Video Game: In The Groove
In The Groove
(or ITG, as it's also known) is a video game unlike other video games.
Instead of a controller where you sit on your ass and mash buttons, in ITG
you stand on a panel with four arrows and follow the arrow that show up on the screen, by stepping on the matching arrows. Mind-numbingly easy on the lower levels, but insanely hard in the later ones. Late-teens seem to catch on better than adults for some reason, and a very
common sight in arcades is 30-somethings being put to shame by dextrous seventeen year-olds.
In case you haven't noticed, most of the lead is right from the Dance Dance Revolution
page. This is because the two games are just that similar
, with ITG essentially being an American-made DDR. However, this doesn't mean the series didn't innovate or have some neat features, like Mines (don't step on them!), charts containing sections that require hitting or holding more than 2 panels at once (intended for use with your hands), and Rolls (Freeze Arrows you have to keep hitting). The game also popularized the concept of "crazy-hard" songs to the 4-panel scene, with an added "Expert" difficulty available for most songs. The normal difficulty scale ranges from 1-12 "block" (compared to DDR's 1-10 at the time), with an additional 13th level for the hardest of the hard. And just look at the cabinet◊
There's a lot going on graphically as well. The arrows here are IN 3D
and are coloured similarly to DDR's "solo" arrows (on beat arrows are red, off-beat are blue, 16ths are green\yellow, etc), but with more solid colour. The default "hallway" perspective makes the arrows come closer to you (IN 3D) as they approach the step zone, though this can be changed to the more conventional "overhead" perspective. If one chooses to turn some mods on (or is playing certain courses), the arrows will weave, spin, and bounce all over the place and yet still somehow be possible to read.
In The Groove was based on the open source rhythm game engine StepMania
, and this fact is utilized today for "hacking" of many of the machines, adding new songs or themes.
The game was developed by Roxor Games (and ITG2 was co-published with Andamiro), however due to a lawsuit Konami
acquired the rights to the series and pretty much killed it off. Most of the original team went on to form a new team to create a Spiritual Successor
as a Pump It Up
spinoff. After 2 versions of Pro (the latter having fewer ITG staff on board), lead musician and/or developers Kyle Ward and Chris Foy went on to create the touchscreen rhythm game Re Rave
ITG displays examples of:
LIFE DEPLETED...ROUND FAILED