Pump it Up: Exceed
presents you with four dance modes from the beginning of the game: Arcade mode, Home mode, Sudden Death mode, and Tutorial. There are also two unlockable modes: Survival mode and Video mode.
I would recommend starting in Tutorial Mode. It has three stages - first stage goes over basics. Second stage shows you how to do the more advanced moves, jumps, half beats and hand plants. It tells you that you can either use your hands or stand on the edge of the arrows to hit two sensors at once. I personally couldn't manage to hit two sensors with one foot, so I had to use the hand plant. Third stage allows you to play through and practice them all for as long as you want. Third stage starts really easy and gets progressively harder. My only complaint with it is that I played for several minutes and it still hadn't thrown in any hand plants to practice.
Home mode is a great way to get used to the game without worrying about a life meter. You can use it to get used to the songs and the game mechanics before you try for high scores in Arcade mode.
Arcade mode is three regular rounds then a bonus fourth round. To get a score for internet ranking, you have to clear the first 3 songs with either an A or S and get anything above a D on the bonus song. Once you do, it gives you a 16 digit code so you can register your score at the Pump It Up Ranking Site. If you find the song you want is still locked in Arcade mode, you should go play it in Sudden Death mode to unlock it for Arcade.
Sudden Death mode is exactly what it sounds like. If you miss one single step, the game is over. As long it's not a miss, even a bad rating on the arrow counts, you keep going. It can be quite hard, at least with the dance pad, mainly because sometimes you just don't hit exactly where it wants you to so the sensor can read it. Using the controller is much easier in this game than in other dance games. Using the D-pad in other dance games, you can easily press just slightly off and have it read the wrong way. Pump It Up: Exceed avoids this by using the shoulder buttons, so it seems quite a bit more accurate.
Unlocking Video mode allows you to sit back and relax for a little while. When I unlocked it, there were four songs in there to choose from. Once you select one, you can watch a music video for that song. The videos are quite interesting and entertaining. Video mode is a great way to take a break from dancing for a few minutes and just enjoy the songs.
One of the things I have found more difficult than in other dance games, though, is triple beats, half beats, etc. Other dance games usually denote triple beats with a different color, which makes it much easier to determine when to hit it. Pump It Up: Exceed uses different colors for the up arrows and the down arrows. Thereís no way to denote triples. But being that the preciseness is more lenient, after a little practice you get used to it.