Published on November 12th, 2010 | by Kyle Spencer, Editor
Dance Central: Review
Release Date: November 4, 2010
ESRB Rating: T
Developer: Harmonix / MTV Games
Platforms: Xbox 360 Kinect
Dance Central is just what you would expect out of a Kinect dance game. What you wouldn’t expect is the level of competition this game can bring with it, and is an open invitation to other dance games to rival what they have done. EA’s Harmonix and MTV Games (The makers of Rock Band) are in on the development, and turned out a Dance game that is a force to recon with. To say that this game is the first “Real” dance game is a bulls eye on the target in my head. This game require the “FULL” use of your body. No dance pad to dance on, or foot combo’s to pull off. You will be moving, twisting, jumping and creating one “hell” of a party atmosphere.
Dance Central uses the Kinect camera to track you body motion as you imitate the flash cards, and body motions of your on screen counter-part. You will be judged based on how accurate you landed the move, and are rewarded stars for your efforts. You must play each song on easy to unlock harder difficulties, and I must add that it is probably a good idea to go through the song breakdown before jumping right into the song. You have 30 songs to choose from, no career mode, so just pick a song and let it rip. You will have challenges to complete through different songs to unlock a mix-down dance mode. For example, completing 4 grouped songs with a rating of four stars each, will earn you a mix-down of all four sounds into one dance routine.
Mentioned before, the “Break It Down” mode is a mode that will teach you the different dance moves in a given routine. You will go through the song learning, and being graded on the moves. This is especially essential for those of us unable to pull off “The Soulja Boy“. The announcer during the mode will also work with you, and get you moving on the right foot. Imagine a dance class, and having an instructor in front of you going through the routine. That is what the Break Down mode offers, your own personal dance instructor.
For you workout buffs, that use dancing as a way to burn those calories, Dance Central has a mode just for you. The “Workout Mode” will have the player enter their weight per-session, and track how many calories you have burned throughout your dance sessions. The game itself is a workout, and will leave you a sweaty mess at the end of the day, but the workout mode will track the calories you have burned, which is a nice addition.
A lot of people ask me, “How well does the camera track your body motions while playing”? Very well. I was actually a bit surprised at how well it recognized by hand and feet placement, and how well it tracked my movement. There will be some moves that you will have to do, that will make you think the camera is messing up on if you don’t hit the moves right, it isn’t. You have to be precise on your movements and bends to nail the moves flawlessly. The the average person who is not a dancer, this is a nerve racking, but very realistic experience. To the dancer who is not afraid of performing in front of other people, this game will keep you entertained for hours.
Dance Central is truly a party game to be experience, and if you are one of the millions of people who bought a Kinect camera, you will be very impressed with how Dance Central operates with the device. Unfortunately there isn’t a whole lot of variety to the game at this point, and there are hardly any DLC for the game yet, but this does leave us very hopeful for what could come in the future. Think of dance central as more of a dance, tech game that has no variety in game modes. It will, however, keep you entertained, especially in a party environment. Unfortunately that’s where the fun of Dance Central stops at. For what it had to offer though, it is a solid pick up for your first Kinect title, and is a excellent showcase to company over the holidays to what the camera can do.
+ Camera Works FANTASTIC
+ Dance moves are very realistic
+ Some decent songs
+ Perfect party game
– No variety in game modes
– Hardly any DLC
– Very few unlocks