On Saturday, early in the AM, I went out and got DDR (Dance Dance Revolution) Hottest Party 3 for the Wii. I haven't played DDR since the dance pad for the Xbox 360 crapped out which is probably sometime last year.
Historically, we've always had problems with every single dance mat for DDR. They eventually stop working correctly. It is horribly annoying. We really love the game ( one of the only ways I've managed to lose weight, by the way) and would play it every day, hours on end. However, those damn dance mats that come with the game always give way.
Soft Mat Tip:
If you use a soft pad on carpet, you probably notice that the pad moves all over the place. Not a good thing when you're trying to complete challenges and whatnot. Something we did, and it has worked so far, was to get one of those clear plastic mats designed for office chairs so the chair can roll over carpet. You lay the office mat down and then the dance pad. So far, our pad has not moved while playing. The office mat will probably last longer than the dance pad itself. It's a little investment upfront but it really helps with the moving dance pad issue.
Konami makes good games, I will not argue that. Their peripherals need more work, though. I know there are third party pads out there. There are even metal pads that can simulate the arcade machines. If you have the money, metal pads are probably a decent investment (until a new console comes out and then you're screwed). The soft pads are just not good for the long run and the metal pads are just a tad expensive.
So I spent a little time after playing on Saturday researching what I could do on my own. I found a little video showing how to build your own mat given an existing mat. It's not a complete tutorial but I think I have the gist of it. Currently I'm just missing the most expensive parts (plywood and Plexiglas). I'm already thinking about how to improve the initial design. It's probably for the best to continue with this design and see how it goes. If it goes good, I have other older pads I can rework.
I miss playing DDR. The music is always good (mostly as Hottest Party 2 music selection was not good at all) and it's always a workout. I have a feeling that DDR is on its last legs. With the coming of the Kinect on Xbox 360, real dancing games might be the only thing. I would like to keep DDR style games around as it is a different play style. It's far easier to pound buttons on the ground then be smooth like Usher.