Tuesday 30 October 2007

She's got that dark rhythm in her soul

I have a bit of a fondness for rhythm games. It started at the Game On exhibition five years ago, where they had a couple of dance pads hooked up to a PlayStation version of Dance Dance Revolution. I'd never seen it in arcades (having stopped frequenting them sometime around the Teenage Mutant NinjaHero Turtles game), so this strange and mysterious concept of stepping on arrows in time (well, vaguely in time) with music was rather interesting. A group of us picked up the game and a couple of pads, which was good for a giggle, but no good for non-console-owning me, until a bit of Googling turned up Stepmania and a PlayStation-to-USB connector.

Stepmania also had a huge advantage over the PlayStation game in that you could download extra songs, rather than be stuck with the fairly small collection of not-entirely-rubbish tunes on the official version. My personal favourites were the classic rock n' roll songs (Johnny B. Goode, Surfin' USA etc.), which bizarrely seemed to come from "DDR: Disney's Rave". As games go, it's not a bad workout either, which is no bad thing for me.

Then there was Guitar Hero and its open source PC equivalent, Frets on Fire, as I posted about a few times, basically the same thing only pushing buttons on a plastic guitar instead of stepping on a mat but very much more my style of music (I can't believe the scarcity of user-made thrash metal songs in Stepmania) , and I'm eagerly awaiting the third instalment of that for the Wii (and slightly miffed that it's already out in America). Rayman Raving Rabbids on the Wii also has a nunchuck-shaking rhythm game which is rather fun (and has the bonus of weird dancing mutant bunny things). As a result of all those (and general laziness), my dance pad's been folded up in the corner of the room for a while, but I may have to dust it off after spotting Dance! Online (follow that link to sign up with me as your referrer for... er... I dunno, really, but still) over at RandomBattle. I thought after the 600Mb-ish initial download I might be shaking my groove thang (as I rather believe they say on the street), but it turns out it wants to patch itself up with another couple of billion files, so looks like it'll have to wait 'til tomorrow before I strut my funky stuff (man).

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