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Pump it Up is flawed but on the right track. If anything, it just needs some tweaking to make it easier and a little friendlier to players new to the concept of hitting arrows in time with a beat. It's not for the weak, the flabby and could be very dangerous to the uncoordinated, the aged, and the easily humiliated. We suspect veteran DDR players will adore the new wrinkles and twists, moves and grooves and quickly buy another pad so they can play musical twister like the weird hip-hop wizard on the cover of the game. In the meantime, we'll be over here nursing out sore muscles with Icy Hot pads.
The game's pitched a bit too far towards the hardcore crowd that's already spent plenty of time the arcade version, which adds more replay value if you get really into things, but more beginner tracks would have been nice.
Knocking a game for its difficulty is something that's tough to do, because somewhere out there, a person thinks Pump It Up: Exceed's not that hard. It is safe to say, however, that beginners will likely find themselves overwhelmed with the game's complicated steps and unforgiving mechanics, even on the easiest settings. Dancing game veterans, on the other hand will relish the challenge and find the huge list of songs refreshing. For only $60 with the pad included, Pump It Up: Exceed is worth every penny - if you've got some skills.
I'll play a game or two once in a while and though I am by no means a diehard I could easily appreciate the innovative features that Pump it Up: Exceed has. The unique design of the dance mat allows for some frenetic new dance moves to keep you and the 100+ songs occupied for a while. There are a few minor complaints with the set up of everything, but the game itself is fun, addictive and a nice change of pace when compared to DDR.
Pump It Up: Exceed, is based on the incredibly popular arcade dance game that is now available on the next-gen consoles. If you're a fan of DDR and already have your mat handy, I want you to sit down for this next sentence. You must purchase a different mat for this game. Yes, that's right, more expenses must be incurred. I certainly was appalled at first but after careful consideration I've reached the conclusion that this game benefits from the new mat design. There is a button in the center which adds a whole new dimension to the game in terms of flexibility. This isn't just a novelty, which I was suspicious of at the outset, but a significant element that contributes to the evolution of the genre.
A worthy and welcome addition to the dancing-game scene. Prepare to look the fool once again.
All in all, Pump It Up: Exceed isn't necessarily a bad game. It's a niche game, and knows this, so it makes little to no effort to pander (or even attract) a wider audience. To fans of the genre, it's stellar. It's got just over one hundred songs, each with their own backgroud videos, modes that test both your stamina and your composure, and more of what people have come to expect from dancing games. To newbies, it's got a light tutorial and a series of walls for you to hurdle to get used to the game and start having fun. Novices may want to seek out a game that's more suited to entry-level play.
But despite the disturbing moniker and somewhat unintuitive front-end, the booty of this beast is a dancing joy. Clearly a step up and to the right from DDR, Pump It Up has effectively issued a challenge. It has thrown down, one might say, and DDR will have to introduce a new revolution to keep from being proverbially served.
Still, fans of rhythm games will find dozens of hours of gameplay in Pump it Up: Exceed. The arcane unlock requirements will put off people who aren't already sold on the idea of playing dance games, and may even frustrate less die-hard fans. Still, if this sounds like your kind of game, it's worth the money. Just don't bother if you already know it's not.
Dancing games aren't necessarily in vogue these days, but they still make great party games (although the $60 PIU bundle includes only one pad). Whether you're a DDR veteran looking for a new challenge, or a rhythm action newcomer, late to the party, Pump It Up: Exceed might prove to be an appealing package.
Pump It Up is pretty decent game. It’s not my cup of tea, but I recognize that it’s a great alternative to DDR. It’s be an even better alternative with a more responsive pad, but with the current state of the game, I can’t recommend it to anyone who lives in a communal building such as an apartment or dorm. It’s harder and more intense than any version of Dance Dance Revolution I’ve played, and I do prefer this to Konami’s juggernaut, but in the end, it’s only going to appeal to a fraction of gamers into this genre, and the price tag isn’t worth it considering the pad quality. I’d say rent it first, or play it at a friend’s house who already owns it and decide that way. But if you’re looking for something that has more bite than DDR, this is your game of choice.