Friday, January 18, 2013

I Should Like To Teach You The Dance Of My Peeps

...Peeps? Crew? Homies? I dunno.

I haven't touched Dance Central (1) in a long time. I got myself into a rut of trying to conquer one song at a time, working from the easiest songs to the hardest songs (more of the songs I was interested in were up front anyway), and within each song, from the easiest mode to the hardest mode. As it turns out, methodically trying to perfect the game from front to back is a pretty bad way to play it. So I barely made it out of the first or second bracket of songs.

Aside from seeing it at PAX East last year, I know little to nil about Dance Central 2.

My sister got me a copy of Dance Central 3 for Christmas. ("I really liked the comment you put next to it on your Amazon Wish List... 'Don't judge me.'") Just as before, I started with the top bracket of songs ("Y.M.C.A.", "Better Off Alone", and "The Hustle"). But as I started to look down the song list, there were some interesting songs that caught my eye (mostly disco stuff, but also newer things like "Moves Like Jagger"), plus other intriguing songs I hadn't heard of before ("Mr. Saxobeat", "Stereo Love"). So I played through them. In some cases, I just threw myself straight into the song (on the easiest level) without even touching the Rehearsal mode. I even spent some of my precious Microsoft Points to purchase "We No Speak Americano" (you know, that song).

And you know what? I'm having fun with it. In approaching the game from a slightly different angle, I've found that Dance Central 3 can be stupid amounts of fun. I'm getting over my need to be the perfectionist who goes for all achievements on the first run through, and I'm just enjoying the game. I find myself even ignoring the flash cards and just trying to mirror the on-screen dancers with songs I've never touched before. Because it's that fun. I don't care if I fail (well, I get a bit miffed if I don't get at least five blue stars), I just want to play the game.

But tonight I tried the Story mode for the first time. Sweet mother of Carl Kasell, it is AMAZING.

I should confess that as I started to work my way through the beginning of the Story mode, I was laughing hysterically at how ridiculous the premise is. You're invited to a secret underground dance party, which turns out to be the initiation for an equally secret underground dance FBI agency (I guess). And then you're sent back in time (yes, TIME TRAVEL, IN A DANCE GAME) to unlock dance moves from different eras in order to stop "Project Lockstep" and... See, now you know why I was laughing so hard. It's absolutely ridiculous, but amazing at the same time. I think the game knows how crazy it is, but it doesn't acknowledge it at any point in time. It doesn't matter anyway. It threw me into a couple songs I never tried before, but it made the experience so awesome, I have no regrets about my less-than-perfect performance. I can't wait to play through it more.

I'm not very far into it, but if you have a Kinect, I strongly recommend you pick up a copy of Dance Central 3. It's my favorite dance-based game so far, partially because of its good song mix, partially because of the more enjoyable atmosphere it brings that DC1 seemed to not have, partially because it's just plain fun. On the other hand, it's entirely possible that I have crap taste in music and it's just grimacing and nodding as I flail in front of my TV, but I don't care. It's so much fun. Just play this game.

No comments: