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11:00 PM on 10.03.2011

The Glitterati gets an attitude in Dance Central 2

If you're a Kinect owner, odds are you own Dance Central. After all, it is, arguably, the best piece of software for the device by a mile. Harmonix did a wonderful job of bringing the well-traveled dance  genre to Kinec...

Liam Fisher

6:00 PM on 08.29.2011

Dance Central 2 nabs 'The Humpty Dance,' more

A handful of new tracks were announced for Dance Central 2 during the PAX Prime festivities. As it turns out, developers, your dance game only needs to reference Humpty Hump to get us to write about it. We go through a checkl...

Jordan Devore

5:30 PM on 08.16.2011

Dance Central 2 dated October 25, new trailer and screens

[Update: We had originally reported Dance Central 2 would be launching on October 21, and while that's true for Asia and Europe, folks in North America will have to wait until October 25. Sorry for the confusion.] The headli...

Dale North

10:30 AM on 08.11.2011

Dance Central DLC: James Brown, Lloyd and Sean Paul

Three new songs for Dance Central are hitting Xbox Live on August 16th, with the common theme being "Songs that start with 'Get'" this time around. I thought James Brown was dead, but later on it turned out he was still alive...

Maurice Tan

11:45 AM on 07.18.2011

Dance Central DLC is only gonna break break your heart

Now listen to me baby, oh oh-oh! There's new songs for Dance Central, oh oh-oh! They're out to-morrow, oh oh-oh! You might not really care much, oh oh-oh! Here's what's on offer: Afrika Bambaataa & The Soul Sonic Force &...

Maurice Tan





6:30 PM on 06.16.2011

Dance Central 2: The Hamza edition

I love Kinect even if I do only use it for impressing my Mum and playing lots of Dance Central. So what else do you do when you see the Dance Central 2 booth at E3? You grab the most metrosexual guy on staff and play Usher. 

Hollie Bennett

12:57 PM on 06.06.2011

E3: Dance Central 2 is an on-rails dancer

Dance Central 2 has been officially announced with voice control additions and simultaneous multiplayer dancing. With all songs from the original being imported, the game will boast over 100 songs at launch, which Harmonix sa...

Jim Sterling

9:38 AM on 06.06.2011

E3: Halo 4, Halo HD, Dance Central 2, and more official

A few hours ahead of its E3 press conference, Microsoft has leaked the existence of some of its biggest announcement. Earlier, Xbox.com updated very briefly with a mention of Halo 4 and the rumored high definition update of H...

Nick Chester

6:00 PM on 06.04.2011

E3: The rubbish MS will announce for Xbox 360

Microsoft has been pretty quiet in the run to E3, and it was speculated (by me) that we'd get a lame press conference from the Xbox 360 maker, for the third straight year. According to the list of games it's due to announce, ...

Jim Sterling

12:40 PM on 04.18.2011

Rejoice, 'Wild Thing' comes to Dance Central this week

Every game should, somewhere, have Tone Lōc's "Wild Thing" in it. This goes for Mortal Kombat, Portal 2, and whatever Quantum Dream's next game is. But I guess Dance Central will have to do for now. Tone Lōc &ndash...

Nick Chester

12:00 PM on 03.30.2011

Dance Central character sketchbook: A robot, a ninja

[Recently, Dance Central developer Harmonix Music Systems was cool enough to give us a sneak peek behind the curtain of its artist’s workshop. Over the course of the past few weeks, we've been taking a closer look at th...

Nick Chester

12:00 PM on 03.16.2011

Dance Central character sketchbook: Oblio and Dare

[Recently, Dance Central developer Harmonix Music Systems was cool enough to give us a sneak peek behind the curtain of its artist’s workshop. In the coming weeks, we’ll be getting a closer look at the game&r...

Nick Chester

12:00 PM on 03.14.2011

Dance Central DLC: Fatboy Slim, Paula Abdul, more

If you're lost in a dream and don't know which way to go, a good start might be downloading tomorrow's new Dance Central downloadable content. Fatboy Slim - "Weapon of Choice" Gwen Stefani - "Hollaback Girl" Keri Hilson - "T...

Nick Chester



Dance Central character sketchbook: MacCoy and Taye photo
Dance Central character sketchbook: MacCoy and Taye
by Nick Chester

[Recently, Dance Central developer Harmonix Music Systems was cool enough to give us a sneak peek behind the curtain of its artist’s workshop.

In the coming weeks, we’ll be getting a closer look at the game’s colorful cast, revealing a bit about the fiction that drives their in-game personalities, as well as the design choices that brought them to life.]

“In the end, MacCoy is actually far less creepy than I’d envisioned him,” jokes lead character artist Matt Perlot when talking the Dance Central character.

Ultimately, that’s not exactly how the rest of the team saw him. Despite being raised outside of hip hop and B-Boy culture, Perlot says “We see him as having this encyclopedic knowledge” of that world. “He’s the one willing to go all the way there.” It’s reflected in his final look, a mash-up of sporting gear and sportswear -- he’s not only serious about his skills, but he pays homage to the old school that he loves so much.

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Alex Rigopulos talks Harmonix's past, present, and future photo
Alex Rigopulos talks Harmonix's past, present, and future
by Nick Chester

To say the least, the past few months have been a tumultuous time in the history of Boston-based Harmonix Music Systems.

Despite releasing two critically acclaimed games, Rock Band 3 and Dance Central, its owner, Viacom, announced last November it was in talks with potential buyers for the studio. A little over a month later, the deal was done -- Harmonix had been sold to Harmonix-SBE Holdings, under the investment firm Columbus Nova, essentially making the studio independent.

2011 has been just as interesting for Harmonix. In February, company restructuring was announced, with as much as 15% of its 200-plus staff reportedly laid off in the process. And when Activision soon after declared it would be disbanding its Guitar Hero business unit, it signaled to many that the death of band games may be at hand.

But after speaking with Harmonix CEO Alex Rigopulos in a phone interview last week, it's clear that internal, industry, and marketplace changes won't be slowing the studio down. Instead, it seems Rigopulos is seeing opportunity for studio evolution at every turn.

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Dance Central character sketchbook: Angel and Aubrey photo
Dance Central character sketchbook: Angel and Aubrey
by Nick Chester

[Recently, Dance Central developer Harmonix Music Systems was cool enough to give us a sneak peek behind the curtain of its artist’s workshop.

In the coming weeks, we’ll be getting a closer look at the game’s colorful cast, revealing a bit about the fiction that drives their in-game personalities, as well as the design choices that brought them to life.]

Dance Central's Miss Aubrey wasn't always the fiery redheaded know-it-all fans have come to know. In fact, she started as an "avant-garde, haute-couture influenced ballerina," a far stretch from the snooty-but-talented rich girl we know today. Oh, and she was a blonde.

"We struggled with her initially," says Dance Central senior writer Helen McWilliams. "There were ideas about her being this sort of pop princess or kind of like a Clueless-style valley girl, but the more we looked at her the more we wanted her to really be a much deeper character with a deeper personality."

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