Bust A Groove

A dancing/rhythm based game for the original PlayStation, released in Europe, US and Japan with each having some minor changed being made across the different regions. A very niche game and one that could only exist an a console.

Gameplay

The game is played by monitoring the beats within rhythm, there are four beats. You press the directional buttons and on the fourth beat you press either the Circle or Square button to execute your character dance move. Whilst this seems easy a lot of the timing is based on the current song being played, and on some songs this can be difficult (Like Kelly’s stage, which is at a slower BPM than the other songs) Timing is crucial and on some emulators its hard to play the game because the delay in response makes it near impossible to play. This is something to consider when playing on a system that has wireless controllers. You can look at the two faces icons at the top left or right of the screen for an idea of which beat you are on. The green bar that shows the buttons to enter also flash to indicate the beat.

There is only one round per level, and score is determined by the complexity of the dance moves performed. The commands to enter are displaced on screen, and after completing the first two combos, you have two possible combinations to enter which alter the dance moves your character does, some being more complex.

Its possible for your enemy player to attack interrupt and break your combo for a maximum of two chances per round. If your quick to respond, you can jump and avoid the attack by pressing triangle. You cannot attack or be attacked during a solo. Otherwise if your hit you will lose whatever combo you were building and will have to start again.

A normal play-through features 12 levels, each getting harder as you progress. Capoeira serves as the mid boss, whilst Robo-Z serves as the final boss. Completing the main game mode unlocks that character for Dance View use, which is where you can select that character and crate your own sequence using the different dance moves that character has.

A Jammer in action, this interrupts your rivals dance move

Fever Time: If you score high enough, your character will enter what is called fever time at the end of the game, this is a bonus dance moves that your character does and does not require any additional input from you, the player.

Characters

Each charicters has their own dance moveset, along with a unique stage and music. Except for Columbo and Burger Dog, which reuse Shorty’s and Hamm’s music and stage respectivly.

  • Heat: The poster character of the game, basically the Kazaya of Bust A Groove (For those who are familiar with Tekken). Supposedly got indo a race-car accident and is now able to expel flames from his body. Dances to the break-dance style.
  • Frida: A Hippie/Beech chick who lives on a beech shack and is a keen graphic artist.When you attain a high score a tropical storm blows her shack to bits, leaving her homeless.
  • Pinky: A Dancer, looks like RuPaul
  • Hamm: A hiphop rapper who loves burgers, sounds like Kermit the Frog. Despite his size he is able to pull off some moves
  • Strike: A gangster rapper, inspired by Snopp Dogg and Coolio. Drinks from a flash in the Japaneese version which is missing in the US/Europe versions.
  • Shorty: A 12 year old girl who deiced to enter a dance competition, has a pet mouse
  • Kelly: Blonde woman who has a fetish for milkshake and baby items, her level can potentially cause a seizure if you’re doing well.
  • Gas-O: Wears a gas suit, some sort of scientist?
  • Hiro: Disco dancer, also has a hairy chest. The official description of him shows hes is shy and works with his computer each night (On the disco Reddit?)
  • Kitty N:Might be A Furry? Has a catchy theme music
  • Capoeria: Two aliens (Lala and Kiki) who serve as the mid-boss. You can guess what their dance style is. Unlocked when you complete the game on normal.They have supposedly come to earth to collect enough billboard to construct a giant fan (To combat global warming?)
  • Robo-Z: A vogue dancing robot, and the final boss of the game. Unlocked when you beat the game on hard.
  • Columbo: Unlocked when you beat the game with Shortly, her pet mouse/ferret.
  • BurgerDog: You can see him in Ham’s stage behind the counter. Can be unlocked by playing with Hamm once you have unlocked Robo-Z, uses Hamms move set.

Screenshots are captured from the Mednafen emulator running on elementaryOS, using the Mednaffle fronted, up scaled to 2x the resolution

You can choose from the default soundtrack which features vocals, or just the instrumental versions. You can also hear the various samples and sound-effects.

Arcade

There are references to an arcade version of the game that was released in Japan only, most likely running on Namco System 10 or Sony ZN hardware which was PlayStation based. There isn’t much footage of this available online and there are no MAME roms that exist so I would assume this game was never fully released, or was only produced in small numbers.

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