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Submitted by Mark Simons on June 3 2003 - 00:00

The first European PS2 dancing title from Konami, all set for looking like an idiot on the dance mat, but can the game kick it?

Don't stop, don't stop, don't stop the beat du duu duuu duuuu, everybody, move your body...<br><br>Dancing is fun, good music that makes ya wanna move your feet and wave your arms in the air is always good for your mind and body. Konami seems to know this with their line of very enjoyable Dance Dance Revolution / Dancing Stage games, well as the crazy hand moving Para Para Paradise, not to mention the early Beatmania games which gave a kick up the backside to more musical games. <br><br>So to Dancing Stage Megamix - the series grand debut on the Playstation2. After a very good European arcade machine, Euro Mix 2, you would expect so, I mean put on a load of good songs, come up with some arrow placements and you are away. Simple you may think, ha, well, apparently not that simple...<br><br>For those of you not familiar with the concept these dancing games require you to move your feet on a dance mat, hitting a direction with your foot when the arrow passes over the marker on the screen – or for those that lack the confidence you can always use the d-pad, however that’s like playing football without a ball! You can see what moves are coming up and the more you play the better you get. You need practice and be nimble on your toes to really get the best out of this game, whilst not worrying about looking like a muppet is definitely a plus. A new move has made it into this game, rather than just pressing an arrow once, sometimes you get moves that require you to hold down an arrow, this is quite good, it feels quite satisfying to do and keeps you on your toes a bit if you’re a dancing veteran.<br><br>Gameplay is simple, as are the graphics; you have nice quality videos going in the background as you dance. The graphics in these are pretty and there are added subtitles for the seven licensed songs that appear in the game. This is quite good if you fancy warbling along to S Club Juniors or Elvis Vs JXL. Graphics don't really matter in this type of game, and Dancing Stage Megamix is probably the best looking of the series, but to be honest when you’re playing all you care about are the arrows, never letting up, they just keep on coming...<br><br>Playing the game is fun as ever, the main part of the game being the cunningly titled ‘Game Mode’. You can choose from single, versus or a double game; double means you use two dance mats as one player, for the real show offs! You get workout and training as well, but the challenge mode that was in some of the previous games has been left out. Without the challenge mode Dancing Stage Megamix still manages to be enjoyable, I mean it's always good dancing to good songs, but there is one huge massive unavoidable problem with this game that totally undermines the whole thing. It's the songs, or lack of…<br><br>Take a look at the list of 29 songs below, whilst it's good to have licensed songs as varied as the drum and bass Shy FX and T-Power to the funky remixing of JXL and pretend pop of the S Club Juniors and the real pop of Kyle. That's all your bases covered really, proper clubbers, beer drinking footy fans, kids and adults. This should be the tip of the iceberg however. Twenty-nine songs are simply not enough. One hidden song. Hello. Konami. What is going on?<br><br><b>Licensed songs</b><br><br>Stealing Beats (Kid Galahad) <br>Love At First Sight (Kylie) <br>The Lovecats (Cure) <br>When You Look At Me (Christina Milian) <br>Shake Ur Body (Shy FX & T-Power Feat. Di.) <br>One Step Closer (S Club Juniors)<br>A Little Less Conversation (Elvis vs JXL)<br><br><b>Original songs</b><br><br>Brilliant2U Orchestra Groove<br>Crash!<br>Paranoia KCET<br>Remeber You<br>Secret Rendez-Vous<br>Share My Love<br>So In Love<br>Let Hip Hop<br>Trip Machine Climax<br>Memories<br>Sweet Sweet Love Magic<br>Drop The Bomb 2<br>Kind Lady<br>Tsugaru<br>Vanity Angel<br>I Was The One<br>My Summer Love<br>Groove 2001<br>Spin The Disc<br>MAX300 - hidden song<br><br>Apparently the lack of songs is because Konami did not want to repeat tracks that had been used in previous versions of the game. Fair enough. But why not get some new songs? I mean there's been some funky little dance numbers in the charts. Why not put together a version of this game with really good music, some decent house, trance, drum and bass, hip hop and hell, even jump around guitar music, all alongside the pop - whack it on DVD and be done with it.<br><br>What we have here is an enjoyable game but the problem is that there simply aren't enough decent songs here to make you want to play it. The licensed songs have been played to death via radio, adverts and TV shows; okay so it gives you an advantage in feeling the song, but it's not that great from a value for money point of view or enjoyment view. This just seems wrong when Dance Dance Revolution Max in the US has over 70 songs. Konami have been quite good with Europe recently but this release just confuses us.

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  • Graphics: 75%
     
  • Sound: 70%
     
  • Gameplay: 85%
     
  • Originality: 70%
     
  • Longevity: 60%
     
Overall Score: 6/10
So there it is - a fun game, but just not enough music of quality, and given how integral that is to the long-term enjoyment of the game; it's like trying to dance after shooting yourself in the foot.

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