Rant #2: DDR SuperNova

Originally posted: April 2, 2009 (MySpace)


Okay, so I informed you guys that I got DDRMAX2 the other day. That game is so great, such a perfect mix, lots of good songs, and it was the first mix I ever played. You can't go wrong with MAX2. But this isn't about MAX2, this is about a mix you can go VERY WRONG with.

That being said, let's talk about
DDR SuperNova for the PlayStation 2 (US). I know it's several years old, but...

This game is a pile of shit. "But it's DDR, how can that be?" Let me answer that question with another. Have you ever played this mix?

If you have, and you use arrow mods, and you're an old-school DDR-er (like, 6th-8th mix, cause I think some of my rants apply to pre-6th mixes as well, just not as badly), then you know this mix sucks. From the first time you pick a song, you realize something is fucked up. Why?

Well, if you're a mod-user for arrows, like Solo, x2 speed, reverse, dark, stealth, whatever, the fact that you have to hold the song select button down when picking the song to access the mod screen is fucking embedded into your being. It's a DDR FACT. The sky is blue, ice is cold, Bush is an idiot, hold X (or O for Jap versions) to get to the mod menu...these are things we know. You don't need any kind of education to pick up on things like this.
So, you finally find a song in the default song list of SuperNova that looks tolerable (and believe me, there aren't many), so you hit and hold X to go and change some mods, but instead you see 1st Stage and the song starts. WTF?! So you reset with start/select, and try again. 1st Stage! Okay what the hell, did they take mods out of this mix? Are they fucking retarded?

Well, three attempts later, I actually stop at the song selection screen to take a look around it, and oh look: Beginner, Light, Standard, Heavy, Oni, OPTIONS. (NOTE: The difficulties are named differently in the actual mix, something like Easy/Normal/Difficult maybe, I'm not playing it right now and I'm too busy bitching about it to look at a screenshot). There it is, the OPTIONS menu! On the difficulty selection menu?! WTF!? So that means, if you want to change your mods, you have to train yourself to do it before you pick the song, and this is a huge pain in the ass, especially if you're playing on Standard or Light, cause you have to press Down all the way past the other difficulties to get to the Options menu, press X to open it, set it the way you want, go all the way to bottom of that menu, hit X again, then go back up to the difficulty you want to play on. And you have to repeat this process every time you want to change something.

In the old days, you just had to hold X if you want to change options. If you're good to go already, just push the damn button and play the song. But this whole process of mods in SuperNova PS2 USA is ridiculous. It's such a fucking waste of time! Even the Arcade Version of SuperNova didn't suck this badly, although it had the problem of not being able to enter the mod menu if you didn't hold the button down the entire time. The Arcade of Extreme(8th Mix), if you picked a song and let go of the button, you could still get to the mod menu if you could press and hold it again fast enough, but if you released it in Nova you were screwed.

Okay, I'm done bitching about the mods now. Let's talk about the songs. First off, the 32 songs the mix starts with BLOW. Madonna(sort of)? David Bowie? The Buggles? What the shit is this? There's a CAPTAIN JACK song, normally this is a good thing but Centerfold is probably the worst CJ song in a DDR that I've played, EVER. The steps make very little sense and they just suck, it's not fun. Konami's campaign to make DDR more 'American' by putting shit like Fall Out Boy and The Pussycat Dolls into the games is destroying it. "Normal American" songs just do not mesh well with DDR. The whole point is to get up and jump around like a lunatic to some crazy ass asian singer talking about random shit that you can't even understand but it has a good beat and hence a good stepchart. The only decent starting songs in SuperNova are Freckles and Flow (L.E.F. is okay too). Flow isn't even the good mix of that song (although the good mix IS in it as an unlockable).

And let's talk about unlockables, for a second. This is by far the hardest mix to unlock songs in EVER. And when I say hardest I really mean MOST BORING, because you have to play the gay ass Stellar Master Mode which FORCES you to play a multitude of shitty songs on Beginner, Light and Standard mode, then that unlocks the showdowns, some of which are ridiculously hard for anyone that DOES play on the early difficulties. One of them requires you to AAA a song (although it's only about 20 steps, but no noob is gonna be able to do that perfectly). The mode is a total snoozer for someone who plays regularly on Heavy/Oni. I checked posts that say you can play the normal game mode to unlock them, but I call BS on that cause I've been playing it, for many hours, hoping to unlock something, and nothing ever does. The only thing that that *can* be done on is Extra Stages, you can unlock one song for each difficulty you pick, but you have to clear that song on Extra Stage to do it.

Speaking of difficulty, WHY THE FUCK DID THEY BRING THE SELECTION BACK?! You know in 4th/5th mix, maybe the ones before too, you had a Difficulty selection after the # of players selection, which included ALL MUSIC mode. They took that out for 6th 7th and 8th, WHY IS IT BACK? It's fucking retarded to limit the song selection, I thought that's what the foot chart was for so you can see how hard a song is gonna be before you pick it. Maybe it's useful for noobs, maybe not, but it's still a waste of a screen. If you're gonna have it, at least give us the chance to disable the damn thing in the options. Even 4th Mix let you do that...

Another thing: different arrow shapes. Yeah, they can be neat, but you have to unlock them in SM mode, which is okay I guess, but once you "buy" one it becomes the default shape until you "buy" a different one or buy back the original shape. That is fucking stupid! Put it in the Options menu or something, don't make us waste points to change it.

I've actually looked over SuperNova's entire song list, even though it's a boring shitfest to unlock them all, and some of the tracks are pretty good - but unlocking them is equivalent to watching potatoes grow. I'd rather watch water erode a cement brick over 50 years than unlock the songs in this game, WHY THE HELL can't we unlock them just by playing game mode like in nearly every other DDR prior to this mix. It's bullshit. I just want to play pure, untainted DDR, not this stupid adventure stellar masterbater mode to unlock songs. It's boring. I want songs. At this rate, I'll stop buying mixes from Konami and just use StepMania. The only real difference is the videos and you can even get most of those these days anyway.

The bottom line: STOP FUCKING UP DDR WITH THIS HORSESHIT. I know you're trying to make it 'better' or 'more appealing', but it's DDR. It's fine the way it is. It's been damn near perfect since 6th Mix. 8th Mix - Extreme, IMO, was the pinnacle of DDR mixes. And I'm talking about the Japanese version here, not the piece of shit version that America got porked up the ass with. The only real thing that I see that can be done to improve it is put the BPM of the selected song on the damn mods menu. Roxor figured that out with ITG, why can't Konami? These extra modes are fine, but make them OPTIONAL. If I had a choice I would never touch these modes, they are BORING. LIGHT MODE = SLEEP MODE when you've been playing Heavy for years. So Konami, I love DDR, but I'm gonna close this post with a big


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