Today, Critical Gamer got some hands on time with Dance Central, which is being developed by Harmonix and being published by MTV Games, who if you didn’t know is also responsible for that little thing called Rockband.
On hand were some very friendly booth attendees and dance crews showing off the game before we here at E3 got to use it. After a short wait, and demo, I got to the dance floor to give it a try. This also gave me, personally, a chance to try Microsoft’s Kinect hardware for the very first time.
Right away I jumped into the controls. Users can use either their left or right hand to move the mode selection up or down and, depending what arm you use, swipe across the screen to the left/right to select song, difficulty and mode.
There were six songs to choose from: Poker Face (Lady Gaga), Body Movin (Beastie Boys), Poison (Bel Biv Devoe), Funky Town (Lipps Inc), Galang ’05 (M.I.A.),and Hella Good (No Doubt). Critical Gamer opted for Funky Town, obviously.
First of two modes sampled was “Break It Down!” This is the tutorial for the game, or if you’re having troubles with a song, it’s a good place to practice your moves.
After that they let me go into the actual dance mode. I accidentally selected medium difficulty from the menu so I got to dance moves I wasn’t prepared for. Good thing I had the friendly dance crews backing me up making me look good. Or maybe I made them look great.
There are on screen avatars showing all the movement, as well as “flash cards” showing the next upcoming move to get you ready. The avatars had glowing body parts highlighting the current body part in play. Beside the flash cards is a small screen with a silhouette of you through Kinect. The movements through Kinect to the screen came with little to no lag which was fantastic to experience.
So far the game seems fantastic, and we had a great time with it. It works great with Kinect. Dance Central releases this fall with 30 dance tracks and is one of the 15 launch titles for Xbox’s Kinect hardware.