Our buddies over at Harmonix (about 40 minutes from where I’m sitting) have released a Dance Central game annually for three years now. While I’m an avid, avid superfan of Harmonix, I’ve always kept my fake talent in the realms of Guitar Hero (it started with Harmonix, dammit) and more importantly Rock Band. I knew Dance Central was their next venture but because Rock Band content was continuously released and the fact that I always found dancing to your television a bit strange, I never got into it. That was blatantly silly of me to do.
When I found out I’d be reviewing Dance Central 3, I didn’t honestly know how to go about it. I’m not a dude to just plug in a dance game and jump around to LMFAO by myself at 2 in the morning. So the solution? Party! In my opinion, just like how you should review a game like this, you should play it this way. Did I maybe drink a lot of alcohol and play this game completely hammered?
Yes. Maybe. It was meant to be played as a party game, and if it isn’t a fantastic one, I don’t know what is.
As you can expect, the core gameplay hasn’t really changed. You dance. Idiot. The Kinect detects the positions your body is in and tells you if you’re dancing right or look like you’re possibly having a stroke. While it isn’t flawless in execution, it’s still pretty damn accurate. There are several different game modes from previous games. The normal mode makes you mirror the dancer’s moves in order to gain points. Freestyle just lets you well, freestyle, and dance however you want as long as you keep the beat. After a couple drinks, it’s a workout and a hell of a good time. New to this game is Crew Throwdown mode, where two teams compete against each other in dance battles using mini games. There is a Beginner Mode for idiots like me who have never played a dancing game before. The best was probably Party Mode, where you make all the settings and as many people can play as they want. While the game makes you cycle through all the tracks in a random fashion (which wasn’t very fun), the now released Xbox Smartglass app lets you pick songs through that.
The game’s soundtrack has a ton of songs I’ve always wanted to dance to. From “Ice Ice Baby” to “You Make Me Feel…,” the game has a little bit of everything for every type of person. I immediately looked at Dance Central 1 and 2’s setlists and they are also awesome. I’m also pleased that you can import all those songs into this version a la Rock Band style as well. With 46 shipped songs on the disc and more coming (including Psy’s “Gangnam Style”) you’re sure to have hours and hours of fun with your friends. The only thing I still can’t figure out is if the game saves your photos or even movies of you dancing. I know it shows you some brief photos but I truly hope those exist somewhere because the day I unearth them, they’re immediately going to be shared with the world to embarrass all my idiot friends and myself. Sometimes you just need to sacrifice for the better of mankind, you know?
You’re also able to play an absolutely absurd campaign mode. As to be expected, you’ll be dancing to the various tracks in the game that you unlock by completing different stages. It’s a ton of fun and there’s definitely references to all different decades of the music you’re swinging wildly about to. If anybody’s going to be stopping those dancing robots it’s going to be me and my five glass pals full of Jagermeister.
While there’s not much to improve on a pretty straight forward formula, Dance Central 3 is an absolute blast. When it comes to party games, it’s up there with the best of them. Will it be taking over my addiction of Rock Band? Hell no. But when I’m tired of slamming on rubber drums and belting out Queen at parties, it’s time to dance furiously. Grab a Kinect, your friends, some drinks (if you’re of age, stupid), and shit talk while doing a handstand and keeping the beat because your buddy can’t.