Microsoft launched their Kinect peripheral last year in hopes of broadening their user base and taking a chunk out of the Wii in sales. Though it's debatable that the Kinect even had an impact with the year's dip in Wii sales, what's undeniable is the fact that the Kinect hasn't really taken off since its release.
Dance Central has been the best game that made use of the accessory. Harmonix has come out with the inevitable sequel, and it has replaced its predecessor as the best game available on the Kinect.
What Is It?
Developed by the musical masters at Harmonix, Dance Central is the premier dance game available on any home console. Unlike Dance Dance Revolution or Just Dance, players don't need any sort of accessory to play Dance Central. All they have to do is mirror the dancers on screen and stay on the same beat.
Why Should I Care?
The original Dance Central was the most responsive game available for the motion-sensing peripheral, and Dance Central 2 follows suit. For those who aren't particularly confident in their beat-busting skill, Dance Central 2 features perhaps the best tutorial mode in games of this genre. Because of the game's superb animations, it's easy to follow the moves step-by-step. If they're hard to get down, players can use the mic function to just tell the Xbox to rewind and do the move again.
Aside from the new voice commands, the most notable new addition to the game is the ability to play with another person. Before, the game was only one player and anybody looking to dance with the person playing had to do so in the background. Now dance battles can be done with two people, and certain strategies give the game a sense of competition that make it unique from other rhythm-based titles like Rock Band.
While players can choose any mode of difficulty when facing each other, the unique freestyle portion in any dance battle can be a great equalizer. When it's time for freestyle in a dance battle, up to four different dance moves will show up on the screen and each move done in its entirety earns a player 10,000 points. The goal is for the player to do as many of the moves as possible, but if the player is off beat, they won't get the points. In addition, "gold" moves show up, and these are worth up to 50,000 points. This adds a sense of urgency and makes players think about whether or not they should break their current move in order to perform the gold one.
As fun as the multiplayer is, the game unfortunately has no support for online multiplayer. That really could've put it over the top, but it's probably something that'll be addressed in the third entry. It features online leaderboards, but if players around the nation can't face each other, it's pretty much a waste.
What Makes It Worth My Time And Money?
One of the reasons for Dance Central's success is the fact that this game can actually teach people how to dance. Now with its included multiplayer, a sense of serious competition can definitely be had. Although it's worth noting that because of this, it isn't as wild as Just Dance 3, another superb Kinect dance game. It doesn't make any game less fun, but Dance Central is more about its own challenging choreography than Just Dance is.
Though it's not for everybody, Dance Central 2 is definitely the game to get for Kinect owners. It boasts a diverse soundtrack featuring today's top artists including Lady GaGa, Usher, and even Justin Bieber, but it rounds them out with older songs for hip hop enthusiasts to enjoy. On top of that, owners of Dance Central have the ability to transfer all their songs and information for use in Dance Central 2 to avoid switching discs just for different songs. Add the fact that the Xbox Live Marketplace is updated with new songs and routines every so often, and you have America's Best Dance Game.