The last console you'd expect to see a dancing game on would be the sausage-fest that is the Xbox 360, but Konami must have thought they could release a fairly good Dance Dance Revolution on this platform. They thought wrong. Well, I'm sure Konami could have released a fairly good DDR game for Xbox 360, it's just that they... didn't.
Dance Dance Revolution Universe is so obviously Ultramix 4 with a new paint job. But it doesn't even look as good as Ultramix 4, I'm not even sure how that happened in the first place. And there are almost no decent songs in this game, unless featureless synthesized non-vocal instrumental tracks seem like a good way to spend your time. So why would you own Dance Dance Revolution Universe? Yeah, why would you?
This doesn't even pass as a Dance Dance Revolution title. The music is mostly synthy driven club-styled music, which isn't what the series is about at all. I admit that some of it can be quite nice to listen to, but I'd kill for something recognizable amongst this trashy list (with a nice solid beat for me to grind my ankles to). There are no memorable songs from the series history, at least in this PAL edition that I have.
If you came for Butterfly, Dub I Dub, Captain Jack, or anything even remotely classified as "Europop", you're going to get proper disappointed. Not just disappointed, proper disappointed.
The "Quest Mode" is an exam in tedium. You play pre-made lists of songs, having to score a certain amount or reach a combo target. After you succeed, you need to more-often-than-not manually quit the song in order for it to count. What-I-Don't-Even.
Nothing "Revolutionary" about this one.
But to make the Quest Mode's notorious dance battles beatable, you have to turn off the background videos. Trust me on this; it's a design flaw disguised as an "innovation." You can buy "video clips" in the Quest Mode, and when they are playing, you get a score boost. By turning these off, the computer controlled dancer loses their boost... sweet! You'll want to do this anyway, to turn half-minute loading times into two-second ones. Doing so strips the game of most of its visuals, but results in making the game actually playable.
Of the ten downloadable songs, six or so are decent, but all of the DLC is already on the disc, like in Beautiful Katamari. And the PAL version has less DLC available than the NTSC versions, although the missing content may still be on the disc somewhere. And we wonder why Konami is in such a bad state now: just look at this tomfoolery. Also, the PAL version of Dance Dance Revolution Universe has an impossible Achievement: you can't "clear all songs", since one of the songs is missing from the main game as well.
This game fails to impress. The mat that comes with the game is of a really good quality, but that can't make up for the appalling faults with the game itself and short-changing us with the DLC. If you have a PS1- or PS2-compatible dance mat, it's better that you spend the extra cash getting hold of Supernova instead. You'll then have access to decent Konami originals, a more involved unlock system and an overall more enjoyable experience.