In a gaming nation where it is now socially acceptable to shake your booty in public and with friends hovered around a television, you'd figure that more clones would come out of the woodwork to try and topple, as well as improve upon, DDR. Well the gang over at Codemasters has called upon Broadsword Interactive to do just that. The question is, have they made the definitive dancing title, or are they just cashing in the popular craze?
No matter where your loyalties lie in the DDR world, there is no denying that Dance Factory is taking the right steps (no pun intended) in designing new ideas that the group of thinkers at Konami haven't come up with yet. It's true that this is still a DDR clone for the most part, allowing you to match up arrows with the corresponding arrows on a dance pad, all while trying to keep rhythm with the song emanating from the background. What Dance Factory brings to the table is new features that improve the genre, along with recreating already popular and proven modes for fans of the series.
Visually, the game is not being bought for its looks. Psychedelic backdrops with dancing creatures, scrolling arrows, and crazy lighting are all you will see from song to song. What has gamers coming back is the music and the basic fundamentals of addicting game play. Dance Factory will not let you down as this game is every bit as fun and enjoyable as DDR, but it is the features that will make you go hmm�
Yes, Dance Factory has a solo mode, multiplayer mode with elimination and tournament rounds, and even a cardio calorie-burning mode for the vain and/or overly sensitive. What sets this game apart is the track listing. You have five songs to choose from including "I Like It, I Love It" from Tim McGraw, "Get Down On It" from Kool and the Gang, "I Like the Way" from Bodyrockers, "Pon De Replay" from Rihanna, and "Don't Cha" from the Pussycat Dolls. With a track listing like that, how long do you think it will take before you are sick of these songs? Well fear not true believers, as the developers are not that lazy or stupid, in fact they are geniuses as they have implemented an option yet seen in a dancing title until now.
With Dance Factory, you can use ANY music CD as your track listing. Think of it as Monster Rancher for the Dancing Genre. Your dance beats, backgrounds, and routines are generated to fit the song you have loaded into the PS2. This totally eliminates a limited genre for which you can dance to. Sure, you can put in your Beyonce, Christina Aguilera, or any other pop dance diva sensation. Imagine, if you will, putting in Cannibal Corpse, GWAR, Bad Religion, NOFX, Mel Torme, Frank Sinatra, Michael Jackson, Michael McDonald, Supertramp, Led Zeppelin, Air Supply, Alice Cooper, Harry Connick Jr., Ozzy Osbourne, Mozart, Crazy Anime Music, The Soundtrack to Mary Poppins, Credence Clearwater Revival, Elvis Presley, The Beatles, Britney Spears, Tu-Pac, NWA, or even Pavarotti. If it has a beat, you can dance to it. This allows for the most eclectic soundtrack known to man, as the possibilies are limitless. Sure, we all know some of these bands are not really made for dancing, but at least no one can tell you that it CAN'T be done.
Even with this feature, it is highly unlikely that Dance Factory will find too many DDR loyalists jumping ship in their favor, but it will at least pique their curiosity to try it and maybe buy it. Now only if the developers can come up with a way to do this in a Karaoke style title�