Digital Gaming

Kinect Magic: The Dance Central 2 Preview

Last Friday, HBG had the honor to receive invites for the Kinect Magic event held by Xbox SG & Edelman. The main draw was that Dance Central 2 was one of the featured games to be launched at the event, plus a booth for the gameplay experience! But unfortunately as much as 4 out of 5 of your usual HBG writers LOVE Dance Central, and were itching to try out all the new moves, all of them had to work!

So the opportunity passed on to their representatives Jack, and yours truly – Vivien! I was so stoked to know I was going; we loved Dance Central 1 so much that we were planning to go as characters for our upcoming Halloween party. Personally, I was waiting for this launch party for ages since E3 2011 and PAX 2011 where DC2 was launched and tons of videos came up on Youtube – the gameplay and choreography looked amazing!

The moment you walked into the event (held at *Scape), there it was – the Dance Central 2 booth. Since it was an Xbox event, we couldn’t really ask some DC specific questions such as: will there be changes made to the imported tracks; what will happen to eradicated characters such as Oblio, Maccoy & Dare…?

But at the event, certain tweaked features were available for us to have a feel, such as the simultaneous 2 player mode. Most of us take some time amassing confidence to dance alone. Oh, the times we’ve tried and tried to get someone to take part only to get kicked, scratched and punched in the face. But with the awesome improvement of allowing 2 players to dance at a time, I do believe it’s evolving to be an even better party game. Also, this creates better Dance Battles – I hated the Dance Battles in DC1; it was so unfair for whoever starts first! Can’t wait to finally have it proper – I have a score to settle…

However, will space be a constraint? There’s no point in getting a 2 player mode and realizing your living room’s too small anyway. Hello, Singapore and living room area limitations.


There is an official Dance Battle mode instead of 2-player mode though. In Dance Battle you end up doing the entire choreo, and more! There’re 2 extra segments that pop out and they throw flashcards at you – complete them before your competitor in order to score points. It was hilarious when both Jack and I were doing the same flashcard moves but kept failing so we got stuck doing the same thing over and over. Those segments are controlled by time, I suppose, because the song did move on eventually. There’re also moments where you get solo time/the spotlight, and your competition doesn’t have to dance, which is a great time to rest – Dance Battle is quite a bit longer than usual!

Also, it seems like we’re able to remove the Freestyle portion and dance those hidden moves but I’m not sure if it’s applicable to DC1 songs, and whether it will actually be more fun for us since that’s the portion we laugh the hardest at.

Characters: Everyone’s split into crews now, and we’ve lost Dare, Maccoy & Oblio (of which 2 are my fav characters). But hello, The Glitterati! They totally remind me of Kpop groups, with the lanky frames, exuding Asian features and cleancut moves. They have really absurd vanity scenes when they judge your scores though, watch out for the peacock claps!

There is also voice control! Nice touch, but I recall how the swiping made us feel like we were part of the Minority Report. I guess additional functions are fine, as long as they’re options and we get to go back to what we’re used to. But the voice control’s random function (chooses a random song for you) is pretty awesome for parties! Also, voice control is extra useful during the Break-It-Down mode.

The Break-It-Down changes are probably what I love most, next to two player mode. You no longer have to go through 75% of the song for that one move you just can’t nail at the ¾ mark. It’s also much easier to repeat the step till you get it because you get to record yourself and view your recording next to the dancer and see what you’ve got wrong. How’s that for precision! The program will also highlight the moves you’ve had difficulty in, so you can select them during Break-It-Down. It’s just like when you go for dance classes and you have your instructor to watch, repeat, and a mirror to check yourself!

AND OH MAN, CAN I JUST GO CRAZY ABOUT THE MUSIC AND CHOREOGRAPHY FOR A BIT? It’s so challenging!! It actually goes up to level 7 right now, which is 2 whole levels more than before! Of the songs we managed to try/watch, I love Toxic and Bad Romance the most. The moves are WICKED. Also, these songs are, at this time, still unannounced by Harmonix so I think I started screaming when I saw them on the list.

The true beauty of DC2 is how it totally evolved itself in one year to be on so many levels better than DC1! I can’t stop raving about Harmonix and the way they keep revolutionizing music games because like in Rock Band (oh let’s not start there, the money we’ve spent on instruments and DLCs far outweigh Dance Central’s) they get real musicians/dancers and take their valuable advice to narrow the gap between gaming and actual dance classes/jamming sessions. And it’s totally up to the you to either just have fun and roll with it, or be a power gamer and get everything down pat.



At the Kinect Magic event, I walked away a three-time 2nd place winner! 2nd place for the lucky draw – Forza Motorsport and Dance Central 2 will be sent to me via post; 2nd place for Disneyland Adventures scores – a Minnie Mouse plush!; and 2nd place for Dance Central 2 scores – check out that kewt trophy!

Good grief, the fun we’re about to have with DC2. I’m so excited I can totally vomit sparkles right now… party? party?

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