Progression of Charts

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Post #1 · Posted at 2012-01-26 11:06:55am 6.4 years ago

Offline Astroman129
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Do you feel that in general, DDR charts have gotten better or worse over time? I know it can be really hard to answer.

I actually think that in the long run, charts have gotten semi-worse over time. I liked charts from 4th-5th mixes the best, with some obvious exceptions (Spin the Disc, looking at you).

I also liked Club Mix charts. Some of them were crappy, I agree (good god @ the slow licenses, especially Queen Jamaica) but some were really awesome, like Patsenner. It's slow and easy, but that doesn't take away the fact that it's really f*cking fun.

So yeah. Progression of charts. Goooo.

Post #2 · Posted at 2012-01-26 11:24:15am 6.4 years ago

Offline rayword45
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It fluctuates quite a bit IMO

DDR 1st to Club Mix - Some are decent, many godawful
3rd-5th - Several experimental charts, a lot of great ones.
MAX-Extreme - Best time period BY FAR. A load of the best charts are from this period.
Supernova-X - WTF!?
X2-X3 - Catching up to the glory days (IMO), although a lot of charts have some blatant mistakes (KILL THE SHOCK ARROWS) and nasty doublesteps.

EDIT: In terms of Home Versions, they mostly keep a 2:3 good-bad ratio throughout the entire series.

Post #3 · Posted at 2012-01-26 11:27:57am 6.4 years ago

Offline AeronPeryton
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I don't think they've gotten worse, wholly, though there are some shining examples where Konami simply didn't care to try. I do think that the style has changed many times over the last 14 years. DDR to 2nd including the CLUBs, 3rd through 5th including the Solos, 6th through EXTREME, SuperNOVA & SuperNOVA 2, X & X2, X3 seems to have a slightly different taste even from the previous two. And that's just the major arcade releases.

The ULTRAMIX series and loosly related, the UNIVERSE series also had a unique style I think. Some people are going to say it's gotten worse, some will say it's gotten better, but I think that as Konami shifts through development teams and hires and loses step artists the style doesn't really degrade or improve it just morphs into something sightly different. Occasionally you see charts that are delibrately trying to pull on a previous style or invent a new one. Sometimes it works sometimes it doesn't.

Lastly, a number of recent games very obviously had lower quality work, but there are older examples of bad development or just dismissive behavior (DoubleHeavy charts being copies of DoubleStandard, Solo songs not getting Doubles at all, non-Solo songs not getting 6-panel charts in games that featured them, almost everything released exclusively for Europe). It's always happened to some degree.

I think they can keep it going and even do better. They've done some surprising things in the past like hiring fans to write charts. If they care enough to, they won't burn out... if they care enough to.

Post #4 · Posted at 2012-01-26 11:46:25am 6.4 years ago

Offline Aegis
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Post #5 · Posted at 2012-01-26 04:16:23pm 6.4 years ago

Offline Silverhawke
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Post #6 · Posted at 2012-01-26 06:41:44pm 6.4 years ago

Offline 8ftmetalhead
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I don't pay too much attention to the charts tbh. outside of a few songs on extreme I haven't played DDR in yonks. I like DDR universe 1 and 2, they have some really fun songs with easy spins and such. Having not played supernova 1 or 2 in the arcades I can't comment there too much, but I like supernova and supernova 2 has a few good charts too.

On extreme there's a few charts I love playing though, but for the most part I play them because I like the song.

There's kind of a reason 'play more DDR/ITG is on my to do list.

Post #7 · Posted at 2012-01-27 10:05:55am 6.4 years ago

Offline Hlavco
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The super early charts were a lot of fun. Even if they were mostly just quarter and eighth notes, there seemed to be a lot of attention paid to things like being able to perform spins during songs. The Club Version charts had a style all their own, and I liked the weirdness. 3rd-5th mix started to add speed and difficulty, with a whole lot of stream and crossovers. There were also more charts that relied on one technique the whole way through (like In The Navy with its gallops). DDRMax gave the charters a new tool, the freeze arrow, and there were a few good songs that took advantage of it. Max2, Extreme, and the pre-SuperNOVA home versions continued to add charts that were challenging, but also fun and interesting.

I think that in the SuperNOVA era, step quality began to decline. I feel like it became very obvious that some songs were charted for the explicit purpose of being difficult, rather than doing what feels right with the music. There's a lot of jumping at inappropriate times, and strange pauses or speed changes (CHAOS, Flow (True Style)). I think a lot of newer songs don't have the same smooth flow as the older ones. The charters seem to avoid stream, even when it's appropriate. Look at the ending of Private Eye... the music is a stream of 8th notes, and the arrows are a stream of 8th notes, but after just a little bit the steps transform into awkward quick jumps while the music remains unchanged. I wonder how different a stream-heavy song like Healing Vision (Angelic Mix) or Rhythm and Police would be if it was to debut in the SuperNOVA era.

While earlier DDRs do have some charts that I would call bad (Brilliant2U is one, with its jumpjumpjump portions and the mid section that doesn't quite match the music), they seem to be more common in modern games, with things like A Geisha's Dream (Ruffage Remix) that seem to lack any concern for someone playing on their feet, or Dead End (Groove Radar Special) which is pretty much nonsense all around. Generally, I feel like the earlier stepcharts were more fun and light-hearted, while the newer ones are churned out because they have to be, and designed to meet a certain difficulty standard (easy licenses, certain KOs arbitrarily decided and forced to be superhard, and Jun songs that are bosses no matter how inappropriate the backing music is).

Post #8 · Posted at 2012-01-27 01:33:08pm 6.4 years ago

Offline FlameyBoy
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Old games' bad charts were charts with completely bizarre design (6 8ths in a row on one note, etc.) Newer games' bad charts are more uninspired than anything else.

Post #9 · Posted at 2012-01-27 03:27:21pm 6.4 years ago

Offline katamaris4ever
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It's kind of following a Guitar Hero structure, where the first games are easy compared to the later ones; that doesn't necessarily make it fun, mind you, but you'll have 32th streams and a whole buttload of chaos arrows all over the place in later games. I'm guessing the team was all like:
"Well, we're only catering to the Asian market for now. Instead of making the charts genuinely difficult, we should just put random BPM changes and shock arrows for the lulz. Let's make these things stupidly hard!" Confused
"But what about the other people? You know, people that can't run marathons?"
"Well, then here's a forty combo Heavy chart featuring the teen idol/teen band that girls love to dance to."
Looking back at DDR 1st mix on the PS1, the hardest obstacle you had to face was not pressing an arrow when you didn't need to (the old school freeze mechanic.)
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Post #10 · Posted at 2012-01-28 01:37:23am 6.4 years ago

Offline PaperSak
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I think casual step quality has sort in improved over time (comparing some really wonky old-school double stepping weirdness with Polyrhythm and Smoooch); boss songs really only peaked in Max-Extreme. Although that depends on if you count RDA songs all as bosses or not (bosses are usually in the 15+ range and maybe only VD is the real one), but even then they followed a string of ehhhh bosses and then one couldn't say charts have really improved consistently.

It could also be that because we have more songs, there are simply more good ones. For all I know, the good-to-bad ratio could still be the same, it's just I never see the bad songs being played.
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Post #11 · Posted at 2012-01-28 07:33:37am 6.4 years ago

Offline seishinbyou
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although a lot of charts have some blatant mistakes (KILL THE SHOCK ARROWS)

There are a number of people in Japan that actually like (and I mean *really* like) Shock Arrow Charts. I'm impartial and don't mind them at all, and actually enjoy the challenge in many cases. The shock arrow charts I don't like tend to be the more boss-type songs where the steps are so fast and close to the shock arrows that I'll probably set some off by accident.

In general, I go with the general Japanese opinions/flow over the years, but it has been the community that drives the game just as much as the game itself. I'll only mention the main arcade series since I'll be here all day if I include every offshoot.

1st~3rd - Remembered with great fondness, even ones with some pretty chaotic patterns like End of the Century
4th/+ - Fun, enjoyed the music/charts for the most part, but something seemed missing
5th - Lots of fun, the smoother scrolling was a welcome change so the charts were easier to read/judge
Max - When it first came out the charts seemed intimidating in their difficulty at times. Some good charts and good music but it took a while to get into it
Max2 - Not so much of a shock. With some exceptions I wasn't a fan of so many of the new charts. Maxx Unlimited just seemed like complete overkill at the time
Extreme - It's hard to give a fair judgment of the charts since I got *so* sick of this mix after a few years. There were a lot of good charts on it, especially when I started getting into doubles, which is probably why I played it for years :/ (that and there was nothing else)
SN1 - This got a stigma of a response to ITG overseas but here it was all good. I really enjoyed a lot of the charts on this mix, and the double charts were far more interesting that the single charts for me in quite a few cases
SN2 - I really didn't like this mix apart from some of the KO songs later on (Saturn) and some exceptions like Soul Crash. The Boss Songs just didn't do it for me and I really didn't enjoy them, sorry.
X - This was the rebirth of DDR in Japan and I enjoyed riding the wave of fun with everyone else in the country. In retrospect a lot of the fond memories come from the new machine and its widescreen (which I can finally *see*) among other things like the godsend Screen Filter. Still, I enjoyed a lot of the charts in this mix on single and double *despite* the music itself not appealing *as much* to me.
X2 - Liked this a lot and even the default songlist had charts that were decent challenges. The RDA songs were good to me both stepchart-wise and musically and overall I really enjoyed it though I was a bit sad that it didn't *quite* have the popularity of X here overall (including casual players and crowds)
X3 - I liked the charts despite a lot of them being not so hard (there are exceptions, especially on double. F*cking "Rescue Me" double...) I finished with the songs including the known enjoy unlocks and it felt good to get through them all though I'm left with wanting a bit more right now.

So overall...I'm not sure which direction it went overall; it was more of a wave for me. I have fond memories of just about every mix, though I didn't really enjoy SN2 all that much (part of it was the distracting backgrounds and lack of screen filter, too. If SN2 came out on the X hardware I might have a different opinion of it)


Post #12 · Posted at 2012-01-30 05:31:17pm 6.4 years ago

Offline Nightime
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5* 1st/2nd Mix = At this point, they're just trying stuff. Some works (BOOM BOOM DOLLAR), some doesn't (BAD GIRLS).

6* Club ver. = Okay, so some of these charts are supposed to be references to their IIDX notecharts. Some songs work really well, and some fail really hard; without a whole lot of middle ground between them.

7* SOLO = Pretty refined; each KO does something quite distinctive in it's focus, complimentary songs make sense together. All in all, an improvement.

9* 3rd Mix = An absolute improvement in every direction, except maybe needing equals of SEXY PLANET and DROP OUT.

8* 4th Mix PLUS = Overall, a decline in Konami Original stepcharting, licenses get funner charts in sacrifice of harder ones (nothing here compares with butterfly (UPSWING MIX) or CAPTAIN JACK (GRANDALE REMIX). They do have good flow however, churning out memorables like FURUHATA'S THEME, SKY HIGH / LUCYFER, RHYTHM & POLICE (KOGG3 MIX), and WONDA (SPEED K MIX)), and for the only time ever, combine 6-panel and Double modes. They're also decisively "less adventurous," so I'd say quality on the whole was a little below 3rd Mix.

6* 5th Mix = Keeps it simple, minor boost in difficulty; but still not on par with 3rd Mix. Terrible synching with older songs, given the tighter timing windows. Remember playing LEADING CYBER or DROP OUT on this mix? >.< I'd consider it a step down from 4th/PLUS, but still above 2nd Mix.

10* DDRMAX = One of THE PEAKS, all around. Charts are fun, some charts are hard, song selection compliments well, few fizzles.

8* DDRMAX 2 = Konami Original quality improves, license quality on the whole drops - although a few license songs still get well-charted, like LONG TRAIN RUNNIN', DRIFTING AWAY, and THE WHISTLE SONG.

9* EXTREME = Arguably a peak of license quality steps, Konami Original/BEMANI crossover steps seem formulaic - but in inspired patterns that often work really well with the songs. Makes a lot of top-quality songs, but the ratio of MAX's is still arguably better IMHO. I'd say a fair equal to 3rd Mix.


6* ULTRAMIX = Okay, they have a working engine and plunk together some songs. It's not bad. The add-on songpacks, however? Broken as hell, apart from a few gems like GET IT ALL or BATTLE BREAKS. Loved seeing INFINITE PRAYER playable, but those steps broke my heart. Licenses got pretty okay charts, actually.

10* ULTRAMIX 2 = This stepcharting improvement is STAGGERING. Mix is pretty much absolute gold.

8* ULTRAMIX 3 = Just about on par with UM2. Two things punk this mix, the hit-and-miss folksy and poppish musical direction, and the tendency to make the songpack remixes *far* too easy/undercharted. So, a slight decay. AKUMAJO and Giudecca still needs arcaded! I'd back The Cult Of Gnosyllus and The Cat In The Moon too.

9* ULTRAMIX 4/UNIVERSE = Overall, improved from UM3. Some weird/funky turning in certain charts/areas, but these two were pretty doggoned decent for their time. I'd consider it in-between 2&3, just barely under 2 (although Power Mode also makes up that difference, to me).

8* UNIVERSE 2 = Underestimated gem in the rough, this one. License charts got better, Konami Original charting got a little worse. I'm still surprised they released a title with no boss songs in it!

10* Universe 3 = Absolute peak of KDEA. Sure, there's a song or two you can overlook, but on the whole it's an astounding masterpiece that catches the right amount of fun and difficulty in practically every song featured; and doesn't discriminate by origin, either. Only really dissapointing part was finding L.A. EVOLVED is simply tokyoEVOLVED (ver. D).


7* DDR FESTIVAL/FUSION/EXTREME (USA) = Better than ULTRAMIX, not quite up to snuff with EXTREME. On the whole, I'd consider it a minor decline; except FESTIVAL's massive improvements on most of ULTRAMIX's songs - they were pretty much brought up to EXTREME's level. Okay, we all remember and love Move Your Feet, but most of the other exclusives just weren't up to snuff.

10* Extreme 2 / STR!KE / DS MAX = FAR above average. Arguably speaking, the ~real~ quality peak. Even the Karaoke covers of this game set are masterful.

7* SuperNOVA = Better Konami Original chart quality, they tried some fun new stuff there. Most Bemani crossovers and license tracks declined in stepchart quality though, so the mix as a whole suffered from it. Regional exclusives did help fluff up the license quality a bit though.

9* SuperNOVA 2 = Mostly an improvement, although it still suffers from stale/forgettable license tracks on the arcade release, and the super-difficult range went a bit too far. (Hello, NGO/DEGRS/PARA ~HADES~ Challenge charts!!) Can't speak for every region, but US PS2's had my second favorite region-exclusive charts, only next to Extreme 2's.

9* DDR X = Core game was a drastic improvement, especially where licenses were concerned. I would take Happy, Here It Goes Again, Synthesized, and U CAN'T TOUCH THIS over pretty much any license track in SN/SN2 (arcade). Home versions were pretty consistent in their new-to-Earth content, and pretty much in tune with the arcade counterpart. Great difficulty and style range in boss stages. High-difficulty was only truly found in X-Specials, which had great rhythmwork and terrible patternwork. On the plus side, 1/24s got fixed, too!

10* DDR X2 = Improved quality around the board; although the US/PS2 version could've used a little more attention to the upper difficulty range, and not so much the extreme thereof. It does however, suffer from the "OMGWTF?!" that is Pluto The First; but I see that mainly as the troll song that Random Select can hand out once in a blue moon. POSSESSION and Valkeryie Dimension prove that tough boss songs don't have to be retarded to be challenging!!


7* HOTTEST PARTY = Stepcharts decline a bit, compared to SuperNOVA; but are still passibly good quality. Decent difficulty range, until Japan gets Pluto The First.

6* HOTTEST PARTY 2 = Song quality goes up, stepchart quality sinks. It has it's gems like osakaEVOLVED and Somehow You Found Me, but half the game leaves me thinking "WTH was THAT?"

8* HOTTEST PARTY 3/DDR X2 (USA) = Right about equal with HP2 - some songs get way better, some get way worse. HP3 would've greatly benefitted from X2's Challenge charts, unquestionably. On the notable plus side, roppongiEVOLVED is born.

4* DanceDanceRevolution (2010) = Tremendous decline in stepchart quality. Quite possibly the worst thing concieved since Club ver. I love the nc songs on it, CRAZY LOVE, IN THE ZONE, and the TERRA remake of ever snow. Oh, and it's probably just me, because I don't mind low-tempo songs, but I kinda like Take Me by Harmony Machine, too. Just about everything else here is tragic, compared with the series' history.

8* DDR II = Better stepchart quality, I'll give it that. Best KO's/Bemani songs in a LONG LONG TIME, I LOVE the extended versions you can play, and even the collabs are rather decent. Their taste in pop music is an all-time low, however; and even halfway decent charting doesn't make me want to endure very many of those songs, besides Rocket and Spice Up Your Life.



10* titles:

Universe 3
Extreme 2/STR!KE/DS MAX

9* titles:

3rd Mix
SuperNOVA 2

8* titles:

4th Mix PLUS
DDR II (blame it on the pop)

7* titles:


6* titles:

Club ver.
5th Mix

5* title:
1st~2nd Mix

4* title:
DDR 2010

Post #13 · Posted at 2012-01-30 07:56:32pm 6.4 years ago

Offline Daiz
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I notice a lot of people base the chart quality on a couple of songs or just the boss songs in an era. I'll try to remain judgemental on a _whole_ for each era.

1st/2nd: Charts definitely focus more on body movement and less on rhythm. Difficulty was high for songs that required difficulty maneuvers (spinning, crossovers). Rhythm was overall ok. 6/20

3rd mix: This is where I think stamina first became a bigger factor with higher speed licenses and songs in general (many at over 170 BPM). We begin to see the rhythms of the steps vary from the typical red blue red pattern. Here, double stepping factors into song difficulty. 7/20

4th and 5th: I swear the step artists are the same for each mix here. Many songs are streamy in this mix, long bouts of unbroken 8th notes. 16ths are beginning to be used to add difficulty, sometimes going to the rhythm, sometimes not. A lot of the turning here has become more complex, requiring back turns, Afronova walks and lots of cross overs. 9/10

6th: Charts are awesome in this mix. Many of the rhythms are dead on with the song, a lot of stamina draining charts appear. I believe without the presence of foot ratings, charters don't have to adhere to a goal rating to achieve and just chart to whatever comes to mind. The introduction of the freeze arrow makes for some clever charts. The rhythms of the charts adhere to the song's own rhythm. 10/10

7th: Except for a few licenses, chart quality kind of drops here. The challenge remixes especially begin to derive difficulty from charts that are difficult due to many factors, odd rhythms and odd turning. The licenses seem to be charted at around the same quality of the Max licenses. Many hit or misses here. We also begin to see songs that have rhythms that are very hard to catch on to (rain of sorrow) 7/10

Extreme: Over all the charts in this mix seem to play at safe. Many of the songs are fun and we're introduced to a 9 footer that's borderline 10 (Cartoon Heroes). We continue to see songs with hard to find rhythms (memories, L'amour, etc). I'm also judging solely on new songs, not the revivals. 8/10

Supernova: This is definitely a mixed bag. I believe some charts were coming hot off the heels of the charters from Extreme 2/Strike! Many of the charts flow extremely well and follow song complicated rhythms with a lot of turning. However, many other charts use some jumping to force some very odd turns, employ odd rhythms, and generally seem to diverge from previous mixes (Centaur, cachaca, Flow, etc). 7/10

Supernova 2: Chart quality has improved as far as non-boss songs go. The license severely suffer in this mix with a lack of adhering to the rhythms. We're seeing the over-stepping of the harder songs, disregarding chart flow and jump placement in general. The Boss songs in this mix are just abysmal. 8/10

X: I believe we return to focus on body movement. This mix feels like it was charted with body movement in mind with some focus on rhythm. Many of the songs are easier but the charts fit the music really well. Even the more difficult songs seem to flow well enough. Unfortunately, the X-Specials fail to provide a fun challenge, instead forcing a lot of strange patterns and rhythms to ramp up the difficulty. 8/10

X2: I believe this to be the golden age of DDR charts. There aren't many charts, if any, that don't flow or have good rhythm. Many many challenge charts and excellent patterns that both flow to the music and follow the rhythms. The doubles charts, however, begin to force the player to make some patterns that are extremely difficulty to pull off. 10/10
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