My latest "get off the couch" game has been Dance Dance Revolution: Mario Mix. I'd played Dance Dance Revolution Konamix earlier this year, and as I expected this game was just DDR with Mario trappings, including a story mode that's completely forgettable (with the exception of Waluigi in a more prominent role than usual). The story mode adds elements beyond the traditional DDR set of four directional arrows in the form of enemies and hazards from the Mario world, such as Goombas and Koopa Troopas. These range from minor to rather annoying distractions, but not all songs include them and in the Free Mode you have the option to turn them off.

The songs are a combination of public domain classical and folk songs and remixes of classic Nintendo tracks, but the arrangements are actually pretty decent and done in a variety of musical styles, so I didn't mind the music selection too much. The game features various difficulty modes, but they skew towards the easy side. The normal mode was fairly mindless, and "hard" and "very hard" modes weren't that challenging. "Super hard" mode definitely gets your heart rate up, though, and is fun, although as is par for the course a certain amount of memorization is needed.

When it was released the game got decent reviews, and for me this was a nice alternative to a regular DDR sequel. I don't feel compelled to A-rank every song, though, but it's nice to have the external motivation (i.e. burning calories) for chasing high scores. It would've been nice if the game kept track of the number of calories you burned in the past few days rather than just recording your total and calories burned in the last few songs, but this is a minor quibble. All in all this is a game that "does what it says on the tin", and it should be easy for players to know in advance if they'd enjoy it or not.

Become a Dance Master with these Dance Dance Revolution: Mario Mix links:
- Detailed entry at mariowiki.com
- Info on the unlockables, at GameFAQs

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