On the surface, the DANCE:UK / DANCE:EUROPE series is another product of the 2000s DDR boom.
But it is something far more sinister - it is really, really bad.
The problem with DANCE:UK is that it is not a 4 panel game like DDR or ITG, or even a 5 panel game like PIU. It is an 8 panel game. That's up, down, left, right, up left, up right, down left, and down right.
Adding the lag, the bad charting, and the crunchiness and confusing labyrinths of graphics (not even in a cool way), DANCE:UK is enough to make anyone rip their hair out. It is also unplayable on controller - trust me, I've tried.
If you give this game a go, take time to relax during and after gameplay. Or at least have a friend to laugh at you.
It was released first on the Playstation 2, bundled with the proprietary dancemat as well as including a bag to carry the mat around in, on the 3rd of October 2003.
I know all this, because I own this bag, and use it every day of my life, despite my distain for this game.
(The DANCE:UK bag is pictured here with my copy of the game and my e-amusement card, as if anyone would ever steal this photo.)
Two weeks later, it would be released again on the Playstation 1 as DANCE:UK in the UK and DANCE:EUROPE in other European countries, on the 17th of October, 2003.
And then, for whatever reason, they also decided to release it on the original XBox, nearly a year later on the 2nd of July, 2004.
The games would recieve a few additions - first, DANCE:UK eXtra TraX, which is just the same game with a different music selection. It released for PS2 on 23rd of April 2004, and for PS1 a week later on the 30th of April 2004.
Then, on the 30th of September, 2004, the updated DANCE:UK XL for the PS2 only released. It came bundled with, surprisingly, a USB dancemat, and again it's own carry-bag. However, this came with an annoying caveat - the USB dancemat, from what I can tell from amazon.co.uk reviews, was not compatible with older games in the series.
Stuff around here gets spotty. Two later games were released - presumably on the same date, from what I can tell - DANCE:UK XL Party and DANCE:UK XL Lite.
For a while I was under the impression that only Party and Lite existed and there was no original. If you viewed that older version of this page, I'm sorry! I have played part of the DANCE:UK XL rom, and watched the few videos of XL Party and XL Lite I can find, and cannot figure out a difference other than perhaps the tracklist. Maybe I will update this when I can bear it.
i nearly have all of them now, just missing the original DANCE:UK XL and both of the eXtra TraX games. don't worry, this was no extra expense on my part - all of these games are dirt cheap. i wonder why...
anyway, expect an update here soon, after i rip footage from the xbox version, or whatever.
added the existence of DANCE:UK XL for PS2. whoops!