Pump It Up Pro The following are my two articles I wrote.
Basic info about the game
Today I had the chance to play the new Roxor/Andamiro game called PIU Pro. The machine I played on was an FX machine.
The game does not have any attract screen or anything which could attract you to the game. You just press START and you can start playing. In Normal/All Skill Levels there's single player (easy, normal, hard, crazy, freestyle, double) and versus. You can also choose to play an equivalent of marathons from ITG in PIU pro. (it's under Progressive/Advanced Song Courses). Blue courses are from the previous PIU games, red courses are new ones and has mods in them.
In song selection screen you may press the Options button to enter the option where you chose what modifiers you want to use (similar to PIU home versions). To exit the menu you press the options button again.
Also the machine supports USB flash cards so you can store your scores and screenshots and then upload it to groovestats (coming soon). Mainly I use the flash card so it remembers the modifiers I use. The good thing in Pro is that you can insert the card anytime you want and you still get the data saved on your card.
After setting up the modifiers you can select the song and choose the difficulty (or you may hold options button and choose the difficulty with the arrows).
The arrows are evaluated as follows: Superb is the best then there is Perfect, Great, Good, Miss.
There are quite some noteskins. The primary ones are the PIU Pro original ones and classical PIU noteskins. PIU Pro noteskins use the same colors as ITG notes. Each note has a color corresponding to its length (blue note = 4th note, red note = 8th note, yellow note = 16th note etc). PIU classic noteskin uses orange/red for Up-Right and Up-Left arrows, blue for Down-Right and Down-Left arrows, yellow for the center. There are also Xuxa or Smiley noteskins but they are rather annoying but in courses it can be fun.
The background animations in PIU Pro are really beautiful and they did not disappoint me with Energizer flowers at the slow down^_~ Seriously the BGAs are really worth it. But for the rest of the graphics I have to say I was totally disappointed. There are no nice animations (even small details would do the job), it's mostly static all the time and well just without life. The whole game is more like "Play and get high scores nothing more". But I have to admit that the noteskins are nicely done and the confirmation of an arrow has a really nice animation. But roll arrows are terrible, they just don't fit in at all. Mines are nice, but are hard to register, at least my brain went like "WTF? Mines?".
The good thing about the graphics/gameplay is that it does not show the percentage while you play. At least that's what I think is better for me. Also the game shows a song progress bar and it counts down the stages. So you know which stage you are playing while playing it.
The hardest song is rated 15. All the PIU songs are thus rerated. It seems that songs rated 10-12 are 9s in Pro, 13-14-15 are 10s or 11s etc. But for example Pump me up Amadeus is
an 8 on Hard in both games.
Concerning the stepcharts. You can really see who made the stepcharts Roxor people have their own style and you can clearly feel it in it. Also they added new step patters which is really nice and stepping to the tunes of Kyle's music is great. It really feels like playing In The Groove 1,2,3. As PIU Pro is mix of PIU songs and ITG songs you may notice the difference between stepcharts and difficulties. I personally prefer playing original PIU charts then "ITG" ones. But still I have to admit that the charts are actually good and they are worth it. For a person not liking PIU and liking ITG it's a good change. Because the idea is still there and 5 panels may be more challenging (and Nightmare even more).
So I have to say Good Job on this. Even though it won't change my opinion that PIU NX is far better than PIU Pro.My review on PIU Pro
Theme: this is the first thing that stroke my eyes. actually the theme seem to lack quite a lot of stuff. I mean where are all the transitions and animations a good theme could have? The theme is clean, crisp and simple which is good on one hand but bad on the another hand. After playing PIU NX this IS really a big difference and negative one.Also there is nothing like an attract screen don't you find this wierd? there is nothing that it would suggest that PIU Pro is a dancing game. Well, for me it was a disappointment.
It's good that you can start the game quickly but this is rather for players who want just to play and get better. What about people who like to enjoy every aspect of the game? (look at NX)BGAs: background animations are really awesome. I really enjoyed Y2Z BGA and some other songs (! for example).
Notes: well, the new noteskin is really nice and I like it and it is also something I wanted to use in PIU games to see how fast Dignity Crazy ?? is. It is good to have a noteskin where each 4,8,16 etc note has a different color. But also it can confuse some as you can get UR+DL and both notes have the same color. So well thanks for the classic noteskin as well.the roll notes seemed to me pretty awkward...bizarre well anything else than good. I just saw a rolls and went like WTF?
mines are nice even though I register something and I can't decide what the hell it is (even though original PIU mines are more difficult to spot a register by the brain/eyes)In gameplay: the good thing I found is that there is no percentage or score displaying. This is something which made me nervous many times and also made me lose by 0.something percent because of this in tournaments. Also seeing the score before finishing the song sometimes spoils the "I wanna try my best".
The progress bar is nice, even though I noticed it by accident while accidentally playing double on P2 not P1.Stage countdown is good as I sometimes need to know which round I play during gameplay.
the note disappearing animation is nice. I appreciate this one.USB support I find this good. Scores and screens and calories burn. (yeah, of course it has its minuses)
Stepcharts: I have to admit that I was surprised by the quality of them. When I played several first ITG songs I felt like " hey, this is ITG". Well, it was more...hell I know who did those steps. True that when I played double I felt like playing MJs stepcharts and that made me feel kinda bad...There are new patterns that I haven't seen in PIU but when my legs just went through them automatically I thought "hey, this is a new pattern and actually a good one". I didn't need to think how to "run" it. (I still have problems with CanCan crazy and Larpus CZ stepchart).
Step Evaluation: Superb is nice and it showed me that I suck at accuracy while playing PIU. It's true that I just didn't want to step accurately to the tunes. I just wanted my legs to keep on moving but in roxor stepcharts it was kinda hard. When I played Oasis I felt like missing something even though the stepchart felt like Oasis. (my original PIU results were most Superbs and some Perfects, but PIU Pro songs were most Perfects and not so many Superbs).ITG players are not used to "catch" the freeze arrows so I guess it can be more difficult for them to realize that they should step once more on the panel and stop the annoying miss combo. (I broke many freezes in PIU Pro and I have no idea why as I don't have the problem in ITG nor PIU)
Also jumping on the freezes in PIU games makes me get less perfects but no misses. in PIU Pro I got mostly misses for this...
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