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Pump Haven :: Pump it Exceed SE Xbox Beta Version Exposť!
11:52PM CST :: 8/28/05


A look into something most people will never see...


Before I begin, I would like to thank PH member and moderator t1ck_t0ck, for without him, I would not have been able to buy this.
With that said, welcome to my Pump it Up Exceed SE Xbox Beta Exposť.

The game arrived at my house on 8/22, with 9 days left before the official release of Exceed SE. It was simple enough, a disc with the beta material and a pad.

[My Pump it Up Pad and Xbox Beta Disc]

The disc itself is very simple, a white label DVD-R with the Pump it Up logo, Mastiff's logo, and "April 14, 2005 XBOX not final debug required". They were right.
While the game isn't unplayable, there are a few glitches in the game, which I will get to.

Upon starting the game, Exceed loads your profile, and would probably load your Xbox Live profile as well. Owning a modchip without a switch, I don't risk playing on Live. (Sadly, this prohibits me from accessing the Step Editor as well as anything else hidden in the Live section.)
The Andamiro and Mastiff logos play, followed by the Team Freevolt video. After this is the opening video from Pump it Up Exceed.

The game dumps you at the title menu after the video. For those of you familliar with the Korean PS2 version of Exceed, the menu music has changed, as well as the logo and background video. The female voice that told you which mode you had selected is gone as well.
Here's a picture of the changed logo, as well as the menu you eventually get to:
[Exceed Logo, changed from Korean PS2 Version]
[Picture of the Title Menu]
The default choice is Arcade Mode, which is basically the arcade experience at home. Going to the right...
Sudden Death Mode, Videos (needs to be unlocked), Options, Xbox Live, Statistics, Tutorial, and Home Mode.
Supposedly there is a Survival mode as well, but I have not unlocked it yet.

I head into the Options menu because really, I suck at Pump.
The Credits option has been moved from the Main Selection Wheel to the Credits screen (compared to PS2 Korean Exceed). Everything else is just about normal, save for changing Stage Break into a Lifebar option.
Also, How To Play is gone, since the Tutorial mode is now available.

Home and Arcade modes are standard fare, same as Original and Arcade Style from Korean PS2 Exceed.
...with the exception of the locked songs. :)

Here is the list of locked songs in the Home Mode:

Banya Channel
Hate, Final Audition 1, Nightmare, Oh Rosa, Solitary, Dr. M, Love is a Danger Zone, Will 'O The Wisp, Vook, Csikos Post, Bee, D Gang, Hello, Beat of the War, Come to Me, Ignition Starts, Hypnosis, Koul, Extravaganza, Naissance, She Likes Pizza, Final Audition Episode 1, Chicken Wing, Can Can

Pop Channel
Bambole, Clap Your Hands, Conga, Eres Para Mi, Join the Party, MexiMexi, Kiss Me, Ba Be Loo Be Ra, La Cubanita, Shake it Up, Power of Dream, Watch Out, Fiesta, Soca make yuh ram ram

K-Pop Channel
Forever Love, Passion, Come To Me, Hatred, Another Faith, Fighting Spirits, Don't Bother Me, Love Song, To The Top, A Trap, Run!, Come Back to Me, As I Told U, Slam, Go Away, Gotta be kidding!, Perfect!, Empire of the Sun, Circus Magic, The Rap: Act 3, Pierrot, Valenti, Funky Tonight, Com'back, Mobius Strip, We Are, Starian, Loner

Arcade Mode has most of these songs playable, but some songs are locked, saying they need to be unlocked in Home Mode. Now, I already unlocked a few things, so I can't tell you which ones those are since I don't want to erase my game, etc. Also, when you complete a session, you get an Internet Ranking code, which I can't enter on the official ranking site just yet.
[Internet Ranking Code Picture]
As you can tell by me posting here, I don't care about this code getting out on the Internet. It's not like I'd rank anyways. ;)

[Sudden Death song selection]
Sudden Death Mode is a fun little mode. You only start with five songs, three in the K-Pop Channel (Valenti, Forever Love, and Love Song) and two in Pop Channel (Kiss Me and Power of Dream). You unlock other songs in Sudden Death Mode by playing what you already have. Eventually you'll start unlocking some Banya Channel songs (Dr. M was my first, followed by Turkey March and Vook).
Sudden Death is much more lenient than DDR's Oni Mode: it won't fail you for a Good or a Bad.

There are at least three reasons that this game is still beta:

1) Some of the animations don't load on time. For instance, if you fail a song, you might hear the audio first, and then you'd get the animation.
IMO, this is a minor bug. I can see how it'd upset some people though. I just laugh it off when playing.

2) And this is where it starts getting serious. Sometimes, when picking a song in Home or Arcade mode, the game will freeze up.
I've pinpointed the problem with this. For instance, in Arcade Mode, Mexi Mexi is right next to Kiss Me. If you try playing Mexi Mexi in Arcade Mode, it will freeze up unless you unlock Kiss Me. From what I see, this is related to problem number three:

3) THE UNLOCK SYSTEM IS MESSED UP (everywhere except Banya Channel in Arcade Mode).
Don't get me wrong, sometimes the unlock system works:
But most of the time, it doesn't. I've come up with the reason for this, which I have quoted in a few forum posts:
"Everything is ONE OFF to the right.
For instance, Eres Para Mi and Join the Party are in that order in the Pop Channel.
In order to unlock Join the Party, you'd have to play Eres Para Mi.
On the other side of EPM is Conga. You play Conga to unlock Eres Para Mi."
In reality, I think it's looking for songs that were missing... oh wait, there's a fourth problem with the game:

4) Hey guys Canon-D and We Don't Stop are supposed to be on here but the WMA files for them aren't here, whoops.
Precisely what it says. Oh, they didn't forget to put on the title images or the BGAs (the video for Canon-D is the FULL MIX video, even!) or even the steps, but they forgot to put the most important element on the disc, the songs themselves.
I have added these songs in, but have yet to test the unlock system with them in.

These problems aside, the game is still looking (and playing) pretty good. It rarely has slowdown, if ever.
Of course, these problems will all be gone in the final build.

The pad is seriously one of the most responsive pads I've ever played with. I've still gotta get used to the layout, but that'll come with practice.

The retail version of Exceed is coming out in three days, so get your cash ready!
(No seriously please buy this, I want to see Exceed 2 on Xbox/PS2 in the US.)
Also, I guess I forgot to put the song list in the original article. Since I don't feel like adding a million <br/>'s to lines, here's a link to the song list.

And now, have some videos of the US Exclusive songs:
VIDEO #1: Steriogram - Walkie Talkie Man (Nightmare)
VIDEO #2: Crystal Method - Name of the Game (Nightmare)
VIDEO #3: Sugarhill Gang - Rapper's Delight (Crazy)
VIDEO #4: Earth, Wind and Fire - Let's Groove (Nightmare)
VIDEO #5: Pandera - I Love You Baby (Crazy)
VIDEO #6: Elvis vs. JXL - A Little Less Conversation (Nightmare)
-AJ 187