...Okay, so before we get started, I want to say that this review reflects my opinion and mine only. If you don't like what I have to say, you're free to disagree with me (god knows I love me a good argument) but don't flame. If you think you are going to flame, then you can just stop right here and go back to fapping to pop'n music characters.
Still here? Good! Today, you're gonna listen to my long-winded dissection of the 14th game in the beatmania IIDX series. If you don't know what beatmania is, wiki it. I am too lazy to explain it to you.
IIDX GOLD moved on from the dark, sterile style of DistorteD to come right at ya with some fancy golden indulgence. The typeface is now in old-English font in a shiny gold with a crown. The characters are donned in rich, slinky outfits that have jumped straight out of a late 90's rap video and everyone looks like they're rollin' in the dough. The songs this time around give a processed feel to them, sounding more like chart-toppers than game songs. They totally changed the atmosphere and I appreciate that. I just don't like it. Haven't we had enough bling? According to Konami,no. We have enough when they say it's enough so right now we need to sit down and have an extra helping of it.
That being said, let's get on with it and dive right into the songs:
2hot2eat / Osamu Kubota: This song has a nice polished ethnic sound. Though the genre did confuse me; Hindu Salsa? I'm pretty sure that there aren't much songs that fit in there besides this song and it fits in oh-so-well. A little boring at first but the end is where it gets really good. “Arrabiata” and “exotic ethnic” by Reven-G have similar flavor if this is what you're into. 8/10
Air Bell / D-crew: D-Crew revived my faith in them by producing "CURUS" for Pop'n Music IROHA and they carry that one with this song. They've moved to Flow pop and I think they're quite at home there with this song. The slightly unpolished vocals give the song a youthful feel to it and make it fun to play. “CURUS” and “Be Lovin”, also by D-Crew are some worth a listen. 9/10
Blind Justice ～Torn souls, Hurt Faiths～/ Zektbach: I was really hoping for more from this artist and I got it. This song blows 'Apocalypse' out of the water plus the note chart is a bit challenging. The video is lovely and provides haunting visuals with the singer's eerily smooth voice. As much as I like the song, I'm fonder of the full version on cyber beatnation 1st conclusion. Still, this song is very lovely and I look forward to what zektbach will bring next. “Apocolypse -dirge of swans-” is a must-listen for this group. 9/10(game cut), 10/10(full version)
CaptivAte～誓い(oath)～ / A/I: The last and possibly final CaptivAte song. Plus there's a pretty little girl in the video now. It started out a little bland but quickly picks up and then takes the song in a different direction. It brings a fitting closure to the trilogy but at the same time leaves a potential opening if they decide to make a quadrilogy. “CaptivAte～浄化(purification)～” was the first and it a good song to get song's “story” but my favorite is “CaptivAte～裁き(judgment)～” with DJ YOSHITAKA at the helm. 8/10
Come On / John Robinson: Long time, no see. This guy disappeared after RED and seeing him here was an unexpected surprise. Another was the vocals. They were almost jarring but after giving it another listen, they meshed quite well. This song sounds good but songs like it would have fit in better in DistorteD. Just sticks out a little too much here. Listen to Kecak and you'll get an idea of his overall style. 8.5/10 (Half a point for his return)
CROSSROAD / jun with TAHIRIH – These two really know how to make some good eurobeat. TAHIRIH is my favorite English singer out of all the ones I've heard. Her voice fits and she doesn't clutter the song too much like Paula Terry. She's pretty much like Paula Terry with discipline and restraint. I liked this song but I like “Why Did You Go Away?” better. If you like this song try “Why Did You Go Away” by the same artist or “PARAPARA PARADISE” by Domino. 7/10
Cyber Force / Sota Fujimori feat. cyborg AKEMI: A pretty nice song but very typical of Sota. At least it wasn't another incarnation of “Look to The Sky”. I just wish this song had a little more charisma but it just feels...boring. Like a rice cake with nothing on it. Fills you up but leaves you wishing it had a little flavor. “Look to the Sky” “Andromeda” and “PLASMA” are some others by this guy that you should seek out if you like this song. Not my cup of tea though. 6/10
Dreaming Sweetness / Auridy : Funny story, I was listening to this song and forgot I was listening to it and then after a little while I thought, “Damn, this song is still on?!” It's boring and sounds like the name entry music from DDR. It would be okay as system music but other than that it's just too boring. Still, if I have to listen to this in Hell, I wouldn't mind. Eventually, I'd probably forget that I was in hell. If you like this song, you're probably someone who likes to stay on the menu and listen to system music of most of your games. Some songs up your alley might be “Malacca” by nc ft. NRG factory or “dazzle” by kobo feat. kr:agué. 3/10
earth-like planet / ELEKTEL – ELEKTEL has been mistaken for Slake many times and I can see why. You could probably get away with calling this artist Slake lite or Slake on Prozac. It's a nice mellow song that has a little chaos sprinkled in. So far this is my favorite song by this artist. “Ubiqitous Moon Ride” and “Moon Race” are more by this artist I can recommend if you wanna start collecting. 9/10.
FIRE FIRE / StripE: This song sounded like angry Naoki to me. I respect Naoki but I don't like him. I do like the aggression the song but the repetitiveness got on my nerves. Then I listened to it again and realized that I just didn't like it because it reminded my of Naoki. It's a pretty run of the mill song, which makes me sad. Kors k does wicked fine remixes but his own stuff is just so...regular. “RED ZONE” by Naoki and Tatsh might be something you'd like if you liked this song. 5/10.
four-leaf / Sis Bond Chit : This song was pretty nice. I liked the vocals. Not much rock in this game with female vocals. They fitted well with the drums and guitar but the song just felt so...short. Everything flows so smoothly, you don't even notice that time has passed but when it ends you want more. I'm hoping the V-Rare provides a full version, I would really like to hear what this song has to offer. “Gekkou chou” by Asaki is an equally nice song you should check out if you liked four-leaf as much and I did. 9/10
GHOSTBUSTERS / Remixed by DJ Yoshitaka: What....what? That is the initial response I had when I had come across this song. Then I actually checked it out for lulz and got some. Yoshitaka does give the song an edgy remix to it that I am okay with but the Engrish singing kinda detracted from that. All the same, it did make me chuckle and since it at least did that I'll go gentle on it. 7/10
GRID KNIGHT / SAW WAVE SQUAD: This sounded like a song that would fit into a flying video game like Starfox or something. Then again, grid knight sounds like a cool name for a game. There's a moment in the middle of the song that tricks you into thinking it's over and that's something I can appreciate. It's pretty okay. You might like “EternuS” by Saxxion 7 if this one gets you going. 8/10.
HALF MOON / Mutsuhiko Izumi: The beginning sounded so epic. There was even a gong. The the guitar came in to build up the song even more. Then I kept waiting...and waiting. The climax of the song was so anticlimactic. The song build you up but keeps you waiting for the epic finale only to stand you up and leave you awkwardly wondering what the hell just happened. “FIRE” and “Jet World” are some of his better stuff with guitar. 6/10.
KAMAITACHI / DJ TECHNORCH fw. GUHROOVY: “I like this song?” After seeing the trippy video of an inverted world in fast forwarded randomness and listening to the track while checking out the chart that was my reaction. I wasn't sure why, but I still liked the song and it confused the heck out of me. All the same, I'm glad to see GUHROOVY again. Check out “Lovergirl in Summer (GUHROOVY D HARDCORE MIX)”. It'll get you as hype at this song did, plus it makes a little more sense to me. 7/10.
LASER CRUSTER / L.E.D.: I lol'd at the name when I first saw it. Then I saw the hyper chart and stopped laughing. This song is HARD! I don't even wanna look at the Another chart after seeing that. Though I will be a little nit-picky about the genre. It didn't sound all that break-beat-ish to me. More like Sublime Gabbah or Tranquil Electroshock but oh well. Maybe they wanted to just get some use out of the nu-skool breaks genre. “Overblast!!” is an early song by this group that I like. Also “IXION” is a must listen. 8/10.
Make Me Your Own / good-cool ft. Raj Ramayya: I'm so glad good-cool is making house again. This a smooth house song complete with superficially romantic lyrics and a slick R&B singer. I always thought that Raj and good-cool made a good team since I heard their first collaboration in RED and his return makes me happy. I'm a little disappointed at the lack of tribal sounds but it still sounds okay. Take a listen to “Move Me” from IIDX RED and you'll see what I'm talking about. 7/10
METALLIC MIND / DJ TECHNORCH fw. GUHROOVY: Man, another song? These two really got busy! Anyway, I saw a Lucky Star AMV that was well synced to this song and I thought it was great. This time around, these guys sounded a lot like L.E.D. Though. Just a little bit. Still, really nice rave techno. Made me wanna break out the glow-sticks. I got into the rhythm and I really liked the song overall. “DXY!” and “Holic” by TaQ are some similar sounding ones that keep the beat going as well. 9/10.
never... / 星野奏子 with dj TAKA: This song was really relaxing. I almost wanted to doze off while listening to it. Taka accommodates Kanako's deliberately lifeless voice with music that is simple, muted and more complex than it sounds. Plus Kanako's Engrish is pretty tolerable. Not a truly remarkable song but not a bad song either. “Freeway Shuffle” by dj TAKA, “Let the Snow Paint Me” by Sana, and “5.1.1” by dj Nagureo are all good ones if you like this song. 7/10
Play back hate you / AKIRA YAMAOKA: Ooookay, this song was a little...different for Akira. There was some “rapping” near the end which was probably Akira himself. It was a good techno song only a little bland. At least he didn't go completely crazy, I guess. “tant pis pour toi” is a song in the same vein where I think he went a little nuts. “iFutureist” and “昭和企業戦士荒山課長(Showa-Era Corporate Warrior Section Chief Arayama) is also a crazy sister to this song. 7.5/10 (half a point for confusion?)
Red Rocket Rising / BeForU: This song is surprisingly good. I was expecting it to be utter crap considering the fact that they lost a few members and replaced them with some green-horns but I was happily proven wrong. Plus, you get to hear more vocals from the other band members rather than Riyu Kosaka monopolizing the song. It's classic BeForU that's been refined to a sweet, smooth confection. The video was a little boring but I never really expect much of this group in that department. “KI-SE-KI” and “moon bike” are some wonderful songs from this incarnation of BeforU that I think are worth your time. 8/10
Roulette / Y&Co.: See, there's this gold car, right? And there's also this random CG rendered chick doing...something. Whatever. Throwing this video aside, Y&Co has once again produced some sweet ass Eurobeat. This guy knows what he's doing when he comes to his genre. He's stayed there and he's done well there. I think this song was pretty peachy. “SPEEDY CAT”, “Bad Boy Bass -dj REMO-CON MIX”, and any of the remixes they've done over the span of their career are highly, highly, recommended. 9/10.
Second Heaven / Ryu☆: I thought the guy in the video was probably some weird reference to “The Matrix”. Seeing as I don't like those movies, let's move on. This was a nice song. It was deceptively luring you in with an easy looking chart and then springing streams of tricky keys on you. Made me respect this song a little more. It's a great song but not my favorite song by this artist. I just want to know one thing...what kind of genre is HANDZ UP? I swear they just make up genres to mess with you. “Harmony and Lovely” is a beautiful song by this artist that you must listen to along with his remixes of “Under the Sky” and “The Strong Jaeger”. 8/10.
smile/miru_maki.gjw: Cuddlecore evolves into Ele Pop with this track. I thought this sounded a lot like murmur twins but better. Much better. One of my favorites from this installment. I wish that the video was a little better. I think that faceless lego-people fit it all that well. Still, this chart was insanely difficult. I was expecting that but it was still a surprise. All the background sounds come into play with the vocals and you could easily lose track of everything. Awesome! A song worth bolstering your skill in my opinion. “murmur twins” by yu_tokiwa.djw and “OVER THE CLOUDS” by Lala Moore are some gems that accompany this song well. 10/10
snow storm / dj TAKA: This song is beautiful. TAKA brings it and doesn't disappoint. The song is tranquil, lovely, and somewhat regal and the sound does remind me of snow. Of course, the chart gives you a reasonable start and a reasonable finish but the chart in the middle of the song, around the 1:20 mark will probably make you cry...or at least swear. Check out the full version of the song on TAKA's album “milestone”, “V” (of course), and Tomorrow Perfume for some greatness. 9/10.
So Real / Y&Co. feat. mioco: Song House huh? I guess that makes sense. It is house...that you're singing over...but there's already singing and uh...never mind. I didn't care much for the singer, she just sounded flat to me. The video featured various fabric pattern swatches in many eye searing colors and the chart was pretty easy. Bleh, Y&Co makes awesome Eurobeat. Leave the house to good-cool. The song is reasonable...just not good. “nothin' ain't stopping us” by Shoichiro Hirata, “I was the one” by good-cool, and “SWEET LAB” by dj SIMON are some much better choices to claim 'House' as it's genre. 3/10.
STARS☆☆☆ (Re-tuned by HΛL) -IIDX EDITION- - TЁЯRA: I did not like the original "STARS☆☆☆". I just...didn't. This remix wasn't exactly one that I looked forward to. Then I garnered down and forced myself through it. Once again, I was delightfully surprised. HΛL did a wonderful job of remixing this song. Jun's voice really shines in this version and the video seems a little more melancholy. I'm a sucker for the melancholy, plus I'm a TЁЯRA fan so this song has gotten on my good side. TЁЯRA 's version of “ever snow”, “Alfarshear”, and “STARS☆☆☆” are some you should give a listen if you want something decent to compare this one to. 9/10
the shadow / kors k: The first thing that I had to do was figure out was “schranz” was. I stared and the screen and wondered. Then I did what a normal person would do and just wiki'd it. Apparently, it's German hard techno. Okay. That's one thing out of the way. This song is synchronized noise and I'll admit, it's well done. This is something that may repel most people...well it repelled me. Remember what I said about kors k doing his own thing and how he sucks at it. Well, here's more proof of my point. If you like this song, try “22DUNK” by Slake, “Digital MinD -A /T Libra Mix” by TaQ, or just bang some pots together. 4/10
The Smile of You / 猫叉Master feat. JESSY : This song is cute. It's also from Elebits, a cute Wii game. The video is adorable, filled with cheeky Elebits dancing and footage of the game. The vocals are sweet and honest, too. You can hear Nekomata Master's signature style in the music though it's a little muted. For what is possibly some of his best check out “Reflection into the EDEN”. Do it! Do it Now! 9/10.
TRANOID / T&S seq. factory : This song was pretty cute. It was like a retro-game theme. In fact they made up the whole game where you play as an alien gal named “Tran” and do...something? Anyway, it was pretty difficult and I have a feeling this will become so overplayed that I'll get sick of it but as of right now, I really like it. Any of the “Gradius” songs or “Burning Heat” are great ones that actually come from video games that are pretty cool too. 9/10/
Watch out!! / MAD Sequence＊: So this is what Japan thinks hip-hop is huh? I think they got it wrong. Unless they decide to tack “old skool” or some variant on to the genre I am going to say that this goes into the breakbeat category. I really like this song all the same. “BATTLE BREAKS” by DJ TAKAWO is another great song you may like, if this one makes you giddy. 8/10.
With your Smile/Shoichiro Hirata plus Junko Hirata: What's with jun and her sad videos. Anyway, this is an okay song. Jun's voice take the forefront but I would have liked for the music to be a little more prominent. All the same, this song is really nice and relaxing. “Love Again” by Tatsh and jun and “DOUBLE ♥♥ LOVING HEART” with jun and Sayaka Minami of BeForU are some equally relaxing ones worth your time.
X-rated / SADA: This artist has always produced pretty good sounding stuff and this was no exception. I gotta admit, this did sound a lot like the Mortal Kombat song. The chart is pretty demanding too. Filled to the brim with notes and that was just on another. Still, this song just makes me wanna scream “Mortal Kombat!” but I'm sure that would just get me funny looks. Besides, I'm angry at Midway right now. SADA's “Broadbanded”, “Star Field” and “Wanna Tell That Word” are pretty much all this artist has done in beatmania and it's well worth listening to...oh and “MOOORTAAAAL KOMBAT!!!”. 9/10.
Yabis Starlight / DAJI: This song starts out kicking your but with hammers and streams galore. Still, it's pretty cool sounding. The video is a little confuzzling, you're shooting at this spaceships with faces on them as you fly across several eye-searing backgrounds. I'm pretty sure this was some sort of Gradius refrence but that didn't stop me from saying “What the fishsticks?!”. There's a long version on the IIDX Gold OST if this song left you wanting more. 8/10
カミロ・ウナ・メンデス / 山根ミチル: Michiru Yamane is a god in my eyes. Not only did he score a good chunk of the Castlevania songs but his contributions to Konami games are nothing short of awesome. This song is “Spanish Cool” and I have to say that they are very right. Got a nice Brazillian groove going through the song. I must warn you though. The BPM says that its 119 but IMO it's actually much faster. Still a wonderful sounding song. “estella” by Osamu Kubota sounds a lot like this one and I recommend it if you liked this song...or play Castlevania. 9/10.
鬼言集 / あさき: OH LAWD, IS DAT SUM ASAKI I SEE THARE?! That's pretty much my reaction every time I see him in a beatmania game. I didn't really start recognizing his sound until I got a hold of his album 'Shinkyoku'. His sound is so distinct in the fact that it's so chaotic. Plus the dark scary names for everything. This song was no exception. I really like the over-processed sound of his voice. The title of his song translates to “Demon World Collection” and the sound is sadistically distorted. In my opinon, dat's sum good Asaki thare. If you like that, then take a listen to Asaki's other stuff like, この子の七つのお祝いに (Konoko no nanastu oiwaini), 蛹(Sanagi), and Agnus Dei. 9/10
クルクル☆ラブ～Opioid Peptide MIX～ / イオンチャンネル: This song is cute, repetative, additive and toxic to anyone who's not into that sort of thing. I love the song and the moe-robot vocals. The video is a cute, random thing that features clips from a little know Brain Age-type game from Konami. Still, as a possessor of two X chromosomes, I am a sucker for all things sugary and cute. With that I say “I-mo-o-to”. 10/10.
花吹雪～IIDX LIMITED～ / S.S.D.FANTASICA feat.ユッコ: I can see this song becoming the next 'Sakura'. It has that traditional azn sound that weeaboos are instinctively drawn to. Despite that, I like the singer's voice. It's rather mature compared to most of the female vocalists I run across in beatmania. This song really does sound classy. If you liked that, try “BALLAD THE FEATHERS” by the same artist, “Sakura” by Reven-G, or “1st Samurai” by sampling masters MEGA 8/10
星をこの手に / DJ YOSHITAKA feat.星野奏子: Kanako Hoshino came to beatmania in 2004 and I say that she's a fine choice. I'll ramble on about her later though, now I'm gonna talk about the song. It's a nice song and Kanako's vocals really make it special. There's a wicked guitar solo in the middle though. The whole thing did sound a lot like something by TЁЯRA. It was like the middle child, surpassing DoLL but falling short of 零 -ZERO- but still maintaining a spirit all it's own. If you like this song, check out “月光(Gekkou)” by Tatsh feat. 星野奏子, INFERNO by Calderia feat.星野奏子 , and pretty much Kanako's Album, Eight Elements of the Star. 8/10.
シティ・エンジェル / PINK PONG: For some reason, this song made me think of “Battle Angel Alita” (if you don't know what that is, wiki it.). It was hard and inorganic but carried some sort of sterile beauty in it. For trance to have such a poetic description, it plays just as epically. The chart hammers relentlessly and if you make a mistake, it sounds bad enough to let you know it. This song was well composed and everything was done right in my eyes. “INNOCENCE OF SILENCE” by nc feat. NRG, “quasar” by OutPhase, and “Tomorrow Perfume” by dj TAKA are also some trance to check out if this one has you salivating with happiness...or you just need a sandwich. 10/10.
零 -ZERO- / TЁЯRA: I wasn't too keen on this song but as a TЁЯRA fan, I forced myself to sit down and listen to it to the end and I'm glad I did. This song is a spiritual sister to DoLL only it has a more processed sound to it. Also, the song really shines when you look at the video with all the wicked fine goodness of MAYA's Gundam-like robot designs which make you think that you're looking at the opening of an animu rather than a beatmania song. The note chart is pretty straight forward, the notes you have to hit are pretty easy to pick out. I'm happy with this song. Feels like TЁЯRA's getting their groove back If you like this song check out DoLL, ULTiM∧TE, or Parasite World also by TЁЯRA . 8/10
VANESSA / 朱雀: I was so happy to hear that one of the Cardinal Gate artists had returned but disappointed that he was the only one. Guess Taka and the others got tired of playing god or something. Anyway, the song has the signature scratch that we all know and love from Suzaku and a similar style but the song is as chaotic as it is refined. On top of that there's that messed up video. All you get is a picture of a soldier who frowns when you get a bad, smiles when you get a great and his eyes wander a little when you get a good. Then as you get near the song, the picture burst into flames. WHAT IN THE HOLY HAND CREAM IS THAT ABOUT? WHAT KIND OF NAME IS VANESSA FOR A DUDE? I don't know but I like this song. The note chart is difficult and the song is nice but the outside aspects of the song are what really make me drawn to it. If you like this song, you should check out “CONTRACT” from DistorteD by the same artist. 10/10.
ONE MORE EXTRA STAGE!!
Fascination MAXX /100-200-400: Heeeeeeey...waitaminute...I remember this song from DDR SuperNova! This really threw me for a loop but then I got over that and got picky about the presence of this song in beatmania. I don't like Fascination MAXX. I like Fascination MAXX -Eternal Love Mix-. For most of the people I know who have this game I get one of two responses: 'I didn't know that song was in this one' or 'I totally hate that song because it was hell to unlock.'. Though the song is unwelcome for the most part, I do like the beatmania edit which actually makes the DDR steps make more sense. That being said, I am willing to through my blind hatred aside and settle for seething apprehension for this song. 6/10 (Looses a point for being a DDR Crossover)
E-AMUSEMENT EXTRA STAGE!!
Rather than the Cardinal Gate, this time there's a VIP Room and each song features its own skin that is based off the color of the room they're in and each room is a bling-tastic shade of some sort of precious metal...except for the One More Extra Stage. I guess if you've made it that far, bling doesn't matter to you. Anyway, here we go:
電人、暁に斃れる。 / L.E.D.-G: “Denjin, Dead at Dawn”...Well now that's a little dark. You almost think that L.E.D. is sick of their signature songs at this point. Either that or this L.E.D. Megamix is designed to kill you...or make you just want to be left alone in your fail for a while. Decked out in a platinum skin, the note chart is rather intimidating, though in all honesty it's the most friendly-looking out of the VIP room songs. Then again, that's like saying that it's the nice pit bull that gives you a running head start before it takes a chunk out of you. Still, this is some epically good L.E.D. Check out the many, many incarnations of “The Strong Jager”. It's one of the best songs in beatmania period, hence why they keep remixing it. 10/10.
Now, onto the Gold room, my icy-hot stunnaz!
CANDY GALY / Risk Junk-G : This time around, we're rollin' in a sweet gold skin with an equally difficult note chart. That aside, I have a question...Why does Japan like Pachelbel's Canon so much? I mean, it's a nice song but that still doesn't explain why it appears so often in anime and games. That being said, this is one of the many incarnations of that song. It doesn't do a bad job, doesn't do a good one either. It's just a very bland interpretation of the song in the artist's style. I've heard better ones. For a nicer classical reinterpretation look to “V” by TAKA, “Resonate 1794” by Kohta, and “No. 13” by Taka. 5/10.
Are ya blinged out yet? Of course not, let's go on to the Silver Room!
GOLD RUSH / DJ YOSHITAKA-G feat. Michael a la mode : Why is a song called “Gold Rush” in the silver room. If there was one way to sum up this song, it would be to just go outside and scream “Make it money!” while twisting my ears until it hurt. The guy is just slurring through the whole thing. What kind of name is Michael a la mode anyway. I can just imagine a lanky naked man covering himself with ice cream while asking DJ Yoshitaka if he wanted to do a song with him and Yoshitaka probably only agreed if he put on some pants and got the hell out of his apartment. I figured that in the middle of the song they ran out of lyrics so they just started counting all the IIDX games (in case you forgot how many there were). Then he screams “2DX GOOOOOLD” as if you forget that your playing the game. Plus it gives you a shark-jumping, silver-skinned chart that is ridiculously easy compared to the other rooms. Didn't like the song but it did make me laugh and I can appreciate that. If you like this song, you probably don't have taste...sorry, I mean that you'd probably like “Xepher” by Tatsh or “HOT LIMIT” by John Desire (you sheep). 6/10(for the lulz).
Bet you're blinged out now, aren't ya? No? Well, grill my twinkies, you've got some nerve. Well, I guess you're ready for One More Extra!!
E-AMUSEMENT ONE MORE EXTRA STAGE!!
Sense 2007 / good-cool: This time you have a black skin. No bling for you. NO BLING! NO PATTERNS! JUST BLACKNESS! I guess this is the “Final Destination” of beatmania. Then again, I think they were being pretty merciful. The chart is a relentless juggernaut of notes coupled with a ridiculously distracting video. If the three-second cleavage shot in “Last Message” threw you off, then you will fail this song. The song itself isn't all that ominous, though it is a wicked-fine remix of the original “Sense”. It's just everything that comes with it. You get a video of a sparkley girl in a tiny, sparkley-gold cocktail dress dancing around in a blinged -out sparkley world so shinin' that you need sunglasses to look at it directly. In all honestly, this video pretty much represents what IIDX GOLD is all about...besides money but you can look to “GOLD RUSH” for that. If you pass this song, you deserved to get to the OMES. If not, gtfo, srsly. Check out the original “Sense” by good-cool, “TWILIGHT ZONE (R-C Extended Club MIX)” by 2 UNLIMITED, and what the hell, how about the Mortal Kombat theme. Just put some pop vocals over it and you'll be fine. 20/10 (FOR GREAT JUSTICE)!
So that's IIDX GOLD. DistorteD revived beatmania and I feel that this installment carrried on the spirit. I don't think it added much to the fanbase as far as growth but it did keep our interest. Plus who doesn't like bling? In all honesty, at the point I'm sick of it. In fact here's hoping the next one will just be as blingless as possible. Like IIDX MORMON EDITION!!!OMG!1! You'd have no fancy skins...no extras, no bling, and no music...? Oh no, it's now IIDX FINAL DESTINATION! OH SHI-
Seriously though, this game is a good one. One I strongly recommend to complete your collection but if you're investing, get DistorteD instead and just rent this or buy it used.
OVERALL SCORE: 7.75/10.