Did you know the Game Boy Color was home to quite a few Konami rhythm series in Japan? Surprise! It was. It ended up getting three Beatmania and two Dance Dance Revolution games. Which might strike you as odd, because these are games that typically were played with special controllers both on consoles and in arcades. Well, the Game Boy Color had its own peripheral and today we’re going to look over the finger pad that came with Dance Dance Revolution GB: Disney Mix.
Dance Dance Revolution GB: Disney Mix is pretty much everything you’d expect it to be. There are a number of songs. Some are taken from Disney movies and attractions like “Main Street Electrical Parade” and others, like “Macarena” are not. Each song has a specific character assigned to it. Completing songs successfully on 3 Star Mode earns virtual accessories for Minnie and wearing certain ones at the same time unlocks additional tracks like “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.” It’s adorable, but rather unremarkable until you come to the finger pad.
The finger pad is a peripheral available that was packed in with Dance Dance Revolution GB and Dance Dance Revolution GB: Disney Mix. It’s a pink piece of plastic with four directional buttons and is modelled after the dance pad used with console and arcade DDR games. The finger pad I’m using has the game’s logo and an image of a dancing Minnie Mouse on it. When clipped onto a Game Boy Color, it obscures all buttons except start and select.
Flipping the finger pad over allows someone to see how the Dance Dance Revolution GB: Disney Mix peripheral works. Each of the directional buttons presses specific Game Boy Color buttons when clipped into place. Up hits “A,” right hits “B,” down hits down on the directional pad and left hits right on the directional pad. Yes, I realize how convoluted and wrong that sounds. This is why there’s a option in-game that you choose when using the finger pad. The game automatically alters its controls to accommodate it. It also lowers the difficulty level of all songs.
Which is absolutely fantastic, because man is this Dance Dance Revolution GB: Disney Mix finger pad quirky. The right and left buttons work pretty well 100% of the time. The up and down buttons are more of a gamble. In my experience, it works best if you place the Game Boy Color on a flat service when trying to use the finger pad. I’ll get about a 70% response rate from the up and down buttons if I do. Attempting to actually hold the Game Boy Color while using the finger pad drops that down to about 50% for down and 30% for up.
It’s an interesting bit of Game Boy Color history. The handheld didn’t have many game-specific peripherals. Maybe the reliability issues of Dance Dance Revolution GB: Disney Mix’s finger pad explains why? Still, it’s a neat little thing, a fascinating oddity and worth picking up a either version of Dance Dance Revolution GB to get one.