Get ready to cut a rug and show off your dance skills in Harmonix’s latest rhythm title Dance Central 3. Coming off the heels of the hugely successful Dance Central 2, high expectations were set as to what would come in the third installment. Besides new multiplayer games and a revamped story mode, this edition focused on creating a setlist more diverse than the last. Were these changes and tweaks worth the price of admission to the dance floor? Check out our video review below to find out or continue reading the article.
Kicking it Old School, Yo!
Dance Central 3’s song list is infused with classics from several eras of dance. Most of the decades include guilty pleasures like Vanilla Ice’s “Ice Ice Baby” and the 90’s hit that never dies the “Macarena”. What really amazes me is how well Harmonix naturally works this into the storyline of dancing, espionage, and time travel. The only thing I wasn’t really digging about this mode was the oversaturation of boy bands and teenage heartthrobs during certain decades. Bieber fans, please don’t hate me, but it was cruel and unusual punishment dancing to his “Boyfriend” routine several times in a row. Other than that, the story mode really rocks a great list, adds the extra challenge of collecting power moves, and tosses in some great dance crazes you’re bound to remember.
Multiplayer Just Got Real
Ok, ok I know what you’re thinking. We finally got online multiplayer, woohoo! Well sorry to burst your bubble but this is not the case. Despite this unforgivable omission, the multiplayer mode has definitely been given the all star treatment. It now packs in all kinds of customization and games that will encourage anyone to get up and dance. I died of laughter playing games like Keep the Beat and Make Your Move. In these modes, there are no difficult dance moves to master…you are the choreographer! Picture the countless party nights you’ll spend with friends throwing in every cheesy dance routine from your repetoire.
Practice Makes Perfect
Break it Down mode is back and is now known simply as Rehearsal mode. It’s pretty much the same as the previous installment and nothing has drastically changed. Veterans and beginners alike will definitely appreciate the returning “slow it down” and “record video” commands. Picking apart a dance is still easy and just like before you can toggle which moves to rehearse and which to skip. I have heard fellow DC players asking if this mode could feature footage of real dancers executing the steps too. I’m on the fence as to whether this would provide a noticeable benefit but it may be something for Harmonix to consider.
Let the “Sweat Drop Down and Fall!”
Yup, Lil Jon’s lyrics pretty much hit the nail on the head. This game will get a person of average fitness level huffing, puffing, and yeah sweating. It may not be a pretty look but hey, at least it’s giving you some rigorous cardio and you can be satisfied watching those calories go up in flames. This time you can put in place fitness goals and program a playlist just like last time. You can even finetune the calorie counter by inputting your actual weight and height. Most of what helps the fitness component of this game is the fact that the choreography of this installment seems to be ramped up a notch. C’mon not all of us can crunch our body fifteen to thirty times in midair and not beg for mercy.
A Few Missteps
Unfortunately, the game’s excellent execution stumbles over two issues. The first, as pointed out earlier, is the missing online multiplayer. Sure you can throw out challenges to your dancing rivals but it just doesn’t have the same appeal to it. Can you imagine hearing a guy on the other side whine and blame his lack of living room space for not being able to out booty bounce you? The second issue is a rather smaller one but I feel it takes away from the polish of the game. I truly miss the two toned blue and purple bars that surrounded you in your dance pictures from Dance Central 2. What we get in its place is a sea of black and bits of neon around different surfaces. This new presentation sticks out badly in social network feeds and just plain looks wrong in my eyes.
With such minor misses, Dance Central 3 still reigns supreme among the Kinect rhythm titles. It offers a motion gaming experience unlike any other and hits home for dancers and non-dancers alike. So really what are you waiting for? Hit the dance floor and give this game a proper go!