Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
DDRMAX: Dance Dance Revolution 6thMIX
- This article is about the Japanese version of the game. For the North American version, see DDRMAX: Dance Dance Revolution.
DDRMAX: Dance Dance Revolution 6thMIX is the sixth game in the Dance Dance Revolution series of music video games. It was released in the arcades by Konami on October 19th, 2001. Although only officially released in Japan, units exist worldwide. DDRMAX contains a total of 42 songs, 36 of which are new to Dance Dance Revolution.
For a complete list of songs, please see the DDRMAX: Dance Dance Revolution 6thMIX song list.
The interface used is a recoloring and smoothing of the song wheel interface first introduced in DDR 5th Mix. By pressing the two arrow buttons on the machine simultaneously, you can change the sorting method from the default (New songs first, then returning songs, then unlocked songs) to an alphabetical sort, a sort by song speed in BPM, and a sort by popularity.
DDRMAX was intended to be the Next Generation of Dance Dance Revolution. As such, there are many changes. First, the difficulty levels were renamed. Now, 'Basic' is named 'Light', 'Trick' is named 'Standard', and 'Maniac' is named 'Heavy'. They are also given Japanese difficulty names in conjunction: 楽 (raku), 踊 (gyou), and 激 (geki), respectively. Their color codes--orange, fuchsia and green, respectively--remain the same.
The general premise of DDRMAX is the same as the previous Dance Dance Revolution games. One player can play using one dance pad (Single play style), Two players can play using one dance pad each (Versus play style), or One player can play using both dance pads (Double play style).
A player must step to the beat, matching the beat to the arrows presented to them on screen by stepping on arrows on a metal-and-plexiglass dance stage. Depending on the timing of each step, the step is scored "PERFECT," "GREAT," "GOOD," "BOO" or "MISS." A health bar is on the screen, and starts half-way at the beginning of the routine. PERFECT and GREAT steps increase the health bar until it is full. BOO and MISS steps diminish it. GOOD steps have no effect either way. If a player accumulates too many BOOs or MISSes in rapid succession, and the health bar fully diminishes, then they fail the song and the game ends.
A new feature in DDRMAX is freeze arrows. Instead of just stepping on the arrow, you have to hold it for as long as the green arrow line remains on the screen. If you hit the arrow and keep it held, you score an "OK," which scores six dance points. If you do not succeed, it scores an "NG," with is worth nothing when your dance points and grade are calculated. OKs help build up the health bar, and NGs diminish it. You get extra base score points for successfully holding a freeze arrow.
A player may play anywhere from three to seven songs (not including extra stages), depending on how many the arcade owner sets the machine to play each game. At the end of each song, the player sees their accumulated points, bonus points, and how many of each kind of step they stepped. They also get a letter grade, ranging from E (only seen in two player modes when one player fails but the other passes) to AAA (all steps PERFECT), solely determined by the kind of steps they make. At the end of the game, they get a cumulative score based on the last three songs they played plus Extra Stages, if obtained (read on about the Extra Stages).
Scoring for each song has changed as well. There are now two systems: the long-score system used to determine rankings, and an independent dance point system now used to determine the grade.
All songs have a long-score ceiling of 50 million points, and a bonus score is tacked onto it based on the difficulty of the song and other factors. Rankings are given for the highest long-score accumulations in the last three songs of a game.
The dance-point system uses raw step values to determine the grade. It goes by the following formula: A 'perfect' step adds two points, a 'great' step adds one point, a 'good' step is worth nothing, a 'boo' step takes away four points, and a 'miss' step takes away eight points. An 'O.K.' freeze adds six points, and an 'N.G.' freeze is worth nothing. The dance points are also tied to the life bar. As always, if you take too many bad steps and deplete the life bar, you will fail, and the game will end immediately. In two-player games, if one player fails, they can continue dancing, but it ceases to accumulate dance points for the failed player, accumulates score points at only 10 points per step, and automatically gives the failed player an 'E' for the song.
The grade is dependent on the number of dance points you accumulate: 100% dance points is 'AAA', at least 93% is 'AA', at least 80% is 'A', at least 65% is 'B', at least 45% is 'C' and anything below 45% is a 'D'. If you manage to get a net dance-point total of zero without depleting the life bar and, thus, failing, then you get an 'E'. The final grade for the entire game is an average of the grades from the last three songs and not derived from the actual dance points scored.
Dancing characters have been removed in DDRMAX. Instead, the arrows scroll over clips of full motion video. The screen refreshes at a full speed of 60 frames per second.
The old foot-rating system is removed from DDRMAX, and replaced by the Groove Radar. The Groove Radar is a graphical representation of the difficulty of a song based on five skill areas. The five skill areas are as follows:
- Stream is the ability to smoothly go through from step to step. This is determined by the number of steps in the song.
- Voltage is the ability to hit the fastest steps consistently. This is determined by the fastest tempo of the song, and how long such tempo is sustained in aggregate.
- Air is the ability to hit "jump steps," steps that require you to hit two arrows at the same time. This is determined by the number of jump steps.
- Chaos is the ability to navigate rapidly-changing step patterns. This is determined by analyzing the overall step routine.
- Freeze is the ability to hold onto the freeze arrows. This is determined by the number of freeze arrows.
The Groove Radar was not very popular among seasoned DDR veterans. The foot-rating system would be restored to work with the Groove Radar in the next arcade version, DDRMAX2.
Modifiers are changes that can be made to modify the step routine. A menu is available to make these modifications easily. This menu can be accessed by holding the Green select button when you choose your song.
Some of the available modifiers include:
- Speed mods change the speed at which the arrows scroll on the screen. You can increase it to multipliers of 1.5x, 2x, 3x, 5x or 8x. The default is "1x."
- Boost, when turned on, causes the arrows to accelerate as they near the step zone. The default is "Off."
- Appearance mods change how the arrows appear on the screen. The default is "Visible." "Hidden" makes the arrow fade out halfway up the screen. "Sudden" makes the arrow fade in halfway up the screen. "Stealth" means the arrows are not visible at all.
- Turn mods affect the pattern of the arrows themselves. The default is "Off." "Left" turns all the arrows 90 degrees left. "Right" turns all the arrows 90 degrees right. "Mirror" flips the step pattern so that all left and right arrows swap, and all up and down arrows swap. "Shuffle" creates a random swap of the arrows, and can vary from turn to turn.
- Other mods affect the difficulty of the step routine. The default is "Off." "Little" eliminates all steps that are more frequent than standard 1/4 steps. "Flat" makes all the arrows appear the same, regardless of their step fraction. "Solo" changes the colors of the arrows to the colors used in DDR Solo Version.
- Scroll mods affect the direction in which arrows scroll. The default is "Normal." "Reverse" makes the arrows scroll from top to bottom instead of bottom to top. The health bar is also moved to the bottom.
- Freeze can turn the Freeze Arrows on or off. The default is "On."
- Step is the last chance to change the difficulty of the song. The default is whichever difficulty you selected before choosing the song.
A new feature to DDRMAX is the Extra Stage.
If, on the final stage, you get a grade of AA or better on any Heavy step routine, the game gives the message Try Extra Stage. The Song Wheel is locked on a song called MAX 300 and cannot be changed. You are forced to play its extremely difficult Heavy steps in a Reverse Scroll modifier and a 1.5x Speed modifier. On top of all that, Extra Stage is played in "Pressure" mode, which means the health bar starts full and does not regenerate if it depletes with missed steps.
If, by chance, a dancer scores a grade of AA or better on the Extra Stage, then they are forced to play One More Extra Stage. This time, the Song Wheel is locked on Candy (Star). The player is forced to play its Heavy steps in a Reverse Scroll modifier and a 1.5x Speed modifier. One More Extra Stage is in Sudden Death mode, which means that just one Good, Boo, Miss, or N.G. instantly fails the stage.
Some machines have the ports to insert Playstation memory cards. Such memory cards have to be Playstation 1 (not PS2) memory cards with Link Data from the home version of DDR 5th Mix or earlier (the home version of DDRMAX cannot create arcade-compatible Link Data, but can read it). It can exchange data with DDRMAX, as well as any earlier version that has songs that are in DDRMAX. It can also use Edit Data, custom steps made on the home version.
The home version of DDRMAX: Dance Dance Revolution 6thMIX was released in Japan on May 16th, 2002, for the Sony Playstation 2 video game console. It featured all 42 songs from the arcade version as well as two additional songs as a preview to DDRMAX2. The foot rating system was not included in the Japanese home version.
DDRMAX: Dance Dance Revolution, with the mix number omitted, is the home version released in North America for the Sony Playstation 2 video game console. The North American version is considerably different from the Japanese version.
Notable songs from this version include:
- MAX 300: As the title suggests, this song plays at 300 BPM, surpassing "DROP OUT" as the fastest song in DDR. Usually considered to be the first 10-foot difficulty song, as it was retroactively given a foot rating in DDRMAX2. The Heavy step patterns are fairly simple, but the incredible speed takes a toll on stamina and endurance. The steps briefly pause a minute into the song, offering a slight rest, but they quickly start up again with increased difficulty. The maximum combo is 573, a number often used in Konami games for its loose Japanese pronunciation ("go-na-mi"). The Double stepset is much less dense than Single (only 496 combo), but still earns its foot rating with a six-measure 1/8th note run at the end. The artist listed is Ω (Omega), a pseudonym of Naoki Maeda.
- SO DEEP (PERFECT SPHERE REMIX): A nine foot trance song from Dancemania FantasiA. It is one of the fastest songs (140 BPM) to have a consistently high density of 1/16th notes. When DDRMAX was first released, many players thought the song deserved a 10-foot rating.
The Original Soundtrack for DDRMAX was produced by Toshiba-EMI under their Dancemania dance music brand. It contained all 36 new tracks from the arcade version, an instrumental version of the song Firefly by BeForU, and the full version of the song true... sung solo by BeForU member Riyu Kosaka.
- Konami (US Home Page), makers of DDR.
- Konami (Japanese Home Page)
- Official DDRMAX website, from Konami. (In Japanese)
- Dancemania (In Japanese)
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