Twitchy’s Videogame Rocking Chair – Bust a Groove/Bust a Groove 2 Dance Tengoku Mix

Shit’s gettin’ real. Shorty’s dancing on Japanese letters.

First off, a quick shoutout to the peeps at rhythmemotion, ‘cuz they’ve covered Bust a Groove already.  However, I’m going to add my own sardonic wit to this entry, like I always do.

Geeks…normally can’t dance.  I’m no exception.  I can do martial arts just fine.  Throw me into a ring and I can shuffle around with the greatest of ease.  Throw me onto a dance floor and I start tripping over my own damn shoelaces.  Plus, like most other filipino-american youths at the time, I was thrown into obligatory piano lessons.  I had a teacher that would hit my wrists whenever I screwed up a note or two (Vince, Richie, you know who I’m talkin’ about).  Suffice it to say, music and I weren’t homies.

You know who was my homie though?  Forreal?  Videogames.  They provided a way to escape the normalcy that was my childhood/adolescence.  I could kill robots, kill goombas, beat up Chun-Li, people with whips, goblins….(I could go on, but I don’t want to)  It wasn’t until Parappa the Rapper and Bust a Groove, that I started liking dance and rhythm games.

Dancing?  In my videogames?  At the time it was more likely than I thought.  My cousin Charlie let me play Bust a Groove, and boy was I hooked.  How hooked?  More hooked than a crackhead on his second 8-ball.  Check out this clip and it’s easy to see why.

(SHOOOOOORTY!!! MY FAVORITE CHARACTER)

Leave it to Japan to combine an animé aesthetic with some jammin’ tunes and a wonderfully simple, easy to control game to make something mind-blowingly FUN.  This game was FUN.  F-U-N. YOU HEAR THAT SQUARE ENIX?! YOU USED TO MAKE FUN GAMES BEFORE YOUR MERGER!  BRING BACK BUST A GROOVE!

*ahem*

The fun didn’t stop there.  Oh no no no, they later released Bust a Groove 2, or in Japan, Bust a Move 2: Dance Tengoku Mix.  I picked up a copy of this game in the Philippines, back when Playstation games cost $0.50.  Seriously.

They tweaked up the gameplay, making it flow better with better variety.  The animations were smoothed out as well.  And as for the music, well, there are some tracks I like more than the Part 1 counterparts, and some that I could do without.  Plus that final stage….hoo boy.  Psychotic ballet panda.

There are people that have an irrational fear of Pandas.  I don’t blame them.  Fuck this panda.

When I turned 21, I was disappointed when I walked into PB Bar and Grill for the first time.  There weren’t any dance battles that involved fire dragons, giant cakes, spaceships, or house dancing mad scientists.  

Games like Bust A Groove paved the way for rhythm games to come.  Later we had Dance Dance Revolution and the Bemani series of games…which I’ll cover at a later issue.  Until then, loyal readers!

-Francis

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