I was interested in seeing a DDR game for the PS3, given the huge delay since their last release, but it appears that Konami have produced a product with the specific aim of insulting each and every person who purchases it. Despite the considerable delays between this game's announcement (two years ago, with the tagline "You really wanted it. So we really listened.") and its release, and then further delays between the US release and the release of this version, the game still shipped with none of the promised DLC, and an annoying trophy synch bug that wastes time every single time you want to access your profile or trophy list from your PS3. If Konami really did listen to their fans, they did so to draw up a list of things they were going to specifically not include in this game. Other minor complaints include the absence of doubles mode, the revised DDRX rating system and any of the characters from previous games. Mainly Emi.
Songs are unlocked through club mode, a system which claims to emulate the experience of dancing in a club by playing randomly selected songs back-to-back with randomly added modifiers. This fails for several reasons. The majority of the songs sound nothing like music that would get played in a club, loading times mean the songs have noticeable gaps between them removing the nonstop feel a club DJ is supposed to create, and the game's algorithm for selecting difficulty is patchy at best, and will sometimes make you plot through song after song of beginner and basic difficulty completely ignoring the fact that you're getting 99% Perfects, while on others will ramp all the way up to Expert in a flash and then slap on a couple of unreadable visual effects for good measure. As a dynamic difficulty selection scheme, it definitely needed more playtesting (which raises the question of what Konami were actually doing with this game's two-year development period, since it certainly wasn't generating loads of content or creating innovative mechanics). If you want to unlock harder songs you'll probably be playing this half-arsed mode for about two hours, maybe three. Also new to this version is the Groove Trigger and Chain Arrow concepts. Well, not exactly new since they're obviously just Star Power from the Guitar Hero series with a different name. They're not too bad and Groove Trigger does add a slight element of tactics to the game, so these mechanics are passible. Challenge Mode adds four diagonal arrows to the game, which does make things more interesting, and some effort has been put in to designing new charts with new techniques that use the extra arrows. However the presentation renders the 8-arrow mode almost unplayable. The diagonals share columns with the left and right arrows, which is extremely difficult to read, and the game likes throwing multiple different diagonals in the same column at you. Really they should have just included 8 columns. There's loads of horizontal space on widescreen TVs that this game isn't using.
Then comes the real problem. The songs. Only 20 are initially unlocked, and they're all terrible American licenses. Lady Gaga's Bad Romance is one of the better songs to appear in the first 20, and that's never a good sign, as Bad Romance isn't even one of Lady Gaga's better songs, and Lady Gaga isn't even one of America's better pop artists. A lot of these first songs (which you will be playing a lot whether you like them or not, because Club Mode is the only way of unlocking new songs and Club Mode doesn't let you pick your songs) are totally inappropriate for DDR, with plodding sub-100 tempos and sparse step charts resulting in the main challenge being staving off boredom rather than skill or stamina. A particular offender is Jason Mraz's "I'm Yours", which consists of a weak-voiced American guy singing inane soppy lyrics over an acoustic guitar backing assembled from those first four chords that guitarists learn before they get to playing real music which drags itself through the one minute and thirty seconds (making it feel like about half an hour) of its duration without going anywhere in a fashion that the FBI could very well use to develop torture techniques. I Got You, Dancing In The Street, Animal, Love Like This, Hey Soul Sister, We Are Family and Plastic Beach all also manage to repeat the theme of glacial tempos, uninspired charts and complete lack of any kind of structure. The overall effect produced is something similar to having holes drilled in your feet in slow motion. There are a few good Konami Originals, but nothing pretty exceptional, and nothing that could redeem the gigadeathcrime that is the initial song list and the decision to make players play these terrible songs over and over again.
In conclusion, buying this game is giving money to support the production of similar crimes against humanity in the future. Konami just don't care any more. I'm not even sure if their directors actually believe Europe exists.