Tuesday, March 01, 2005

At long last: Stepmania!

When I got my Cobalt Flux, one of the biggest deals about it was that you could supposedly get this USB adapter that would allow you to play the PC version of DDR called Stepmania with it. DDR for those that don't know is "Dance Dance Revolution", the video game that you play with your feet, stepping along with the beat of the songs and trying to hit the buttons on your dance pad at the exact time the arrow indicators on the screen tell you to. It's incredibly difficult and can be quite a bit of exercise the better you get at it.

Stepmania is the same thing, except the song list is better. People have created "levels" for just about every artist imaginable, and it's all shareware. While this program may somehow encroach on some musician's rights somewhere, I doubt they are going to be too worried that I'm trying to get a "AA" score on their song that I've downloaded as a part of a computer video game. It's not like you're listening to their music outside of the video game anyway, and there's something really cool about trying to beat a song you just heard on the radio that afternoon. It's a lot better than the Xbox version of the game where 90% of the songs are tunes you've never heard of.

Anyway, when I got the Cobalt, I figured my DDR fun was going right to the next level. I opened the thing, did some setup and it worked fine with my Xbox. Later on, I used it on the Playstation 2 (which it's designed for) and as expected, it worked fine there. However, I tried two different USB adapters and neither one of them worked with Stepmania on the PC.

On Friday, I finally caved and bought this one off Ebay that is supposed to be the ultimate adapter for my particular dance pad and the PC. It arrived yesterday and it turned out to be everything it was advertised to be. It cost me 50 bucks, but now I can play all my favorite songs on Stepmania, as well as all of the past DDR games. I consider 50 bucks a small price to pay for that feature.

Now I just need a computer I can hook up to my TV screen so I can have all of my DDR junk in one room instead of hauling that pad back and forth from the downstairs game room to the office.

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