|System: X360||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Bemani||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Konami||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Oct. 21, 2008||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-4||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone 10+||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
A really cool new feature is the all-new DJ mode. Unlike nearly everything in DDR, this mode has to be played with the controller. The DJ mode allows you to combine and mix tracks from the game and add your own scratches and beats to the mix. This mode is not as customizable as other DJ simulators out there, but it is a nice add-on and a great way to take a break from all the stepping.
Of course, in addition to all these new features, DDR Universe 3 has all the standard modes you might expect. There is an Arcade mode that lets you experience the classic "three-song average" gameplay from the original DDR machines, a Practice mode where you can hone your steps, and an Exercise mode where you can burn all those unwanted calories. All these standard modes work basically the way you would expect, and they are nice standard additions to the new features.
However, even though playing DDR Universe 3 is a blast, it has one big issue fans should be aware of before picking this one up: loading times. While some loading is expected, the loading screens generally appear before and after each song and even after selecting menu items, which is far too often. And when each screen lasts five to eight seconds, it can be a real buzz-kill.
The tracklist in DDR Universe 3 can best be described as standard and doesn't deviate from the techno-infused J-Pop feel of prior DDR titles. This one features tracks like 90's staple "Canned Heat" by Jamiroqai, The J-Pop infused "Doki Doki" by smile.dk and dancehall classic "Conga" by Gloria Estefan. The track list feels very balanced between high-energy techno and pop beats, and DDR vets will feel very comfortable with the song styling of this entry.
Overall, DDR Universe 3 is the best entry in the series so far. It has managed to take a fairly run-of-the-mill arcade-style dancing game and has breathed new life into it. There is a lot of content in this game, and DDR fans will no doubt be pleased with all the new stepping (and DJ-ing) opportunities that this title affords.
Amanda L. Kondolojy
CCC Staff Contributor