Country Dance All Stars

4.0 Overall Score

Great variety of songs

Movements not picked up correctly, puppet-like characters, choreography does not fit difficulty levels.

Written by on August 16, 2012 in [, , ]

I absolutely love country music and couldn’t have been more excited when I heard that Country Dance All Stars was being released for the Nintendo Wii and Xbox 360 Kinect.  A long time ago, before my three children, I used to love to go out to country bars, kick up my boots, and line dance. Actually, I think that one of my children is the product of a night of too much honky tonk, wiggling my badonkadonk, and whatever it was that I put in my red Solo cup. If you got all those references, I tip my cowboy hat to you.

My hope was Country Dance All Stars would help me relive my past, get me up to speed on all the current line dances, and maybe even help me burn some calories in the process.  Sadly, this did not happen as the game was so painfully horrible. I have played nearly every dance game out there, and this is by far the absolute worst, so bad that my children wouldn’t even play more than a few songs without begging me to let them stop.

As a huge fan of country music I will say that the songs in the game are wonderful. There are a ton of new songs from artists like Lady Antebellum, Tim McGraw, and the Zac Brown Band.  Just for proper balance, there are even a couple older songs tossed in there like “Ring of Fire” by Johnny Cash. I love the song selection so much that if this were a CD I would be playing it all day long. Sadly, it is not a CD, just a lousy game that I have no desire to play all day long.

What Country Dance All Stars did right with songs, they did totally wrong with how you move to them.  The difficulty differences in the songs makes absolutely no sense at all. On one song the dance moves can be all over the place, making the hardest Dance Central 2 songs (on hard difficulty) seem like a walk in the park.  At times they can be so difficult that unless you are an Olympic athlete, you’re going to be panting and ready to pass out long before the song ends. Some songs are the total opposite and are so easy, and the moves so ridiculous you’ll find yourself laughing more than dancing.

There are a few different modes to tap your feet to in Country Dance All Stars.  Quick-Play and Multi-Player allow you to select a song and dance either alone or with friends.  In Perfection mode you must get a rating of “Great!” in order to earn points, which is hard with the way the camera fails to track your body properly. Finally, there is Freeze Mode which requires you to freeze and not move a single thing on your body.  Movement of any type causes your score to drop.  Now, when I say any type of movement it isn’t limited to just you moving your body, if your dog is in the room and sniffs his butt it’s going to drop your score. There is no warning to when the freeze is going to happen either, so you have to fumble to get into the “frozen” position and by then your score is already probably down to zero.  Never in my life have I experienced such a poorly executed mode of game play.

As with all dance games, the camera is used to track your moves.  Your score is based on getting your arms and legs moving properly. Unfortunately something is majorly wrong with the way the camera picks you up in Country Dance All Stars.  Even if you are moving the right way, it often fails to pick up your body properly, resulting in a lousy score.  I’ve played other games such as Dance Central 2, and Just Dance 3 and have never had this type of an issue. 

I guess the only thing left to mention are the graphics and the characters. In Country Dance All Stars you get no say whatsoever in who your character is.  My ten year old son threw his cowboy hat in and gave up after having to dance as a girl too many times. As a female, I didn’t mind dancing as a man or a woman, but I did have huge issues with the fact that no matter what character you ended up with, they all danced and moved like puppets.

Honestly, I could probably sit here and complain all day long about what I don’t like about Country Dance All Stars. I can’t really recommend this game to anyone when there are so many other great dancing games out there. I’ve never had the whole family be so done with a game so quickly. 

A copy of Country Dance All Stars was provided to The Married Gamers for review.


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Author: Marcia Webb View all posts by

One Comment on "Country Dance All Stars"

  1. SickNdehed August 16, 2012 at 3:27 pm - Reply

    Wow. Too bad the mechanics sucked so bad. It sounds like some of those game modes (ie Freeze mode) had potential!

    And I understand your son. Mine can’t play Dance Central without always picking Glitch.

    Who knows though? Zumba was just as awful when it first came out. Maybe they’ll patch Country Dance All Stars to actually work too.

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