DDR X (US) dedicated cabinet review

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Re: DDR X (US) dedicated cabinet review

Post by Ho » Sun Jul 05, 2009 6:35 pm

I visited GameWorks Studio last Thursday to evaluate the sensor updates that Geochi1 confirmed were installed at this location. Here are two videos from this visit:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0-OXUmG-k_M
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h67BvkcD0Bw

This is now my third visit to play on this machine and it seems to be getting slightly worse each time. The screws that hold the top plate down to the stage did appear to show some signs of use. Combined with the confirmation from Geochi1, I have to assume that some work was performed. However, the sensor update does not seem to have any positive effect on the performance of the stage. Additionally, some of the panels now make a creaking sound when you step on them as shown in the second video.

As before, the game is playable, but the experience of doing so is greatly diminished by the poor performance of the stage. I tried to concentrate only on the game itself and did manage to find a number of songs that sounded interesting to me and that I would like to play. I even attempted some freestyle performances. I found the flat stage was relatively freestyle friendly if only it registered better.

This makes me only more disappointed as I have stated before that my opinion of the song selection in DDR has been declining beginning with DDRMAX. I did enjoy MAX2 and Extreme was fine except for the fact that its long life gave me the opportunity to play it out to the point of boredom. SuperNOVA was disappointing after the long wait. SuperNOVA2 was better, but distribution (in my area) has been so low that I have had very few opportunities to actually play it.

So now DDR X seems to have great promise except for the announcer (the only DDR announcer I can say I have ever hated). I think I would be excited about this game if I could play it on a cabinet that wasn't of such distractingly poor quality and design. As it stands currently, I just can't say I feel particularly good about spending money for such a second rate experience.
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Re: DDR X (US) dedicated cabinet review

Post by trythil » Sun Jul 12, 2009 2:04 am

Geochi1 wrote: Thank you for the feedback. Was just at Schaumburg Gameworks location and did find an issue with the pads which has now been resolved. Would appreciate any and all feedback again.
I was up at the Schaumburg GameWorks last Thursday (7/9), and found that the down arrow on the 1P side required lots of force to trigger. (It was basically broken.) Other parts of the pads seemed fine.


A glib (but, I think, useful) question: if you are associated with GameWorks in any official fashion (or are otherwise in a position of influence), can you state anything about GameWorks' ability to apply pressure to Betson to get this DDR X fiasco fixed? I think the prevailing opinion is that the current batch of North America DDR X cabinets are poorly built compared to their Japanese counterparts, and that neither GameWorks nor its DDR-playing customers are getting what they paid for.

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Re: DDR X (US) dedicated cabinet review

Post by Geochi1 » Sat Jul 18, 2009 11:06 pm

trythil wrote:
Geochi1 wrote: Thank you for the feedback. Was just at Schaumburg Gameworks location and did find an issue with the pads which has now been resolved. Would appreciate any and all feedback again.
I was up at the Schaumburg GameWorks last Thursday (7/9), and found that the down arrow on the 1P side required lots of force to trigger. (It was basically broken.) Other parts of the pads seemed fine.


A glib (but, I think, useful) question: if you are associated with GameWorks in any official fashion (or are otherwise in a position of influence), can you state anything about GameWorks' ability to apply pressure to Betson to get this DDR X fiasco fixed? I think the prevailing opinion is that the current batch of North America DDR X cabinets are poorly built compared to their Japanese counterparts, and that neither GameWorks nor its DDR-playing customers are getting what they paid for.
Pads were updated last week at the Schaumburg location. Feedback has been very positive. New software is also coming, will post when updated.

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Re: DDR X (US) dedicated cabinet review

Post by LikeableRodent » Wed Jul 22, 2009 7:12 pm

Last week I went down to Tokyo as planned and wandered around Shinjuku until I found an arcade with one of the new dedicabs, which really wasn't too terribly difficult.

To keep this relatively short, I can say that virtually everything that Ho had a complaint with concerning the US cabinet does not exist on the JP version. That machine was, without a doubt, the best DDR machine I've played on, and I've been diddly-daddling with this game for something like seven or eight years.

The pad's panels were more responsive than the best-cleaned "old style" cabinet and felt like they took barely any effort to register. The panels are also shallower in the pad. While being shallower in the pad is generally a good thing, while playing double it makes it a smidge tougher to maintain spatial awareness while moving between the two sides.

From reading Ho's review of the US cabinet then playing on the Japanese cabinet, I can completely agree that it sincerely looks like Betson simply grabbed some of a Japanese machine and had some guy throw something together in his basement that looked 'similar'.

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TEdT9bVL9hY

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Re: DDR X (US) dedicated cabinet review

Post by Ho » Thu Jul 23, 2009 8:32 am

Damn that's a sexy Rodent...er, I mean cabinet.

Thanks for the validation on the Japanese cabinet. It's good to know it plays as good as it looks, but it only makes me want to play on one more.
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Re: DDR X (US) dedicated cabinet review

Post by Cbav » Wed Jul 29, 2009 5:12 pm

On the final day of Rocky Mount X, we all went out to eat a Japanese Buffet and Ryan aka Dukamok, who works with Konami, made an announcement that Konami is well aware of the problems with DDR X, and that in the next few weeks they are sending out update packages to have machines repaired. I'm not sure what exactly these update packages will include, but I can assume patches to fix lag and timing, and I'm assuming it will include some sort of hardware to improve the pads.

He seemed very confident that DDR X will be drastically improved in the next few weeks.

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Re: DDR X (US) dedicated cabinet review

Post by Geochi1 » Fri Jul 31, 2009 10:19 am

Cbav wrote:On the final day of Rocky Mount X, we all went out to eat a Japanese Buffet and Ryan aka Dukamok, who works with Konami, made an announcement that Konami is well aware of the problems with DDR X, and that in the next few weeks they are sending out update packages to have machines repaired. I'm not sure what exactly these update packages will include, but I can assume patches to fix lag and timing, and I'm assuming it will include some sort of hardware to improve the pads.

He seemed very confident that DDR X will be drastically improved in the next few weeks.
Gameworks Schaumburg has all the latest updates. Pads have been fixed, firmware and software updated on 7/29/2009.

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Re: DDR X (US) dedicated cabinet review

Post by Ho » Fri Jul 31, 2009 10:34 am

Geochi1 wrote:
Cbav wrote:On the final day of Rocky Mount X, we all went out to eat a Japanese Buffet and Ryan aka Dukamok, who works with Konami, made an announcement that Konami is well aware of the problems with DDR X, and that in the next few weeks they are sending out update packages to have machines repaired. I'm not sure what exactly these update packages will include, but I can assume patches to fix lag and timing, and I'm assuming it will include some sort of hardware to improve the pads.

He seemed very confident that DDR X will be drastically improved in the next few weeks.
Gameworks Schaumburg has all the latest updates. Pads have been fixed, firmware and software updated on 7/29/2009.
Please keep us posted on GameWorks Studio Indianapolis.
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Re: DDR X (US) dedicated cabinet review

Post by MonMotha » Fri Jul 31, 2009 11:51 am

Geochi1 wrote:
Cbav wrote:On the final day of Rocky Mount X, we all went out to eat a Japanese Buffet and Ryan aka Dukamok, who works with Konami, made an announcement that Konami is well aware of the problems with DDR X, and that in the next few weeks they are sending out update packages to have machines repaired. I'm not sure what exactly these update packages will include, but I can assume patches to fix lag and timing, and I'm assuming it will include some sort of hardware to improve the pads.

He seemed very confident that DDR X will be drastically improved in the next few weeks.
Gameworks Schaumburg has all the latest updates. Pads have been fixed, firmware and software updated on 7/29/2009.
Wish you'd told me yesterday. I'd have gone and checked it out. I'll try to go play on it some time next week and see if things are better. If they can at least get stage performance up to the level of a worn out Japanese cabinet from ca. 2000, then things should be a lot better than they were. The video lag was bad, but I think it was short enough that it can be adjusted out given DDR's relatively lax timings (as compared to, say, IIDX). The game itself seemed alright, though the announcer is awful. Can anyone verify if the announcer is the same as the JP version?
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Re: DDR X (US) dedicated cabinet review

Post by LikeableRodent » Sat Aug 01, 2009 8:15 pm

Considering how amazingly annoying the JP announcer is, I'm willing to bet that the JP and US versions feature the same irritating guy.

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Re: DDR X (US) dedicated cabinet review

Post by Amp Divorax » Sun Aug 02, 2009 3:37 am

MonMotha wrote: Wish you'd told me yesterday. I'd have gone and checked it out. I'll try to go play on it some time next week and see if things are better. If they can at least get stage performance up to the level of a worn out Japanese cabinet from ca. 2000, then things should be a lot better than they were. The video lag was bad, but I think it was short enough that it can be adjusted out given DDR's relatively lax timings (as compared to, say, IIDX). The game itself seemed alright, though the announcer is awful. Can anyone verify if the announcer is the same as the JP version?
The announcers are are Wil-Dog and Justin from Ozomatli and they are in both releases.
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Re: DDR X (US) dedicated cabinet review

Post by MonMotha » Sat Aug 08, 2009 1:28 pm

OK, I've played the Schaumburg machine a couple times. The scroll is mostly synced with reality now, though the monitor is still the same and so laggy that the delay in the judgement popping up throws me off. It's at least playable from that point of view, though. Before, I pretty much had to play on hidden.

The pads work. They do hold freezes. They are playable. Nothing more. They still feel awful, and they're not nearly as sensitive as even the 10 year old Korean cabinet running Extreme that's a couple machines down the line. The SuperNova plays way better, too. Lots of phantom steps from where standing on the (thin) metal top wills till trigger a nearby panel.

The stage also moves around when you play on it, which I think contributes to the strange feel. It doesn't "surf" like one without the levelers set, but it floats around like it's on a gimbal or something. I think it just lacks structure and is flexing.

There's also some aspect to how it feels that I can't quite pin down that makes playing double an absolute chore. You seem to have to hit the panels straight down - normal to the stage - for them to reliably trigger. When playing on double, I know I don't do that. I'm not sure if this is the problem or if it's something else, but double is pretty bad. Yes, there are those of us who actually play double; please don't forget us.

I found the game playable and almost enjoyable if I simply didn't care about score or technical performance at all and just tried to have some degree of fun playing the charts (some of which are surprisingly good). Freestyle is tough due to the flatter nature of the stage and the general "it's like jumping on a dead animal" feeling. Real tech play is clearly not going to happen. I'm not normally one to claim pad BS ("I'm not as good as you think I am"), but this thing really DOES hand out misses and other BS even when it's very clear that the player is not messing up.

The game software is actually pretty good. If they'd axe the annoying announcer, it would be up there with Extreme in terms of quality, though many of the DDRX premiere charts seem a little easy. Of course, Extreme is far from the pinnacle of DDR greatness (5th and MAX2 come to mind as candidates for that), but it's a bar that I think has yet to be reached since.

Of course, the cabinet's still ugly, and it sounds TERRIBLE (even Supernova sounds better, which is a feat).

I find myself playing much more Extreme and Supernova (when I bother to play at all), even though the "shiny" new DDRX cab is sitting right there, and I am definitely not an Extreme or Supernova whore.
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Re: DDR X (US) dedicated cabinet review

Post by Fluffyumpkins » Fri Aug 14, 2009 12:39 pm

http://ddredit.konamionline.com/ddrse/about/about.html

This is actually pretty cool. I'd really like this if the pads weren't garbage.
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Re: DDR X (US) dedicated cabinet review

Post by Amp Divorax » Fri Aug 14, 2009 2:12 pm

Um, apparently this editor cannot do triplets.

Once again, Konami of Americunts has proven themselves to be pitiful.
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Re: DDR X (US) dedicated cabinet review

Post by Fluffyumpkins » Fri Aug 14, 2009 3:14 pm

Only does 8 songs too. Also, to be fair, it is only in beta. I'm sure they will add support for 12th notes eventually.

I'd rather have a beta available with limited functionality than nothing.
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