You know how fun DDR songs are to play now? Back at the arcade, I would get more and more aggravated as I continued to find myself falling just short of various accomplishments over and over again. Now, thanks to StepMania and my USB converter, I can play those same songs at home, crank the timing window way down, and play them without worrying about the score. Yes, I realize that these scores aren’t legitimate in the context of a competition or rankings, but I really don’t care. This is a game. Games are meant to be fun. And if I’m enjoying myself while raping the hell out of the gigantic timing window that Judge Difficulty 1 gives me, then so be it. I never was an elite player to begin with, so it’s not like I’m being disingenuous with these scores or anything.
That having been said, if you’re at all considering the purchase of a CF pad, I would recommend it wholeheartedly. Just bear in mind the following things:
1. The arrows are really grippy.
While some grip is good, my fresh CF pad had the tendency to hang on to my feet enough that I almost had to consciously lift my foot off an arrow before it could be moved to the next one. To rectify this, I sprinkle a small amount of baby powder onto the left and right arrows when I start, and occasionally put a little more on as I’m playing. I don’t put on so much that I’m sliding all over the place, mind you – just enough so that the pad isn’t fighting me when I try to slide.
2. The pad still slides on the floor.
This was the primary reason I got the CF to begin with – I got tired of playing on soft pads that, even when modded, slid a good foot and a half down and to the right after any song that involved any bit of crossovers. They give you some grip tape to put on the bottom, but it doesn’t really solve the problem – it still drifts backwards a few inches on most occasions. I tried placing it on top of the mat I use for my computer chair, and although that didn’t fix it either, at least I can now feel when the pad is moving, and try to adjust accordingly. When it was on the carpet, it would silently drift away until I was missing the Down arrow entirely.
3. Lots of Pad Boos and Goods.
Because I opened the timing window so wide, the pads gave me a lot of Boos and Goods in the early going. Luckily, I fixed that by manually modifying the StepMania.ini file and making the Good and Boo windows a microscopic amount of time longer than a Great, so early steps won’t be detected, and now I can get those scores on So Deep and Ska a go go as you saw above.
The best part of having the combination of the CF pad and StepMania is that now I can play so many songs I otherwise couldn’t. I can play my never-released edit for Café (which was never put on the 4th+ because it uses Freeze arrows). I can put speed mods on Lupin the 3rd ’78. I can play songs that aren’t even on DDR or ITG, like Murmur Twins, Fly Away, and even my own creations like Daikenkai Long Version and Yeh Yeh.
Even though I’ve done the math and calculated that I would have to play 1723 songs in order to get the same per-song rate I would get at EA, this thing is still worth the money I paid for it and the time it took for me to get it.