With a two-step and a poker face, Harmonix glides into the dance game foray with Dance Central for Kinect for the Xbox 360.
Ranging from dance jams from the 80s like “Funkytown” by Lipps Inc. to modern hits like “Poker Face” by Lady Gaga, the music rhythm game giants are taking the new tech of the Kinect and teaching gamers of all kinds how to bust moves like the pros, somewhat successfully and always embarrassing to onlookers.
Presented at the MTV Games booth, attendees were given the chance to demo the game with the help of some of the game’s choreographers. Though intimidating and down right odd at first, many couldn’t help to grin after their first slide step.
Dance Central is easy to play. Just get in front of the Kinect camera and start following the dancer’s moves on the screen. For the rhythmically challenged, there is the option to “break it down,” displaying step by step how to perform each move in the song. After practicing each move in detail, players can go and perform them to their best abilities. Like any Guitar Hero or Rock Band song, the game judges how well dance moves are performed and gives a star rating at the end of the song. Based on the difficulty setting, the number of dance moves can change, the less moves being on easy and more being on hard. The difficulty setting also manages how fast the dance moves come up, with hard resulting into a well stitched together dance routine. No matter what difficulty the song is on, the sight of seeing people trying to dance and claiming they’re playing a game can gather crowds, as displayed at E3.
Songs on the demo’s setlist included: “Poison” by Bel Biv Devoe, “Body Movin’ (Fatboy Slim Remix)” by the Beastie Boys, “Poker Face” by Lady Gaga, “Funkytown” by Lipps Inc., “Galang ’05” by M.I.A., and “Hella Good” by No Doubt. Each of the songs displays different styles of dance, ranging from hip hop to house to disco, showing how versatile the game can be.
With previous dance simulators requiring some sort of dance pad or remote control and giving a sense of just pushing buttons or waving arms, Dance Central seems like the game to finally motivate people off their couches and onto the dance floor. Dance Central releases alongside the Kinect for the Xbox 360 on November 4 and BYOB.
Originally published on June 19, 2010 @ StudentVoiceOnline.com