Dance Central 2

10 Overall Score

Written by on October 31, 2011 in


Are you ready to hit the dance floor with all the new dance moves?  If not then there is a game that may just have a way to help you out with that.  Harmonix’s Dance Central 2 is here to help you lock down all the moves you will need when you head out to dance with your friends. When Dance Central came out last year, it was said that it revolutionized the way games were made. It was able to show off how Microsoft’s Kinect sensor could track your entire body as you danced to the choreographed moves.  With Dance Central 2, the Kinect is proving itself once again.  There is no doubt that it is able to accurately pick up the movements that you are doing as you “mirror” the dancers on the screen.

Just like in Dance Central,  Dance Central 2, allows you to progress through the game and dance to a variety of songs that are on the disc.  These songs are listed according to the difficulty of the dance steps that are in them.  The level of difficulty of dance have progressed quite a bit from last year’s Step/Clap that was seen in Lady Gaga’s “Poker Face.”  This is not to say that they are extremely difficult but it does take a bit of watching the cards to the right of the dancers on the screen to make sure that you get them correct.  A new aspect in the single player mode, is the fact that there is a gold card that will show up. If you are able to hit said dance move four times in a row you will get an extra bonus amount of points added to your score, hence increasing the points that you can get in the leaderboards.  These are the same leaderboards that were in play in the original Dance Central. If you are playing the single player and would like to have a friend join you in the game there is a new mode that has been added, co-op.

In order to activate that co-op mode, simply step into the game space of the Microsoft Kinect sensor and it will activate.  Everyone is able to choose the difficulty in which they would like to dance the song.  This allows for the more advanced dancers to still enjoy the game with those who are learning the moves. Another part is the drop in/drop out component. This allows a person who is doing co-op with you to leave and it does not affect your part of the dance at all.  At the same time they can come back into the song, at any point, by simply lifting their left hand and it is a smooth action. There is a bit of a competitive element to the co-op mode, as both dancers scores are displayed at the end as well as how many flawless moves they had.


Now if you really want to bring the competitive edge, try the Dance Battle Mode.  During this mode, you are doing the same as in co-op, however there are a few different components.  There are the free-4-all cards that come up, where each dancer tries to do the moves on the cards to gain bonus points and raise their overall score.  During this time, they are either doing the same moves, where they can try to rush to do them first or simply doing their own moves. Also each dancer has a chance to shine and show their moves while the other rest for a few beats during the song.  Both of these modes allow for two dancers to play together in a co-operative manner and enjoy some friendly challenges at the same time.

One of the best things that has been improved in Dance Central 2 is the Break It Down Mode.  In the first game, you would move into the Break It Down Mode when you were unable to get the dance moves correct and needed to see how to improve.  In Dance Central, you moved into Break It Down Mode to learn the dance step by step.  Once you have gotten the moves down perfect, it is time to put them all together.  In Dance Central 2, you do the same with some vast improvements.  You are now able to slow it down and record it.  Not only that, you can do it all with voice commands.  That is right, we all know that Microsoft Kinect has motion controls but they are now using the voice commands as well.  While in the Break It Down Mode, you can tell the game to “Slow It Down” and the dancer on screen slows down so you can see the dance move in a slower pace.  If you are still having problems, ask it to “Xbox Record Video” and it will actually record you doing the dance move.  It will then show you side by side with the dancer and you can see what you are doing wrong.  This allows you to see what you are doing wrong and you can correct it and move on.

Speaking of voice commands, you are able to use them throughout the game.  Tired of using your arms to move throughout the game, or maybe wanting to let those who are watching you play have a part in the gameplay as well, allow them to say “Song” and Dance Central 2 will pick a song for you. At this point you then say “Difficulty” and state which difficulty level you would like to play (be careful here if you are letting others choose for you), then “Xbox, Dance”, and off you go dancing to your song.  No moving your arms to pick which song you would like.  It is really a nice new feature that they have added.  Even though there are voice command aspects to this game, it does not mean that there will not be plenty of calories burned in this game. The good people at Harmonix have continued to keep the fitness component in Dance Central 2.


The fitness aspect of the game is still in Dance Central 2, however it has received an overhaul.  You don’t have to go to a different screen, input your weight, and then start the song that you are going to dance to.  You are able to head to the fitness part of the game and there are different fitness workouts already set up for you.  If you want a certain type of workout (amount of minutes you are willing to devote to it) pick that level and start.  This is an amazing addition, as you are able to just enjoy the workout. You also do not have to worry about continuing to select the songs that will allow you do the workout level keeps your heart rate going.  If you do not want to do a workout, but do want to keep track of how many calories you are burning while dancing and enjoying the game, simply go to the fitness screen and turn on the fitness button and start playing as you would before.  While dancing through all of these songs, you may be wondering where all of these dancers have come from and also those background dancers.  This is something that most dance games have been lacking, a storyline.

This time around, Dance Central 2 has a sort of story mode. This comes to us as the Crew Challenge. You are a dancer who wants to strut your stuff for a street crew.  All the crews have picked their dancers and just happen to come upon the Riptide crew where Bodie and Emilia are willing to give you a shot. There is a list of songs that you have to choose from and then prove that you have the moves to represent for their crew.  As you move up to the different crews, the expectations for each of the crews are more difficult.  This means that they need you to hit the harder dance moves with more accuracy and with more stars for each song.   Not only that but the songs that they expect you to dance are more challenging and the moves are not as easy to get flawless on.  With this type of story mode aspect you are finally able know a little bit of a back story of the main dancers and find out who the background dancers will be.  The songs that are in this story mode are only the songs from the Dance Central 2 disc.


There are 45 songs on the disc, and the ability to download all of the song from the first Dance Central video game for 400 Microsoft points. In addition, all downloadable songs are also playable on Dance Central 2 (which automatic become playable when you put in the disc).  With all of these songs available at launch, this brings the current total to close to 100 songs. Players can play at their own pace, with any difficulties ranging from easy to hard.  The songs are listed from easiest to hardest in the difficulty of dance moves.  In this game you do not have to start on easy with each song and unlock the other difficulties.  You can start off on any difficulty that you would like.

Dance Central 2 is by far my favorite dance game out there on the market.  I find myself going back to it over and over again.  Sure there may be a few songs that I am not exactly excited about the way they sound, or the dance moves are not my thing, but I know that I am going to be able to have a kick ass time with this game.  Now with over 100 songs to dance to, break down each of the moves to, I know that I will be able to hit all the moves and perfect all of the dances.  It will be just a matter of time before I am comfortable with all of these dances before I am ready to hit the dance floor in public and start taking on everyone in the real world.


A copy of Dance Central 2 was provided to TMG for the purpose of evaluation and review


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Author: Kelly Brown View all posts by

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