|System: Xbox 360|
|Pub: MTV Games|
|Release: October 25, 2011|
|Screen Resolution: 480p-1080p|
by Amanda L. Kondolojy
Ever since Dance Dance Revolution came to arcades, the dancing genre has been something of a quiet phenomenon. Whether you like to move it, move it, or just want to burn some serious calories, there is a wealth of dance games at your disposal. But which one reigns supreme? Well, if you're looking to learn real dance moves and get a serious full-body workout, look no further than Dance Central 2. The game has the moves, the tracks, and the training tools to entertain both novice and expert players.
Dance Central 2 has a very minimalistic interface that lets you jump onto the virtual dance floor instantly. Those who played the first game should feel right at home here, but if you are new, Dance Central 2 has a whole bunch of new tools to help you find your groove. When you first select a song, you can either choose to play through it immediately or go through the Break it Down tutorial mode. This all-new mode shows you exactly what moves are in the song, challenging you to perform them yourself three times in a row to make sure you've got them down before launching into a song. This mode is great for players who are new to Dance Central, or just want to perfect their moves before playing to maximize their potential score.
Once you are actually in the main dance mode, you'll have to perform the specified dance moves with the on-screen character. If you are doing the moves right, you'll see some positive indicators on the dance floor. If not, the on-screen character will have a red outline to show you what part of the body isn't moving to the music correctly. The body tracking in Dance Central 2 is amazing; every shoulder shrug, step to the left, and head bob is tracked with extreme accuracy. This is great if you are a dance pro, but if you are a newbie trying to learn the ropes, you might be surprised at how hard it is to accurately execute what seem like simple moves.
However, if you don't mind going through tutorials and perfecting your moves, there is quite a bit of content to explore. The game's main story mode is a "dance battle" mode that pits you against rival crews. The story mode isn't terribly long, but it's silly enough that you won't mind a replay or two with friends. The story mode also lets you choose which songs to dance to, so you really don't have to worry about repetitious moves.
If you don't want to play the story mode and you are tired of dancing in the game's exhibition mode, Dance Central 2 also has a fitness mode that is designed to keep players in shape. This mode is probably the least interesting of those available, but if you are tired of working out with Your Shape, UFC Personal Trainer, or any one of the other countless fitness games currently available for the Kinect, this is a good way to work up a serious sweat.
One of the most exciting new features in Dance Central 2 is the drop-in/drop-out second player option. Everything from the exhibition mode to the story mode can be played with two players simultaneously. Dance Central was already quite the party game, but the ability to play with two people outside the strictly two-player mode is a great way to make the full game feel like more of a group-centered experience.
But no matter whether you are playing alone or with friends, Dance Central 2 is undeniably fun. The game is extremely accessible for new players with the exhaustive training and tutorials, but it's still challenging for veterans with scores of new moves and extremely sensitive body tracking.