DanceDanceRevolution X, often referred as DDR X and X for short, is a part of the DanceDanceRevolution series, Konami's line of dancing simulation games under its Bemani division. It was released to arcades in Japan on December 24, 2008, in Europe on June 3, 2009 and in North America on June 9, 2009. The Japanese arcade release was handled by Konami Computer Entertainment Japan, the American release by Betson Enterprises, and the European release by Electrocoin.
The game was developed aftter the release of DanceDanceRevolution Supernova 2. Folowing the development of the game, Konami also worked on a new cabinet design and internal hardware (which was requested by the fans according to Naoki Maeda) and a new 20-footer rating system that promises to clear the confusion caused by songs being misrated on the older 10-footer scale (a common argument is the comparison of Max 300 and Fascination Maxx, which are both 10-footers, but are drastically different in terms of actual difficulty).
As mentioned, the game uses a new 20-footer rating to better rate the songs. Older songs have also been re-rated to the new system and the public has deemed them acceptable. For reference, Max 300 has been re-rated to 15, Maxx Unlimited to 16, Fascination Maxx Expert to 17 and PAranoia Hades Oni to 18. The highest rating for this mix is an 18, and most of the 18s are Oni charts (Pluto Relinquish Doubles Expert and Oni, however, are both 18 footers). Despite this rule, some of the boss songs here (like Saber Wing, On The Break and On The Bounce) have Expert charts that are rated less than a 15.
Shock Arrows are arrows that are to be avoided by the player. They appear as silver colored arrows with lightning and occupy a whole row in a song. The player must avoid them by removing their feet off the arrows panels (they will still trigger even if the player just keeps an arrow pressed). In this game, hitting them results in some loss of life, a temporary moment of stealth and a break in the combo. Avoiding them gives the player an OK and increments the combo by one (in succeeding games, this no longer happens).
Extra Stage SystemEdit
On the Final Stage, the songwheel will focus on On the Break by Darwin. To proceed to the Extra Stage, the player must clear On the Break on Expert with a AA. Depending on the total amount of difficulty of the songs played earlier, Saber Wing by TAG or Saber Wing (Akira Ishihara Headshot Remix) by TAG may unlock for Extra Stage, which must be played with the Oni lifebar with four lives. Clear the song with a AA to unlock the Encore Extra Stage. Depending on what song was unlocked on Extra Stage, it will also affect which song can be played on EES. For Saber Wing, Horatio by OR-IF-IS will be available, for Saber Wing Remix, on the bounce by neuras will be available for play. For EES, the player will play the song with the Oni lifebar with one life, which requires the player to get a full combo to pass it or fail.
In addition to the above songs, several X-Special versions of specific songs (featuring harder/ more modern stepcharts) are also available for play on Extra Stage. Each have a specific requirement that is oftentimes unusual or unpredictable (such as playing a 1st mix song or picking Jenny or Yuni as a dancing character). With each unlock period, the rules for getting these songs are loosened, allowing them to be playable without doing anything else.
Unlike the past games, DDR X is mostly urban in style as seen by the logo ,the overall theme and even the songlist. Even the announcer (actually a member of Ozomatli), speaks in a different way than Londell Hicks (announcer for 6th Mix to SN2) or Thomas Howard (announcer for 1st to 5th Mix).
Also, when a Hottest Party song is chosen, the dancing stage that will be used is from the same game with some changes but with the choreography intact (there will be two characters who will be doing the routine).
Uncommon for an arcade version, most of the licenses from the American PS2 version of DDR X also ended up being ported to the arcades. In addition to them, Konami has also licensed some J-pop songs for the game as well as a new Smile.dk song, Koko Soko.
There were no big changes for the KO list aside from the inclusion of some beatmania IIDX crossovers and a handful of songs from the DDR Hottest Party games on the Nintendo Wii.
Prior to the location tests, Konami held a private party in Japan July 10, 2008 to showcase the new cabinet and the features. Photos and info leaked from the party revealed that the arcade machine will have USB ports for EDIT data (the Japanses PlayStation 2 version of DanceDanceRevolution X will be used to output edit data that can be used on Asian and Japanese versions of the game), a new widescreen LCD monitor, new sound system, new arrow panels and LED light sticks.
Insert here places where machine was toured. Indicate any notable stuff.
In the location test version, players were able to change the speed at which the arrows scrolled by (speedmod) at any time throughout the whole song. While it benefitted players who played courses or songs with shifting BPMs, it was deemed that using this trick made playing hard songs or courses easier. It was removed in the final build. It also bears mentioning that it would be awkward for players to play while changing the speedmods, unless someone else is changing the speed for them.
The game is mostly praised for the newer dancing stages, which does not mix with the arrows colors as much as the older stages and, the Screen Filter, which helped players see arrows amidst a bright background.
Most of the negative feedback about the arcade versions of the game are from outside Japan. The game was criticized for a lot of its features.
Some gamers have expressed disappointment of the new songs in the game. They were criticized as being un-danceable, a far-cry from the pop licenses and generally upbeat songs of previous games. For the american gamers, due to the American console version's unusual semi arcade-accurate songlist, it basically meant that the unlocks were no longer surprising. As another blow, Konami's sudden removal of old KO songs, particularly from BeForU, also happened in this release which left players disappointed (some of the songs were still available on the Japanese and Asian versions, though).
Some American arcades chose to subscribe to the e-amusement network despite it's high cost. The players weren't able to take advantage of e-amusement features due to the service's knack of always being busy. When the unlock codes came out, some arcades weren't able to apply them immediately, as the machine needed to be in Local Mode to accept unlock codes.
The cabinet design for the American and European versions were also heavily criticised, from the minute cosmetic changes (the arrow buttons for the overseas versions are red, in Japan they are white) to major changes. The pads have been criticised for having a different feel to them and the sensors failing a few weeks upon delivery. It also didn't help that upgrade kits were only issued on Japan and Asia, unless an arcade imports them. Comparing the new cabinet to the old design, it's really impossible to think that a brand new cabinet would break down so soon conpared to an old one. Also, the screen was notorious for being laggy. While this was also present on the Japanese and Asian versions, they were fixed a short time after release thru patches or e-amusement. Any updates that were sent to the overseas machines DID NOT fix the screen lag.
- Combo's Continuing (The History of the Japanese DDR Community), A. Chmielowiec, 2011.