Dance Central 2

by Wencke Schuncken
author awarded score: 85/100

Dance Central 2 Review
Developer: Harmonix / MTV Games
Publisher: Microsoft Game Studios
Format Reviewed: Xbox360
Reviewed by: Wencke Schuncken

When Microsoft promised us gamers that the future was here with the Xbox360 Kinect and that no longer controllers were required to control a game, it seemed too good to be true. But there was a perfect line-up of games when it was launched and my favorite was Dance Central. No more dancepads, no more controllers to hold tight, just your body movements required to control games. It felt like I was in the Matrix shuffling through menus with my hands in the air. Amazing! Even more amazing was how well Dance Central worked and how it made me work, sweat and most importantly made me one happy gamer. Now in stores is Dance Central 2. What's new besides new songs, you may wonder. Let's find out!

 Dance Central 2 Female Gamers Review

It's recommended to read the review of Dance Central first for more detailed gameplay information, click here: website

If there's one thing I learned from the original Dance Central game, it's that I just can select a song on easy mode and start dancing immediately in the “perform it” dance mode instead of rehearsal the moves step by step-in the “break it down” mode, and still get a perfect rating at the first try. And believe me, you don't find me in a dance hall, dance studio or on any dance floor as my rhythm is bad, and the moves, well, only Kinect is allowed to watch. But I'm glad to experience that the difficulty mode is still the same as the previous part. Anyone can step in and dance on easy mode with a positive result. Of course more experience is needed to perform accordingly in medium and hard mode with routines with a lot more moves and switch between moves more often. Later on I'll talk about stepping-in of a second player.

Although you already could have downloaded new songs, Dance Central 2 contains a song library of 44 new songs. Any previously downloaded song is automatically listed, so no need to search for it somewhere on the Xbox360 harddrive. It's even possible to import the songs of Dance Central into the song library of Dance Central 2, if you have the original copy that is. Of course you're rather interested in the new 44 songs than me rambling about a library, so here you go (listed in order as in game with increasing difficulty level):
Sandstorm – Darude
Mai Ai Hee (Dragostea Din Tea) – O-Zone
Reach – Atlantic Connection And Armanni Reign
Real Love – Mary J. Blige
Venus – Bananarama
Bulletproof – La Roux
Turn Me On – Kevin Lyttle
Last Night – P. Diddy feat. Keyshia Cole
The Humpty Dance – Digital Underground
Impacto (Remix) – Daddy Yankee feat. Fergie
This Is How We Do It – Montell Jordan
The Breaks – Kurtis Blow
Hot Stuff – Donna Summer
Body to Body – Electric Valentine
Fire Burning – Sean Kingston
You’re A Jerk – New Boyz
Oops (Oh My) – Tweet feat. Missy Elliot
Right Thurr – Chingy
Rude Boy – Rihanna
Nothin’ On You – B.O.B feat. Bruno Mars
Club Can’t Handle Me – Flo Rida feat. David Guetta
I Like It – Enrique Iglesias feat. Pitbull
Massive Attack – Nikki Minaj feat. Sean Garrett
My Prerogative – Bobby Brown
Grenade – Bruno Mars
I Wish For You – Exile
Meddle – Little Boots
Goodies – Ciara
Born This Way – Lady Gaga
Whip My Hair – Willow Smith
Conceited (There’s Something About Remy) – Remy Ma
What Is Love? – Haddaway
Like A G6 – Far East Movement
Yeah! – Usher feat. Lil’ Jon & Ludacris
Bad Romance – Lady Gaga
DJ Got Us Fallin’ In Love – Usher feat. Pitbull
Run (Natural Disaster) – Gnarls Barkley
Baby Got Back (Mix Mix) – Sir Mix-A-Lot
Technologic – Daft Punk
Somebody To Love – Justin Bieber
Satellite – Lena
Get Ur Freak On – Missy Elliot
Toxic – As made famous by Britney Spears
Sexy Chick – David Guetta feat. Akon

 Dance Central 2 Female Gamers Review

What a list! Play selected song after song (each song is available from the start as there is no song unlock feature in Dance Central 2) or for the calorie-burning and statistic fanatics, pre-generated fitness playlists ranging from a quick 10-minute workouts to 50-minute epics and span several different tracks. Your progress is kept track of throughout, letting you know how many calories you've burned during the session and your lifetime total. Another possibility is to create your own custom playlists with a maximum up to 20 songs from Dance Central 2, Downloadable Content, as well as the original Dance Central (if songs are imported).

Bobby Brown sang “two can play that game”, and now it's possible to play this game with 2 dancers at the same time. Yes, two can hit the dancefloor simultaneously with seamless jump-in/ump out functionality. If anybody wants to join, then jump right in and the Kinect recognizes a second player and double the fun just starts. If you want to check out the competition, try the all-new 2-player dance battle where you and your opponent pick which crews to rep and step up to do some serious battling.

 Dance Central 2 Female Gamers Review

A very addictive feature is the Crew Challenge mode. Not only does it contain the story of you making a dance career by battling your way through the ranks, but also unlock new and familiar characters, crews, and outfits. Join a crew of dancers and proof them that you're worthy working with them. As soon as you proved it, you can move on to another crew with harder skills. Still the songs and moves stay the same as in the “Perform it” mode/ sessions.

Okay we're not perfect all the time, just admit it or take a serious look at your star-ratings. There are several options to perfect your performance; “break it down” to focus on selected moves to practice in more detail or work on the whole routine, move by move. A new feature is that you can record a video of yourself dancing a move and compare the video with an on-screen dancer to see exactly what needs tweaking. Be sure that your Kinect understands our voice commands to steer through the practice session with ease and get ready to master over 1700 moves available. Speaking of voice commands, use it also to select a song, mode and difficulty.

As Social Media is still hot, it's not surprising to see that Dance Central will have an Facebook App in the near future that will allow you to compare your score against your social network. In the meantime you can share your pictures taken during a brilliant performance (of course) to Twitter and Facebook, along with the name of the song, score and difficulty.

 Dance Central 2 Female Gamers Review

From a female point of view, the dance genre always is favorite amongst us girls and dance Central truly is one of the best out on the market. In-game there are lots of varied female characters with different styles and looks to choose and to copy during your performances. Of course in freestyle mode in each song, you're visible on screen doing ... well should we say “dance”? Besides enough female characters to choose from, the track list also contains lots of female stars such as Rihanna, Donna Summer, Mary J. Blige to name a few.

Dance Central 2, with a two that stands for several meanings:
2 as it is the sequel
2 Late as Dance Central 2 should have been released earlier
2 player functionality to have fun with another opponent and most importantly
2 much fun too handle!

Although the main gameplay is equal to the first part, there are some great additions with my favorite Crew Challenge mode and if someone dares to, the multiplayer mode. It's still a shame that it is not possible to battle online directly with another opponent. But who knows what Dance Central has in stores for us. In the meantime there is still enough going on in the Dance Central Community, with a new Facebook App coming up, and the more points the community gathers, the more surprises will be unlocked by Harmonix. For now I will try to surprise myself while doing amazing fun dance moves, burn some calories and compare scores, and so should you!