An Extremely Lengthy Review of Dance Central 3 and Just Dance 4

Whoever invented the Xbox Kinect should get a slot in Heaven right away.

It was Alex who introduced Kinect (Dance Central, to be more specific) in my life. Naglaro lang kami after ng  HypertroParty AND EVERYTHING CHANGED.

After that, I played with my friends from RCY almost every day. For 200 bucks an hour, it was pretty  reasonable. We were like rabid drug addicts who craved to dance all the time. Okay, that’s probably an exaggeration but I swear, there was a week that we went to Blue Skies every day. Or played thrice in one day. I HAVE THE VIDEOS TO PROVE IT! (But I won’t post it here, I fear that my friends might kill me the next time we meet. HAHA)

We were crazy. Or at least, I was. I even googled how to get high scores, etc. Hahahaha!

Anyway, this lengthy blog entry is written to compare and contrast Dance Central 3 with Just Dance 4. I got to try Just Dance with my high school friends a few hours ago. Yay, thank you Tine for this opportunity. Char. HAHAHA

OH YEAH
OH YEAH

Controls
Dance Central is fairly easy to control. You raise your hand to let the Kinect Sensor detect you and you wave up and down to browse through the songs. ‘Select’ is done by moving your right hand from right to left, as if slicing something in the air. ‘Deselect’ (lol is there such a word) or ‘back’ is done by using the left hand and moving it from left to right.

It might be difficult for first timers (I had a hard time, too) but it’s kind of easy one you get a hang of it.

Just Dance controls isn’t very noob friendly. 😥 I imagine it’ll be easier to use if you play it regularly (hi Tine and Jenny) but almost everyone who were newbies had difficulty controlling it.

Your raise your hand and try to control the hand on the screen. THIS IS VERY DIFFICULT. It seemed like the hand was very uncooperative. LOL. To select a song, you need to click the song’s icon twice by pushing an imaginary button in front of you. The concept sounds simple BUT IT ISN’T. I THINK THERE WAS A TIME WHEN WE SPENT 3 MINUTES TRYING TO PUSH THE GODDAMN ICON. It was very frustrating.

WINNER: Dance Central (by a landslide)

Gameplay
Dance Central only allows a maximum of two players.

There’s the Perform mode, where you just dance the whole song and then there’s the Battle mode where players take turns in dancing and there’s that free-for-all part, where you try to get as many steps as you can. (Tip: Try to get the the Gold steps first, they’re worth more than the regular ones)

THE REHEARSE MODE IS ALSO AMAZING BECAUSE IT ACTUALLY TEACHES YOU HOW TO DO THE STEPS. It’s complete with the choreographer’s voice telling you which foot to use, etc. It’s extremely helpful for pulling off complicated dance steps.

Just Dance allows a maximum of four players. I don’t know what mode we played (I think it’s more like a Perform mode?), though. Anyway, there are songs where each player have different dance steps and there are some where all of you just do the same routine.

The steps are very interactive, in such a way that there are times when players switch places or touch each other (that sounds so wrong but I don’t know how else to say it!!). There’s even a song where you had to CARRY the other dancer. (The song’s The Time of My Life, and yes, it’s the lift at the end.)

Every after song, a player spins a wheel and unlocks special prizes like song modes, etc. There are also ‘goals’ like getting three stars, five stars, etc. You level up and earn ‘mojo’ if you get to achieve these. IDK what you get every time you level up. 😥 I didn’t notice.

WINNER: Just Dance

Interface
PRE-DANCE
For Dance Central, song titles are listed on the right side of the screen. Artist, difficulty, and other details are displayed as well. Much like in Rock Band (Dance Central and Rock Band had the same developers, Harmonix), the songs could be arranged in alphabetical order, genre, difficulty, etc.

Each player gets to choose if he/she will dance in Beginner, Easy, Medium or Hard mode. (The Beginner and Easy modes are so boring. Hard is the only way to go. LOL)

DANCE PROPER
In Dance Central, the dancers (one for each player) are in the middle and the steps that you have to copy rolls upwards (like credits) on the side. (Left side of the screen for left players and right for right players) The name of the step is also shown which is extremely helpful because you get to memorize the step with enough repetition. Some steps are used for more than one song.  The dance steps name’s are also funny (Make It Rain, Invisible Boyfriend, etc).

Indicators of how well you mimic the steps flashes right below your dancer’s feet and it’s color coded. (Pink for Flawless, green for Nice, and yellow for Almost, if I’m not mistaken)

Points are of numerical value, and is displayed in the upper corners of the screen. After the song, you get to see how many stars you’ve earned, your score and your accuracy (measured in percent).

The combined scores are measured by stars that can be seen on the radio which is located at the back of the dancers.

Dance Central
Dance Central

Just Dance‘s interface is kind of confusing and I’m confident to say that it’s probably NOT because I’m new to it.

PRE-DANCE
Songs are displayed by thumbnails of the dancer’s icons of the respective song. You’ll only get to read the title if you hover on the icon. THIS IS VERY DIFFICULT BECAUSE IT’S ALREADY HARD TO CONTROL, NOW YOU ALSO HAVE TO HOVER THROUGH EVERY ICON JUST TO FIND A SONG YOU LIKE. It was very tiring. I just let my friends do it.

just dance menu
DAMN YOU EVIL THING

I didn’t notice if you could group the songs by certain categories. 😥 There’s also no option to change difficulty.

DANCE PROPER
The steps flash sideways from right to left on the lower part of the screen. And (correct me if I’m wrong) it doesn’t show which foot or hand to use. 😥 It also doesn’t have any names. I never used it, and I just relied on mimicking the dancer on the screen.

Scores are shown in stars, on the top of the screen. This is extremely ANNOYING because I WANT TO SEE MY NUMERICAL SCORE, GODDAMNIT! Anyway, you get to know how well you’re doing from the left side of the screen. There’s like a race line and you get to see if you’re 2nd or 3rd or last. After the song, though, your numerical points are revealed; but during the dance the leading player is the only one who’s indicated. (Stars glow if you’re leading)

It was a bit small for me and kind of hard to see with everything going on the screen. ‘Perfect’s‘ and ‘Almost’s‘ are seen right beside the scores.

ALSO, LYRICS OF THE SONG ARE FLASHED KARAOKE-STYLE ON THE LOWER LEFT PART OF THE SCREEN. AND I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT THIS IS FOR BECAUSE I HAVE NO INTENTION OF SINGING THE SONG WHEN I’M TOO BUSY COPYING THE DANCER’S MOVES. It’s probably for the ones watching so they could sing along while they’re watching. Haha!

WINNER: Dance Central

SONGS Since I’ve only played the default songs in Just Dance, it’s kind of unfair to compare the two in this aspect. There are some songs that’s unique to only one game but I think both are equal in this department.

WINNER: TIE

DANCER AND VENUES
Dance Central (more specifically, Dance Central 3) have 11 crews of 2 as dancers. You get default dancers for every song but you get the option to change it. If you play the Story mode, you get to know the backstories of the characters.

Stages or venues are also provided by the song chosen but it can be changed if the player chooses to. There’s probably 11 different venues, since the venues are the ‘headquarters’ of the crews.

You always get two dancers (unless you’re playing alone or in Rehearse mode).

For Just Dance, you get default dancers and stages per song. I don’t think you get to change either because both are very specific per song. (Tablet/phone with a perky girl for Call Me Maybe, bikini-clad girls on the beach for Asereje, four guys in tuxes on a concert stage for One Direction’s What Makes You Beautiful and, curiously, a vampire girl in an alley for Man Eater.)

YOU DON'T KNOW YOU'RE BEAUTIFUL
YOU DON’T KNOW YOU’RE BEAUTIFUL

If more than one player dances a song that uses the same choreography for everyone, they only get one dancer on the screen to mimic. If you get a dance for pairs, the first and third players mimic the one on the left and the second and last mimic the one on the right. This is kind of confusing at first but I guess it’s just a matter of getting used to.

WINNER: Dance Central

So, in summary…

Controls – Dance Central
Gameplay – Just Dance (because I love the interactive dance steps!!)
Interface – Dance Central “Ang dami mong titingnan sa screen!” (Lapus, 2013)
Songs – Tie
Dancers and Venues – Dance Central

WINNER: Dance Central!!!!!!!!

Sorry, Just Dance but your interactive and crazy dance steps can’t outweigh the fact that YOU ARE SO HARD TO CONTROL DAMN IT (yun talaga yun e)

PS Sorry if I got some of the details wrong. Just comment which ones!!!!!!

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