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Dance Central 2

Getting jiggy with Dance Central's Marathon Pack 01

12:00 PM on 11.05.2011 // Maurice Tan

Today is the last day the entire Dance Central DLC song catalogue is on sale so if you completely forgot about it, but still want that sweet DLC, you better get on it fast.

The thing with these DLC songs is that even if you like or dislike a song, you never know if they are actually any fun to play. To help you out with that, Harmonix was kind enough to provide us with the Marathon Pack 01 (containing 14 songs) and here are some impressions of what you can expect of this song pack -- illustrated by some of the best YouTube has to offer!

[These songs are ordered by difficulty, all songs were played on Hard using Dance Central 2. Impressions are based on how much you'll embarass yourself when playing it solo in full view of outsiders, workout potential, how well they fit party play, and most importantly how much damage to your living room a song will do when played drunk.]

Fatboy Slim - Weapon of Choice (Difficulty: 1)

Weapon of Choice is a short song with a somewhat wooden choreography. You're not going to feel like Christopher Walken in the music video, although the move-set fits the song well enough. The fan-favorite actor does dance all over the place in that music video, so admittedly it would've been hard to put all of that in Dance Central.

While there are a lot of the same kind of moves that repeat themselves, they are plenty ridiculous which makes for a great party track. As long as you take care not to punch the person next to you, it's an upbeat and quick song to get people off the couch.

Embarassment level: Medium
Workout: Okay
Party fun: Good
Drunk risk: Medium

Blur - Girls & Boys
(Difficulty: 1)

Girls & Boys has a lot of recycled moves from other songs, sadly, but it's an easy song -- even on Hard -- due to a lot of repetition in the move set. It's another short song so it's a good one to keep the party going without people taking forever. You're not likely to fall over playing this when you're drunk, which means you can safely put this somewhere near the bottom of a party playlist.

Embarassment level: Low
Workout: Mediocre
Party fun: Medium
Drunk risk: Low

Rick James - Superfreak (Difficulty: 2)

The moves in Superfreak don't match the actual song that well, which is a bit of a shame. Of course it's a well-known song for a wide audience, so people will still enjoy playing it in a party setting. It does have a couple of moves that are a better suited to women, although not as much as some other songs. Pretty average overall despite being Rick James.

Embarassment level: Low (if female), High (if Male)
Workout: Medium
Party fun: Medium
Drunk risk: Low

Rihanna - Disturbia (Difficulty: 2)

Disturbia is a very popular and well-known song, so of course this makes for great party material for most people. It's a great song to dance to due to the high tempo, which makes it exceptionally good for workout purposes. You will need some good footwork stamina to keep up with the moves, though, so prepare to sweat a lot while mastering this one. The move-set is easy enough to make it one of those songs that are fun to gold star with some practice. Depending on how much you like Rihanna, you'll have fun with it at a party whether you're drunk or not. Of course as the night goes, people will probably distract you by singing along.

Embarassment level: Low
Workout: Great
Party fun: Great
Drunk risk: Low

Black Eyed Peas - I Gotta Feeling (Difficulty: 3)

Like most songs this is going to depend on how much you like the artist, but the moves make for a good average challenge. There's a good mix of fast and slow moves to give you a good allround workout throughout the song, although there are some more Fergie/girl moves thrown in the mix that will make you look ridiculous regardless of your gender. Some jump and kick moves make it less suitable for drunken play because someone is going to fall over or kick/punch a person in the face.

Embarassment level: Medium/High
Workout: Great
Party fun: Good
Drunk risk: High

Cameo - Word Up (Difficulty: 4)

This is a great song for Dance Central even if it's not a very fast one. There are a lot of hiphop moves with plenty of top rock, footwork and arm swinging that makes it great for drunken parties. Because you don't move around that much, the risk of drunken play is pretty low and it will only help to make you look the good kind of ridiculous.

The finishing stance can bring out your inner B-boy, which can look like anything from hilarious to super serious depending on whether you actually breakdance or not. Because of the wide variety of moves, it's also a good one to keep practicing on and to throw into a workout songlist.

Embarassment level: Low
Workout: Good
Party fun: Great
Drunk risk: Low

Amerie - Heard 'Em All (5)

This is one of the worst songs I've ever heard! Personal preference aside, this is one of those songs made to show off their booty. The moves make it pretty challenging to learn and it's not too emasculating if you're a guy, but it's undeniably a song for the ladies. Most songs in Dance Central are relatively "unisex" with some typical guy and girl songs here and there, so you can count this under the girl section. That doesn't mean it can't be fun at a party, far from it, but you might make your crowd cringe thanks to the song itself.

Embarassment level: Medium/High
Workout: Medium
Party fun: Low/Medium
Drunk risk: Low (unless you let a really big guy dance to this)

Tag Team - Whoomp! (There It Is) (Difficulty: 5)

Another hip hop song with a lot of top rock and footwork, and generally you can count this among the "guy" songs. You'll need a lot of space for all the wide poses and jumping around, which means you don't want anyone to play this too drunk unless you have a lot of space. All the footwork makes it a great workout song and it's relatively easy to learn. If you're a B-Boy you can use this to practice or to show off to less dance-inclined friends at a party.

Embarassment level: Medium
Workout: Medium
Party fun: Medium/High
Drunk risk: Very High

Paula Abdul - Straight Up (Difficulty: 5)

Straight Up is a fun '80s song and a good song for a girls-only night at someone's house, if the girls remember the '80s. The move-set features some typical '80s moves and elegant arm sweeps that are very emasculating if you do them as a straight male in public. But be careful! You don't want to drink too much wine or too many cocktails because all the swinging around might make you fall on your face.

Embarassment level: Very low/Very high (depending on whether you are the girl or guy in a relationship)
Workout: Medium
Party fun: High
Drunk risk: High

Ne-Yo - Because Of You (Difficulty: 6)

This is a boy toy song plain and simple. Do you want to show off your more sensitive side to the ladies or use your boy to show him off? Then by all means use this song and try to woe your love interest, or make your girlfriends jealous, if Ne-Yo makes them swoon. There are some more recycled moves in here and it could've used a little more slow dancing since the moves feel tailored to a faster song, but it does make for a good track to finish a workout routine and to stretch your arms and legs.

Embarassment: Very High
Workout: Good
Party fun: Medium (depends on who you want to impress)
Drunk risk: Low

Gwen Stefani - Hollaback Girl (Difficulty: 6)

Hollaback Girl is one of the harder songs in the Dance Central catalogue with a lot of technical dancing and a lot of moves. Lots of streetdance moves will help you practice if you're a B-Girl, but if you're a stiff-limbed dude this is going to be a nightmare to become good at. Which of course makes it all the more hilarious to put in a party playlist.

Embarassment level: Medium (depending on your flexibility)
Workout: Great
Party fun: Medium/High
Drunk risk: Low

Janet Jackson - Control (Difficulty: 6)

Control is really varied and really hard, but its move-set is a cool mix of '80s Madonna and Janet Jackson dancing . You're going to spend a lot of time in Break It Down mode to become even moderately good at this one, but it's an ok song to dance to. A lot of different moves make it more of a challenge to keep you occupied than a song you can easily throw into a playlist for some casual dance action, but if you persist with the training you'll impress your friends quickly enough.

Embarassment: Low
Workout: Good
Party fun: Low/Medium (depending on skill)
Drunk risk: Low

Lady Sovereign - I Got You Dancing (Difficulty: 7)

I Got You Dancing shares a bunch of moves with Benni Benassi - Satisfaction and a few other songs, which is lame. It's a hard song, but with practice it's one of the better songs for a good workout. It's not a very fun song overall and it's pretty repetitive, so you're best off only using this for solo play.

Embarassment: Medium
Workout: Great
Party fun: Low
Drunk risk: Low

Keri Hilson - Turnin Me On (Difficulty: 7)

Hmmmm, yeah. The best way to describe this song is "bootylicious" and it's a song for the ladies to drive that hunky guy wild in his pants. A lot of boob thrusts, hip swings, and acts of agility are required to five star this one. At a party you might steal the show and make that one guy notice you, but take care that some dicks won't just select it to see you bounce up and down for their own enjoyment. 

Embarassment: Low (if female), Very High (if male)
Workout: Good
Party fun: High
Drunk risk: Low


The Marathon Pack 01 offers some good allround tracks for 1400 Microsoft Points (100 MS points per song), which is great value compared to buying these songs seperately or in Dance Packs. It's going to depend on how much you like these songs of course, but if you host Dance Central at parties or just want some more songs, it's one of the better deals you can get. You might want to make a playlist that excludes a couple of these tracks if you expect a lot of drinking to happen, but overall you'll get a good mix of songs for different tastes.

Depending on your needs, you might still be cheaper off with single songs or Dance Packs while they're on sale so just check those out over here.

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