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Harmonix Strikes Again With Dance Central 3.

Posted on November 1, 2012 AT 09:26am

The Dance Central franchise brought to us by Harmonix has thrown it down for us with its recent installment: Dance Central 3. This new game is packed with more complex routines, a more dedicated story and elements that make it playable to just about anyone who wants to give it a go. It is bigger, better and will test you every step of the way. It is being called the Battletoads of rhythm and motion based game for a reason.

Since the release of the first Dance Central back in 2010, more gamers have been getting off their couches and getting down with the boogie. Dance Central 3 has only risen the ante– but did that lead to a big payoff?

The Story
We got a taste of a story in DC2. We wanted more and boy did we get it. The story is more fleshed out in Dance Central 3. You are invited to the coolest underground party that turns out to be your recruitment into Dance Central Intelligence.

DCI is a secret division whose purpose is to solve dance crimes. Once brought on board you are instantly debriefed on the current threat sweeping the dance nation: Dr. Tan. Our antagonist has been organizing a massive army of mind controlled dancers who show no personal expression in their dance moves. They all move with precision but no passion.

The only way to combat Dr. Tan is to travel through time and master the biggest dance crazes of the 70’s 80’s and 90’s. We get to meet all of our beloved crews from Dance Central 2 along the way. Is your drive passion and freestyle enough to save the world from Dr. Tan’s clutches. Grab your Kinect and find out!

Game Mechanics
Dance Central has a basic formula. The player is tasked to master choreographed routines via the ciphers on the right of the screen. They are tracked by the Kinect and are scored on how accurate the mirrored moves are. Harmonix has taken the time to explore the full capabilities of the Xbox360 Kinect. There is no more just barely understanding the move; it is a true test of memory and movement and I loved it.

When I say a true test of memory and movement I mean it. Not to sound stalkerish or anything but it really feels like the Kinect has been listening to Rockwell’s “Somebody’s Watching Me” one too many times. Muscle memory is essential to achieve those high scores you may be accustomed to from the previous games. Your body will feel the impact of the game faster than you think it will. The difficulty may surprise newcomers and they may feel that even Easy mode is a tad on the hard side. DC3 provides a beginners mode for those just jumping into the fun. So in case you haven’t caught the drift –there is NO excuse to not at least try this game out.

It comes to no surprise to find the standard “perform it” “rehearse it” “workout modes” right where I’d come to expect them. The “Party Mode” option is present right out the gate so what is new about DC3?

There are more modes to enjoy that offer an expansion on multiplayer. Dance Battles are fun, but now there is more on the table. This makes Dance Central 3 essential to any house party looking for a dash high energy and a lot of fun. “Crew Throwdown” mode allows several crews (two to eight players total) to compete head to head in mini challenges that don’t just call for dancing a routine perfectly. You think you have what it takes, put your dance moves on display and challenge and and all who think they can best you. Exercise never looked so good.

The trick to any game franchise is to hold onto the elements that make the game standout while providing something new and exciting to wet the appetites of new potential fans. Does Dance Central 3 pull this off? While the game mechanics are nothing new, but with the increased difficulty, awesome on disc track list, and well conceived story the fans are getting something different without it being foreign.

Dance Central 3 gets a solid 4.5 out of 5, from me.The only downfall is the intensity of difficulty that is presented. Sure veterans of the game will think nothing about this, but for newcomers it may be unsettling.It isn’t a huge deal breaker but it could present some hesitation. In the end, the game gets me pumped up, makes me set a goal or myself every time I put the game into my console, and leaves me with the biggest smile known to mankind. There aren’t many games that do that for me these days. I have no doubt however that it will do the same for new and old fans out there…especially with the game’s first batch of DLC containing the pop sensation “Gangnam Style”.

The rhythm is gonna get you hopefully sooner than later.

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