Give me five! ITG still soaring in Ottawa

In The Groove logo

In The Groove 2 (ITG2) celebrated its tenth anniversary on June 18, 2015. Although the game received no sequel since being acquired by Konami, it remains greatly popular and even a favourite among many gamers due to its challenging difficulty and customizability.

Given the age of the game, it seems plausible to wonder if there are still any locations left for playing it. The bad news is that Ciné-Starz Gatineau has closed its doors and, along with it, the OpenITG machine was withdrawn from public play in Ottawa. This is no big loss, however, because the machine was very poorly maintained and the pads were physically damaged. At 150¢ per player, it was pricey too.

The good news, however, is that Ottawa continues to be an excellent city for In The Groove 2. Some machines have even been modified to run improved OpenITG software and feature built-in custom songs. Here is a list of all five In The Groove 2 locations known to exist in the Ottawa region:

  1. Cineplex South Keys OpenITG is the top pick among the most advanced players. It is largely unchanged from the stock ITG2 theme, except that it has new background music and a plethora of custom songs. The cost is three tokens (100¢, or 80¢ with a bulk discount) per game, with up to five songs and two players at no additional charge.
  2. Midway OpenITG touts an In The Groove 3 theme. Songs from DDR games (from the 1stMix in 1998 to Supernova in 2006 inclusively) are preloaded on this machine in addition to ITG songs. The cost is four tokens (100¢, or 84¢ with a bulk discount) per player, with three songs as standard.
  3. StarCité Gatineau In The Groove 2 runs the older r16 software. The cost three tokens (100¢, or 80¢ with a bulk discount) like South Keys, but unlike the latter, StarCité charges per player and drastically limits each round to only one song. Intermediate and advanced players are better off playing the Marathon or Survival modes, which allow up to four or five songs per game.
  4. Merivale Bowling In The Groove 2 costs a loonie (100¢) per player, with no discounts available. It offers r21 and up to three songs per round.
  5. McArthur Bowling In The Groove 2 costs a loonie (100¢) per player too, with no discounts available. It also offers three songs per play, but not only does it lack r21, it also has a broken arrow on the right pad. Not recommended.

Additionally, there are four active Dance Dance Revolution locations, most of them in decent condition: two Extreme, one SuperNova and one X2. Of these, my personal favourite is X2, though I also appreciate Coliseum for its classic mix and low cost. I hope to see the dance machine scene continue to be active in Ottawa and the rest of Canada, whether it involves DDR or ITG!