I used to be a sucker for these when they first came out on PS1, though to be honest i was never very good. I gave up when i played (and sucked!) on an arcade version once in Hereford, then an 8 year old girl (who'd been watching) got on and totally handed my ass to me on a plate in front of everyone.
That was the last time i was gonna let that happen!!
I remember enjoying them at youth group events. Haven't played DDR in so long though, that I've probably lost what little skills I had. That fad kinda passed (here, at least) when Guitar Hero hit the scene. Time for a comeback?
Alistair what bemani games have you played? I'm not a big fan of konami, but DDR (before supernova 2), pop'n music (amazing game), and possibly beatmania are mad fun.
In the Groove 2 is so much better than ddr though. The pads are 100x better and you can make custom songs and custom charts on your pc with stepmania and bring them to the arcade on a flash drive. I'm trying to get my hands on a cabinet. I don't think I would even consider buying a ddr cab.
Only one worth a crap is a Blueshark and they are no longer made. Had to pay $600 to buy someone off of some guy in canada used. Cobalt fluxes are the alternative - I don't like them, but they are decent enough to get pretty good at the game. They still run around 300 new I think.
You should see ITG. It is much, much harder than DDR especially since you can put custom songs on it.
The top tier ITG players are at a ridiculous level of skill. Someone made a file that was 67000 steps long, 140 bpm 16ths with absolutely no breaks. 120 minutes straight and some dude got about 97% on it.
There are players that are great at 200bpm 16ths, and it gets a good bit faster than that.