So my first post was a just a quick shout-out to my favorite step-files of the week. (I'll have more of those later this week... with links to the files this time) I have to admit, I was very close to making this a "serious" blog about gaming and shit that I'm interested in. Sucks to that, I'm interested in ITG, PIU and all things rhythm-game-related.
Let me start with explaining the history of step-patterns, particularly in the 4-arrow world. When Dance Dance Revolution made itself known back in 98 and 99, Expert mode (or Maniac mode) was non-existent and even had to be unlocked in later versions. (3rd mix). Because of the low level of the game, steps had to be accessible to most players. This meant that the steps generally had no rhyme-or-reason to them, they were just there. But Maniac mode brought us a few things we need to remember. (Know your god-damned roots)
- The process of stomping one arrow repeatedly. (ex. Paranoia 180) This pattern really worked some muscles most DDR weren't used to using, and becomes a hurdle a player must pass.
- Named after the wonderful and nauseating Smile.dk song "Butterfly", this song had the d-r-u-l pattern that players generally would spin to.
- This is what I'm really writing about. This is what you saw in charts like boom-boom-dollar, and nearly every other DDR chart... L-D-R-D-L-D-R-D and variations on that theme.
The idea is this: If the player is alternating feet with every step, then forcing them into left or right directions (rather than straight ahead) would make the chart more interesting. This became even more used into later versions Extreme: Exotic Ethnic went insane with them, and players just either had to get used to it, or learned to "double-step". Double-stepping is the technique of using the same foot to hit multiple arrows in sequence. Similar to a jack in using the same foot, but for multiple arrows.
Okay, so these are our roots. Stepmania, In The Groove and all the wonderful R21 charts out there have taken this idea into extremes with there use in 16th note and 24th note streams. ITG has even gotten more players back into spins with its use of hold (or freeze) arrows.
So Extreme was released about 8 years ago now? Most of my generation has gotten older and stopped playing these types of games. There is a new, younger generation that have taken the torch with custom R21 charts in ITG.
So now we have something else going on, a new generation of players who have not played most of the DDR charts, making their own insanely difficult charts to their own favorite songs. This is excellent news to me who got bored of DDR and Pump It Up. But there is a popular theme to new step-charts:
No Cross-overs. Period.
Increased difficulty, speed, and quality of machines have forced players to push themselves for perfection. If you're going to make a chart with over 1000 steps in it, why kill yourself cross-over and around so much? Why not just face forward through most of the song and nail every arrow that comes your way? Certainly this is still not easier, 1000 steps in a 3 to 4 minute song is still very difficult.
So that's it really... I'm still making my own charts with a great variety of steps patterns: cross-overs and 540's. There are many step-artists on R21Freak.com who love them to a fault (I'm calling out Nemo right here).
But we need to get back to our roots and twist our bodies a little bit more. :p read