The concept is pretty simple: you stand in front of your TV and dance move diagrams show up on the right side of the screen. You’re asked to do the “Reach Lunge,” the “Banjo,” and the “Hitch Hike” among the game’s 600-plus dance moves. Don’t know what any of that means? That’s okay, just watch the on-screen avatar he (or she) will help you keep the pace, showing you just what you need to do. As for the authenticity of the moves, Harmonix has hired an entire crew of professional dancers and choreographers, many of which were in the Los Angeles Convention Center showing uncoordinated game nerds how it was done.
While your movements won’t be one-to-one with the on-screen avatar (how would you know what you were supposed to do?), the game provides plenty of feedback to keep you on track. Because the cameras tracks your movements at all times, if you’re doing something wrong -- not moving a body part, off the beat, etc. -- you’re told in a number of ways. Not moving your feet to the beat? The on-screen dancer’s legs will start flashing red. Not waving your hands in the air like you just don’t care? Check the flashing red arms and make adjustments accordingly.
Even when you are moving how you should be, you’re also required to move with the beat of the song; the game keeps track of that, too, of course. A circle, or a spotlight, will appear under your characters legs, slowly moving outward in time with the song. If it turns blue, you’ve nailed the move flawlessly; green, not bad; red, it’s time to get your act together.
On the first go, getting into Dance Central is a bit intimidating. Because, you know, what the hell is a “Jazz Square”? No worries, because playing on the easiest level truly eases you in, throwing only a few dance moves at you within the frame of a single song. Once you start to know the moves and start to build a dance “vocabulary,” you’ll find that you’ll start knowing and anticipating moves as they come up on the screen. Even within one song, I found myself flailing around aimlessly as it began, but by the closing measures of the song, had come to grips with the handful of moves the game was asking me to perform. No coordination? No problem -- the game’s “Break It Down” mode will allow you to slow down and practice individual moves on the fly.
Dance Central will ship with over 30 songs, with more than 90 dance sequences, some of which you might recognize from the videos or performances of the tracks included. On the demo at E3, six songs were playable (danceable?): Lady Gaga’s “Poker Face”; Lipps Inc.’s “Funkytown”; M.I.A.’s “Galang 05”; Bel Biv DeVoe’s “Poison”; and The Beastie Boy’s “Body Movin’ (featuring Fatboy Slim)”. You can also expect plenty of downloadable content following the game’s release, but it’s unlikely it’ll be able to keep up with the same schedule and rate of a title like Rock Band.
When Dance Central hits store, it’ll come with a multiplayer “Dance Battle” mode, which Harmonix and MTV Games aren’t going into details about just yet. But even though the modes playable at E3 were really only one player, that didn’t stop other people from hopping in and dancing along with you. At any given point, you’d see one person busting a move with at least two back-up dances. As the E3 show floor was set to close, I was roped into a group dance with Harmonix and MTV staff, including professional dancers; there’s video if it, and I’m the one who looks like he didn’t know what he’s doing. (I didn’t.)
Deep down, you know you want to dance. You’re sitting at home reading this and bopping your head to “Hella Good” right now. Okay, maybe that’s just me. And dammit, I’ve been doing it since last week, when I first got hands/feet/body on Dance Central. Point is, if you’ve always wanted to dance but never knew how, here’s your chance. Just make sure you draw the blinds first, you silly fool; until you work your way up to at least “hard,” you’ll probably want to keep this to yourself.
Reblog (or) Blog Reply
Follow Blog + disclosure Tips
Editor-in-Chief @ Destructoid.com nick at destructoid.com more | staff directory
Setup email comments
Unsavory comments? Please report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our moderators, and flag the user (we will ban users dishing bad karma). Can't see comments? Apps like Avast or browser extensions can cause it. You can fix it by adding *.disqus.com to your whitelists.