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BeatMania IIDX 10th Style
  opened by paleface at 03:52:59 01/09/06  
  last modified by paleface at 12:25:50 03/05/24  
  paleface [sys=PS2; cat=Rhythm; reg=JPN]
I refused to get into SNES when it came out, because I was perfectly happy with the two action buttons on the NES, and didn't see how adding four more buttons was any kind of an improvement. In fact, I hated the additional buttons.
Nowadays, I suppose I've become more or less inured to all the buttons on the DualShock. They follow a pattern more or less similar to most other pads, after all.
Then you've got the BeatMania IIDX 10th Style controller: a mini-turntable/mixer with seven buttons, four white and three black, laid out like a miniature piano keyboard, with a miniature DJ turntable next to them. This is where my motor skills have to draw the line. I hear that previous to this, the BeatMania controllers only had five buttons, and I have to say that sounds much more reasonable, but probably still a few too many for me.
It's not just the number, I suppose, but the fact that you have to twinkle your fingers across them in mysterious sequences to match bars (notes, more or less) falling down one side of the screen. A red bar on one side tells you to spin the turntable. Even in the "easiest" song, you still have many situations where you have to switch rapidly between buttons to match the beat, sometimes pressing two or more at once. Each button/turntable plays a sampled note, which more or less corresponds to the music you're listening to. There are a ton of songs, mostly J-Pop/techno remixes as far as I saw. On the other side of the screen you get to watch a little music video of the song as you play--not that you really have time to watch it and still keep up with the notes, unless you're totally slumming.
Well, I am horrible at this game. It's just that the controller is an entirely unfamiliar interface, I suppose, and that you have to manipulate it very deftly to match the notes asked for. My buddy Mr. Kitsune plays the thing like nobody's business, and it's impressive to watch. But I'm probably years away from being at the point where I can feel and reproduce the music through that interface. My hands have no ideas where the buttons are, or how to connect their positions to the things onscreen. It's a sad state of affairs.
The game's interface is high-res (interlaced), and slick as heck. It's even largely in English. I'm told that the game, however, was intended for those already familiar with BeatMania. I'm not sure that was the case, but I do know that there's only one song rated at the lowest difficulty level, and it smoked me. So I can't say that this game is easy to pick up, and they're definitely not trying to cater to the lowest common denominator. I'm sure that's great for BeatMania addicts, but probably not for the rest of us.
· Guitar Hero (PS2)

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