The Top 7… Epic dance battles

2. Flying to Your Soul

The dancers: Robo-Z and whoever you happen to be playing as

Bust-A-Groove was a bizarre little series, and we miss it dearly. Aside from being a completely unique dance-fighting franchise, it featured some bizarre moments even by the standards of rhythm games – and few were quite as awesomely strange as the final battle of the first game. It might not have been a dance-off with God, but as far as we’re concerned, it’s the next best thing: a chance to show up a giant robot. A giant robot that vogues.

A huge part of what makes the “fight” against Robo-Z so noteworthy is its gigantic sense of scale. While all the other dance-fights in Bust-A-Groove feature competitors that are more or less the same size (tiny dancing mouse Columbo notwithstanding), its final battle features one skyscraper-sized opponent (Robo-Z, of course), and a barely visible one who dances on the roof of a nearby building (you). Amazingly, it’s still possible to not only claim the advantage by swinging the camera in your direction, but to stun the giant alien mech with your puny cheater’s attacks.

Beating Robo-Z also meant you could play as it, but sadly, the controllable version was shrunk down to human size, and any battles you fought with it lacked the distinctively apocalyptic, all-or-nothing vibe of Bust-A-Groove’s finale. And if “vogueing robot apocalypse” isn’t a phenomenally kickass setup for a dance-off, we don’t know what is.

1. Purge TV Show

The dancers: Ulala, Pine, Pudding, Jaguar, the Morolian Boss, Space Michael, 86,429 kidnap victims and Purge

Space Channel 5 and its sequel were filled with memorably weird dance battles against aliens, giant robots and killer plants, but none of them were anywhere near as epic, or as visually arresting, as the final fight from Space Channel 5 Part 2. Fought against Purge, a villainous outer-space club kid who wanted to force the galaxy to dance, the battle brought together space-reporter/heroine Ulala, a policewoman, a space pirate, a rival reporter and what we’re assuming is a horrifying future clone of Michael Jackson in a last-ditch effort to save the galaxy.

And, shockingly, they failed.

Of course, it didn’t end there. Ulala was seemingly killed by a laser blast, and for a few seconds there, the outlook was bleak. But then, in a scene that can only be described as “brazenly lifted from Peter Pan,” Ulala’s friends clapped her back to life. What followed was the biggest fight against a transmogrified space-villain that the series has ever attempted – yes, even bigger than the “crowd against the TV monster” fight at the end of the first game.

With Purge transformed into some kind of giant lightning-creature after shifting the venue to Dance Dimension X, Ulala and her backup dancers outperformed him long enough to free the singing Space President, Peace. Once free, Peace’s unfathomably cheesy lyrics about the power of love somehow made short work of pure-energy Purge and his robot minions, eventually giving Purge’s kidnapped studio audience the power to shut down his Ballistic Groove Gun and save the galaxy.

If you’d struggled through SC5P2’s hard-as-nails dance fights, hearing the series’ familiar theme) creeping into the music near the end of it all was pretty damned uplifting. It also gave the visually hypnotic, endlessly bizarre game a surprisingly stirring finale, goofy singing be damned. Also, as dance battles go, it easily takes the prize for most epic, if only by dint of its sheer size; as cool as they might be, none of the other entries on this list feature as gigantic a crowd of backup dancers, much less one that can sing in unison to idiotic lyrics when confronted by a giant monster made of electricity.

Jul 25, 2011

The Top 7... Sega series we want back 
Forgotten greats that once put Sega on top – and could possibly do it again


The Top 7… Games that kicked America’s ass
They invade our space and we fall back. This far, no further! The line must be drawn here!


The Top 7... Loading screens that don't suck quite as hard as loading screens normally do
If we must have loading screens, make them all as great as these, please


Top 7


  • TyeTheCzar - August 4, 2011 3:26 a.m.

    Mass Effect 3 deserves an intricate Dance Battle minigame across the galaxy from the Citadel to Tuchanka to Omega.
  • Plan10FromOuterSpace - July 28, 2011 6:09 p.m.

    Just before the final boss fight in the third act of vanquish the robots appear to be getting jiggy next to their massive sound system, sadly the only way to end this is to shoot them all and I felt genuinely bad for spoiling their fun, its a shame a more peaceful response couldn't of been adopted with Russia and America settling their differences in a dance off...the suits AR response would of been a kick ass secret weapon too
  • Bianchi - July 27, 2011 10:37 p.m.

    OMG.......FLYING FLYING TO YOUR SOUUUUUULLL *sings*!!!! I think it has a very nice place, only surpassed by Ulala xD EPIC ROBO-Z IS EPIC. Yes, I love bust a groove, problem? xD
  • ThatFanInThePeacoat - July 27, 2011 2:22 p.m.

    Space Channel 5 has a special place in my heart
  • The_Tingler - July 27, 2011 12:14 p.m.

    God I loved Stubbs the Zombie. From a few of the guys who made the original Halo, don't you know - and is the only non-Halo game to use that game's engine. Also, is that Dr Zoidberg dancing in the Simpsons game?
  • Spazerman - July 27, 2011 3:58 a.m.

    only complaint i had with the Ruby dance in Sly 1 for the ps3 is that it's not in synch with the music like it was with the ps2. other than that it's still an awesome game@
  • Thequestion 121 - July 26, 2011 11:55 p.m.

    That was fantastic.
  • ericthesmith - July 26, 2011 11:14 p.m.

    Michael Jackson's Moonwalker has some wicked-sweet dance battles.
  • Yeager1122 - July 26, 2011 10:46 p.m.

    Yeah Bogt and sly awsome loved both of those.
  • TempariusMaximus - July 26, 2011 6:44 p.m.

    omfg that dance battle with Mz. Ruby is so fucking har, she's caused me to rage quit and farm lives many times
  • Syncmaster - July 26, 2011 6:08 p.m.

    Dont you dare say Brave Fencer Musashiden is forgetable!!! its one of my favorite psone games ever! damn funny, gameplay is awesome and the music and voice acting are really memorable. dont worry, I wont be offended by your sacrilege. btw, bust a move and space channel 5 were dance games for all I know.
  • Darkhawk - July 26, 2011 6:02 p.m.

    Hooray! Got to watch commercial before finding out "video currently unavailable". Great player, GR
  • SunnyvaleTrash - July 26, 2011 4:24 p.m.

    God I hated the battle in Sly Cooper. Restarting from the beginning of the battle every time i died pushed the limits of my patience.
  • therawski - July 26, 2011 3:51 p.m.

    Sly Cooper is awesome, I recently beat A Deadly Dance, it was tougher than it looks.
  • glane88 - July 26, 2011 3:43 p.m.

    I am saddened by the fact the the epic dance battle in Sly 2 isn't included. You know, the one where you have to ballroom dance with Carmelita (she's kinda a bad guy, eh?) under extreme pressure? Well Sly is calm, but maybe you knew if you screwed up you were done for. Epic ballroom dance is epic.
  • Crypto140 - July 26, 2011 1:29 p.m.

    Could you imagin if there were more dance battles in games. Bioshock, Gears of War, Halo even, those would be epic(I smell Kinect spin off titles)
  • DecoyOctorok - July 26, 2011 1:17 p.m.

    Where's the Kinect Space Channel 5? Come on, Sega!
  • EnragedTortoise1 - July 26, 2011 1:11 p.m.

    GR needs a Big-Lipped Alligator Moment indicator.
  • philipshaw - July 26, 2011 1:10 p.m.

    Space Channel 5 had to be number 1 because that whole game is about dance battles, good to see Sly on here because I love that bit in Sly Copper
  • luckyseven - July 26, 2011 11:33 a.m.

    I remember the dance off in the Simpsons game...great stuff Mikel

Showing 1-20 of 49 comments

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