Dance Central is one of the best selling games for Microsoft's Kinect and it's little wonder. Ever since I played the first game at a preview event in London, it's been the franchise I've always looked out for. It's accessible, fun and it even works, which isn't something you can always say about Kinect games.
Now here we are, looking at the third game in the series and a lot has changed. But a few things do remain the same, i.e. It still works and it's still a lot of fun. One of the main changes this year is the addition of a rather strange story mode. Here you play as a protagonist that has been scouted by two special agents named Rasa and Lima. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to go through time gain star powers and finding the hidden dance moves in order to stop the evil Dr Tan from threatening humanity. It's all a bit silly really and in some respects unnecessary - what happened to just choosing the song you enjoy and dancing? Well that option is still there, but you get what I mean right?
There are some redeeming aspects to the story. For one, all the areas you travel through are quite distinctive, each with relevant backdrops depending on the era, accompanied by the songs which were popular around the same time. I have to say that it's quite fun traveling through the different era's, as I for one enjoyed dancing to songs such as Y.M.C.A and I Will Survive. It certainly makes a change from trying to keep up with the dancers grabbing their crotches at full speed to LMAO's 'Sexy and I know it.' Some will definitely enjoy the story mode, if they can get over it's cheesy presentation and story.
Other additions to the game this year include Crew Throwdown, a new mode in which eight different dancers can team up in groups of four and take part in battles and mini-games. There's also new 'Strike a Pose,' tasks which challenge you with striking set poses in order to earn multipliers and more points. Throw in the new party modes and a new beginner mode, for those completely new to dancing games, then as you can see, it's a pretty featured packed game.
Throughout the game, whether you are playing the story mode, or one of the many others, you'll be happy to know that Kinect has been integrated well. Using motion gestures you can control pretty much any menu with ease. There is no lag and any gesture you make seems to be picked up by Kinect perfectly. Often in Kinect games there will be levels of frustration due to the device not working properly, but not here.
Another function which seems to work well is voice control. By saying 'Xbox,' you'll then be met with a set of voice functions that you are able to use in order to navigate around the game. Given that I have a Scottish accent this didn't seem to work half the time for me, however everyone else in the household seemed to have no issues in getting Kinect to understand them.
Music games live and die by their tracklist and Dance Central 3 is no different. Thankfully though the tracklist is pretty widespread. Songs include the likes of 50 Cent 'In Da Club,' and Heavy D & The Boyz, 'Now That We Found Love' to things like Village People and 'Y.M.C.A,' which of course is a diverse soundtrack indeed.
As you'd expect, you are also able to use songs from previous games with this disc, while there are over 100 other songs available via Xbox LIVE. So if you enjoy dancing then you'll be kept busy for a very long time.
To me Dance Central 3 is the sort of game that would only ever come out at parties. It's not really the sort of game you'd play on a daily basis, not unless you really enjoy dancing. As far as party games go, Dance Central 3 is certainly amongst the best, with perhaps only Sony?s Singstar pipping it as one I'd opt for when I have some friends around.
If you enjoyed the previous games, then you'll not go wrong with this one, although perhaps next time I'd like to see something just a little different added to keep things fresh, otherwise we could see dancing games go the same way as the likes of Rock Band and Guitar Hero.
50 Cent - "In Da Club"
Cali Swag District - "Teach Me How to Dougie"
Cobra Starship ft. Sabi - "You Make Me Feel ..."
E.U. - "Da' Butt"
Edward Maya & Vika Jigulina - "Stereo Love"
Gloria Gaynor - "I Will Survive"
Marcia Griffiths - "Electric Boogie"
Usher ft. Will.I.Am - "OMG"
Usher - "Scream"
Van McCoy - "The Hustle"
Afrojack ft. Eva Simons - "Take Over Control'
Alexandra Stan - "Mr. Saxobeat"
Ciara ft. Missy Elliott - "1, 2 Step"
Cupid - "Cupid Shuffle"
Daft Punk - "Around The World"
Dev ft. The Cataracts - "Bass Down Low"
Enur ft. Natasja - "Calabria 2008"
Martin Solveig ft. Dragonette - "Hello"
The Trammps - "Disco Inferno"