This is baffling. The game feels like it was made out of obligation, and no other reason. It is as though Konami didn't know the definition of "effort". No, it takes effort to give such little effort. This is effortless lessness of effort! Dance Dance Revolution Universe 2 is pointless and shallow, with virtually no improvement over the first title whatsoever. In many ways, that makes the game even more disappointing! You could see the blatant errors, they were staring you in the face, and yet, you didn't do anything about them!?
There is very little difference in terms of the engine and the licensed song selection. Once again, the licensed songs either appeared in then current arcade games, or were picked based on their popularity or cheapness to license. The modes, characters and features are almost completely copy/pasted from Universe (which itself lifted them all from Ultramix 4), complete with that horrendous facsimile of Emi Toshiba. The mat that came with this game is the same high-quality and beautiful dance mat bundled with Universe, and it is the only part of this whole package that could even begin to justify any spending.
It's for this reason alone that I own three copies of Dance Dance Revolution Universe 2... because it came bundled with that awesome, flawless dance mat.
The tour mode isn't as half-assed as before, for starters it actually makes sense how you progress. However, it still doesn't serve any purpose at all besides lengthening an already droll package and serving as the unlock system for songs, besides other console DDR games using an in-game shop system to unlock songs... a better system! Universe 2 does not even compare to Supernova, a game that came out during the previous console generation and was ported to PlayStation 2 with a lot of the best songs intact.
You still cannot disable the announcer in Universe. They've gone for a different and even more annoying announcer, too. How dare you sing "U, G, L, Y, you ain't got no alibi" at me, you blasted freak. All you can do is turn his volume level down to 1, but he's still there, very quietly judging you. I thought I could beat "Dead End" on Expert; Okay, I know I made a mistake — shut the hell up. Piss off.
The videos still choke up the loading screens for an extra fifteen seconds, so yet again, it makes more sense to turn them off. The graphics are still lackluster, barely even tickling the Xbox 360's visual power. The menus are differently colored but are still the same as the previous installment; they pretty much changed the hue in Photoshop and said, "We're done here."
The game reeks of cheapness. That, and possibly sweaty teenagers who were roped into buying this.
There was a spark of creativity here. You can create your own dancer in this game and play as them in the quest mode, but there is little on offer to customize them. Barely any clothing options, or hair options, or face options, or any damn options whatsoever. That dancer can also be chosen in the quick play mode, but I ask you a question... Generic Dancer, or Emi Toshiba? No question, it's Emi, every time. Even if she does look like a damn hamster in these games, I'm going to pick her over No Name McGee.
Once again, the licensed songs in the game are different in the PAL territory. The PAL song selection includes "Heartbeats" as performed by The Knife. It is nice to listen to, but to dance to... what were they thinking? On the plus side, "Dead End" is included in this game. That would be neat if it wasn't already in Euromix. Stand-out surprises were "I Wanna Be Your Star (Speedy Mix)" (playable from the beginning) and "Space Space Shooter (Cusimo & Co Remix)" (an unlockable song)... Without these tracks, the game would have zero merit whatsoever. These songs are the only songs that I boot this game up for. The others just suck, end of discussion.
Forget this game. Just buy one of the good ones. I would recommend taking a stab at Hottest Party 3 or 4 for Nintendo Wii, or Supernova, X, or X2 for PS2. If you were introduced to Dance Dance Revolution through this game, I feel sorry for you.