A short-lived Konami Rhythm Game in its BEMANI line, designed to cash in on the Para Para dance trend in Japan in the early 2000s. It plays almost like sister game Dance Dance Revolution, except that it uses a platform with a semi-circular array of five infrared sensors — denoted on-screen by five arrows — to detect hand motions corresponding to Para Para routines.
The charts in this game are designed to correspond to the routines; on the first version, professional Para Para dance videos were displayed as background videos as a guide (mirrored so that they would correspond to how the player would have to perform), but 2nd Mix switched to using 3D characters. The game also offered a companion screen that showed the aforementioned videos for spectators to watch). Alongside the standard "Para Para" mode, there was also a "Freestyle" mode that had more technical charts with difficulty levels (a la Dance Dance Revolution) rather than corresponding to any particular routine.
As expected, the majority of the game's soundtrack is Eurobeat licenses (particularly from Avex), but there were also Konami original songs, as well as Eurobeat remixes of popular DDR songs of the era.
The game only lasted for two mixes (plus a "1st Mix Plus" update); 2nd Mix notably switched to 3D characters for the routines instead of videos. Like most Bemani titles, its rare in the U.S. (Would its pink cabinet be a factor? Maybe), but its a cult classic (especially at anime cons that are lucky enough to have one in their game room). 1st Mix also had a PlayStation 2 port, complete with sensor controller. The sensor can work with StepMania, but due to its rarity, there's not much content, simfile wise.
This series provides examples of
- Annual Title: The song "velfarre 2000".
- Market-Based Title/Regional Bonus: The Korean version of 1st Mix was re-named Para Para Dancing. It had a few changes, particularly due to Korean restrictions on Japanese content at the time; "Hold on Me" has a new version with Korean vocals, while "I Wanna Dance" and "Tora Tora Tora" were removed entirely. However, it also includes six Eurobeat remixes of K-pop songs in freestyle mode, and also enables three sensors that are on the back of the platform so you can play facing away from the screen as a Self-Imposed Challenge.
- Pink Means Feminine: The cabinet (and the sensors of the PS2 port) is pink, 1st Mix's UI was mostly dark magenta (2nd Mix went to light blue and yellow), and all the Para Para performers in the videos are female. But then, males haven't been afraid to play it, either for curiosity's sake, or because they're rhythm gaming connoisseurs and/or DDR fans (given that these are the same people who praised Dai for his flamboyant dance moves in the music videos on HHH songs).
- Required Spinoff Crossover: The DDR remixes; "Dynamite Rave (super euro version)" and "CAN'T STOP FALLIN' IN LOVE (super euro version)" crossed back to DDR on SuperNOVA, and the PPP original "Hold On Me" crossed over for Extreme. "Night of Fire" was on both DDR Disney Mix (the PS1 version) and IIDX.
- Spiritual Successor: To an extent, any current motion-controlled dance game, including Dance Central and Just Dance, can qualify, due their emphasis on guiding players through full-on dance routines performed by an on-screen dancer rather than using just arrows (Para Para Paradise fell in between, using the arrows to guide players through the routine seen in the video). Both also use more sophisticated technology than just basic infrared sensors, such as a motion-sensing controller (Wii Remote, PlayStation Move), or a sensor-equipped camera with body-tracking like Xbox's Kinect. Konami released Dance Masters (renamed Dance Evolution in Europe and Japan) as a launch title for Kinect. While it's soundtrack draws mainly from Dance Dance Revolution (particularly from the Wii-exclusive Hottest Party instalments), and it's not strictly focused on para para, it still has a few Eurobeat songs with para para routines, as well as crossovers (both licensed and original) from Para Para Paradise (specifically "CAN'T STOP FALLIN' IN LOVE (super euro version)", "Night of Fire" and "Yesterday")
- The Cameo: Usao-kun, the rabbit mascot of Keyboard Mania, is a playable character on 2nd Mix. Oddly enough, he also cameos in the video of a IIDX song called "PARAPARA PARADISE" (which, despite its title, never appeared on the game).