Pro tip: Don't return your feet to the starting position in Dance Dance Revolution

If you watch the Attract Mode of most Dance Dance Revolution machines, they will eventually go into a tutorial on how to play the game, and in it, the demo character will stomp on an arrow, and then return its feet to the center. Check it out (it starts at about 0:58 in this clip):

And I see a lot of beginners playing the game like this... and stumbling around. Why? Because the arrows in the songs are set up so that you don't return your feet to center after hitting each one, which has the side effect of reducing the number of steps you have to take to hit all the arrows. Check out the kid's feet in this video:

If he returned his feet to the center after every time he hit an arrow, he wouldn't be quick enough to hit all the arrows, and neither would you.

So don't do it!

Pro tip: The Tetris T-Spin

In Tetris, you occasionally will have to maneuver pieces so that they fit in spaces where it doesn't initially look like they're going to fit.

Like this T-piece, for example.

It would totally fit in that hole on the left column if some of those pieces weren't in the way.

But if you let it get partway in

And then rotate it at the last second, it slides into place

Which is easier to show in animated .gif form

This is a pretty useful maneuver, since it lets you slip those T-pieces in places where they wouldn't normally go.

Pro tip: viewing a Christmas scene in The Simpsons: Hit & Run

Today is Christmas, so I decided to fire up my GameCube and throw in a copy of The Simpsons: Hit & Run, and I was greeted with this:

The halls are decked, and Homer is passed out on the couch in a Santa outfit. Sounds like something to aspire to on a day like today.

Also, I understand that this works on the PS2 and Xbox versions as well, as long as the clock is set to the correct date.

Pro tip: You have a maximum of 9 lives in Mega Man 9

If you check out Mega Man 9's pause screen, you get lots of info like how much weapon energy you have left and how many more Mega Mans you have in reserve.

[Normally a screen shot would go here, but I kind of don't have access to a working capture device, and my artist is on vacation, so use your imagination, or just consult your own status screen]

You'll notice that next to Mega Man's Mug that there's a two-digit number to indicate how many lives you have left. You might think that you can get up to 99 tries to off Wily, but you'd be mistaken.

For some reason, even though you have two digits to show how many lives you have left, the counter stops at 9. And lives don't continue to accrue, either. If you have 9 lives, pick up 4 more, lose one, you won't have 12 left in reserve, you'll have 8.

So be wary.

Pro tip: Your PS2 and Xbox 360 has more buttons than you might think

At first glance, it might appear that the Xbox 360 and Playstation 2 consoles have quite enough buttons, over 11 at last count (which is more digits that most people have on all of their hands combined). But, what you may not know is that the two control sticks are also buttons. Simply apply pressure to each of the sticks like you were pressing a button and, presto! You're rewarded with the clicking sound of a button freshly pressed.

Of course, what this will accomplish will be determined on the game and whether or not the developer actually knew that these were buttons that could have functions assigned to them. So give it a try and see what happens!

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