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DDR: Mario Mix Impressions At AMN

Who'd Want To Dance To Anything Else?

Dance Dance Revolution: Mario MixI'm in the process of review the new Dance Dance Revolution: Mario Mix this week for the Nintendo GameCube.  This is my first time playing a DDR title, and up until now I really haven't been interested in the series or its competitors.  When Nintendo announced Mario Mix, however, I knew I had to try it because of the inclusion of Nintendo theme music.  In my opinion it's the classic Super Mario songs used in the game that are the reason to get up and dance.  I've been listening to some of these tunes for twenty years now.  I can probably hum them in my sleep if I had to do so.  Why wouldn't I want to dance to that in DDR?  Why wouldn't anybody?

I make it a point not to read other reviews of a game I am reviewing until I finish my own article, but in this case I made an exception.  A friend sent word of IGN's take on the game that I had to read to see the offending line of text for myself:

The bad news is that DDR Mario Mix features both a disappointing lack of extensive pop soundtracks to dance to.

Why would I want to dance to generic licensed pop tunes?  Why would anybody?  Generic licensed pop is what sank the Donkey Konga to nearly unplayable lows.  I have no connection with generic licensed pop, nor do I want to build one.  When I dance to the Mario music I know the songs so well that I find myself anticipating beats and moving much more fluidly.  Give me Mario music all the way.

Next time around I'd like to see some musical pieces that didn't originate in the Mushroom Kingdom, in fact.  I want the best of The Legend of Zelda, Metroid, even Kirby, and a little EarthboundF-Zero has some very high energy tunes to offer.  Some people may whine that such a selection is just more of the same, but the same can easily said for generic licensed pop tunes.  The difference is that video game music is much more fun than generic licensed pop could ever hope to be.