It’s time for a look at another quirky product of the late 90s rhythm game craze!
As covered in a previous article, Puyo Puyo is Compile’s effort to add personality to the puzzle game genre. However, aside from Puyo Puyo releases, Compile would continue to remain mostly unnoticed by the gaming public. This would become a significant issue when the late 90s rhythm game craze hit arcades. Game developers were tripping over themselves to get rhythm games into arcades hoping to ride the wave of the genre’s popularity. Compile, feeling the need to get in on the craze, decided to create their own arcade rhythm game based on one of their previous projects, Broadway Legend Ellena. This, however, proved to be an issue as that game only saw a limited release on an unpopular console which would lead to little brand recognition. To solve this problem, Compile decided to use characters from their popular Puyo Puyo games instead while still retaining Ellena herself to serve as a small reference to what was. This is the how and why of Puyo Puyo DA!’s creation.
Puyo Puyo DA! plays just like Parappa the Rapper but with an emphasis on dance moves over rap lyrics. What this means is that the game consists of various stages where you must face an opponent in a dance off by observing their dance moves and then mimicking them until the music is over, a musical “Simon says” if you will.
The game saw release in arcades and on the Sega Dreamcast with both versions being virtually identical. Although the game was negatively received critically, it’s still an interesting oddball of a game and worth a look just to see the ridiculous outfits worn by the Puyo Puyo characters.