Category Archives: Dance Dance Revolution

Artificial heart gets field-tested with DDR

If I was outfitted with an artificial heart, I’d want to test it out with some arrow-stomping cardio.  That’s what a young woman did, according to this press release from MarketWatch.

After receiving the high-tech heart, and during the months of waiting for a donor heart, the 21-year-old spent an hour a day playing DDR in the hospital.  (Just what every hospital needs, a DDR machine!)  She is now transplanted with the real thing, and credits the artificial heart for keeping her healthy in the meantime.  I think a certain video game deserves some props, too.

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The non-crippled Wii is back in stock at Amazon, at this writing

This is the Wii you want for DDR or Active Life play

My post about the “new” horizontal Wii is getting a ton of hits, probably from disappointed people who found it and a DDR or Active Life bundle under the Christmas tree, only to discover that there’s no way to plug in the mat.  But there’s hope for would-be mat mashers:  the old, vertical, mat-compatible-design Wii has returned to Amazon for the same price as the new Wii Lite.

If your crippled Wii came from Amazon, they have a 30-day return policy, so you may be able to box it up and exchange it for the good Wii.  It no longer comes with Wii Sports, but you can buy that separately for $20, so you can relax with some bowling or tennis when you tire of hopping on arrows.

Video games are packing the dance floor this year

Last year, the success of Just Dance brought out a wave of dance games; this year, with the even bigger success of Just Dance 2 and Zumba Fitness, that wave is an all-out flood.  Here’s some of what is out, or coming…

  • Sequel mania:  Just Dance 3 and DanceDanceRevolution II (which is really about the 20th game in the series) are out, and Just Dance Kids 2, Dance Central 2, Zumba Fitness 2, and Country Dance 2  are all on their way.  The Just Dance games will be coming to Kinect and PS3 for the first time, while it appears that Zumba has abandoned Kinect after having some technical difficulties.  I just got Just Dance 3 for Kinect which I love so far, and I’m also interested in Dance Central 2 and DDR II which will bring back DOUBLES! 🙂
  • Super stars:  Ubisoft is putting ABBA on the Michael Jackson dance game stage with ABBA You Can Dance for Wii, featuring that group’s hits, plus a career mode and a karaoke mode so you can belt out “Dancing Queen”.  (Simultaneous singing and dancing can be one heckuva workout, as I found with Karaoke Revolution Party.)  The same company is also putting out Black Eyed Peas Experience on Wii and Kinect; screenshots of that game look more like Dance Central than MJ.
  • Grease is the word:  Grease Dance, based on the movie, is coming for Kinect and PS3.  There are very few details right now, but it’s interesting that they’ve written off the Wii already, when it seems to me that it’s the most likely console to be in the households of the Grease generation.
  • New to the dance floor:  Everybody Dance is a new PS3 Move game that appears to be a hybrid of Wii’s Just Dance series (because you still have to wave controllers around) and Kinect’s Dance Masters (if you choose, the PS3 camera will put your dancin’ image on screen).  Nickelodeon Dance, for both Wii and Kinect, offers tots a chance to dance with Dora, Diego and the Backyardigans.  Amazon also has listings for Dance Battle Vs. (PS3) and Dance Magic (Kinect, PS3) but little is known about either one.

How to make Kinect 99.999% hands-free

Surf the dashboard with your feet instead of your thumbs (via CNET)

When I got a Kinect bundle last Christmas, I was totally new to Xbox 360.  I thought this magical device would make the console completely hands-free (once the disc was inserted, of course).  No more sticky buttons, no more hunting down the hand controller – everything would be done with waves and gestures and occasional shouting.

Well, Kinect doesn’t really work that way.  When the box is first turned on, you have to go through a main menu called the Xbox Dashboard to get to your game, and as of now you can’t control it with Kinect, just the Xbox hand controller.

Or, as I recently discovered, the DDR pad!

Konami DDR pads for Xbox 360 can be had on Amazon for around $25, or you can buy a DDR game/pad bundle for around $40.  But if you’re not really interested in DDR (horrors!) but still want to go hands-free, the mat that comes with High School Musical 3 is very nice AND cheap – the bundle is less than $20, and if Sharpay and friends don’t float your boat, just give away or sell the game and keep the mat.

Then turn on your Xbox 360, plug the mat into one of the USB outlets in the back of the box, wait for the green light to light up on the button on top of the mat (the “guide” button), and voila.  Now you can use the arrows and mat buttons to move around the Dashboard, and when you’re done playing your Kinect game, step on the guide button to get the console menu.  Germophobes rejoice!  The only times your hands touch anything is when you turn the console on or off or when you insert the disc.

Perhaps someday there will be a console that turns itself on and gets itself ready to play when you walk into the room and say “Yo, time for some Dance Central!”  Until then, the dance mat can be used for more than just dancing.

Teacher sets world record by playing more than 15 hours of DDR

Carrie Swidecki, a 35-year-old grade school teacher from California, set a world record last week with a DDR marathon – 15 hours, 12 minutes and 44 seconds.  Wow!  And like me, she’s a DDR weight loss success story; she lost 75 pounds over the past decade smashing those arrows.

Wonder what the over-50 record is?  I got two years to train for it!  (Via Charleston Daily Mail – there’s also a video at the link.)

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