Dancing Stage Unleashed 2 - Xbox

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Dancing Stage Unleashed 2 (Xbox)
Viewed: 2D Static screen Genre:
Rhythm: Dance
Media: DVD Arcade origin:No
Developer: Konami Soft. Co.: Konami
Publishers: Konami (GB)
Released: 13 May 2005 (GB)
Ratings: PEGI 3+
Connectivity: Xbox Live, Live Online Enabled
Accessories: Dance Mat Controller


Following the huge success of the original Xbox release, Dancing Stage Unleashed 2 offers a number of key advancements. While the core gameplay of using a dance mat controller to match a series of corresponding arrows as they move up screen remains intact, the development team has added a number of new gameplay modes, and a host of new licensed dance tracks.

Significantly for a party game such as this, Dancing Stage Unleashed 2 now features a wider range of Xbox Live modes. Via the online system, players can download new tracks, characters and challenge modes, and can also swap specially choreographed dance routines with like-minded fans. There is also an all-new 'Tournament' function wherein up to 8/16 users can participate in online 'dance-offs', with the greatest movers making it to a centrally housed Hall of Fame. Also, players can now play against dancing fans in the US, as well as their European counterparts.

Three new Xbox Live-dedicated gameplay modes have also been created. 'Versus Doubles' allows two players to battle it out either online or against a friend using double steps, while the 'Attack Mode' sees the user storing down arrow steps to boost a 'Step Zone' bar or deplete that of their opponent. As the bar is reduced, so the time the player is given to see the next line of arrows as they appear dwindles, until the bar is fully removed and the game is over. Finally, 'Bomb' mode sees online players passing a fizzing bomb to each by successfully completing tricky combos with those who make mistakes blown out of the game until only a winner remains. All these elements have been designed to make the most of the Xbox's Live capabilities, and can also be used offline.

The 'Bomb' mode also forms part of an all-new 'Party' mode exclusive to the Xbox game. This features a number of fun sub-games including 'Quad' mode where one user must use four mats simultaneously! Similarly, the equally exclusive 'Sync' mode challenges up to four players to perform a set routine to a chosen track. However, if one person makes a mistake, it is game over for all concerned.

Dancing Stage Unleashed 2 includes more than three dozen songs, of which 14 are licensed tracks, each of which is accompanied by its relevant promo video. The tracks in the new game span a range of decades and include 'Where's your head at' by Basement Jaxx and Girls Aloud's 'Love Machine' to cater for pop fans, while the likes of the classic 'Step On' by the Happy Mondays and 'Alright' by Supergrass offer a slice of the indie scene. A couple of true dance classics are also included in the shape of Donna Summer's 'Hot Stuff' and 'A Town Called Malice' by The Jam.

With sales of the Dancing Stage series continuing to grow, Dancing Stage Unleashed 2 is certain to enjoy the rapturous reception of its many predecessors. All new game modes, and a wealth of new ideas and sub-games add new depth to the classic, toe-tapping gameplay, while the ever-present 'Calorie Counter' mode helps the game double as a fun means of losing weight.