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Review: Dance Central - Xbox 360

by Steven Williamson on 3 January 2011, 10:09 4.6

Tags: Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT)

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Shake it like a polaroid picture

Like Wii and PlayStation Move, Kinect is perfectly suited to the dance and rhythm genre. Unlike its competitor’s motion-sensing products though, Kinect hosts the technology to take things to a whole new level and leave the others flagging behind. For the first time in the history of console gaming, you don’t need to have a controller in your hands and press buttons to follow patterns on screen, nor do you need a plastic mat under your feet to recognise your movements. In Dance Central, your body is the controller -- your arms, hands, legs, feet and even your knees are judged as you attempt to swing your hips like Beyoncé, pelvic thrust like Michael Jackson and do the mashed potato to over 30 popular music tracks.

As it turns out, Dance Central is a great advertisement for Kinect because it showcases the technology so well. Furthermore, great thought has obviously gone into creating the excellent user interface; the best and most responsive one we’ve seen so far for a Kinect game. The game options appear down the right hand side of the screen, so you need to hold your hand out to the right and move it up and down to scroll through the menu. When you want to select an option, you simply swipe your hand to the left bringing it to the front of your chest as if re-setting the carriage on a typewriter. After a short period of time as you get used to the sensitivity of Kinect, it becomes a movement that is soon second nature, ensuring that you can shift in and out of menus and sub-menus swiftly without headache.

With your living room now effectively doubling as a night club dance floor, it’s time to get your groove on. One of the great things about dance games is that they give those who may normally be too shy to get up and dance in public the chance to shake off their inhibitions without fear of being judged. Without having the restrictions of a dance mat under your feet, Dance Central gives you total freedom to let yourself go without having to keep one eye on your feet. And, in terms of fun factor, Dance Central works hard to make sure you have a good time with some enjoyable set routines to follow, while also giving you the opportunity to break out with some freestyle moves of your own.

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