My first ITG2 experience

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My first ITG2 experience

Post by Ho » Fri Jul 15, 2005 12:14 pm

This past Sunday I made a trip over to Laser Flash to checkout their new ITG2 machine. I just thought I'd take a moment to share some of my impressions for the sake of discussion.

First of all, this was my second In the Groove experience. I played ITG1 several months ago up in Ft. Wayne. Overall, my impression of ITG2 was about the same as when I played ITG1: "It's ok. I can understand its appeal, but it doesn't really appeal to me. If I happen to be around one I'll probably play a little, but I doubt I will be compelled to make a special trip to play very often."

ITG 1 and 2 obviously emphasize the challenge aspect of these games with all sorts of new patterns, options, and difficulties to truly test the skills of the great players. But I'm not one of those players. Most DDR 10 foot songs are already either too difficult or barely passable for me. And those aren't the most fun parts of the game for me anyway. So the prospect of songs that are even harder isn't a big draw.

I will say, however, that some of the new rhythms, the handplants, and the mines are welcome additions that I enjoy. My only issue is that it seems the bulk of those new elements are reserved for the hardest of the songs. I'd like to play around with them more on songs that are more accessible to my skill level.

The cabinet is great! Of course it's a Pump GX cabinet...a design I already like anyway. The monitor they've got in there is obviously an upgrade though, and it looks really stellar. The stage feels like a Pump stage but is obviously setup for 4-panel play like DDR. It works great and I have no complaints.

My biggest disappointment with the game is the lack of freestyle friendly material. I tried several songs and just couldn't get a good flow going. Harder difficulties were too complicated to add much style (for me, anyway), and easier level steps just seemed rather boring. A lot of the music just doesn't seem very danceable to begin with. ITG is more like Beatmania for your feet...a rhythm game, not a dance game (not that DDR is huge for dance either, but I think moreso than ITG).

In response, I have dubbed ITG, "FeetMania" because gameplay is more like Beatmania played with your feet because of the multitude of challenging rhythms and patterns. The game's tagline would be, "There's a reason 'dance' isn't in the title."

The interface seems a little overly complicated to me. I'm not sure why they felt the need to add another selection button to the cabinet, and navigating the menus just seems a little more awkward than I was expecting. DDR seems streamlined and quick. ITG I feel like I have to think about. But maybe it's just unfamiliarity. It does seem to still be easier than the PIU interface though.

Well, those are my general comments...I'll be interested to hear what other people's experiences have been like.
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Post by Ho » Fri Jul 15, 2005 12:19 pm

Funny sidebar note from Sunday's session. I coined a new adjective: "TaQable."

TaQable (adj.) - A dance or music/rhythm game song that can be successfully completed by TaQa (David).

My understanding is that there is only one unTaQable song in ITG2.
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Post by malictus » Fri Jul 15, 2005 12:51 pm

TaQable --- :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

I also played ITG2 for the first time on Sunday with Ho, but this was my first experience with ITG at all. For the most part, I enjoyed it; playing with a brand new cabinet and pads always helps of course.

I guess my biggest comment overall is just that it's hardly a new game at all; it's really just DDR "9th mix". At least to me. I've seen so many discussions online of people saying things like 'oh I don't play DDR anymore, I just play ITG', or otherwise comparing them as if they are quite different. When in fact they seem very very similar. By the second or third song I played, I was at approximately the same skill level as I am in DDR. Sure, there are the mines, and the new options, but each DDR version added new features too (such as adding freeze arrows back in DDR MAX).

I'm not saying I didn't like it; I did like playing it quite a bit actually. But no more or less than I would enjoy a new mix of 'real' DDR...

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Post by Fluffyumpkins » Fri Jul 15, 2005 1:06 pm

I was most interested by the fact that expert is now as common as beginner. Its almost as if expert is now it's own difficulty setting getting rid of the old "I'm a heavy player" and setting new bars for DDR players pass.
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Post by Green Tea » Fri Jul 15, 2005 1:43 pm

That is why I enjoy ITG the most... in ddr there is no true inbetween songs before the max songs (or PSMO.) I liked ITG because there are so many difficult songs (plus they are 2 minutes in length to help build stamina) Previous to ITG, I was unable to pass max 300, I would barely make it to the freeze. Well now I'm going for AA now and I haven't failed it since.

DDR does have it's difficult songs, but IMO, they are nowhere near the difficulty of the 11-13 footers in ITG. (except maybe.. PSMO could be a 11).

However, I'm not quite sure what the difference is between the two. When playing, it has a distinctly different feel to it. It might be that DDR tends to have more bright colors in its backgrounds and arrows are brighter. While ITG has a somewhat darker feel to it.

And, similar to Ho, I really enjoyed the new rhythms, handplants, and I guess mines. Mines I wasn't as happy at first, but I got used to them and they can actually be fun. (especially on vertex expert when you're surrounded by mines and you have to be right on :) it's a cool feeling when you can do it)
The main reason I wanted to play ITG (when I was still at west lafayette) was because of the hands. I just thought it would be cool to be able to play a game where you could just drop down and hit the arrows (or in bend your mind doubles hard where you have to hold down 4 and hit another o.O)

To Ho's disappointment about lack of freestylable songs, I can't argue... but when I played bubble dancer yesterday... there was some points in there that could've been freestyled (not that I would play that song alot :D.)

I haven't seen the new ITG 2 cabinet (what does the extra button do anyways? I was wondering that) so I really don't know what to say about that. And we don't even have ITG2 here in fort wayne :/ but we're supposed to soon.

But overall, the reason I like ITG is because it helped build up my endurance and footspeed moreso than DDR. It challenges sometimes even the best of DDR players (sometimes is a key word)
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Post by SoDeepPolaris » Fri Jul 15, 2005 3:27 pm

I just played ITG2 at Narrows arcade in Tacoma for the first time yesterday. I loved it.

Destiny is the best 11 footer, hands down. My favorite songs had to be High, Renaissance and *cough*Bumblebee*cough*. For some reason I actually like the Bee and always wanted harder steps for it than ddr had but it wasn't ever on an editable mix. It's a song that had the potential to be a 9footer and Roxor did it well. Sweet World rocks too.

Don't forget, itg2 added rolls, which from how I've seen them done and how I did them, are freezes that you have to step to keep alive(like a 16th run).

One complaint that I've heard a few players say is that the songs are a bit more for the expert side. While I thought the same thing, I didn't really have a problem with it. ITG2's expert steps are targeting towards stamina and strong PA/FA players. The hard difficulty has a lot of steps that are in the 200's step wise, easy enough.

Freestyle I can't pass judgment, because, I don't freestyle.

Overall, I loved it and Fort Wayne needs it badly.

Verdict: Stamina players and ITG lovers will love it because it adds more goodness, but some of the ddr purists and such might not appreciate it.
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Post by Mosh_Mosh_Revolution » Fri Jul 15, 2005 7:03 pm

SoDeepPolaris wrote:For some reason I actually like the Bee and always wanted harder steps for it than ddr had but it wasn't ever on an editable mix.
You know, me too. I was thrilled when I found that the challenge steps (in my Stepmania files) were so cool.
SoDeepPolaris wrote:One complaint that I've heard a few players say is that the songs are a bit more for the expert side.
I noticed this in my Stepmania stuff, too. >_<!! Just means I need to work harder, I guess. But it'll be great for the better players that need something more.
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Post by Green Tea » Fri Jul 15, 2005 8:08 pm

well we might experience it first hand sometime within this month :D if ITG2 ever gets in fort wayne
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Re: My first ITG2 experience

Post by hascoolnickname » Fri Jul 15, 2005 10:19 pm

Ho wrote:I will say, however, that some of the new rhythms, the handplants, and the mines are welcome additions that I enjoy. My only issue is that it seems the bulk of those new elements are reserved for the hardest of the songs. I'd like to play around with them more on songs that are more accessible to my skill level.
I don't like how they did this either. I want hands on some of the easier songs, not just Dawn. I guess you just have to work up to it.
My biggest disappointment with the game is the lack of freestyle friendly material.
I've noticed this too, but I guess you could always go back to ddr. Unless someone crazy figures out some freestyles.
I agree with GreenTea, after playing ITG for a while I think I'll go back to ddr and check my improvement :twisted:
what does the extra button do anyways?
Holding it down and hitting right changes the difficulty, hitting it in the mods menu goes up.

I myself am actually liking ITG a little more right now, at least the nice responsive pads at lazer flash. The level of play is great and I love what they did with the mods. I almost like the arrows a bit more too. I still play overhead because of DDR.
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Post by Mosh_Mosh_Revolution » Fri Jul 15, 2005 10:34 pm

Green Tea wrote:well we might experience it first hand sometime within this month :D if ITG2 ever gets in fort wayne
Wish granted, foo'.

P.S. I currently own Little Kitty Mine Expert. <3
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Post by SoDeepPolaris » Fri Jul 15, 2005 10:40 pm

Mosh_Mosh_Revolution wrote:
Green Tea wrote:well we might experience it first hand sometime within this month :D if ITG2 ever gets in fort wayne
Wish granted, foo'.

P.S. I currently own Little Kitty Mine Expert. <3
We got it? Sweet.

I'll hit it up next Wednesday when I get back.
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Post by seveneleven » Fri Jul 15, 2005 11:03 pm

NO......*face palm* we are supposed to be getting it...and i can wait to not be a ITG2 virgin anymore it looks and seems sooooo fun....darn you Brian... :\

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Post by Mosh_Mosh_Revolution » Sat Jul 16, 2005 6:07 pm

seveneleven wrote:NO......*face palm* we are supposed to be getting it...and i can wait to not be a ITG2 virgin anymore it looks and seems sooooo fun....darn you Brian... :\
Nope, Wayne Rec has it now. =D
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Post by SoDeepPolaris » Sat Jul 16, 2005 6:25 pm

Mosh_Mosh_Revolution wrote:
seveneleven wrote:NO......*face palm* we are supposed to be getting it...and i can wait to not be a ITG2 virgin anymore it looks and seems sooooo fun....darn you Brian... :\
Nope, Wayne Rec has it now. =D

ewww...I'm hoping it's a new machine or atleast they cleaned the pads...
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Post by Green Tea » Sat Jul 16, 2005 6:26 pm

OMGZ u told the secret!

and no... it's not a new machine... and I don't believe they cleaned the pads.
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