Beethoven Has Nothing on DDR

by ‘Tiger’ Oliver

It’s amazing how even the most obscure thing can live up to the age-old adage: “The more things change, the more things stay the same.” In this case, it’s more than video games.

It’s music.

I just got done playing Rock Band a few minutes ago, testing out the drums on “I’m Shipping Up To Boston” and “Don’t Stop Believing”, along with tackling “Detroit Rock City” on Hard difficulty.

Looking at the evolution of the genre of music games, it’s amazing how it’s advanced since Nintendo’s Dance Aerobics (released in 1987) and became popular with the release of Dance Dance Revolution in arcades around the world 11 years ago, to SingStar and, finally, to today’s Guitar Hero 5 and Rock Band: The Beatles. From aerobics to dancing to guitars to four-piece bands, and soon to even turntables with the release of DJ Hero, it seems like the game play experience has evolved so much from just the typical controller.

It’s not only about the gameplay for me, though. It’s about what the very name of the genre: music. The music of some of these games are among some of my most favorite songs of all time. I first played NAOKI’s “Dynamite Rave” and “Look to the Sky” by System SF feat. ANNA on Dance Dance Revolution: Konamix for the Playstation, and I can’t imagine playing any DDR game since then without either one of those songs on the playlist. Something about the upbeat, anime-esque vibe of the music brightens up even the crappiest of days – especially when pulling baseball two-a-days right after almost setting all of Payne County on fire.

However, with the release of Guitar Hero for the Playstation 2, the entirety of video games as we knew it changed dramatically. Now, I – I mean, uh – we could truly live out our rock star fantasy. Plus, it introduced me to some of my now-favorite rock songs – “More Than a Feeling”, “Ziggy Stardust”, “Cowboys From Hell”. With each subsequent game, Guitar Hero or Rock Band, I find songs that I love or old favorites I never figured out who did them or what the heck they were called.

And I’ll freely admit it, if it wasn’t for Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock, I’d have never been introduced to Dragonforce. I’ll be awaiting your hate mail, fanboys.

Don’t get me wrong, the music from Super Mario Bros. still plays in my head after 21 years of playing it, I have the famous jingle from Final Fantasy VIII that plays after you win a battle as my ringtone for my text messages, and Sonic the Hedgehog still has some of the most memorable background music in video game history. But, when it comes down to it, the music genre series brings out the best in video game music.

And, if the music ain’t necessarily your thing, at least you can get some exercise. Try playing drums on “Saturday Night’s Alright for Fighting” or “Don’t Fear The Reaper” and tell me how fast your heart’s racing after the fact.


One Response to “Beethoven Has Nothing on DDR”

  1. Lol, you have a excellent writing style. Thanks,

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