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MC Groovz Dance Craze
Publisher: Mad Catz
Developer: Mad Catz
Release Date: Nov 22, 2004
Platform: Gamecube
ESRB: Everyone
Author: TJ Wilkin
There was a time for the Gamecube console, a time long ago when Gamecube had not a single rhythm game.  For years MadCatz had been manufacturing dance pads for PS2 and Xbox, and they figured that since they had the design and materials already, they might as well make a dance pad for the Gamecube.  This is where the problem with MC Groovz Dance Craze arises - there were no dancing games for Gamecube.  Luckily, someone at MadCatz had a great idea.  “Hey, why don’t we develop our own dancing game!” he proudly declared.  And so it would be, MatCatz would develop a game around a peripheral instead of the other way around.
Rhythm games are usually based on a full audio-visual experience, combining fantastic visualizations, trance and techno music, and natural flowing movements to go with it.  Apparently no one told the R&D department at MadCatz about this.  MC Groovz combines a horribly outdated soundtrack, bland visuals, awkward presentation, and worst of all: poor steps.  Somehow, it actually manages to get every single aspect of the genre entirely wrong, all for the sake of releasing a peripheral.

MC Groovz is a complete DDR ripoff, yet for some reason they changed some important aspects of the game.  The most annoying of which is the arrow presentation.  The arrows appear in a circle by default, which makes it absolutely impossible to hit the notes with the correct timing.  Also by default, there are 8 arrows instead of 4.  This is also ridiculously difficult to keep track of.  Most - or rather all - players will likely revert to the standard scrolling method.  Even this is flawed however, since the up and down arrows are reversed!  It may seem like a minor change, but any experienced DDR player or anyone looking to move on to DDR will find this change intolerable.  The most frustrating thing of all is the steps.  Nearly every step seems out of place, and they have no correlation with the music whatsoever. 

Yet they manage to even take it a step further than reversed, unrelated, impossible-to-keep track of arrows!  The arrows repeat every 20 seconds or so – wow.  There is so little content in this game, it is truly unbelievable.  In some songs, the arrows even keep scrolling for a little while after the song ends.  It’s absolutely amazing that anyone thought this would be considered an acceptable game.
I can’t believe it’s not DDR!
Even more amazing might be the soundtrack and difficulty.  The game is clearly marketed toward older gamers with songs from everyone’s favorite: KC and the Sunshine Band and DJ Jazzy Jeff.  Maybe MadCatz simply forgot that no one who listened to these outdated, not-made-for-dancing songs.  This might be the first dancing game to include so little techno, trance, or any kind of trippy song.  The game is also boringly easy, partly due to the fact that none of the songs are fast at all and that the steps are way too repetitive and simple.  A child could start dancing on the Expert difficulty level and get high scores.

The scoring system is flawed as well, which is no real surprise compared to the other glaring flaws of MC Groovz.  You’re graded compared to no real standard.  The player is just given an arbitrary number of about 8 digits that you can’t do anything with.  It would be nice to see the stats of your dance, possibly give us a letter grade, or maybe tell us if it was “good” or “bad”?  The scoring problems don’t stop there.  In the game’s last-minute style Workout Mode, you get to play the same game except instead of getting a score, you get the amount of calories you’ve burned… but you only burn calories for stepping on the correct arrows!  Only on a MadCatz dance pad will you not burn calories for dancing incorrectly.