UPDATE: The game was released as DANCERUSH STARDOM! For more info, check out our later coverage.
DANCE RUSH is a high-energy new arcade dance game. It’s easy to start, challenging to master, and as fun and exciting to watch as it is to play. With both single and multi-player dance modes, plenty of popular songs, and built-in video recording and sharing features, the entertainment never ends.
…is how I’d describe Konami’s latest entry into the BEMANI series of music and rhythm games. But instead, their PR team went with this top-notch Engrish:
“DANCE TO THE MUSIC WITH COOL STEPS! THE STAGE READS YOUR STEPS, THE SENSORS CATCH YOUR GROOVE. DANCE SMOOTHLY, AND MAKE YOUR ORIGINAL VIDEO!”
This is pretty accurate though! As we reported earlier this year, the game makes use of both a multi-point touch-based dance floor and a camera to read the players motions. The camera also lets players record themselves, add a variety of filters and effects, and upload that recording to YouTube or other social media.
As we reported in July, the game was initially known as STEPSTAR during the first unannounced location test. After a month and some slight changes, it was renamed and re-tested as ShuffleDancerz. Shortly after that, the name was changed yet again to Dance Generations, before the team finally settled on the current name.
Our location test coverage from that time has some information that still remains the same, but the one thing that has changed the most is the overall theme and interface, not to mention the cabinet. The 1st generation cabinet was very, very temporary and basic, with almost no stand-out features other than the dance floor. That all changed, however, and DANCE RUSH is, for the most part, a product that seems ready for release.
【#ロケテ情報】本日よりコナミの新作ゲーム「DANCE RUSH」のロケテストを開始いたしました。8・9・10日と３日間の開催となっております。お気軽にご参加下さい。 #レジャラン #ロケテ #DANCERUSH pic.twitter.com/w5ZsFS08G3
— 東京レジャーランド秋葉原2号店 (@tllakihabara2) December 8, 2017
The lights look even better during play. Check it out:
— skol (@zyure) December 1, 2017
All around the cabinet are signs of attention to detail, but one thing that really makes this work is the huge amount of LED lights, combined with the mirrored panels on the header and cabinet base. It looks absolutely amazing in both lighter or darker arcade environments.
Below the massive display, the main control panel has a standard set of Start + directional buttons, as well as eAMUSEMENT Pass readers and numpads for each Player, something which DanceEvolution AC cabinets lacked, for some reason.
Just between the stage and the cabinet are two small spaces for baggage, although since they’re flat and sit flush with the rest of the stage, it might not be a great idea to put anything there unless it’s in a basket of some sort:
Did we mention the fantastic English translations?
Actually, having these stickers also written in English is a good sign that we will hopefully see a location test outside of Japan at some point.
Let’s look at the stage a bit closer. Inside them is a huge number of LED lights programmed to do incredible things. Your steps will have neat particle after-effects, and various notes will cause the stage to react differently.
In addition, the stage will occasionally mimic the on-screen displays of CLEAR, FULL COMBO, and others things:
The staff must have had a fun time getting this to all work together.
Once you start the game for the first time, you are presented with 50 “Stars”, which are used as the in-game currency to unlock songs and charts. You can earn up to 5 stars after playing a song, depending on your score.
From the 6th location test, a “Daily Bonus” Stamp feature was added, which gives players an extra 20 stars per day, as well as unlocking Ryu☆’s “Sakura Sunrise” as a crossover song:
The game has a refined, yet fun and inviting interface. As the youngsters might say, it’s most likely “lit” in some form or another.
After starting the game, you can enter one of three folders: Tutorial, Easy, or Normal.
Inside each folder are songs with only one chart each. Songs are shared across Easy and Normal, but there’s no way to switch difficulties unless you go back to this folder selection screen. Hopefully this will change sometime in the final release.
Inside the Tutorial folder, there is a “How To Play” basic lesson as well as slightly more advanced lessons on the Running Man and Slide/Down notes. The song selection screen itself is super bright and flashy, but very thoughtfully designed. More on that later.
Gameplay can be seen in Konami’s Official “How to Play” Video:
After a song is finished, a 1-to-5-star grade is given along with a Score, which is more like a percentage since its maximum is 100:
Going into the normal song list we can see how songs are presented in an easy-to-understand list:
“LOCKED” songs (on a chart-by-chart basis) can be purchased and immediately unlocked using collected Stars:
Currently, the game only allows for 2 songs to be played per game, not including the Extra Stage (a remix of DDR’s popular track “Butterfly”). At one point in the location test, playing with 2 players resulted in a different Extra Stage, but that song has since been added as a regular “locked” song.
Check out the below results, and note how the colors change based on the song’s album artwork. Very neat effect and attention to detail:
Various Options are also available in-game, ranging from Timing Adjustments, to the Stage LED brightness, Marker colors and Left/Right foot indicators, and more. They can be selected before choosing a song, by pressing the “Right” directional button on the cabinet:
Of course, we can’t forget one of the game’s most important aspects – the Video uploading feature!
Currently, for the cost of 2 credits (200yen/PASELI) you can play one (1) song only, but your dance moves will be recorded, and a play video will be uploaded to Konami’s servers.
At the end of gameplay, you will be able to select a filter and various effects to apply to the video, as well as select an option to mask your face by hiding the upper part of the recording.
Check out some of the best videos we’ve found.
Dancer Yossy and composer MAD CHILD headed down to the location test to get their plays in:
Here’s a great example of 2-player fun:
The latest song to be added was also present in Konami’s previous (now-retired) game, Dance Evolution:
Speaking of DanEvo…
The Daily Bonus unlockable song, Sakura Sunrise, was also crossed over, with steps that matched the original choreography from Dance Evolution:
Some songs do not have the artists credited, although that may be changed in the future:
LADY / ちゃんみな (4/6)*
MEGA SHAKE IT ! / キュウソネコカミ (3/9)
PERFECT HUMAN / RADIO FISH (3/7)
Revolution / BRADIO (4/7)*
SKY’s the limit / ぼくのりりっくのぼうよみ (3/6)*
Summer Venus / KEYTALK (2/6)*
Without You / 夜の本気ダンス (2/5)*
女々しくて / ゴールデンボンバー (1/4)
ハッピーシンセサイザ / EasyPop (5/6)
オンリーワンダー / フレデリック (6/8)
君と野獣 / バンドハラスメント (3/5)
サイレントマジョリティー / 欅坂46 (1/4)*
制服のマネキン / 乃木坂46 (1/4)*
Don’t Stop!! / オリジナル (-/10)
DOWNER & UPPER / オリジナル (5/9)
Small Steps / かめりあ (2/8)
Oppress / オリジナル (4/8)
Wicked / Hommarju (5/9)
Butterfly / kors k feat.Starbitz (EXTRA STAGE only) (-/10)
DAWN OF FALCON / L.E.D.-G [from REFLEC BEAT 悠久のリフレシア] (-/9)
Gimme a Big Beat / kors k [from jubeat saucer] (-/9)
Sakura Sunrise / Ryu☆ [from DanceDanceRevolution X2] (3/6)
*Songs unavailable in PREMIUM Mode
We hope to see more coming from this game. How about you? Wanna play?