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New: Finally got hands on PS2 In the Groove.
In the Groove Review
No matter what you think of ITG, please support this product! Competition can only be good, as Konami seems to be in a rut. I have always envisioned complicated battle modes which almost surfaced in DDR Disney Mix. Such Fun! There are many good implementations of battle systems on simple shape droppers.. think of the Tetris variants. That the shape stream in Dance Revolution games flow against gravity like Salmon on the run is about the only big difference.
This game is a huge jump for Red Octane and Roxor. IGN seems to think it is also a big gamble legally also. Right away you feel a drastic difference in the game engine.. The edges of the step indicators are just too sharp to be sprites. Get this: the fuzzy edged lossy compressed steps are gone! This gets really obvious when you run into a mine or other shape! Wheee! (not sarcasm) The most important and very cool thing is the focus on music and accuracy. No annoying announcer shouting at me that either I am a boy or terrible or whatever. I will not miss the announcer in the least.
At first the lack of licensed songs left me with a bit of a hunger for Konami. I thought about rejecting the ITG Marshmallows and Almonds and going back to vanilla. (not like I would ever pass up a music game.) Once the initial shock hits your taste buds In the Groove really satisfies.
Since I use my own design for Homemade Metal Dance Platforms, I noticed a problem pretty quick. The Dual (Doubles) mode would only fire on the one player side. So strange. Of course the logical thing is to question the platforms since they occasionally need repair. After half and hour of swapping control boxes and checking inputs.. the idea to check In the Groove options wins out.
Apparently the default mode is two people on one controller? Now that is a strange banana.
A few other places had this option as well; so don't waste any energy in panic mode when things get weird. You will need all of your energy to keep up with the game. Difficulty progression is done well, and songs are clearly indicated instead of the Konami web shaped difficulty-ometer. You can see the number of jumps and settings in plain text. This leads to the complaints section of the review:
Blank load screens
Score indications on the song menu
Focus point is higher
The calories I carry around are calling to be burnt. I must heed and go play In the Groove now. Awesome Job RedOctane!
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