Summary Bust a move and put on a sweat in your own living room as move to the beat and get the party started.
Description Type: Dance
Platform: Playstation One
Players: 1 - 2 players
Age: 3 plus
Game Time: Endless
Developer or Designer: Konami
51 tracks at various difficulties to choose from.
Several modes of play
Helps keep you fit
Helps with coordination
Step by step lessons on how to improve
The background is too busy and confusing
Editing your own tracks is very complicated
When the Wii console came out, it boasted how it would kick off they image of video games being a thing for couch potatoes and promoting inactivity. They were a bit behind the times though. Long before Wii existed, there was a little thing called an arcade, which provided gamers with a very popular game that got them moving far more than Wii games ever have. It was called Dancing Stage. Developed and published by Konami, the game involved following the dance moves that appeared on the screen to try and get a high score.
The birth of the playstation brought Dancing Stage to the home. Players could connect a mat with arrows to their console and use it like a controller, which you used by tapping with your feet.
So popular was Dancing Stage that it became a series, each new game featuring different songs, characters, themes, etc. The version I am looking at today is the Party Edition, which was released in 2003.
Featuring fifty-one party songs, such as Kylie's 'Can't Get You Out Of My Head' and 'Don't Stop Movin'' by S Club Seven, there is a tune for everyone. Each song is given a difficulty level, from one to ten, which you can then make even more challenging in trick and chaotic mode.
Dancing Stage: Party Edition is meant to cater for all abilities. It has a Lesson Mode, which guides and advises you on the best way to perform the steps. Beginners may struggle complete songs with a difficulty over three, which does limit you to the number of songs you can actually use. But I guess that is just all the more motivation to keep practicing and get better, so you can move on to the harder songs.
The game has an age three rating, but I really can't see a three year old playing this. It would be difficult for them to use the mat, and the steps would be far too hard, even on level one. While I like how advanced and challenging this game can be for pros, I do think it needs some easier levels for beginners. Younger children would probably be more suited to Dancing Stage: Disney Mix.
One of the other downsides of the game are the backgrounds, which are very busy and have lots of colour and flashing images. I found these backgrounds very distracting, and made for good camouflage. A lot of the times I missed steps because the arrows were so blended into the background that I did not see them. Not only that, but the flashing images are potentially dangerous for people with epilepsy.
Despite this, Dancing Stage is a hugely entertaining game that makes exercise fun and motivating. You constantly want to better your performance.
There are many different modes of play to keep you on your toes. In Game Mode, you have the choice of single of two player modes, as well as a choice of how many arrow directions (between four and eight) that appear. Game Mode is the most challenging, because if your performance bar reaches zero, the game ends before the song finishes. In the other modes, no matter how poorly you do, them game continues until the song comes to an end.
In Solo Mode you are graded at the end of your performance, but in Workout Mode, you can tally how many calories you burn.
There is also a Training Mode that allows you to edit the beat, tempo, and speed of the songs, as well as customise the arrows/steps to create your own routine. However, I found this very confusing, and couldn't figure out how to work it.
For me, Dancing Stage: Party is a lot of fun when used at its most basic level, making me think it is a case of less is more. There are just a few too many functions to accommodate the pros, but not enough for novices.