Party in the USA: In The Groove for PS2

In The Groove was a dance-pad arcade game that was inspired by DDR, so much so that it sparked a lawsuit by Konami that pretty much shut it down.  But before it disappeared, a PS2 version was made, and you can pick it up very cheap, new or used, at Amazon or Gamestop.

ITG was developed in the US to be sort of the American answer to DDR. Gameplay is essentially the same: step on a four-arrow mat in time with a row of scrolling arrows.  (Maybe if they’d rearranged the arrows like Dance Factory, they could’ve escaped Konami’s wrath.)  But instead of chirpy j-pop singers and anime-looking dancers, ITG has more instrumentals, more club-ish music and more streamlined graphics and sound effects for an overall more “Westernized” feel.  New features are also added: you can alter the arrows to make them wavy, dancy or twisty, add “mines” (round symbols that deduct points if you step on them) and “hands” (extra arrows forcing you to bend and hit the mat with your hand).

ITG with one of the many arrow variations

ITG also has a workout mode, and they were a couple years ahead of DDR in adding a doubles option to workout mode.  Like on DDR’s PS2 workout modes, you enter your weight and a goal (either time played or calories burned) and select individual songs, preprogrammed courses or Random Endless – play songs continuously for the time you selected.  I like to do Random Endless, because it shuffles all the songs on one difficulty you select.  20-30 minutes of songs on a difficulty level of 5 or 6, on a scale of 1-12, makes for a great steady-state cardio workout.

In The Groove fitness mode screen, courtesy of Gamefaqs

(It should also be noted that unlike DDR, ITG’s calorie counter is really screwed up, almost as badly as We Cheer’s.  I just ignore the calorie counter and select a time goal only.)

If you enjoy playing DDR on Endless mode for cardio, In The Groove is worth searching the bargain bins for.

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Posted on June 16, 2011, in Game reviews and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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