Last year, Konami held tournaments across the US to find the best DDR player in the US. Those tournaments didn’t happen without some headaches but with those lessons learned, Konami is taking a crack at it again with the 2010 DDR Championships, which already began last month starting on the 15th. At the moment they are going through the Round One Qualifier which ends on September 30th. Konami has a page setup for the championships, where locations with a DDR (I assume that it has to be a particular version however) can sign up to be a part of the Round One Qualifiers; Round Two and Three locations haven’t been announced yet.
Posted tagged ‘DDR’
Aaron Auzins has sent me a few links from Bemanistyle.com regarding some different developments in the coin-op bemani gaming sector and here is a rundown of all of them in one post – I could say to conserve space but really because I’m feeling slightly lazy at the moment, so here it goes.
First off, Konami has released Beatmania IIDX 17 Sirius to arcades in Japan. If you have a location near you that is known for importing Beatmania machines then it will probably be worth checking out to see if they will upgrade to the newest version of not. In this version it includes a new beginner mode called Party Mode where the goal is to win over as many fans as possible using the songlist provided by the game. The game does make use of Konami’s online e-Amusement pass system and in case you’re wondering what this game is all about here is a video of it in action
Next, Capcom is teaming up with Namco on the next arcade release of Taiko No Tatsujin in Japan. This is a bemani game that features a set of taiko’s (or Japanese drums) for players to thump on(as pictured). One thing that Capcom is bringing to this release will be the inclusion of Monster Hunter characters into the game which will of course mean that there will be players who seek that game out solely for the Monster Hunter stuff in the game (since MH is huge in Japan).
Finally we have a few updates regarding the US national DDR tournaments (details here, here and here). From the information on Bemanistyle, it sounds like everything was going along just fine until the Minneapolis tournament came along and due to conflicting rules and poor pad performance, the tournament turned out to be less than stellar. Thus the outcomes in this tournament might have been different but as it stands the players have already been picked and will move on to the next round. Hopefully the remaining tournaments won’t see similar problems.
The headline says it all. Despite the fact that Konami didn’t give this a lot of hype, it looks like turnout was pretty good at the first qualifier wjhich was held in Dallas.
DDR fans, get ready to compete. Starting tomorrow in Dallas, TX, Konami will begin holding regional competitions at different GameWorks locations around the US, which will eventually lead to a final tournament in December where we will see who is the best DDR player in the US. If you don’t live anywhere near Dallas, don’t worry as other regional qualifiers will be held as follows: October 2 – Miami, Florida; October 11 – Columbus, Ohio; October 17 – New York, NY; October 24 – Minneapolis, Minnesota; November 7 – Las Vegas, Nevada(this will miss IAAPA by just a couple of weeks); November 14 – Seattle, Washington; December 5 – Las Vegas, Nevada (National Finals).
Players will compete on a DDR SuperNova machine, with players achieving the highest scores advancing onto the next round. I do wonder how they might use these events to also promote DDR:X, if it will be promoted at all. A few more details on the tournament can be found at the official site for the tournament, ddruschampionship.com.
While most of the exergaming attention has gone to the Nintendo Wii, arcades occasionally get the nod for promoting physical activity via gaming, as we read in this article on the Rocky Mount Telegram website. DDR gets most the attention in this article which is fine, but do remember that there are some other non-DDR alternatives to coin-op exergaming out there (see here and here for a little more on coin-op exergaming). One thing I just realized though is that these kind of articles never give much attention to games like air hockey either which can give you a small workout if you get into it.
I do think that if we saw more exergames in arcades it would be a good thing, if not just for the exercise it would be great to since we could expect these kind of games to include controls that are difficult to reproduce at home (or that provide more exercise than simply flicking your wrist). I have heard rumors since last year that some arcade developers were looking into the possiblities of exergaming in light of the Wii craze but we still haven’t heard anything about such projects yet but with AMOA next month and IAAPA in November maybe we will get a surprise.
A few days ago I posted a location test report from one of our readers, Phil Arrington who got a chance to check out two Konami games on test in California. We already did UBeat and now it’s time for the latest DDR, DDR:X. While Phil wasn’t as thrilled by DDRX as he was by UBeat, it sounds like the game will do well where it shows up. There’s a new cabinet design that also includes an LCD screen, new graphics, characters, music, pads (they seem most similar to ITG), shock arrows, and a new announcer. It sounds like the announcer is quite annoying and whether the fans will take to it remains to be seen (also whether they will keep the announcer since the game is still in development).
For the full rundown, check out Phil’s post on the forums.
I’m not sure who the owner of Frogger is right now, if it’s Konami or someone else but this would be a great idea for a new DDR game. At the Newport Aquarium in northern Kentucky, USA they have a modified set of DDR pads connected to a 3D Frogger game that anyone can walk up and play with. I’m not sure if the Frogger game is one that was designed just for this exhibit or if they are using the first 3D version of Frogger that Hasbro released roughly 10 years ago (from the snapshot the 3D graphics are pretty basic). From the source it sounds like it plays pretty well and a lot of people still hold a great affection for the arcade’s best known green character so a new game like this would probably do pretty well as an official release.
(Not to be confused with a dancing version of “Revolution X”) Konami have just put up a teaser site for thier upcoming new DDR which coincides with the game’s 1o year anniversary. Aptly called Dance Dance Revolution X, there is no other information as of yet, but judging by the silhouette picture of the cabinet it looks like it’s getting a bit of a redesign. Also there is another teaser site for the Playstation 2 version of the game, which also doesn’t give much away.
And why the hell not!
As the Wii has shown, gaming doesn’t have to just be for the younger generation and this seems like one of those obvious ideas that no one has ever thought of. Surely the mechanics of the game would be kept the same, just change the music to suite the audience. Foxtrot anyone?
In this session from the recent Games for Health conference, Jeff Pepper, President and CEO of Touchtown, discussed his company’s work in creating Dancetown – a PC-based dance game specifically aimed at older players and retirement homes, to give players regular exercise and reduce the risk of falling.
Touchtown is a 9-year old company out of Pittsburgh that was originally not a game company, but provided digital signage and TV to retirement homes. Two years ago, Pepper’s daughter came home with Dance Dance Revolution and he “got hooked”.
His daughter said ‘Wouldn’t it be great if your customers could do this?’ But it seemed too hard for seniors, and Pepper thought “there’s no way our customers would actually use this.”
However, after an investment of 18 months on a study, with a team of over 40 people, five retirement homes on an advisory board, and the CMU Entertainment Technology Group helping out, he discovered that dance provides benefits over plain exercise.
Head to GameSetWatch to read the entire article.
To celebrate the tenth anniversary of the Dance Dance Revolution series (known as Dancing Stage in Europe), Konami has launched an official community portal for the site. It is extremely comprehensive, featuring an official Konami blog, as well as player and clan rankings, player videos, a forum, a listing of events and tournaments and for Xbox owners, the facility to link your Xbox Live gamertag. The site also has an arcade location database in the works, though it currently redirects to a “Coming Soon” page. It’s excellent to see Konami supporting the community of players that has grown up around the DDR series, and giving recognition to the arcade environment which suits the performance-based nature of the game perfectly. We hope to see more sites like this in the future!