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Author Topic: Dance dance revolution questions
maui babe
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I've seen the video game at the arcade at the mall. My son had a part time job there for a while and complained about the same song playing incessantly. I've read about the kids who've lost weight and become more physically fit by playing the home video game daily. My youngest daughter expressed an interest in getting the game, and although I'm generally not too keen on video games, this one seems like it would be beneficial. But I'm a video game idiot. I know nothing about such things, so I come to the one place where I know people will have the answers.

Do I have to buy a game machine (x-box or playstation) to play DDR? Or can I buy a version for my home computer (I run windows XP home version). I know I need to buy the floor pad, but are there other accessories that are required or strongly recommended?

Mahalo plenty for your help!

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MEC
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for DDR itself you would need either an x-box or PS2 and dance pad controllers, as well as the game, there are other knock off's but I think that DDR is the best.
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Carrie
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I love DDR. My friend has it for PS2 and we've done many a late night sweating our tails off and having a ball. My roommate's sister just got it for XBox, but I've not been over there to play it yet... but if it's the same game, it's fun.
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Astaril
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I don't know about the tech requirements, but I have a friend who played it a lot while trying to lose weight, and he said it was a great workout. I've played, and I have to say it *is* pretty fun. It's certainly as much exercise as a regular dance class, though it only really works the legs.
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maui babe
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I really don't want to shell out a couple of hundred bucks for an x-box or PS2, especially since I'd rather not have my girls playing them all the time.

Does anyone know anything about the "other" games. I'm assuming they're DDR clones or knock offs. How are they inferior to the x-box and PS2 version?

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blacwolve
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In my opinion the PS2 version is best, but it's the one I played first, so other people probably feel differently.
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rivka
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Here's one
Open code
"Donation-ware"

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MEC
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There are some DDR's for the PS1 if you want to save money.

[ April 07, 2005, 09:33 PM: Message edited by: MEC ]

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maui babe
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Sorry Rivka. I looked at those links and am even more confused than before. [Frown]

So, if I can get a used playstation (not PS2) - what else would I need? The mats of course, but is there a game cartridge as well?

(I really am a complete moron about this stuff) [Embarrassed]

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rivka
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I've never played DDR, and only ever watched people do it at arcades. So I don't really know.

But I think the sites I linked to all have software that can be run on a PC, so all you'd need was the pads and some way to hook 'em up.

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MEC
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there are game cd's you'll need.

For PS1 there is DDR (the original), DDR Disney (I actually have this one), and DDR konamix.

Each version has a different collection of songs.

[ April 07, 2005, 09:48 PM: Message edited by: MEC ]

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Dragon
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My family bought a PS2 just for DDR, and still haven't gotten any other games.

Its totally worth the money. Really fun, your workout can be as long or as short as you want, competitive or not depending on what you want, helps with eye-body coordination... Its great.

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Coccinelle
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I found two DDR mats and the game on e-bay selling for $30. I didn't realize I had to buy and XBOX to go with it. [Smile] But I found that on sale, so I got the whole set-up for around $120.

I only have DDR, but I enjoy it and I figure that it was cheaper than a gym membership!

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beverly
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I looked for my DDR CD the other day. Can't find it anywhere. [Frown]
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Ryuko
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If you have a playstation, you do need to buy a game disk. However, there are only two DDR games for the PS1 and they are kind of hard to get ahold of. You also need to get a pad for it.

You can buy a pad that connects up to the computer and get something like Dance With Intensity, but I don't know anything about that. Sorry.

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MEC
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Ryuko, you do realize that I already posted that about the PS1, except for the fact that there are 3 PS1 DDR games.

[ April 07, 2005, 11:57 PM: Message edited by: MEC ]

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Narnia
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Where's sarcasticmuppet when you need her? She's going to give me DDR lessons cause she knows so much. [Smile]
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rav
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DDR lessons? I need to take some.
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Shigosei
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You can download a DDR emulator called StepMania. You can buy pads, or build one yourself. I'll check with my brother to see what he has to say.
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xnera
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Everyone has given good advice so far. [Smile]

If you're looking to keep costs low, then you can get a Sony PSOne. I believe they're retailing for $50, but Amazon.com has people selling them for as low as $33. A softpad dance mat will run $15-$30 dollars; I've used cheap knockoffs, and have liked them just fine. Do get a non-skid one. Almost all of them these days are non-skid, but my first one wasn't, and it would "creep" along the floor as I played.

There are three releases of DDR for the PSX/PSOne: Dance Dance Revolution, Dance Dance Revolution Konamix, and Dance Dance Revolution Disney. All three are fun, though I prefer Konamix the best. They're a bit hard to find now, but run about $20. Try looking on EBay, or check out stores that sell used games, like Game Crazy.

You don't need a memory card to play the games, but I recommend it as the storing game data lets you unlock harder songs and more characters. A used game card runs under $5.

The advantage of getting a Playstation is that you know it will all work together. This is not true about the shareware PC games, but they're an option as well.

I've heard that there is an official DDR release for PC, called (obviously) DDR PC, but I have never seen it. I've also heard that there are USB versions of dance pads, but I've been looking for one and haven't been able to find one yet.

I've recently been testing both Dance With Intensity and StepMania, which are fan-written dancing game for the PC. I was impressed with both. StepMania runs a bit better on my machine, and the interface is just slightly slicker. It also runs both DWI and SM dance files, so I recommend that. However, I can only run it after a fresh boot; if I've had my PC running for a while and had lots of programs open, it tends to crash due to low resources. I have an Athlon 800 Mhz with 128 MB and a basic video card, so if you have anything better than that you should be fine.

Fans HAVE made step files for the official DDR songs for both DWI and SM, though this is not entirely legal. There's also many, MANY original step files made to fun songs (I especially like the marathon version of "FAME!" that someone made), but the quality of these is hit or miss. It's hard to find ones with easier steps (I'm only at the 4-6 feet range), but the biggest issue is syncing problems. Too many of the steps aren't synced exactly to songs, making them a bit difficult to play.

The biggest drawback to DWI and SM is finding a way to get a dance pad working with them. A USB pad would likely be best, but it's not a guarentee. You can get a PSX-to-USB converter so you can hook a Playstation mat to your PC, but many of them don't work correctly because they rely on the axis rather than treating each button as seperate. This means you can't do the jumps that require stepping on two arrows at once, or even leave your foot on one arrow to step on another. I can tell you the Radio Shack converter has this issue, because that's the one I recently purchased; I'll probably return it, but I've been using it and setting SM to FailOff mode and ignoring the boos, just so I can have fun playing and get some exercise. The StepMania site has a list of compatible adapters that you'll want to check out if you go the PC route. An adapter runs $10-$20; and again, you'd need a dance mat, for about $15-$30. I believe both DWI and SM are donation-ware, meaning you don't have to pay any money if you don't wish to.

Links:

http://www.bemanistyle.com - to download step files for DWI and SM

http://www.ddrfreak.com - for all sorts of DDR information. I especially like their Step Chart generator for official DDR songs.

http://www.ddruk.com - just came back online after a several-month absence. I haven't checked out the new site yet, but they previously offered step file downloads. They also have a Step Chart Generator, and theirs can produce step charts for DWI step files.

[ April 08, 2005, 10:07 AM: Message edited by: xnera ]

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maui babe
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Thanks for all of your help. I bought a pair of pads with a USB adaptor on eBay for $40 including shipping. I'll try the PC versions first. If I have a problem with that, I'll buy a used PS1 on eBay... I've seen several for $20-30. I made sure the pads I bought are compatible with PS1, just to be safe.

I really stressed about this more than I should have probably. My ex-husband is a computer whiz and always kept my machines running and up to date. I have neither the time nor the inclination to keep up with all of this stuff. It's nice to "know" people who can help.

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sarcasticmuppet
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I'm here! Anyway I know of either DDR or DDR-like dance mats that have AV cords that plug directly into your tv--no console required. I played one at a mall once and found it to be kinda lame graphicswise, but it can be a good way to see how you enjoy playing it.

This site has a lot of options, and I think this site at one time had links to the said direct-to-tv pads, but now I'm not sure. I'll keep looking. [Smile]

I am actually starting to consider getting an xbox just so I can play DDR on my own.

edit: It DOES have the direct-to-TV pad! It might be the same one I tried at the mall--8 bit graphics.

[ April 08, 2005, 04:51 PM: Message edited by: sarcasticmuppet ]

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TMedina
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Not that I'd ever buy one of these things, but I do have a technical question:

What's the approximate, functional life of one of these dance pads?

What kind of wear-and-tear are they realistically expected to take?

-Trevor

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sarcasticmuppet
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TMedina, what usually happens when a dance pad breaks is either the sensors within the pad shift from the arrow boxes or the sensors just stop sensing. I've experienced the shifting problem with my roommate's pads but I think that also has to do with the fact that PS2s suck. I've also played on a high quality metal and plastic hard-surface pad. They're not indestructable either, once in a while you're expeced to replace individual arrows whose sensors have stopped working for whatever reason.
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Primal Curve
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quote:
I've experienced the shifting problem with my roommate's pads but I think that also has to do with the fact that PS2s suck.
Not that I think the PS2 is the epitome of technological wizardry, but I'm trying to figure out this statement. Because the third-party controller breaks, the console itself sucks? Does not compute.
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xnera
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http://www.ddrfreak.com/library/contributor-article.php?postID=7890244

quote:
What's the approximate, functional life of one of these dance pads?

I've done a lot of lurking about the various DDR forums, and from what I hear, a basic softpad lasts anywhere from 3 months (on heavy, daily play) to over a year. There are modifications you can do to a softpad to make it last longer, but I've never tried them. I'm really tempted, though; it's much cheaper than a metal pad.

Metal pads last a bit longer, from six months to several years. Unforunately, most reviews I've read have led me to believe that the quality is hit-or-miss. The Cobalt Flux seems to be the best bet, as I've seen the least amount of complaints about it (but still plenty); however, it's also the most expensive, at over $300.

Over time, a soft pad may develop tears on the front or back (my cat ripped mine -.-), decreased sensitivity due to overuse/shifting of contact pads, or hypersensitivity (the pad thinking an arrow is hit when you're not stepping on it, due again to shifting of contact pads).

Mental pads suffer from cracked arrows and decreased sensitivity. Cobalt Flux uses sturdier arrows, and also sells replacements.

maui babe, both Dance With Intensity and StepMania allow you to play with the keyboard, so you could download them today if you like to get a feel for the interface. Once you get your pads, you'll need to install the drivers for the USB converter. You'll then need to configure the pads within the games. This is done via the option menu; you simply step on each arrow to assign it to a command. I found that DWI would not read the pad at all, but StepMania had no issues, other than the USB converter not ignoring the axis.

Both DWI and SM come with little or none step files/songs, so you'll need to download them from Bemani Style (or DDRUK, if they're doing that again). Both sites require registration. When I get home, I'll create a list of originals that I liked so you have some good songs.

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Altáriël of Dorthonion
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I'm the only DDR fan in my house. My brother bought the UltraMix version for X-box which came with the dance pad as well. I must say I recommend getting the PS2 version though because they've got more variety in the games. X-Box only has ultramix with PS2 has like 5 more versions of the game.
I think you can find the items you need at any Fry's Electronics. I don't know if they have a website, you might wanna check that. Or if you live in the San Diego area, get driving directions from Yahoo, Mapquest or Google.

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sarcasticmuppet
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I find PS2s to be some of the most poorly designed pieces of hardware to be found. Though I try to blame any sensory problems either with my own deficiencies or with the pad, the fact of the matter is that there are days when the pad works perfectly, and other days when it doesn't work at all. The not-so-good days almost always correlate with the game crashing completely because the PS2 simply isn't in the mood to be played upon. It's already gone to the point where it refuses to play DVDs. It's only a few years old, and now it's on its death throes. Why, I ask. Why???
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Altáriël of Dorthonion
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Another Sony conspiracy of course.
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MEC
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Just for clarification, these are all the DDR games available, found on the konami website.

PC DDR games:

DDR

PS1 DDR games:

DDR
DDR Disney
DDR Konamix

PS2 DDR games: (note: PS1 games will work with PS2)

DDR Extreme
DDR Max
DDR Max2

X-Box DDR games:

DDR Ultramix
DDR Ultramix2

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xnera
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As promised, here is a list of songs I like.

First, official DDR songs. You may or may not be able to find step files for these. I didn't feel bad about downloading them, because I already own most of the songs on the PSX releases; I was just downloading them so I had all my favorite songs in one place, without having to switch discs. As for the songs I don't own a liscense to, I fully intend to buy the PS2 releases--as soon as I get a PS2 and a bit of money. [Smile] I strongly believe in supporting artists who work I enjoy, and I most definitely enjoy DDR.

Anyway, on to the songs. For fun I'm linking to the Light step chart for each, as that's the level I play. Step charts are available for both harder and easier levels.

Graduation
Fun, catchy J-pop tune. The light steps are pretty easy; I can also do Standard on a good day. It's a good song to warm up to.

Speed Over Beethoven
Für Elise technofied. Great song, great fun. I can get 100+ combos on light.

Cutie Chaser
This is an old favorite, and one I played a lot when I was starting out. I still enjoy it, though now I try to beat the Standard.

diving money
It's Jumptastic!

I Do I Do I Do
Another easy, catchy J-pop. This one has an example of freeze arrows.

If You Were Here
LOVE the tune. It's on the hard end of Light, with lots of jumps and some eighth notes. I can pass this one, but only on nights when my stamina is good.

Look to the Sky
Another old favorite.

Macho Duck
Okay, this one is super easy, but I am including it because it makes me smile. How can you not love Macho Man redone as Macho Duck, complete with Donald dancing in the background?

Night of Fire
This was the first song I mastered when I got my PSX and started playing DDR regularly. I think I failed it at least ten times before I finally passed it. I was so proud when I finally mastered it and had it nearly memorized.

patsenner
A cool song with some fun jumps in the middle.

The Earth Light
A rockin' song that, to me, feels like it could come out of The Matrix. At least, that's what I always think of when I play it, so I always feel ultra-cool. It's also a bit difficult for me with jumps and eighth notes, so I'm pleased whenever I pass it.

Now, on to the fan-made originals. Some of these are better than others--more original steps, better syncing, etc. I've found that some are easier on keyboard than on the pad; I'm guessing that's mostly a syncing issue. My fingers are better at fine control, whereas my feet just want to move to the beat. [Smile] It could also be because some of these songs aren't really dance songs, so they have frequent tempo changes, making it hard to stay at a steady pace. I enjoy them all, though. I'm listing them as Name of Song - Step writer - # of feet. The more feet a song has, the more difficult it is. As you can see, I prefer songs that provide a variety of difficulty levels. Lots of step artists write Standard or Heavy only; it can be frustrating to download a song you like only to find out there's one level, and it's too advanced for you to play.

I believe most of these are DWI files; a few might be StepMania, though. Both types will play in StepMania.

Fame (Full Version), Storm Dragon, 4/5/9.
A Marathon version of a fun, loved song. The Light is nonstop tapping joy; the Standard is just a bit more difficult with a few extra jumps and some eighth notes. SO MUCH FUN!!

Mount Gagazet (techno mix), Storm Dragon, 2/5/8
Another Marathon I really enjoy. This would be a good one to do if you're trying to increase stamina; although it's long, it's not too hard.

Zorba, Armalyte, 3/6/9/10
A greek-style tune that will have you shouting OPA! The steps are easy and a bit repetitive, but they suit the music well, and the tune itself is just a joy.

Chariots of Fire, Storm Dragon, 5/6/7
A lot of beginning step artists go crazy with freeze arrows that often don't make much sense; it's like they just cram them in because they think they're cool. The freezes here fit in perfectly with the song. It's an intuitive step chart that's fun to play.

Hymn, Armalyte, 4/6/8
This song feels short, but it's so much fun. It starts out slow and a bit easy, and then adds more and more steps. A great tune, and a fun step file. One of my favorites.

I Like Chopin, Storm Dragon, 4/6/7/9
SO VERY CATCHY! I love this song. The steps can be a bit tricky, because the song has a slow section that I haven't quite gotten the hang of yet, and it also pauses in a few places, which can throw you off the first time through because you're not expecting it. This is either a Long or a Marathon; I have a hard time completing it because there's a lot of steps in it. I really, really love this song though.

I Love The Nightlife, Juub005, 1/2/6/7
A decent step file to an old classic. Kudos to the step artist for making a Beginner level!

Lemmings, Nifta, 3/5/7/9
A darling song about the classic video game, complete with animated background. The song is fun, and so are the steps. It's a Long, so there's plenty of play, too.

Tetris, Super Ray, 4/5/8
A catchy tune from the popular video game. Lots of jumps, and a bit repetitive, but the steps fit the music very well, so I enjoy it. I believe this one also has some really fun freeze arrows.

That should get you started! [Big Grin] You'll need to register at Bemani Style before you download any songs, but if I recall correctly they just ask for a username, password, and email address. Feel free to IM or email me with any questions. Contact info's in my profile.

[ April 08, 2005, 09:27 PM: Message edited by: xnera ]

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MaydayDesiax
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For my 20th birthday, I got a PS2. The reason why I got that one instead of a PS1 is because we've had a PS2 in the past so I have a few games for it, and it also plays DVDs (giving me my own lightweight DVD player for my television in my room). I also got DDR and the game pads (we got two for 35--my brother and I play along).

I own and have played DDR Extreme, and it not only has a tutorial to learn how to play, but if you get a memory card--which runs roughly anywhere from 10 (if you know the right people) to 30 bucks--when you use the exercise part it will save all your information and keep track of your progress. The exercise option is also a great place to practice outside of the actual game (which kicked my rear when I first played it), and you can go as long as you want.

All in all, it's terribly addicting, and I love it.

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TomDavidson
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You know, I get DDR. It's not my kind of fun, but I appreciate that some people enjoy it. But people who really enjoy it kind of scare me. [Smile]
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sarcasticmuppet
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Burning Heat is my favorite song *ever*. It's like, 80s video game music. Way awesome. My next favorite is Tsugaru -- that's the one I kept playing at Narniacon. [Smile]
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Wowbagger the Infinitely Prolonged
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You haven't seen DDR action til you've been to Japan. Japanese people LOVE that game. There is no easier way to earn repect than to be a good DDR player.
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Mr.Funny
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We use the Stepmania program at home. My brother built his own pad using plywood, lucite (sp?), some sheet metal, and a heavily modified cheap USB controller. Works great, though we have to use shoes to play it because the design includes screw heads sticking up through the pad. My favorite songs would probably be Sakura, Tsugaru, and/or The Legend of Max. I'm currently in the 9-10 foot range as far as skill level goes. DDR is fun! I'm the reason half of a dozen of my friends are now addicted to it. [Razz]
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xnera
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Mr. Funny, do you know how much it cost your brother to build his pad? I've looked at pad-building instructions online and had gotten the impression that it cost around $100. Not cheap, but much cheaper than the commerical metal pads. I might choose to go this route in the future.
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Mr.Funny
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He says around 50-60 bucks, but he did have some materials on hand.
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maui babe
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Okay, I got my DDR pads, and I downloaded Stepmania, which seems to be running okay. But I don't have any songs and all of the links I've tried (including some of the ones suggested herein) don't seem to have any songs available for down load...

Where can I go to find a song to download?

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xnera
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Bemani Style has songs available for download in their Simfile database, but you've got to register on the site in order to download them.
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Emily W
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Along the lines of pad life:

Last year I went DDR crazy! I played everyday on workout mode for thirty minutes.

That’s one of the benefits of having the console version of the game. It has workout mode.

It calculates how many calories you burn with each step based on your weight. And then it keeps a record. So you can go back and see, “oh, I burn three-hundred calories this day, two-hundred the next” ect.

Playing that much wore my pads out fast. I went through a new pad about every three months. I bought Mad Catz pads from Electronics Boutique, and insured them for a dollar extra.

With the insurance they will replace the pads up to a year after you buy them. If you plan on using them a lot I would recommend getting the insurance.

All in all I lost around thirty pounds playing this game. I never got bored with it, and I don’t regret all the money I spend to by the PS2, pads and videogame.

The only reason I stopped playing so hard was because I developed shin splints. Make sure your kid plays on carpeting with padding, not a concert floor.

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Teshi
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*bump for no reason other than to set up an adjacent thread line thing*
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MEC
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Cheater!
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Teshi
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*shifty eyes*
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