Just when I thought I was done pseudo pop-locking and generally convulsing like a moron in front of my Kinect to pop songs that are typically obnoxious as hell, you’ve managed to show up with your troll face on and hand me Dance Central 2. Thanks a lot, Harmonix, for ensuring my family never stops laughing at me. In truth, Dance Central was by far my favorite Kinect launch title. Is it emasculating to dance around to Poker Face and Evacuate the Dancefloor? Perhaps a little, but I’m not one to care about what other people think, and if I can do it to an electronic beat I’m all for it. Now that we’ve likely destroyed my man card, does Dance Central 2 pick up where the original left off?
The simple answer is not just yes, but hell yes. Dance Central 2 completely streamlines Dance Central, removing the awkwardness of navigating menus and scrolling tracks and instead incorporates Kinect’s voice features to be able to simply conjure up a track by telling the damn thing what you want to do and then watching it do it. This is stupidly cool, and really turns Dance Central into that “party” game that it strived to be with the previous entry.
Dance Central 2 is clearly meant for two players, as it immediately has a prompt in the top corner to suggest that another dancer jump in. In single player mode, you’ll do the typical thing of playing sets at a time to unlock progressively harder songs (Daft Punk’s Technologic is extremely tough even on easy). In two player mode, you get to play my favorite mode – the dance off; where you’ll be given a few flash cards in a row and then you’ll switch players and the other player will be prompted to perform their set, with the player who performs better getting the higher score and thus “serving” the other player. Aww yeah.
Aside from the redefined player experiences, there’s not a whole lot of difference between the two games. Both games feature you, dancing to pre-choreographed moves presented to you on flash cards which are displayed to the right of your character. Will Dance Central 2 make you a better dancer? No, not really, but you’ll be able to look like you’ve seen a music video a whole bunch of times and there aren’t very many ways to break this much of a sweat while having this much fun.
If you remember the music from the previous Dance Central, you’ll be getting more of the same in Dance Central 2. There’s a nice eclectic mix of current radio smash hits as well as classic dance tracks, though I can’t figure out why the version of Britney Spears’ Toxic is a cover, I thought by this point we were past not using officially licensed tracks. Oh well, a small gripe that’s easy to get over. Speaking of the previous entry, you’re also able to continue using any DLC from the original game, and for $5 bucks you can import all of the original Dance Central’s songs into DC2, making the original game completely obsolete.
Overall, Dance Central 2 is far superior to the original game. Functionally, it’s not all that different but the unexpected enhancements make it incredibly easy to recommend for you and your friends/family. Add Dance Central 2′s ability to create your own playlists and couple that with DLC options that carry over from the first game, including the ability to import all of the songs from the original game and you’re looking at a package that quickly gives more “bang for your buck” than other dance games on the market. Fire up those dancing shoes and throw your inhibitions to the wind, as Dance Central 2 is one of the best Kinect games available today.
Dance Central 2 is available exclusively on Kinect for Xbox 360, and was provided for review by Harmonix.