Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Wii Dance Dance Revolution for the Klutz

All right, so I haven't blogged in a Wiiik.

Oh, did I just mis-spell something? Nope.

I got a Wii and some cool accessories as a single big combo present for my birthday and Christmas. It's imminently practical, since it should help me in my goal of losing another thirty pounds this year over the twenty I lost last year. Of course, since the Wii is the hottest thing since stock scams, the console finally arrived in late January, and because our living room television is vintage 1980-something, it took me another two weeks to get it properly hooked up.

We've worked our way through Wii Sports, Wii Play, and a week of WiiFit, which is a totally awesome -- if a bit too partonizing and cutesy -- way of working your muscles and balance. We are all losing weight.

Then today I started trying to get Dance Dance Revolution Hottest Party 2 (DDR2) to work.

Okay, so I open the box, and there's a big pad and the game disk. So far so good. Now I look at the cord coming out of the pad. It doesn't fit any of the visible slots on the Wii. Check the box. Yep, this is the Wii version. Check the instructions in the box. No explanation.

Google the problem. It turns out, there's a whole bunch of hidden slots on top of the Wii. Flip open the concealed lid, doesn't look right. Flip open the other concealed lid. Plugs in perfectly. Yay!

Start DDR2. Pad seems to be working; it does allow selections on the screen. Yay.
Play with the options. Choose beginner. Start it up.

Booo x 14. Unable to hit a single beat. Three full games. Oh, and by the way, it cuts you off after fourteen mistakes. Rack and Ruin!

Try again. Try to hit in advance of the beats. No change. Try to hit after the beats. No change. Really, just at random I ought to be able to get some beats right. Nope.

Google this problem. No one else on the planet seems to think that DDR2 beginner is too hard.

Now, I've been doing step-dancing on the WiiFit games, and getting good scores, so I know I'm not totally a klutz. (My wife would graciously decline to comment, and luckily, she isn't around...) Is this thing just set ridiculously tight on the beginner level?

All right. Play with the options more. Find the one that lets you dance to the end of the song even if you muff it egregiously. (Those words clash, don't they? How about "muff it spewfully"?) There's a whole screen of stuff you can turn on and off in the learner levels. Metronome, claps, and so on. You can even turn off the song itself and slow down the beats.

Still zero points.

Finally, being the technical wiz I am, I decide that there are a couple assumptions I can just check at random. I switch the pad's plug from the Wii's back controller slot to the front one.

Bingo. I get points! I break a sweat. Maybe I can learn to dance on this thing.

But first, I'll post this in case someone else runs into the problem. The first pad cable on DDR2 for the Wii plugs into the farthest front slot.

Probably everyone with a modern console already knew that, but there are those of us late adopters who might need to know.

And, by the way, Nintendo and/or Konami - really stupid to have the Wii reading that back controller slot for the controls, but not for the dancing itself. Kinda confuses things for us N00bs.

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