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Pump It Up: Play The Awesome South Korean Cousin Of The Dance Dance Revolution Games!

 
18-May-2011

If you have ever been in an arcade then you probably know what Dance Dance Revolution (DDR) is: the original Japanese dance game (produced by Konami) where you hit the rising arrows on-screen with rhythmical fashion. From experienced players that move their feet like crazy while grabbing themselves to the bar behind them, to newbies that are still trying to figure out how to position themselves on the platform, lots of people from all ages enjoy this simple yet outstanding line of games. Not only it is fun and addicting, but it's also an awesome physical exercise and a great way of sharing with other people.

Now, next time you visit your local arcade check out if there is a similar game sitting somewhere around; a machine that is "alone" most of the time. Instead of having a '+' shaped platform with 4 arrow buttons (up, down, left and right), it will have a 'x' shaped platform with 5 buttons, which are up-right, up-left, down-right, down-left, and the center button respectively. This is Pump It Up (PIU), the not-so-known but still great cousin of the DDR franchise.

PIU is Developed by Andamiro, a South Korean arcade game developer company, and is really popular in its home country and in Latin America. Its music repertoire includes primarily K-Pop, but also has tunes in different languages (English, Spanish, and others), some techno beats and even remixes of classical music and public domain music, while DDR focuses on J-Pop and techno mostly. Also, from experience, I can say that PIU requires more stamina from the player than DDR (which is good if you plan to use any of these games for exercising), while DDR focuses a bit more on synchronization and coordination. It is a shame that PIU is not as popular and widespread as its counterpart; however, if you decide you would like to give PIU a try, this is indeed an advantage, as PIU machines are a lot less crowded than DDR machines, which are almost always being used by someone.

The best way to start playing PIU is by first finding an arcade near you that has a PIU machine. Home-based PIU systems are unfortunately rare, but if you ever decide to play PIU at home frequently, a very flexible metallic pad you can use to play it and play DDR as well is a Cobalt Flux. Once you find a PIU machine, start the game, stand on the platform, and follow the on-screen instructions for selecting songs. If the version of PIU you are playing offers a tutorial mode, play in that mode and follow the lessons (you might need 2 or 3 tokens to get through all of them). If not, just choose a level 1 (or 1 star) song and start playing!

A couple of tips: once you start a song, put yourself on a "neutral stance", which could be either having your left foot on the up-left arrow (or down-left) and your right foot on the down-right arrow (or up-right), so that your feet are NOT both on the 'up' or 'down' section, but diagonal to each other. That way, you can send your feet to the other arrows when necessary more easily. If no arrows are appearing on-screen at one moment of the song, take advantage of it and return to your neutral stance.

Also, don't commit the mistake of constantly holding the bar behind you while playing! It might make the game easier, but it creates dependence and takes away a lot of the movement and equilibrium effort that makes this game such a good workout. Instead, a better way of maintaining equilibrium is to incline your body to the front a little bit while playing, and also extend your arms to your sides if needed. Only use the bar as a "life-saver" if you feel you are losing equilibrium, or if you feel you are going to fall; then, keep dancing without touching the bar.

Just like in DDR, once you start playing and get more used to the game, you will find that you will need to move your feet differently and master several other maneuvers as you play harder and harder songs. You will also want to eventually try doubles songs, which involve using the whole 2-player platform, and even songs on performance level, which involve complex moves that will require you to practically perform a choreography!

Pump It Up and Dance Dance Revolution are both great games and awesome ways of working out. If you are a DDR player, or have never played a dance game before and would like to get started, then give PIU a try; you will have a great time. Happy dancing!

 
Category : Gaming
 
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