It’s hard to describe what is so disappointing about the launch titles for the Xbox 360’s Kinect. Is it the flood of Wii clones? The unresponsive gameplay? The extreme lack of variety? Well, Dance Central is a good way to start the array of complaints. Just look at it- that sums up the game’s problems.
Visually, the game is basic and lacking in detail. The graphics clearly needed some extra polish as the dance animations are stiff and the menus shoddy. The main problem stems from a graphically glitch- the visuals often obscure on-screen prompts. While the game isn’t exactly ugly, it’s just very unappealing to look at. The visuals are a major step-down from the impressive sights you’ll see on Wii with DDR: Hottest Party and Just Dance 2.
The other weak section of the game is the soundtrack. An overabundance of pop and cheesy vocals hurt the game’s ‘dance all night’ attempts. Unless you’re a fourteen year old girl, you’ll be bored with the track list within a couple of hours. There are a few gems mixed in with the trash, but for the inflated price tag- it isn’t worth it.
The area where the game really falls apart is the gameplay. Kinect itself is already rapidly being panned as a failed game peripheral and Dance Central is starting to look like further evidence. The game registers movements wrong far more often than it does them right and usually does little more than frustrate. When the game is working, it can be enjoyable- at least as a time killer. The problem is, it rarely does what it’s supposed to. The other issue is with gameplay requirements. In order to play the game, like most Kinect titles, you need a near empty 12X12 room. The problem? By the time you’ve cleared out a room to play, you find the game wasn’t worth all your effort. Make sure you dim the lights and forbid anyone from moving around you as you play.
The game’s only redeeming qualities are the fact that little girls will likely enjoy it and the fact that it loads quickly. Then again, there isn’t much in the way of textures or graphical effects that would need to be loaded. All in all, Dance Central was clearly rushed in order to meet the Kinect’s launch window. It fails in terms of the song list, visuals, and controls. There’s really nothing worth mentioning or, most certainly not buying, when it comes to it.