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Reflection and a list: DDR

Iím fat. Fat as the guy who youíd expect to be followed around by a tuba player, to be exact. So when I roll into a local arcade and immediately rush towards the DDR machine in the back, I get quite a few looks. But give it a few moments, and suddenly J-pop is blasting and the beached whale has acquired feet that appear to belong to someone half his size, and with four times the coordination. Thus is the magic of DDR.

While, like most fans of the series, I am utterly appalled by the most recent offering, the older games are still resting comfortably in my fondest memories. The seizure inducing lights and colors paired with the high-pitched lyrics of a different language are still some of the most euphoric of sounds, and to this day, I donít think that thereís a single series Iíve spent more of my time with. Habits caused by this drug of gaming still stick with me to this day, such as holding down a button when selecting a game (the action required to change speedboosts and such). DDR, while now fallen from greatness, remains possibly my largest gaming influence, and canít begin to say how much it means to me. So, I figured I may as well make a top ten list of the greatest songs in all of the series.

*disclaimer: These are my personal favorite songs, and I have not played every game. Honestly, Iíve only played 4 in my time, along with the arcade machine, so donít go crazy on me for not including certain songs. Enjoy!

#10- D2R
Game- DDRMAX 2

So, D2R is a special one for me, and a great way to kick off this list. The song itself is nothing too special in terms of gameplay, but itís by one of the best artists to contribute to DDR: NAOKI. They will appear multiple times on this list, and I can confidently say that this is one of the best of their offerings. An excellent way to kick off the list.

#9- Butterfly
Game- DDR Ultramix 3

Not the version I remember, but it'll do.

This is far and away the easiest song of the bunch, and an excellent example of the cult following DDR has created. Is it the quality vocals that keep people coming back to this song? Or is it the damn good music that accompanies it? Maybe the easy, laid back nature of the song? Either way, Butterfly stands as a testament to the power of DDR, and anyone who has heard it, will tell you. Ay Yi Yi!

#8-Break Down
Game- DDRMAX 2

Yes, I am putting this on here. Whenever MAX 2 gets brought up, Break Down always seems to be snubbed. Itís like people forgot Brea Down entirely, but how could you? The vocals, the beat, and not to mention the difficulty. Itís a helluva song, and it deserves a spot right up there with the others from the game.

#7- Hysteria
Game- DDRMAX 2

For some ungodly reason, this song has even less recognition than Break Down, and that simply isnít okay. I mean listen to it. Another NAOKI song, and once again, one of the best. Itís catchy, itís tough, and probably the best of the MAX 2 songs on this list (at least, ones that I exclusively remember from MAX 2). A phenomenal offering, and one of the best songs in terms of energy.

#6- A
Game DDR Extreme

My reaction upon first play of song was as follows: ďHmm, this sounds prettyÖ not sure why it has that high of a difficulty ratingÖ Meh must just b- Ö. WaitÖ whyíd it stopÖ OH GOD OH GOD OH GOD!Ē True story. This is practically two songs in one, with a graceful and elegant beginning that is followed by one of the most hyper 2nd halves of all time. A truly beautiful song.

#5- Tsugaru
Game- DDR Extreme

This one is a bit odd. It doesnít really fit in with some of the offerings of the series, but it does something truly unique, in that playing it feels extremely natural once youíve understood the note placement. It is aÖ prancy song, and if played in an exaggerated fashion, (raising your knees as high as possible between notes) it can be the most fun of the list. However, it is held back by no fault of its own, but because I was never able to fully grasp the rhythm of it until just recently. A great song nonetheless.

#4- B4U
Game- DDR Konamix

So, this is where things get really rough. Numbers 3 and 4 are really interchangeable, and it really is dependent on the mood Iím in. But enough about that, B4U! It is NAOKIís best song by far for me, and while it is a little, well, ridiculous at times, it is so damn fun. It works on every scale, and unlike some songs on this list, (#2) it isnít embarrassing to listen to on its own. It just works on every level, and could easily be considered perfect.

#3- End of the Century
Game- DDR Konamix

I have no idea why I love this song so much, but I do. The rapping isnít very good, and neither are the vocals. Itís just kind ofÖ awesome to me. It was the first song I learned to competently play, and Iím sure that has a lot to do with it. Regardless, one of my favorites, but I can see why it wouldnít be for the average player.

#2- Love^2 Sugar
Game- DDR Extreme

To start off, I donít know if that is the correct title, but itís what Iíve always called it. However, I also called it the jumping song quite frequently. That initial chant is entirely composed of double notes, and is literally, just jumping. It is mind bogglingly fun, and if you want to piss of the workers of an arcade, and draw a crowd at the same time, this is the song for you. Should probably be a lot lower but Iíll be damned if it isnít one of the best songs in all of the Series.

And now, the moment youíve all been waiting for, my favorite DDR song of all timeÖ

#1- Daikenkai
Game- DDR Ultramix 3

THIS SONG IS THE BEST THING EVER TO BE IN A VIDEO GAME!!! Iím not kidding, this is the single greatest song Iíve ever heard in a video game. It starts off awesome, gives you a momentary break, and then follows it up by doubling the speed and becoming one of the most difficult songs out there. I love it, and you all should too.

So, there you have it. My top 10 DDR songs of all time. If you want to tell me Iím a horrible person for not having Max 300 or Afronova on here, please do in the comments, Iíd love to hear other opinions, as a decent conversation about a long dead Japanese game series is hard to have in the Midwest. So, yeah, thanks for reading!
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About Flamoctapusone of us since 1:29 AM on 07.12.2011