Tamborine hero is next
March 4, 2006 7:21 PM   Subscribe

Ever since someone wrote software to teach geeks to dance, the DDR craze has enjoyed quite a number of spin-offs. Karaoke Revolution got people singing. Donkey Konga is the same thing but for bongo drums. Guitar Hero for the PS2 has gotten rave reviews and while letting you rip some guitar solos. Christian game makers are even cashing in with Dance Praise. But nothing comes close to the coolness of Accordion Hero. Squeeze hard, die young.
posted by mathowie (31 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
And one mustn't overlook Interpretive Arson's flambe-tastic Dance Dance Immolation, the post-apocalyptic DDR variant in which proximity suit wearing ravers get shot in the face by flamethrowers.

Shot in the face. By Flamethrowers.

Life is good.
posted by sfslim at 7:28 PM on March 4, 2006

I can't read the german, but it doesn't appear to be for sale. Bummer.
posted by Suparnova at 7:29 PM on March 4, 2006

I love the deathmetal font on Accordion Hero. And the silhouettes of the hands against the backdrop of Satanic flames, like those people at concerts who do the "devil horns" thing.
posted by Gator at 7:30 PM on March 4, 2006

There can be nothing greater. All videogames are downhill from here.
posted by Fontbone at 7:45 PM on March 4, 2006

psst: it's "tambourine"
posted by spacewaitress at 8:13 PM on March 4, 2006

I could have sworn Weird Al did "Accordion Hero" to the tune of Jukebox Hero.
posted by jrossi4r at 8:16 PM on March 4, 2006

Here's a video (scroll down) of game designer David "God of War" Jaffe rocking out to Boston on Guitar Hero, not that exciting but you can see how the game is played.
posted by bobo123 at 8:23 PM on March 4, 2006

Not quite Accordian Hero, but this Taiko drumming game from Tokyo (circa '01) was an interesting take on the whole physical video game genre.
posted by shoepal at 8:28 PM on March 4, 2006

Hurry up and make a Bass Hero so I can complete my virtual band.
posted by graventy at 8:36 PM on March 4, 2006

Hurry up and make a Bass Hero so I can complete my virtual band.
posted by graventy at 8:36 PM PST on March 4 [!]

Welcome to 2000.

Oh, not that "bass"
posted by subaruwrx at 8:41 PM on March 4, 2006

Wait, people actually think DDR style jumping-in-place is "dancing"?
posted by nightchrome at 8:42 PM on March 4, 2006

Some giant anteaters have tongues over two feet long.
posted by troutfishing at 8:55 PM on March 4, 2006

Taiko Drum Master for the PSII is my favorite of these type of games.
posted by statolith at 8:56 PM on March 4, 2006

Taiko Drum Master for the PSII is my favorite of these type of games.
posted by statolith at 8:56 PM PST on March 4 [!]

It's Samba De Amigo or nothing for me.
posted by subaruwrx at 9:01 PM on March 4, 2006

I thought that my coolness had no limits.

It has.
posted by bru at 9:02 PM on March 4, 2006

I like DDR, but I can't fucking stand the music. I played it for a while, but I got to the point where I wanted to gouge my brains out with a spike.
My idea: on a system like the Xbox or Xbox 360 that has a hard drive and the capability to rip songs, you load up your own tunes to the system. Then, the game has some sort of program that analyzes the song; it shouldn't be too hard for a computer to search for certain wave forms or volume levels and figure out the beat of a song, even one with more complex music. Then, the computer can design routines based on difficulty levels to apply to that song. If you want easy, mostly quarter and 8th notes, simple syncopation, not a lot of quick changes. As you get harder, the computer inserts more of the complexities into the song. Voila, you don't have to dance to the worst house music ever recorded.
posted by papakwanz at 9:17 PM on March 4, 2006

"Spin off" is a funny term when it comes to music games. Like most niche markets, the lines about what came from where may be a wee bit hard to follow. A brief overview:

The grandfather of modern music games - at least those requiring a funky controller - is Beatmania, which originated in 1997 in the arcades. Beatmania was made by Konami, featured a turntable and 5-key keyboard, and is in the "press the key when the note crosses the line" vein. It was wildly successful, and so Konami created their Bemani division (hence the name). Every music game Konami has done has been a descendant of the original Beatmania, save one: the US version of Karaoke Revolution was farmed out to Harmonix. (The Japanese version is completely different.)

Harmonix had worked for Sony before, creating both Frequency and Amplitude. After doing their development of Karaoke Revolution, they took part of the engine from that game, part of the engine from Amplitude, and (undoubtedly) inspiration from Konami's GuitarFreaks series, to create Guitar Hero.

Donkey Konga was developed by the same team that did Taiko Drum Master / Taiko No Tatsujin, which is why the games play very similarly.

Anyhow, back to Konami: It's been sort of ironic that while DDR has come over here and exploded (while simultaneously dying in Japan), the two games that still draw most of Konami's arcade music business, Beatmania IIDX and Pop'n Music, have not been released in the US yet. Thankfully, Beatmania is getting a US release this month, containing a sort of best-hits of songs from the original Beatmania series and the IIDX line. I highly recommend that if you like music games, you pick this one up - I've had a crack-like addicition to it for 4 years now.
posted by Remy at 9:35 PM on March 4, 2006

Can't ignore Dance Dance DNA revolution. (Also see: flickr photo from some "mathowie" guy.)
posted by hattifattener at 10:42 PM on March 4, 2006

papakwanz, there's always Stepmania, which is a free homebrew version of DDR - you can't just put a song in and have the game analyse it (which I agree would be a good idea if it worked), but there's a whole community of people out there who're making step patterns for their favourite songs, so you're almost guaranteed to find something you like more than the default DDR stuff. If you've got a modded Xbox or PS2, there are the European Dancing Stage games, too - they're 'official' DDR games rather than third-party knockoffs, but the soundtracks are all about the contemporary Britpop, '90s indie/rock and '70s/'80s cheese, which might be a bit more palatable.

One music game I'd love to see get more exposure outside Japan is Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan on the Nintendo DS - it uses the touch-screen and stylus to great effect in throwing beat patterns at you that you couldn't possibly hit with a clumsy pad-and-cursor system, and consequently feels a lot more like you're interacting with the music than most rhythm-actionners. I think I've played at least one game from all the music series out there, and I can't think of any that top Ouendan. Possibly apart from the godly Gitaroo Man, which does a better impression of actually playing an instrument (if a magical space guitar) than anything else I've played.

Finally, of course, nothing can match the almighty Space Channel 5/SC5 Part 2! (ignore the score on that IGN review - the sour-faced trolls wouldn't know a good game if it snuck up and taught them basic literacy) - it works on a similar four-direction dance system to DDR (albeit on a pad, though you can play on a mat if you like at the risk of rendering it impossibly hard), but without all those pesky visual cues. It's the campest, silliest, hardest rhythm game in the world, and I'm utterly obsessed with it. Plus, how many rhythm games can you play with an officially-sanctioned USB vibrator?
posted by terpsichoria at 1:46 AM on March 5, 2006

Funnily enough, on the first gaming site I read after posting that comment someone linked to the forthcoming Dance Factory, which claims to generate step patterns for whatever CDs you put in the drive. There's the big question of how well it'll work hanging over it, of course, but it's certainly interesting.
posted by terpsichoria at 1:58 AM on March 5, 2006

I'm heavily enjoying Guitar Hero right now. It makes you feel like you're actually playing a guitar, somehow. Also, the cover versions of the songs are all actually pretty good, so the music doesn't embarrass. It's a great game you all should buy.
posted by JZig at 3:03 AM on March 5, 2006

"Squeeze hard, die young"

After reading the Ascaris lumbricoides post, I will.

I've never actually played any of these music games, but I'm looking forward to the Revolution, and the promises of conducting/playing the drums/whatever with the motion sensor controllers.
posted by Orange Goblin at 5:24 AM on March 5, 2006

one of the coolest things about space channel 5 two (i haven't played the first one so much) is that the dance routines the characters do between one challenge to the next will change from game to game, i think maybe depending upon your score at the time, so there's new entertainment value in replay...not to mention that any game with a character named 'pudding' has got to be awesome...and one day i'm going to learn that arm-swing walk they do and use it every time i enter a room
posted by troybob at 7:41 AM on March 5, 2006

I know this is supposed to be funny, but I wish it was for real SO BAD.
posted by ulotrichous at 7:49 AM on March 5, 2006

I bet it sells around 500 copies, mostly in Sheboygan.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 8:50 AM on March 5, 2006

Wow, 25 comments and nobody's mentioned the hugely popular Singstar game (PS2). It's on its fourth edition right now (Singstar 80s) which includes localized versions, including a Polish one.
posted by jedrek at 11:46 AM on March 5, 2006

jedrek: Some of us are still hoping that Sony will release it over here in the US, since it blows K-Rev out of the water.
posted by Remy at 6:06 PM on March 5, 2006

A google search for dancing monkeys will show up a program some guy wrote that automagically generates step files from mp3s you supply. No idea how well it works though.
posted by markr at 7:18 PM on March 5, 2006

I'm calling Accordion Hero out as a hoax.

Check out the About page
posted by coolgeek at 10:41 PM on March 5, 2006

posted by Larzarus at 1:00 PM on March 6, 2006

Whoops. Forgot to linkify: Previous Thread on SFI
posted by Larzarus at 1:01 PM on March 6, 2006

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