More Evolutionary Than Revolutionary
A quick comparison with the last two Dance Central games makes this franchise seem more like FIFA than a Rock Band game in terms of evolution. The changes are more incremental than anything majorly game changing. That isn't entirely bad, considering how well the Kinect-based gameplay works. The fact that I went from expecting a catastrophically bad experience to genuinely enjoying this dancing business, despite not caring for the music at all.
Its deep, intuitive and surprisingly accurate motion gameplay humours the gamer in you, and then it becomes more a matter of getting into the groove and nailing the moves. At this juncture, you don't really care about what sort of music you're dancing to. You're too engaged in acing the steps to trifle with all that.
Seamless drop-in, drop-out co-op and versus gameplay in the Party Mode is quite fun
Dance Central 3 isn't without its new additions either. It now ships with 46 songs ranging from the '70s disco and dance tunes to the current rap, hip hop and R&B numbers. None of the songs are locked and you can jump into any of your favourite tracks. New music, however, can only be purchased, or carried over from the last two games, in case you have already bought the DLCs.
It's a Party, Get Some Friends Along
The versus and co-op aspects have been integrated seamlessly and allow players to jump in the fray by just waving or high-fiving each other. Dance battles with a buddy are fun, while motion tracking is good enough to grade each player's moves with enough accuracy to maintain healthy competition.
The main multiplayer draw, however, is the popular Party Mode. Turn it on and the music keep segueing from one song to another in an infinite loop. Players can drop in and drop out seamlessly without having to reset or go through the motions of setting the playlist again. This is a feature that can add a great deal of fun to any house party.
The Rehearsal Mode is intuitive enough to improve even gamers with leaden feet
The single player campaign mode is hilariously self aware and includes a campy storyline involving a super-secret organisation that's sworn to protect the dancing world. The Step Up-meets-Austin Powers plot features deliberately over-the-top stuff such as time travelling dancing agents and an eccentric villain hell bent on taking over the dance world with a grooving robot army.
All of this is a thinly-veiled excuse to revisit songs from '70s, '80s, '90s as well as contemporary numbers, while you master various dance moves therein to beat the uber-villain. This game is smart in the way it knows that there's no way in hell it can pull off a serious plot with a straight face. Fortunately, it doesn't try that, and instead chooses to embrace a campy narrative instead.
In the simplest of terms, Dance Central 3 changed my very perception of dance games in general. It is one thing to control a clumsy on-screen mannequin with a joypad, and it's a whole other ball game when you become the mannequin itself with the Kinect. This intuitive form of gameplay exalts the dance genre to an experience that's thoroughly enjoyable even for someone who doesn't care for the music being offered. This speaks volumes to justify Dance Central 3 to first timers who aren't sure how this Kinect-based dance business will work out.
The game is easy to learn in the beginner modes, but tough to master in the higher difficulties
Updated 18 May, 2013, 5:40 pm IST
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