Just got an Xbox b/c of the recent black friday sales and I'd like to get a dancing game. Was wondering if I should get DC1 or DC2 if I've never played before. I've heard DC2 was harder but wondering if the moves might be impossible for someone who has never played before. I'm relatively fit but that doesn't mean I can dance...haha.
I just got DC2 myself yesterday, so I haven't played it much yet. I did have DC1 previously, but I hadn't been playing it for very long either. So I don't know everything there is to know about either game but I can answer from the perspective of a beginner.
My understanding is that the song list in the game is listed in order of difficulty. In my opinion, the first song on DC1 (Poker Face) is MUCH easier than the first song on DC2 (Sandstorm). I never had any real trouble with Poker Face, even when I was brand new to the entire concept. With Sandstorm, there were several moves I struggled with. But I did get them eventually, at least well enough to earn 5 stars on the easy/medium difficulty levels. I haven't tried hard yet!
The advantage of DC2 is that it has much better "Break it Down" options. "Break it Down" is the section of the game that teaches you the dance moves. Every song has a "Break it Down" option for each difficulty level. In DC1, you can slow a move down to better figure out what the on-screen dancer is doing, but the "Slow it Down" option only displays for a short time and I had a hard time hitting it before it disappeared. DC2 allows you to use voice commands, so it's easier to utilize the commands to slow down/speed up a step. They also added several new options -- you can go to the previous move or skip the current move, both of which can be done either with the menu or with voice commands.
In DC1, "Break it Down" forced you to go through a tutorial of the entire series of steps for the song even if you really only wanted to practice one step. In DC2, you can pick which moves you want to practice instead of being forced to practice all of them.
My favorite new feature in DC2's "Break it Down" is the one that records a video of you performing the move and then plays it back so you can compare yourself to the dancer. I had fun doing this even on the moves I thought I was good on, because it was funny to see just how bad I really looked!
Although I haven't tried it for myself, I understand that multiplayer is much better on DC2 than DC1, so I don't know if that's a consideration for you.
So after that wall of text my conclusion is that, if you can only pick one, DC2 is the better choice. It may be a little more challenging, but the better Tutorial options will help offset that.
Since it has no story it's not a game you really need to play in any order. Would be like having to play Rockband 1 before 2. I recommend getting Dance Central 2 especially as it has been very discounted this past week.
It isn't currently possible to purchase the original DC1 songs without purchasing the entire DC1 game. To import the DC1 songs into DC2, you need to have the manual from the DC1 game. It has a code on it that you enter to import the songs. (So, if you buy DC1, you don't want to buy it used because it may not have the manual and/or the code may have already been used.) It also costs 400 Microsoft points to do the import. However, I had one free 240 point card in my DC1 case and another in the DC2 case, so I was able to do the import for free by using both cards.
There were also quite a few extra songs released for DC1 as downloadable content (DLC). You can purchase those, and I believe they automatically work in DC2 without needing to do anything except download them. There have also been a few released for DC2 so far. However, I haven't bought any DLC yet. I'm hoping they'll package them together into a single bundle or two at a better cost, because right now it would be really expensive to get them all. I believe they had released limited time bundles a while back, but I missed out on that. I don't mind waiting too much though because I already have more songs than I know what to do with between DC1 and DC2.
If you enjoy the game, I think it's definitely worth it to get the DC1 songs, assuming of course that you've looked up the song list and like a lot of the songs. I had only played a couple songs on DC1 before I got DC2, so I've been playing the DC1 songs through DC2. They're easier to learn with the improved Break it Down features. I've enjoyed all the songs I've played so far from both games, with the exception of "Hey Mami" which I found rather annoying. The choreography was ok, but the song was obnoxious. But I've only completed 4 from each game at all difficulty levels, so I still have a long list of songs to get through!