust this focus continues moving forward. Perhaps they can even look to games like Wii Fit Plus to get inspiration on what more they can do to enhance this mode.

Colour-Coded Combo System
Seeing the combo counter turn different colours depending on your performance (e.g., text goes green as soon as you get one 'Great') was mighty helpful for people like me who find major replay value in aiming for Full Combo's and AAA's. B
ased on what I've seen, it looks like it's staying! 
Also, the idea of having crowns beside each difficulty on the song wheel was also really handy and I hope that returns as well.

Deep Options
HP1's option selection was really simple, and by comparison, HP3 had a LOT you could choose from. There's no reason for them to go backwards and remove options so I'm looking forward to seeing these return again. I also appreciated that the Timing adjustments went up to 20 on either side of the scale, as opposed to just 8 in HP1.

Great Hand Marker Engine
The Hand Markers used in the Balance Board mode were really well done and not as fussy as they were in HP1 or even HP2 for that matter. Clearly a sign of improvement on Konami's part so I trust this will also continue moving forward.

Balance Board Mode
It's already been confirmed that this will be returning but I just wanted to mention how thrilled I am that this hasn't been removed. This mode was so much fun and as far as I'm concerned, it was certainly one of the best uses of the peripheral yet.

Recognizable Licenses
PS2 junkies who refuse to accept the integration of modern culture will likely disagree with this statement, but I don't really care. I must commend Konami for such an impressive license list in HP3, and no matter what some may say, they definitely add to the experience.

Part 2
, now, mentions various aspects of past games that could be improved upon or newly-introduced.

WiiMotionPlus Support
Personally, I don't think it's necessary but I did see some comment that they hope WM+ is integrated this time around. Honestly, the Hand Markers in HP3's Balance Board mode were really good and if they didn't work to your satisfaction, it was obviously because of the player, not the system itself. I don't feel that the game would hurt from incorporating WM+ either so if they do, great; but if they don't, then I'm not going to be upset since they've proven they can get by without it.

More U1 Representation
I love this composer, especially after such great songs as 'Such a Feeling', 'Escape', and 'Settin' the Scene'. So to see that U1 only had one KO in the whole of HP3 was rather disappointing for me. I really hope we hear more from this song writer this time.

New Stages
I enjoyed the new locales that Konami introduced in HP3, but in total, there were only about 15 or so. The rest were all taken from previous releases. I hope the developers focus more on making new stages this time and less on rehashing the old ones. If they don't, in order to improve another aspect (e.g., more songs), then I won't make a big deal about it.

Improved Battle Mode
Hottest Party 2 introduced a 'Dance 'N Defend' battle mode of sorts but honestly, it was rather messy. I struggled to find it fun; it was no surprise when it was later removed. Maybe Konami can look into developing a new, more enjoyable mode. But again, if it means having less songs, then just leave it out.

More Usage of the Diagonal Arrow Gimmick
This was a great new gimmick that acted as a throwback to arcade DDR games, and it added even more challenge in forcing players to use the A and B buttons on the mat. However, HP3 only used this on like 2 or 3 songs which was a bit disappointing. I sincerely hope this gimmick returns but with more usage. 

Justify Relaxed Mode
Honestly, I wasn't entirely sure what the purpose of Relaxed Mode was. Sure, it's a mode casual players can feel comfortable in and it can even serve as an opportunity for ambitious players to incorporate their own routine. However, I'm not sure why you'd venture into this mode when you could easily do it in Free Play mode. I noticed that in the trailer, there was no evidence to suggest that this would be returning. Although it's still early in the game, I hope it's existence either becomes justified or just gets removed completely.

Routines for PV-Enabled Songs
I was initially quite happy that you had the option of turning off music videos in HP3 since this was absent from HP2. However, I was disappointed to find that instead of the music video, you'd just play on a screen with a single background image, much like Stepmania. I really hope this time that Konami includes routines even for these licenses that have music videos. Would be nice if they gave us multiple options to choose from - Picture, Routine, or Music Video.

Doubles Mode
This is something I've wanted since HP1. I really hope they include it this time as it's something so many have asked for.

Mode Separation
I thought it was a great idea that Konami separated Arrow Play from Hand Marker Play in HP3. Mainly because it allowed for multiple sets of record charts, rather than just a shared one like in HP2. I hope this continues with a HM-focused mode (will it still be labelled as 'Hypermove Move'?) and the standard arrow-focused gameplay (Free Play).

Scrap the Hand Marker System in 'Hypermove Mode'
I really, really missed the Hand Markers from Hottest Party 2. Instead what I found was a multi-directional hand marker system that simply was not as fun, nor was it used as well as it was in HP2 (with only Basic/Difficult charts). I sincerely hope the combo meter from HP2 returns, combined with the great engine of the HM's from HP3's Balance Board Mode. The combo meter system had you shaking the Wii Remote and Nunchuk to every beat to maximize scoring potential, and this was a lot of fun. If the combo meter doesn't return, I at least hope that HM's will get as big of a focus as they did in HP2. Konami, please disregard the comments of those who have been complaining about it. I've put in over a year's worth of time into the system and after extensive use, only then did I find out how much fun the system really was. It took a lot of practice (much like normal DDR!) but it certainly was an evolution of gameplay. I really hope this system returns, whilst still maintaining strong flow between Hand Markers and Pad gameplay in the Expert charts.

Expert Charts in Balance Board Mode
Next to the new Hypermove Mode, this was the most disappointing aspect of HP3. When I realized how much fun the system was, I was really upset that Expert charts weren't incorporated. Many of the stepcharts hinted at great, challenging charts on a higher level (like 'Let's Get It Started' with its use of sixteenth notes). I understand that Konami was taking a "testing the waters" sort of approach as they probably weren't sure how it would be received. But if you guys are listening, please include Expert charts! 

Downloadable Content
If PES 2010 and Pop 'n' Music (two Konami-developed games!) can do it on the Wii, so can the new DanceDanceRevolution. This has been something that many have sought after with the Hottest Party series and I really hope they make it happen this time. Perhaps with use of the SD Card, it can be done!

Online Battles
Another thing I really, really, really want to happen. Online play would be ridiculous fun, especially with Hand Markers! Please, please Konami. Everyone wants it! Please listen (even if it's kind of simple) and we'll all rejoice like there's no tomorrow.

Challenging Expert Charts for Licenses
HP1 had a really challenging set of stepcharts, especially for the licenses. I was so surprised by how well done they were. By comparison, HP3's license stepcharts flowed really, really well, but they were also somewhat easy. I understand that this is in part due to the fact that covers & remixes are now gone. Still, I really hope they improve on this aspect as this was the third-most disappointing aspect of HP3, in my opinion. 

Return of the Megamix
I really enjoyed the 'HOTTEST PARTY' and 'HOTTEST PARTY 2' megamix-like songs, especially the latter. I really hope they do this again, using the best of HP3's songs as a basis.

I was so happy when HP3 brought us Brilliant 2U, Keep on Movin', and CELEBRATE NIGHT (three really, really good songs) from HP2 JP. Konami also brought over the remix of TRUE LOVE that was featured in HP1 JP. To that end, I really hope they bring over DOUBLE TORNARD, another great KO from HP1 JP. I know I'm not the only one asking for it.

'Music Fit' Imports/Revivals
The JP release of HP3 was really, really impressive from what I saw. It even included three songs from Disney Grooves with vastly-improved stepcharts. Much in the same way Konami imported songs from 'Furu Furu Party' (HP2 JP) into HP3, I would love to see Konami import some songs from this release (even if they are licenses). A localization of the following songs would please me very much:

HOUSE NATION from 'Furu Furu Party'
Yes, I know this is a license but I don't care, I would love to see Konami bring this song over (perhaps as DLC!). It's such an awesome song, and I'm still jealous of it being in the JP release of HP2.

Finally, Part 3 is a list of license suggestions & predictions that I can see appearing.

Micheal Jackson License
This is an absolute must and I have a strong feeling Konami will definitely include a song from MJ given Black and White's appearance in HP2 as well as Konami's selection of MJ songs for Karaoke Revolution. As for what song, I'm honestly not sure. Remember the Time, Smooth Criminal, Don't Stop 'Till You Get Enough, and Wanna Be Startin' Somethin' all come to mind. But I'll leave it up to the experts at Konami to decide on which of his songs fits the best.

Daft Punk License
Would please me greatly to see a DP song in DDR. Can easily see One More Time or HBFS getting included.

Other Licenses
This selection is, more or less, my predictions of licensed artists that may make an appearance. After all, I successfully predicted 'One Step at a Time' would appear in last year's game. So why not?

  • Whitney Houston - Pretty sure she'll be in, hopefully with 'Million Dollar Bill', or 'I Wanna Dance With Somebody'.
  • Kelly Clarkson
  • Gwen Stefani (Sweet Escape)
  • Nelly Furtado (Say It Right)
  • Mariah Carey - Lots of reasons to see her represented.
  • Usher - Cover of Caught Up first appeared in HP1. Could easily see him returning.
  • Outkast (Hey Ya)
  • Jennifer Lopez - Especially with last year's greater focus towards Latin America, I can see one of her songs in the game. Perhaps 'Get Right'?
  • Jamiroquai - Cover of Little L in HP1 was great, IMO. Would love to see this group return, perhaps with 'Runaway'?
  • Janet Jackson - Perhaps 'Together Again', or 'Make Me'?
  • Alicia Keys - Would be great to see her represented. Perhaps 'Sleeping With a Broken Heart'?
  • Jay Sean (Down)
  • Owl City - Perhaps Hot Air Balloon or Tidal Wave? It would please me so much to see them represented.
  • Brandy - Would be so happy to see one of her songs in.
  • Toni Braxton (Make My Heart) 
  • Miley Cyrus (Party in the USA) 
  • Taylor Swift - Wouldn't be surprised at all.
  • Enrique Iglesias (Be With You) - When I discovered one of his songs was in HP3, I hoped it was 'Be With You'.
  • Corona (Rhythm of the Night)
  • Chris Brown - Cover of Yo (Excuse Me Miss) first appeared in HP1. Perhaps Forever will make it in?
  • Nickelback - Cover of Far Away first appeared in HP1. Not sure which one. Maybe 'Gotta Be Somebody'?
  • Ne-Yo - Was really happy to see Closer in last year. Hope one of his songs returns this year.
  • Ke$ha - Pretty sure Tik Tok will appear.
  • Beyonce - Very likely. As for what song, I'm not sure. Perhaps 'Crazy in Love' because of the cover in Walk It Out.
  • Aaliyah - Would be a nice tribute to the late singer. So long as it's not Rock the Boat.

Konami if you're out there listening, please hear me out. Seriously consider the above suggestions and the next DDR could be even better than its precedessor (as great as it was). I'd like to take this opportunity to applaud the team for their efforts with the Hottest Party series, making it something that truly revolutionized gameplay.

Feature by KnucklesSonic8
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