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Dance mat games are a great way to exercise , and are very satisfying as you go up through to difficulty levels, improve mentally and physically. The game is also great fun in small parties and gatherings, where there are plenty of songs that a beginner can complete. A fabric dance mat is the basic requirement for plying these dance games on the Nintendo Gamecube and Wii.
I got a Logic 3 dance mat bundled with my first DDR (Dance Dance Revolution) game, and really enjoyed playing it. The game was similar to the DDR arcade games (with none of the long steps where you have to stay on the pad), and this suited the Logic 3 mat well. This mat lasted about 3 years, but the 'down' arrow broke after being stored incorrectly - always fold the mats between the buttons, as the mat is originally packaged to avoid damage. I then went to search for a replacement mat, and found the Logic 3 to be the best value, and bought it again despite the breakage (which I think was my own fault!).
The feel of playing on a fabric dance mat is very different to that of a hard mat, but if you spend a long time on it, the fabric mats are much more comfortable on your feet. The synthetic upper surface is smooth,but with enough friction to prevent you slipping over, even on completely relatively difficult levels (for me a 7 step rating). The only problem I have with this mat, is that the under surface is too slippy and the mat migrates very slightly across the carpet, towards the TV during a song. This has not stopped me enjoying the game, but moving the mat back each time can get a bit annoying.
This mat has four arrows to step on, which exactly mirrors the arcade machines, as opposed to the 8 step games, which I find confusing and less enjoyable - keep it simple.
Playing with the fabric dance mat is great fun and good exercise in itself, but it is not going to help you much to improve yourself on the DDR arcade machines. A fabric dance mat is no substitute for practicing on a hard mat if you want to get really good. The main difference is the much greater pressure needed on the hard mats - I can complete 7 step songs on the fabric but have struggled with 4 step songs on the arcade machine because I am simply not used to pressing hard enough.
Dance mat games are great and a fabric dance mat is cheaper than a hard dance mat. I choose the Logic 3 mat because it feels good to dance on and has all the function I want from a dance mat. Not recommended if you are planning to train for arcade machine DDR.