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DDR Hottest Party 2 (Wii)
ESRB rating: E 10+

Dance Dance Revolution is back for the Wii and this time it\'s hotter. (At least that\'s what the announcer said). There are some noticeable improvements since the previous one. The improvement is that when you disable the hand controls, they stay off! The same goes for the gimmicks, too. There\'s a new competitive game mode called Dance\'n Defend that requires the hand controls to play. My favorite addition in this game is the ability to use your Miis as dancers.

How do I play?

Hottest Party 2 comes with a dance pad that has a GameCube connector. Unfortunately, as of this writing, the game is only available with the DDR mat bundled. I bought mine new on ebay without it and saved $20. You can have up to four people playing if you have enough pads. The game play is the same as previous entries where you have to tap the arrow on the pad as the arrows line up on the screen along with the rhythm of the song. The number of arrows and combinations of them is determined by the difficulty level you choose. There are four difficulty levels: Beginner, Basic, Difficult and Expert. I was able to play most of the single player game on expert but on some of the songs I had to back down to complete the challenge.

Game Modes

Dance\'n Defend: The player with the higher rank and score can send attacks to their opponent. You can accumulate points to send stronger attacks.

Groove Arena: You have to play through this mode to unlock songs, characters, courses and outfits. This mode can be played alone or with friends. There are competitive, co-op, and synchronized modes. There are different arenas that you play in that have various stages with challenges. Each stage has a dance master that needs to be beaten in order to progress to the next area.

Free Play Mode: Jump right into dancing and enjoy all of your unlocked songs here!

Workout Mode: Set fitness goals, and see how many calories you burn. You can password protect your profile so no one else can see how much you weigh. Special workout steps can be enabled and jump steps can be disabled if you prefer. Your progress can also be tracked in all the other game modes too!

Training Mode: Need help beating a song? There are two training modes available: Training and Dance View.

Songs

The song selection is decent; there are lots of 80\'s and 90\'s remakes. Some of the songs I recognized were Black & White, Bust a Move, Walking on Sunshine, We Got The Beat, Can\'t Help Falling in Love With You and You\'re The One That I Want. There\'s an option to unlock Hottest Party 1 content; this does NOT bring songs from the original into Hottest Party 2, it just unlocks everything in the other game if you haven\'t done so already.

Graphics

The graphics are decent on the Wii. The characters load a little slowly but they look good. The PlayStation 2 versions of DDR definitely look better. The dance stages are colorful and the dancers are nicely detailed.

Sound

The game announcer is decent and did not get on my nerves. The music selection is different. I like a lot of the originals better than the covers that they used. The number of songs included/unlocked is a bit sparse.

Appropriateness

To be honest I was quite shocked at some of the character outfits/bodies that you can use in this game. Some of the outfits are so skimpy that you would expect to find a pole in the middle of the DDR pad. A few of the female dancers look like they are wearing underpants and fish net stockings. A couple of the male dancers look rather metrosexual; one of them is clearly wearing a blouse. Bust a Move is the only song I noticed that had a suggestive theme.  Given that the characters and some songs are sexualized, the dancing itself is innocent.  There are Christian alternatives to the DDR series if you're looking for something that's family friendly.

Final Thoughts

Although Hottest Party 2 has some good improvements since the original, I can\'t whole heartedly recommend it due to the sparse song selection. There are many multiplayer modes that look promising. For those who only have a Wii console, I would recommend this one over the original Hottest Party. If you have a PlayStation 2, stick with those versions.

Game Play 12/20
Graphics 7/10
Sound 7/10
Controls/Interface 3/5
Stability 5/5
Appropriateness 43/50
-3.5 for sexual references
-3.5 for revealing clothes

Final Score: 77%
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Christ Centered Gamer looks at video games from two view points. We analyze games on a secular level which will break down a game based on its graphics, sound, stability and overall gaming experience. If you’re concerned about the family friendliness of a game, we have a separate moral score which looks at violence, language, sexual content, occult references and other ethical issues.

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