E3 2012: Dance Central 3 Preview
Get your groove on
©2012 Arthur Kotsopoulos
Sitting in a room crowded up with other media we were split up into 2 teams of 4 and asked to scan ourselves in via Kinect.
From the beginning the hardware portion of the Dance Central 3 demo struggled to scan all players and it took the roughly 10 minutes before we continued with the demo.
After some joking with the friendly developers, we jumped into Crew Throwdown which pitted us in player vs player over 4 rounds with various game modes which consisted of:
- Perform: Choosing from a selection of 40 songs in game, or 100+ if you import your Dance Central 1/2 data, both players must complete the moves shown on screen. The victor is the player with the most points. If you’re not the dancer you originally thought you were, the game will dynamically adjust difficulty to cater to the struggling player by repeating the same moves at the start of the song and never changing it up. That is unless you are completing the dances and racking up combos. It’s the basic of modes but one that’s the most simple.
- Freestyle: With player 2 vs player 2, the game allows you to choose a song and from here you must freestyle dance to the beat of the music. You are rewarded for your originality and syncing dance moves with the beat. To keep this mode competitve the game will reward players who don’t repeat the same moves more than twice and don’t steal other players’ dance moves. I managed to come out victorious in this mode and it felt good to have won based on my creativity and groove. [Editor: I'm sooo glad we don't have video of that!]
- Make Your Move: With the next two players stepping up, both had to come up with 4 unique moves that the opponent had to mimic and vice versa. Once both players had made 2 moves each the game would combine all 4 moves and have the players dance to them during a random song/beat. It was quite entertaining watching both players struggle to even remember which moves they made and getting completely confused when the avatars on the screen told them to do one thing while they were doing another. This mode challenges the player to have a good memory and always be on the top of their game.
- Throwdown: Last but not least this game mode pits the last 2 players from both teams against each other in a challenge combining the previous 3 game modes into one. This means that it’s winner takes all if both teams are roughly on similar scores. It’s keeping both players on their feet and having them give all their attention to the screen. Unfortunately due to timing constraints we didn’t get a chance to see which team was victorious (even though out team were the clear cut winners, of course).
For most of the hands on with Dance Central 3, it sounded and played smoothly with the hardware being the only real problem on the day. I don’t exactly know what caused the problem with Kinect but it was extremely strange to see it read everyone bar one player for absolutely no valid reason.
The developers were baffled themselves but it did however allow them to see first hand that there are some kinks that still need to be worked on before release.
Overall though, if you’re a fan of Kinect, dancing games or already own both Dance Central 1 and 2 then the new moves, competitive game play modes and new songs, makes this a game well worth buying.
If you are new to the series, then this is a good starting point.