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


  • DHokat - July 26, 2011 1:38 a.m.

    All I can say is that I have never played any of these games. Missing out it seems, mostly on stubbz
  • ranzatsu - July 26, 2011 1:38 a.m.

    What about the final stage in Elite Beat Agents? It kinda went the same way that Ulala did, dying then getting clapped to life, but the final stage was a pisser. Jumpin' Jack Flash was a bitch.
  • MouseKlok - July 26, 2011 1:39 a.m.

    Space Michael!!!
  • MonocledYaoGuai - July 26, 2011 1:54 a.m.

    HELL YEAH Bust-a-Groove! But no Elite Beat Agents? I am disappoint Mikel.
  • MrSuitMan - July 26, 2011 1:57 a.m.

    The Nightmare Before Christmas game for PS2(a decent Devil May Cry clone) had cool boss battles where you would collect notes as you attack to fill up a bar, which would then initiate a cool ryhthm sequence that were redone versions of the songs in the movie. Those were cool dance battles.
  • NightCrawler_358 - July 26, 2011 2:01 a.m.

    Nice list. If you guys are looking for more Elite Beat Agents, check out this Mega64 video haha.
  • 435 - July 26, 2011 2:03 a.m.

    Flyin', Flyin' to your so-u-oul. Flyin', Flyin' to your so-u-oul. Flyin', Flyin' to your so-u-OOOOOOOOUL!
  • GamesRadarMikelReparaz - July 26, 2011 2:04 a.m.

    EBA is cool, but not quite what I was going for here. Unless the bad guys are also dancing, it just isn't the same.
  • zonic505 - July 26, 2011 2:16 a.m.

    Ouendan/Elite Beat Agents should've been at least a honorable mention. I mean, you're dancing (& teaming up w/ the villains in the Ouendan games) to save the earth from a meteor, alien invasion, & another ice age.
  • kicking222 - July 26, 2011 2:32 a.m.

    "Stubbs" wins in my book. "Space Channel 5" is an awesome game, but getting modern indie rock bands to cover '50s classics was a brilliant move. It's a shame the songs aren't otherwise used in the game, but the soundtrack is great, and the dance battle using it is almost as good. I love the moves, I love how Stubbs enters and leaves the dance floor, and I love what a random occurrence the sequence is within the game.
  • BoxingMarco - July 26, 2011 2:36 a.m.

  • Corsair89 - July 26, 2011 2:44 a.m.

    I was just playing the Sly Cooper HD collection and the deadly dance with Mz. Ruby is a fucking frustrating bitch. Fuck that boos.
  • thewulfen - July 26, 2011 2:50 a.m.

    The GTA BoGT dancing is pretty awesome just because it is just a random thing to add to the over-the-topness of the DLC.
  • EwoksTasteLikeChicken - July 26, 2011 2:58 a.m.

    I love Stubbs! If you haven't played it, download it from Games on Demand on XBL. Sure it's not the greatest game, but it just has so much charm. And the dance battle is probaly one of the best parts.
  • 510BrotherPanda - July 26, 2011 3:07 a.m.

    Great Top 7, Mikel. Really had fun reading this one! @zonic505 Technically, the blue team in Ouendan 2 aren't villains, they're a rival cheer squad from the next door city district/prefecture. And the disaster was worse than just an Ice Age; the sun had burned out, and needed to be "re-warmed with the power of love"...
  • CaptCOMMANDO - July 26, 2011 3:08 a.m.

    I read this because Mikel wrote it.
  • CraigSpanner - July 26, 2011 3:43 a.m.

    Stubbs the Zombie is one of my all-time favourite games. Plus, it had co-op campaign.
  • Yaro - July 26, 2011 3:48 a.m.

    I also read it because Mikel wrote it. =)
  • Lurkero - July 26, 2011 4:08 a.m.

    Space Channel 5 should at least be 1-5 of this list.

Showing 1-20 of 49 comments

Join the Discussion
Add a comment (HTML tags are not allowed.)
Characters remaining: 5000


Connect with Facebook

Log in using Facebook to share comments, games, status update and other activity easily with your Facebook feed.