My average week at work involves peddling drugs, murdering prostitutes, stabbing random people in the street and sending entire platoons to a certain death just to hear their screams. No, I haven't written that after snorting a really long line of cocaine. That's essentially all that I'm expected to do while reviewing video games for a living. Thanks to the wonders of motion gaming, even the dudes from Office Space will approve, because it's all about makin' bucks, gettin' exercise, workin' outside inside. Freakin' A, you know. Life as a video game journalist, as you already may have suspected, is quite swell indeed. That is, as long as you play stuff that you love.
Dance Central 3 includes a fair bit of retro with 70s disco numbers
An Iodex Sandwich Moment
The prospect of reviewing Dance Central 3 turned out to be the Iodex sandwich moment for me. To fully appreciate why it's such a terrible proposition, you need to understand how much of an affront the game is to my personal ethos. The music I prefer is the kind that you headbang to, or sit smug in a chair while pointing at people in a condescending manner with a smoking pipe. It is, in fact, physically impossible to dance to the songs in my playlist. Not that I could even if I wanted to, because I'm a guy with the proverbial two left feet. The only time I prefer moving my feet, it's generally to kick in doors or curb stomp kids who listen to BackStreet Boys and LMFAO. However, not only am I expected to listen to these very songs, but also dance to them in Dance Central 3.
Reviewing the game at office was out of question, and I sure as hell couldn't subject my parents to the humiliation of watching their grown son break into spastic spasms in front of the telly. That's why I decided to camp in with a friend. One who had an Xbox 360, Kinect, a large enough living room and a peculiar lack of shame as well as dignity that let him agree to such an arrangement. The idea was simple: stock up on alcohol, dance away the night and write the review on the following day.
The story campaign involves a megalomaniacal villain and super-secret spy dancing agency
No More Drugs For You!
Like all plans, this only sounded good in the head. Next morning, I woke up with a massive hangover and a jaw that hurt like hell. The room was thrashed and the only piece of furniture left standing was a glass table with razor blades and a copious amount of talcum powder strewn upon it. My friend walked in shortly looking like a mime wearing a face full of white powder and blackened eyes. That's when he asked me to leave, before slamming the door shut in my face and yelling, "No more drugs for you!"
Kinect-based motion gameplay is surprisingly accurate and engaging
Better Than I Had Hoped
Frankly, it wasn't as bad as I had hoped it to be. After a few hours of resembling Forrest Gump trying to attempt the Macarena, I had improved by leaps and bounds. This is largely due to the wonders of the Kinect motion controller, which makes sure that you use your entire body to dance. And because the the sensor can accurately tell the position and orientation of every last limb and digit on your body, the game's intuitive tutorial mode can make a respectable dancer out of someone with leaden feet, like yours truly.
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