DanceDanceRevolution II, which is actually the 6th game in the DDR series for Wii, hits the streets today. Rather than compete with the Just Dance juggernaut, DDR II is turning to their old-school fans in several ways: two-mat doubles mode is back (YAY!! :)), you can buy the game separately rather than in a mat bundle (another YAY!), and there is a “Stop Diabetes” logo on the box.
DDR and diabetes go back quite a ways. The American Diabetes Association (who is behind the Stop Diabetes logo) printed an article way back in 2004 that called active video games like DDR “an effective means to reverse obesity and prevent diabetes.” More recently, a study was announced that will directly compare DDR-playing with treadmill exercise in blood sugar control.
Konami has announced the next DDR, DanceDanceRevolution II, and the biggest news, for me anyway, is that DOUBLES IS BACK! 😀
I love DDR doubles (playing on 2 mats, side by side) and was thrilled to see doubles offered in the workout modes of the last two PS2 DDR games, X and X2. But when DDR was introduced to Wii with Hottest Party, the lack of doubles cooled my enthusiasm, and as three more Wii games went by and no doubles, I figured it had gone the way of the original Xbox.
But my heart leaped when I saw the above screenshot on Konami’s DDRII page! I don’t know what songs the game will have, if they will also resurrect Edit mode, or what workout mode will be like (plenty of room for improvement there). But because of doubles, this is on my wish list. Domo arigato, Konami!
A while back, I wrote a post about how you can get a fun and unique core workout using DDR. This time, we’re going to use the game as a fun little balancing exercise that you can do whenever you have a spare ten minutes, or just need to take an all-important break from sitting.
I got this idea while watching a “knee training” workout by Mark Verstegen, on the sportskool on-demand cable channel. I’m a big fan of Verstegen’s Core Performance book series, in which the theme is that your body moves as one integrated unit. Thus, if you’re having knee problems, it could be that your hips or other joints and muscles aren’t doing their jobs, and need to be retrained to take the load off your knees. The many hours of sitting that people do nowadays is causing not just obesity, but also tight hips and “lazy” glutes.
One exercise in Mark’s workout consisted of hopping back and forth over a line, without letting the other leg touch the ground, and another exercise consisted of hopping from one leg to the other, pausing for a second each time to get one’s balance. I thought, “that looks like a job for DDR!” So I tried it out on the Wii game DDR Hottest Party 3, after shutting off the jumps in the options menu. (This is on the main menu under Options and Individual Options. You might also want to turn on Cut to get rid of faster steps.)
I played Lessons 1, 2 and 3 – all beginner level songs, but just by making a “rule” that only one foot could touch the floor at any time, they became quite a challenge! Beginner songs are actually a little harder than “basic” songs when played this way, because they have fewer steps, causing you to have to balance on one leg longer.
This is a fun way to enjoy beginner-level songs (I like those “Lesson” songs) and if you have the PS2 or Xbox DDR games, you can use Edit Mode to craft a balancing workout for other songs as well.
Lisa of Wii Fitness and Gaming asked me to write a guest post for her blog, so I wrote a post about how I add Wii games to my strength training routine of kettlebells and heavy weights. Check out my post here, and see the rest of her blog (and her Wii Fitness Examiner page) for more great Wii workout ideas.