Dance Central Hands-On

You're dancing for real this time. Gone are the days of waving remotes and stomping on dance pads.

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Dancing and singing games easily become party favorites because you've got good music along with gameplay that comes naturally (for some), and everyone loves watching friends get up in front of a crowd to show off what they’ve got. Dance Central is probably one of the best uses for Kinect so far: you get up in front of the television, follow the avatar onscreen, and shake your booty to songs from popular singers like Lady Gaga and Lipps.

It's fist-pumping time.

To navigate through the simple menu, you hold out your right arm and move it up and down to select the song or difficulty setting. You use your left arm when you want to move back. When you're ready to make a selection, you sweep your arm across your chest to confirm. The hard part comes when you've actually got to dance. You can't get away with doing the bare minimum anymore--although you can if you're keeping it on easy. Like in any dance class, you mirror the dance instructor, but Dance Central also has a list of moves on the right-hand side of the screen to give you a heads-up on what's coming next.

It's probably better to keep your eye on the list of moves, unless you know the steps already. Different-colored halos around your character indicate how well you're keeping the beat. Sometimes your avatar will have a red outline around her arm or leg, which is a subtle way of letting you know that you need to work harder to keep the beat.

Halfway through the song, there will be a freestyle session, where the screen turns into all kinds of psychedelic colors and you can do whatever you want. The caveat is that afterward, there will be a quick video playback of what you were doing so you can see how awesome you looked. A five-star rating and score will let you know how you stack up against your friends.

We're curious to see what other songs will be included in the game when it ships along with Kinect on November 4. What we do know is that it is incredibly fun, and it's the kind of game you'll want everyone to get into, regardless of how good their dance skills are. Not only is Dance Central fun to play, but it's just as amusing, if not more, to watch. If you don't believe us, see our demo.

Discussion

15 comments
Flint247
Flint247

This is why I don't join the "Hardcore vs Casual Gamer" garbage. I really don't like when people hate other people for liking games that are like this or other "Casual" games. Last time I checked, video games are video games. Just because it isn't a bloody shooter or fighting game, doesn't mean it disqualifies as a video game. Just because you like Doom and someone else likes Bejeweled doesn't mean it should separate you and make you think you are better than the other. In the end, you are both GAMERS. Other than that, I think Dance Central will do good. Sure you can do "real" dancing, but you can have fun with this, too. :P It's not like someone who plays this over real dancing is a threat to society. Plus, if you don't care for Kinect, then don't get it. It's just an option for people who want to mix it up a bit. It's not like Kinect is required to enjoy your Xbox 360.

sqeric
sqeric

Why the hate hard core gamers? Kinect just makes the 360 a more versatile console. Give it a year. I'm sure a developer out there will find a creative and engaging application that will allow you to kill, kill, kill. I'm just waiting for a decent RTS game interface with voice command

LoserMike
LoserMike

This and Kinectimals are the only Kinect games that look decent. Maybe it's because they're not just a collection of minigames.

DBanner126
DBanner126

..Yea, I don't see the demo they mentioned. A link would be nice!

tommyas
tommyas

Wow some people are a bit silly here. Giving thumbs down because someone likes the game... lol

that1guy67
that1guy67

kinect needs to go away. it was awesome last year but its just ruined now. its going to turn into nothing but sports games and this.

Mirzaeekhorram
Mirzaeekhorram

I like to learn dancing but I will spend my 400dollars (Kinect bundle) on a dancing a class.

lrsp
lrsp

I'm not big on dancing games, but I do need to polish my dancing skills, which right now are at about -5.

lokey013
lokey013

Guess most people givin the thumbs down don't like to get down and boogey =P

Vojkan80001
Vojkan80001

this is for those that dont have guts to go out and dance with real people. I find this pathetic to be honest.

Marvic_nl
Marvic_nl

Could you link to you demo then? :o)

redder1111
redder1111

Dance, Dance , Dance! we are gamers microsoft! not stripers in a bar!

SaraByrne
SaraByrne

I reeally can't wait to get this one, the first one i am going to purchase! :)

Link521
Link521

Looks awesome! Can't wait!