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74 of 82 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dancing Has Returned to the Xbox - Better Than Ever, October 25, 2011
This review is from: Dance Central 2 - Xbox 360 (Video Game)
When you think about the Kinect, there are a handful of games that come to mind. Without doubt, Dance Central has earned its spot in the Kinect Hall of Fame. There are dance games and then there is Dance Central. Millions of fans have benefited from the fun approach of dance instruction and often club floors are living testimony of Dance Centralfs impact. Now, the DC crew is back and better than ever in Dance Central 2 for Kinect.


There are many positive things to talk about with Dance Central 2. Immediately you will notice the clean interface and ease of menu navigation. The original version of DC was already clean, but Harmonix took their time to make navigation even more of a breeze. This aided tremendously by the addition of voice commands. Within seconds of popping in the game, you can be dancing. For me, all it took was literally saying, gXbox, dance, song, Like a G6, XBox danceh. And off I went.

For those that have already played the first Dance Central and even purchased songs, everything is ready to transfer directly into Dance Central 2. Purchased songs will automatically show up in Dance Central 2s playlist. To carry over all the songs from the original Dance Central, you will need the code that came with the first game and 400 MS Points (5 USD). The transition is smooth, but you will need a harddrive or USB drive, as well as a connection to the internet. Once the songs carry over, everything is integrated into the game. Your play list becomes HUGE. All of Dance Central 2s new features are supported except the option to skip the freestyle part of the song.

The new game play modes are subtle, but add a lot of play value to Dance Central 2. My personal favorite new additions include the ability to make my own playlists and the Dance Crew challenges. There are already a decent amount of pre-made playlists, but you are able to pick your own songs for some killer back-to-back dancing sessions. As for the Dance Crew challenges, this is as close as you are going to get in a story mode for the game. Essentially, you meet a Dance Crew, dance the selected songs, and unlock the next crew. This makes it more of an immersive game versus dancing for the heck of it.

One huge bonus of Dance Central 2 is the ability to have two players, either playing cooperatively or battling it out. The second player can hop in and out of the game with ease and at any time. Like the song? Jump in and play. That easy.

One of the main niceties of playlists is for working out. Our Kinect to Fitness and Health group has already seen great success in people losing up to and over 100 pounds from playing the original Dance Central. On top of the improvements already mentioned, the workout mode now has its own screen in Dance Central 2. Calories are tracked from every activity, including Break It Down mode. When doing the playlists, the songs flow from one to another without interruption. What I absolutely LOVE is how quickly you now move into the song. No more waiting for your dancer to bounce around and talk buckets of smack. They might do a quick move and a few words, but nothing like the original Dance Central. And finally, when the dancing is done, the calories are added all up. The calorie tracker may not be totally correct (no weight or gender asked), but you definitely have an idea of how close you are to burning off that Halloween candy.

Break It Down mode has returned and has been made more inviting for us impatient folks. The same mode from the original has returned, but with added voice control. There is a sweet satisfaction in yelling, gskiph after being told to perform ehitch a ridef for the millionth time. Better yet, for the returning veterans, you will be able to pick out certain steps to learn, versus learning the routine. And for the curious mind that wants to know exactly what they are doing, you can shout, grecord videoh and a video of you dancing a particular move will show up behind the dance leader for comparison.

The final added feature that really brightened my day was the cleaned up store-front. The first Dance Central had the ability to buy extra songs, but was made cumbersome by having to pull up an extra menu and scroll through a few songs at a time. The new store is built into the game and is just as easy to navigate as the playerfs song list is. With a quick flick of the wrist, you can be jamming to James Brown in no time.


Despite all the nifty new features, the dividing point between Dance Central 2 and Just Dance 3 seems to be the songs and the graphics. Ifll have a more detailed comparison of these two games up later. As for Dance Central 2, the graphics are very similar, but have definitely had an overall. Character models are similar, but backgrounds and special effects have been smoothed out and upgraded. The game is a lot more pleasing to the eye. Between the scenic locales and neon hand paths, everything feels more alive than the original.

Everything in a dance game comes down to one thing: songs. The fact is, if you enjoy the music, you will enjoy dancing to it. Dance Central 2 has everything from Gaga to Willow in it. There isnft a song on the list that you probably wonft hear at the club. The song variety is a little more eclectic than the first Dance Central, but you still wonft find anything your granny might be anxious to jump into. The songs are all fun, even the Bieber one, but thankfully there are those playlists to pick your favoritescjust in case youfve had your fill of ethe Biebh.


When reviewing games, I like to look for the five ffs: family, fitness, fun, functionality, and firsts. Dance Central 2 is rated for the teen crowd and above. Mostly for lyrics, but there are a few mildly suggestive dances. I mean, do you really think you can dance Baby Got Back or The Humpty Dance without smacking some booty? For the fitness folks, there isnft a better game I can think of that will get your cardio flowing. Playlists and trimmed song intros will make sure you are getting a full heart-pounding workout. Without doubt Dance Central 2 is one of the most fun games around. Now with two player tracking and voice commands, the same trusted functionality of the original has been upped. There isnft a lot ground-breaking features that Dance Central 2 brings to the table, but you can expect a lot of additional features compared to the original. Calorie tracking, playlists, uploading to Facebook, and more have all been done by other games, but now you can have the complete package.


- Streamlined play
- Two players
- Playlist creation
- Calorie tracker
- Many more!!

- None!


If you have ever been interested in a dancing game, then this is the one to get. With the streamlined play, ability to bring in your previously owned songs, and added player tracking, youfll be partying for quite a while. The song selection has spread out, but still maintains its roots. Essentially, the bottom line is, if you own a Kinect then you will need to eventually own Dance Central 2.
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Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Dec 12, 2011 11:23:15 AM PST
Jonathan M says:
Were you able to do a review of DC2 vs JD3? I don't want to purchase both games but just one. Your reviews are excellent and have great detail! Which of the 2 games would you buy if you had to choose one?
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