A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
While exercise is at the core of this game, some of the songs have suggestive lyrics and graphics that detract from the overall message being conveyed. Nelly's song, "Just a Dream," is a look at a failed relationship and the positive take-away from this is that the song takes an honest approach without affixing blame.
Positive Role Models
While the on-screen avatars that you copy to perform dance moves are clearly modeling positive behavior in being active and enjoying dance, there are also decidedly negative images conveyed via the music videos shown in the background of the game. From a lingerie-clad woman dancing on a pole (in Ne-Yo's "Beautiful Monster") to fighting, kids will be exposed to some negative role models. By linking the music videos to the entertaining elements of the game, the game can be seen as creating false impressions that the negative behavior depicted is, in some way, entertaining.
Ease of Play
There are four difficulty settings, and while the basic mode is relatively easy to perform, the expert setting and the exercise programs can be challenging with the movements coming fast and furious.
Violence & Scariness
In one music video that plays behind the animated dancer and the scrolling moves that must be emulated, Ne-Yo (during the song "Beautiful Monster) staggers down an alley and then gets involved in a martial arts fight that includes punches to the face of his opponents. There is no blood, but these are depictions of violence inflicted upon real people.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Suggestive imagery is not part of the main game, but rather is found in the videos that accompany the songs. These videos show women dressed and posing provocatively (as in Miley Cyrus' "Can't Be Tamed") and Rihanna's "Only Girl." In one song, Rihanna starts off by singing "I want you to love me like I'm a hot ride, Be thinkin' of me doin' what you like" while gyrating her hips. The lyrics go down the path of thinly veiled double meanings after that, such as "Take me for a ride, ride, ride, Oh baby take me high, high, let me take you by surprise, oh make it last all night, night."
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Products & Purchases
Some of the videos contain street images with signs advertising various products.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
In Ne-Yo's "Beautiful Monster" video, he staggers around like he is drunk before engaging in a martial arts-style fight with two people in a back alley.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that DanceDance Revolution II is a dancing game played by placing your feet on a dance pad controller. It uses modern music videos from artists such as Rihanna, Ne-Yo, Justin Bieber, Miley Cyrus, Yaz, Natasha Bedington, Bruno Mars and Selena Gomez. Some of these can feature sexually suggestive or violent actions as well as suggestive clothing and lyrics. To get the full experience from the game in multiplayer, more than one dance pad would be needed. The game will let players use a Wii-mote, but playing that way isn't as enjoyable as playing the game on a dance pad.
Is It Any Good?
DanceDance Revolution II is both an exercise game as well a party game for teenagers. The music used runs the gamut from older songs (like Donna Summer and The Human League's "Don't You Want Me") to more modern music that can be provocative. The formula is basically unchanged from previous games, but even so, this is a still a challenging workout. The graphics are decent, and the controller is quite responsive. Those that have older versions may not feel the need to invest in a new game, unless they enjoy dancing to newer music.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.