Here is My review of stepmania, since we don't have one yet.
Stepmania is a free-of charge, Dance Dance Revolution simulation game, or open source rhythm video game for Windows, Mac, and Linux created by Chris Danford. Unlike any other DDR games, this game is unique from its cousins in a lot of ways. I'll explain it.
In stepmania, you have to find any songs and you can create your own steps for it, which is called edit mode, which is in the beginning of the game. Also, you can install different backgrounds of the entire game, or to simply call, themes. It's basically a better version of Dance Dance Revolution because while DDR has only a limited amount of songs, Stepmania can have up to 10000 songs because its data allows it to do so. It's awesome. You can also basically take screenshots of your scores and show them off to your friends, or do anything you want to do. Now let's go to the gameplay. Gameplay:
The gameplay of Stepmania is quite similar to DDR. From AAAA being the highest and E for a total failure in score, there are no F's. As arrows scroll upwards on the screen, they will meet with a stationary set of target arrows. When they meet the targets, the player should press the corresponding arrow on his keyboard or dance mat. The moving arrows will meet the targets based on the beat of the song, so the player's sense of rhythm plays a great role in the gameplay. The game is scored based upon how accurately the player can trigger the arrows in time to the beat of the song. There are also Judge levels and Life levels that you can control, from Judge 1 being the easiest and Justice being the hardest. The life level is there to determine how much you lose your life bar if you don't get the timing right or you miss the arrows. Difficulty ratings:
There are actually six difficulty choices that you can pick, Unlike the DDR, which only has five. I'll list them all.
Beginner: For basic players or people who haven't played at all and just starting. This level contains the easiest songs and it contains no effort at all.
Light: Still for basic players, but the steps for the songs are a bit harder. If you still have trouble with beginner, this will own you, but you have nothing to worry about. Just practice and you'll be able to get a great score on it.
Standard: For experienced players. The steps are quite challenging in some cases, and it's basically in the middle of easy and hard. Watch out for complicated steps.
Heavy: Basically the most selected difficulty of the arcade. (I know it's stereotypical.) These songs contain hard steps and may force you to practice quite a bit before you can pass the song. Not to mention it's bonebreaking when you actually do it on a pad.
Challenge: The hardest difficulty of stepmania. These contain the most complicated steps and it might be impossible on a pad. For truly advanced players.
Edit: One thing the DDR games didn't add. The edit difficulty. You can basically add steps or customize to your liking. It's also basically the hardest difficulty over challenge depending on the steps.
Also, the bars and the foot meter tells you how difficult the song is. with foot meter, it's 1 being the easiest and 15 being the hardest, although there are some songs that are over 15. The bars tell you how much the each of the following is contained in the song. They are voltage, stream, chaos, air, and freeze, and they are measured in a hexagon to see how much each of the following is contained.
I think that overall, the gameplay is even better than the original DDR. This game will make you get addicted. (10/10) Graphics:
The graphics of Stepmania is, what I can say, Fantastic. It's just as good as the graphics from the other DDR games and everything is very smooth in movement and frame rate. Not to mention you can change your arrows, or noteskins if you don't like the default one. It's similar to the arcade version graphics of DDRMAX 2, but also, different themes make the graphics better. Some graphics, or themes are amazing, like Trance Machina. Others, eh.. not so much. (9/10) Sound Quality:
Both very clear and astounding, the Stepmania game system has sound as equally great as the original DDR games from Arcades and Consoles. Not to mention you can download any pre-packed songs or add your own songs and play them. In your own songs though, you can't play unless you add or make your own steps. Although, it is impressive nontheless. You've got to love the sound of the music. (9/10)
Comments: If you're going to spend $49.99 on a DDR game, think. While you may like DDR more, This game is totally free. All the things that a DDR game has, and it's free. I would pick this than DDR. Not to mention it has tons of crazy modes like Magic Dance and endless modes. I would pick this game instead of DDR, but it's your choice. Overall, I would give this 9.5/10. It's an awesome game and I really recommend you try this.