DDR's eighth mix an extremely danceable soundtrack

Beat.trip.gameDance Dance Revolution is inherently a game about music. Falling under the bemani (beat mania) category of music and rhythm games from Konami, DDR has produced some of the more memorable soundtracks in gaming. One of my favorites is the soundtrack for DDR Extreme, the eighth game in the DDR series. Featuring quite a bit of musical styles, Extreme is the culmination of the early era of DDR and the point at which Konami had perfected the rhythm genre.

These are my favorites from the soundtrack that are in my collection as go-to listens:

 

1. 321 Stars: A speedy and fun song, 321 Stars has nimble steps and the track is a fun, playful experience that doesn’t get boring.

2. 1998: This hearkens to the early days of Dance Dance Revolution, specifically the year that the first mix was released in Japan. I like the female vocalist, and I especially enjoy the beat.

3. A: Featuring an extended intro and awesome instruments, A is an interesting song that defines DDR Extreme. Speedy yet slow, A is defined by the speed change at the beginning of the song.

4. Cartoon Heroes (Speedy Mix): Cartoon Heroes is one of those songs that requires multiple listening sessions to get the full meaning of the song. It’s happy hardcore speed, and listening to the song to learn the step pattern is especially helpful.

5. Daikenkai: Daikenkai is weird yet fun. It’s a hodgepodge of nonsense thrown together to make a rock song, with Daikenkai literally meaning “big idea.” It’s a fun song to listen to nonetheless.

6. Dance Dance Revolution: Dance Dance Revolution is what is considered a wrap-up song. It’s used as the One More Extra Stage song for Extreme, and it features a majority of the Konami originals artists that former Bemani sound director Naoki Maeda used throughout the previous seven games (collectively known as the DDR All-Stars). The short version of the song can be found in the intro of the first Dance Dance Revolution and DDR 2nd Mix.

7. Frozen Ray ~for Extreme~: A sweet synth and piano song, Frozen Ray’s arrangement for Extreme is a nice trance song that rounds out the new offerings for the mix.

8. Hyper Eurobeat: Colloquially known by DDR players as Hyper Offbeat, Hyper Eurobeat is a good song by the DDR All-Stars that makes good use of multiple vocalists. It’s a

9. Irresistiblement: A song that is sung entirely in French, Irresistiblement is fun to play and is fast-paced and well done. You are guaranteed to remember the melody long after you’ve listened to it for the first time.

10. Paranoia Survivor/Paranoia Survivor Max: These are my favorite DDR songs overall, mostly because they’re Paranoia songs and because of their speed. There’s something about the speed that makes the song stand out among the many versions of Paranoia. Also, it was the hardest song in the catalog as of this mix, which means something to a seasoned DDR player like myself.

11. Sakura: One of my favorites from the RevenG pseudonym of Naoki, Sakura is a speedy former boss song (it was considered a 10-foot boss song until Dance Dance Revolution SuperNOVA 2) that’s based on a Japanese folk song. It’s notorious for having a “32nd arrow of doom,” a poorly timed green arrow that appears during the slowdown portion of the song. Nevertheless, it’s still a fun song to step to.

12. Speed Over Beethoven: A fun take on Für Elise, Speed Over Beethoven is known for its titular speed and its lyrics that refer to music and love. It’s a fun song to listen to and play.

13. Sync (for Extreme): Sync is a fun trance song that reminds me of the early days of my DDR play career (2002-03), specifically DDR Freak and IguanaGirl, who was a moderator for DDR Freak’s forums and DDR Freak Radio. Sync was the song that she chose for her radio call sign. The song reminds me of runs and learning to step.

14. TwinBee ~Generation X~: A favorite, TwinBee is incredibly fun to step and is the first 8-footer that I learned that I could do and do well. The steps are interesting and the song is fast-paced and evocative of the series that it comes from.

15. un deux trois: First appearing in the home version of DDR Extreme (Japanese version first), un deux trois is a cool trance song with way-too-easy steps but a fun run through. It’s a little long but it’s nothing that will make you tired. The song has a lot of trance elements, which makes it an immediate favorite.

16. Xenon: Known for being a little harder than the average song, Xenon is an interesting song that takes advantage of its chaotic sound for an equally chaotic stepchart. It’s all over the place but it’s a great listen. It’s an extremely computer generated-sounding song that’s memorable.