When Dance Central dropped on Kinect two years ago, it was an unexpected surprise. Sure, Just Dance had become yet another casual gaming blockbuster, but just as Rock Band prepared to make its final bow with the third installment, Harmonix unveiled a totally new way to fuse rhythm and games.
With Dance Central 3, the series is reaching a new point. Standards are established. But Harmonix is pushing for that something extra. Its around the corner, and weve got plenty of reasons why were ready to start moving furniture around our living rooms to dive into the new game.
When you buy a Harmonix game, your music carries over into the sequels
Over the past five years, Harmonix has revolutionized the way that we interface with music. Rock Band isnt as white hot as it was a few years back, but its a firmly established platform. Dance Central 3 builds upon the import feature from the past games, so youll have a meaty library of music to choose from as you sweat your way through its numerous beats.
Youll be fighting dance crimes (or is that crimes committed while dancing?)
Dance Central 3 does what any good sequel to a successful choreography simulator does: It incorporates time travel as a plot device. As part of Dance Central Intelligence, youll be traveling through various decades, decoding vintage dance moves, and blending in with folks of the period. It all sounds like rather goofy fun, and were curious to see how it answers that question: Crimes against dance, or crimes committed while dancing?
The new multiplayer modes sound insanely fun
Dance Central 3 touts more multiplayer features than in the past. Weve gone from taking turns in front of the Kinect to competing one-on-one, and now, with Make Your Move, DC3 introduces a new competitive wrinkle. In this HORSE-like mode, you come up with the choreography--but youd better remember your crazy moves, or your opponent will trump your score. Weve tried the mode out, and while its loads of hilarious fun, its also a lot harder than it looks.
The time periods seem to capture the decades in clever ways
Its not just the outfits that capture the time periods. Each stage has a different backdrop that makes it appealing. The 80s stage in inspired by early b-boy culture, and the 90s stage is a throwback to teen comedies involving outlandish house parties. We get the sense that its a loving homage to times past, and were looking forward to being pleasantly surprised by more subtle references to bygone eras.
When it comes to Kinect, its a proven winner
Ask most people what the best Kinect series is, and many will reply that its Dance Central. Weve seen some big improvements in the nearly two years since Kinect launched, but few games really capture the fun of getting physical like Harmonixs dance franchise. Were feeling rather confident that Dance Central 3 should keep the quality going for another installment.
It bridges the gap between fitness game and party game
With its integration with Kinects recently launched PlayFit, Dance Central 3 finally integrates calorie tracking into a holistic system. While previous games had calorie burning info, DC3 will tally up your activity, whether youre playing for fun, for a workout, or just hosting some friends. Other games use the service, but weve had a lot more fun sweating to Dance Central than doing yoga in front of our Xboxes.
The track selection looks poised to widen the games appeal
You probably already knew, based on enough radio and TV ads at the beginning of the year, that Moves Like Jagger would end up in this falls crop of dance games. The addition of more LMFAO tracks probably surprises few, as well. But the addition of dance hits from years past--and clever choices, like JJ Fads Supersonic or Daft Punks Around the World, should reach past younger gamers and give everyone tracks to bounce around to.
It encourages you to try something youd normally feel uncomfortable doing
Remember when people who were terrified by the idea of karaoke started playing Rock Band at parties? Harmonixs games have a knack for taking something that people dont normally get into, and making it into an entertaining and universally enjoyable experience. Even if youre not the best dancer, or youve never done the moves, Dance Central is still loads of fun to play. Like Rock Band, it removes both a sense of shame and barriers to entry, all at once.
Its a smarter party game than its been in the past
Not only does Dance Central 3 offer fun multiplayer thanks to Make Your Move, but its party mode has gotten a big boost. You can just jump straight into a game if its running in demo mode in the background during a party (or youve stepped away for a phone call), and with its new updates, it tracks your skills and adjusts difficulty on the fly. Its an all-around-sharper update that adapts to whoevers in front of the Kinect, and just how effectively they can transition from a Cross Step Front into a Cheer Pump.
What has you excited to join Dance Central Intelligence?
Thats what weve got. Whats got you amped to play Dance Central 3? Let us know in the comments, and keep an eye out for our review next week!