As a hardcore Dance Dance Revolution fan, I thought it was time to get away from slipping around on my various plastic pads and dish out some money for a metal one. I looked high and low on the web for a good quality pad. My criteria: a heavy pad that would stick to carpet or wood floors, and recessed buttons for an arcade feel.
Before buying this pad, I read around about some of the major brands including the Cobalt Flux pad and the RedOctane Afterburner. Both had great reviews! They were top quality and had recessed buttons just like I was looking for, but The Cobalt Flux pad was built with an extra plate separating the buttons that many people had reported stubbing their toes on. Since I play barefoot, I ruled it out immediately. The RedOctane After Burner, on the other hand looked sleek, but was not compatible with XBOX 360.
One problem with the plastic pads that come with the Dance Dance Revolution games is that most, if not all of them are for one gaming system. I live in a house with two DDR fans and around 5 gaming systems. You can only guess how many pads we have laying around! The Energy Metal Dance Pad comes with one of two control boxes. The one I bought is for PSX,PS2, XBOX, and PC/Mac via USB. The other, which is around $20, is for PS3, XBOX 360, and Wii/Game Cube. Having this option allowed me to get rid of all my many plastic pads that were junking up my cabinet drawers. It was like a weight lifted off my shoulders!
Something else that constantly worries a college student is their budget. The listing price of the Energy pad on www.dancedancerevolution.com was $360 if you didn’t order the balance bar or any games with it. This is acceptable for a good quality pad and was of equal or lesser value than other top brands, but I suggest, if you are looking to buy a metal pad, to check ebay. Mine was under $200 brand new.
I have been dancing on this pad for a few months now and never have I missed a step due to faulty wiring. If there is one negative thing I would say about the pad, it would be about the arrows. The plastic arrow buttons bow up in the middle just the slightest bit. I noticed it right away because I was comparing it to the arcade machines. This factor has never been an issue while playing and I don’t even notice it now. It is just one of the differences between the arcade and home versions.
Now for the good part. The construction of this pad makes it ideal for the barefoot dancer. Of the nine panels, there are four arrow buttons, an “A” and “B” button, and three solid panels (middle and two back corners) to stand on. There are also no extra plates or screws to stub your toes on. The recessed arrows make the pad feel like you are playing on the arcade Dance Dance machine, and the weight of the pad holds the whole thing in place while you dance. This, of course, means acing those expert or maniac level songs with ease!