Dance Dance Revolution Extreme (ダンスダンスレボリューションエクストリーム, Dansu Dansu Reboryūshon Ekusutorīmu) is a music video game by Konami and is the eighth release in the main Dance Dance Revolution (DDR) series. It was released on December 25, 2002 for Japanese arcades, and on October 9, 2003, for the Japanese PlayStation 2. Despite its single-region release, its popularity caused the arcade release to be exported or pirated and placed in game rooms worldwide.
The arcade release of the game contains one of the largest soundtracks of any DDR game, featuring 240 songs, as well as music from other Bemani music titles. Konami issued an "in-game" thank you to the fans of Dance Dance Revolution and announced a rejuvenation of the entire series, but did not go into details. Konami's announcement led people to believe that DDR Extreme might be the final DDR release or that the series might be rebooted in the same manner as Beatmania and Beatmania IIDX. However, it continued to be released for video game consoles.
Dance Dance Revolution Extreme was developed by Konami Computer Entertainment Tokyo (KCET) and published in 2002 by Konami Digital Entertainment, Inc. (KDEI).
DDR Extreme is similar to DDRMAX2 7th mix. The game introduced "Beginner" and "Nonstop" modes, a mode similar to the previous "Challenge mode", but with an updated "life bar", a graded rating at the end of each course and a random banner. Perhaps the most noticeable changes in DDR Extreme are the extra stage and the updated green color scheme. Players can pick their own song to try to pass the extra stage, including "The Legend of Max". If they do well on the "Extra Stage", they can progress to One More Extra Stage. The banner of Dance Dance Revolution unlocks access to other songs. If the player passes, a special ending is unlocked. New songs are introduced, including the Bemani revival songs, like "Beatmania IIDX", "pop'n music" or "Keyboardmania", and versions of DDR Solo, Home DDR and DDR Club songs created by DDR Extreme. A "cheat code" reveals the true number of songs, including hidden songs. Pressing the left and right buttons simultaneously unlocks the Series, Alphabetical, Beats-per-minute, Player-best and Default sort orders.
DDR Extreme uses a slightly different rule for Extra Stage, although the basic principle remains the same. Players who rate AA or better on Heavy/Challenge difficulty access the Extra Stage. However, the player can choose any song for Extra Stage, though the regular ES modifiers (1.5x (speed), Reverse (scroll), Heavy (difficulty), No Recovery dance meter) still used. The Legend of MAX will be added on ES. If the player gets AA on The Legend of MAX as ES, the player access One More Extra Stage (OMES), where Dance Dance Revolution is the sole choice (using 3x (speed), Reverse (scroll), Challenge (difficulty), and Sudden Death dance meter).
Though not related, the other three "boss" songs may unlocked on different stages. Trip Machine Survivor is unlocked on the second-to last stage. Paranoia Survivor is unlocked on Final Stage. Paranoia Survivor MAX is unlocked on Final Stage with special requirements: the player must earn an AA on specific Paranoia songs - and only Paranoia songs - during play.
The home version was released October 9, 2003. This was a follow-up to the DDR Party Collection which featured 58 characters. DDR Extreme added characters Bus and Train, the dancer helpers in beginner mode. DDR Extreme included lesson mode and credits too. Also included were 4 new Bemani songs, 6 CS Extreme songs and a HELL song, Max. (period). Unlocked characters can play all nonstop modes, Nonstop orders can be turned into Oni orders and a 'diet' mode is available.
DDR Extreme adds two difficulty levels to Light, Standard and Heavy: "Beginner mode", which appeared in previous releases of Dance Dance Revolution under the name of "Simple" and also featured in Dancing Stage EuroMix 2 as "Beginner", is an easier setting than Light and represented by a light-blue color. The background animations in Beginner mode are replaced with an on-screen dancer who follows the actual step patterns of the song, cueing the player when and where to step. Players are also given a brief tutorial on how to play Dance Dance Revolution after selecting their first stage. By default, "Beginner" mode automatically passes players on their first stage regardless of accuracy; subsequent stages play to end of the song even if failed. Players can exit or enter Beginner mode anytime during stage selection.
The "Challenge" difficulty level is above "Heavy", but the complexity of its step patterns are not necessarily always greater than "Heavy". Challenge mode cannot be selected at the start of the game; instead, players must enter during stage selection, represented by a purple color. Unlike other difficulty levels, relatively few songs have a Challenge difficulty level. In contrast, some songs contain only Challenge step patterns and selecting them automatically chooses the Challenge level for those songs. In the arcade release of DDR Extreme, no visual indicates that a song has Challenge step patterns. In the PlayStation 2 release, icons representing each difficulty level including Beginner and Challenge light up when a highlighted song is playable on those levels. During normal gameplay, Challenge uses the same rules as other levels.
Non-Stop Mode is essentially the same as the Standard Mode, except players lose more of the dance gauge bar for each missed step as they progress further along the song.
Challenge Mode is the hardest game mode included in Dance Dance Revolution where the player is presented with specific goals to meet, such as passing a particular section of a some with different variations, playing a song with special modifiers, or earning a set score.
Nonstop and Challenge modes contain a new step judgment called Marvelous. The judgment uses a stricter timing window than Perfect, representing very accurate steps made by players. Marvelous is displayed after each such step in white, and is not displayed during normal gameplay.
Songs listed in green originate from DDRX. Songs listed in blue appear from DDR through DDRMAX2. Songs listed in purple appear from DDR Solo, home versions and/or DDR Club Version. Songs listed in yellow originate externally, rather than from DDR. The red song "The Legend of MAX" appears to be listed at the end credits after playing without any songs unlocked.
The official soundtrack was released on Toshiba EMI's Dancemania series of albums and contains two discs. The first disc contains a portion of the new music featured on the arcade and PlayStation 2 game along with the game's menu music and an uncut version of Graduation ~それぞれの明日~ performed by BeForU. The second disc is a nonstop megamix of the tracks from the first disc into a single uninterrupted performance. The megamix features the game's menu music and the in-game announcer mimicking the feel of playing the arcade game.