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RIP Ralph Baer (1922-2014) I really, really hate writing obits. I really do. But I take it as a personal honor to be able to say good things about the men and women I respect, whether in this industry or just in my life, and Ralph Baer is the reason all of this exists in the first...

Dance Central 2 Preview

Nick_Tan By:
Nick_Tan
06/09/11
PRINTER FRIENDLY VERSION
EMAIL TO A FRIEND
GENRE Rhythm / Music 
PLAYERS 1- 2 
PUBLISHER Microsoft 
DEVELOPER Harmonix 
RELEASE DATE Out Now
T Contains Lyrics

What do these ratings mean?

We got served another.


With Harmonix rightfully not showing any signs of Rock Band 4 any time soon, Dance Central 2 was practically the safest prediction at E3. As the only game that really shows off the technology of the Kinect, instead of exploiting the its camera for motion-based mini-games, the original Dance Central likely pushed Microsoft to green-light the sequel in a heartbeat. Couple that with the absence of a Harmonix booth at E3, and the appearance of Dance Central 2 at the Microsoft booth is, well, I think I've made my point. (Secretly, I believe that Harmonix just ran out of wall space to write down all of their Rock Band DLC.)

click to enlargeWith only about a year of production time since the original title, this is more of an update but an undeniably important update nonetheless: cooperative multiplayer. And not that bullshit dance battle mode where two players have to exchange places. No, this is two people standing in front of the Kinect at the same time, either working as a team or as rivals in a dance-off - a fact that was made abundantly, if not unintentionally, clear at E3 with Dance Central 2 and Ubisoft's Just Dance 3 literally facing each other on the show floor like some kind of cosmic third-party “Oh, no, you didn't!” Both players can choose their own difficulty setting, and from the looks of it, their own character and outfit.

Numerous improvements have also slid their way into the sequel, the most interesting of which is that the score multiplier changes the venue around the dancer. If a player continues to pull off flawless moves, a strobe light might appear to give life to the party of excellence. Gold flashcards cycle on occasion as well that will award an instant multiplier bonus if they're performed correctly. Additionally, a countdown timer will appear after a freestyle section to keep players in time with the music.

Microsoft announced, almost desperately so, a slew of new functions, games, and doodads for Kinect at this year's E3, but only Dance Central 2 is a sure-fire bet that shows off the Kinect to its fullest potential. Look to get drunk and dance the night away when it arrives some time the holiday season for 2011.

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