The game beatmania is also known colloquially as BMUS (for beatmania (US)) to distinguish it from the original arcade game beatmania. This is the first version of the music video game beatmania IIDX to be released in the United States.
The game uses the engine from the console version of Beatmania IIDX 9th Style, and was originally demonstrated with its original cyan and white UI, but the final release uses a reskinned version of it recolored purple. The judgement also has changed from the Japanese version, with the flashing "Great!" judgement being shown in the North American version as "Perfect", much like in Dance Dance Revolution (recent versions of IIDX in Japan have referred to them as "perfect greats" in their "judge mode" display). The grading system in this game is also significantly easier than the Japanese games, requiring much lower scores to attain the highest grades.
Another change from the Japanese version of the game is the included controller has been modified slightly from the original Japanese version. The two controllers are similar in appearance. However, whereas the Japanese controller has a rectangular shape, the American controller features a rounded edge on the side where the turntable sits, and generally has a slightly lower profile. The keys on the American controller are also springloaded, whereas the Japanese controller's keys are not. This is presumably to prevent sticking, which is a common problem on the Japanese controller. Most players, American or Japanese, felt that the new American controller was a welcomed improvement, making the American controller the preferred choice.
The regular beatmania and beatmania IIDX modes correspond to their regular counterparts, and both feature songs and gameplay mechanics from their respective series integrated into the 9th Style engine (such as 5/10 and 7/14 keys, and the return of free scratch zones in 5-key mode). In contrast, recent IIDX games in Japan have had a 5-key mode selectable in an options menu on the song selection menu.
There are 58 tracks in this game (not counting the fact that 20, November is "single mix" on Single and "radio edit" on Double). All tracks are playable in Game Mode, and then in Free Mode after being played once in Game Mode. While there are no hidden songs, only a few are available when starting the game. More appear as the game progresses, but once the game is started again only those same few are available.
Because the Beatmania controller uses the standard PS2 controller connection, it was not originally compatible with the PlayStation 3. The release of PS3 firmware 1.70 and the Pelican PS3-to-PS2 adapter (which has also been said to work with Guitar Hero controllers and Dance Dance Revolution dance pads) fixes this issue. Unfortunately, the adapter is reported by some to introduce additional input processing time ("lag") that may make playing more difficult for players.
Source: Wikipedia, "Beatmania (North America)", available under the CC-BY-SA License.