Dance Central 3 preview

QUICKTAKE: It's difficult to imagine how much Harmonix could improve upon the Dance Central formula. The sequel vastly improved upon the original by introducing full body tracking for two players versus one. Dance Central 3 manages to one-up its predecessor by giving gamers the ability to create their own moves and free style without mirroring a set routine.

THE DEMO: I got paired with Dance Central 3's producer, Naoko Takomoto, in a Crew Throwdown battle against another journalist and a Harmonix choreographer. Crew Throwdown allows teams of four to compete in a series of challenges, including Keep the Beat and Make Your Move--two brand new modes that emphasize dancing freedom over mimicking existing routines.

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DETAILS: Keep the Beat lets you completely freestyle. There's no move list to follow. Instead, you and a competitor simply move your body, trying to keep to the beat. Whoever is performing "better" by keeping the beat and performing flashier moves will be highlighted by the game and earn more points for his or her team. However, you'll have to change things up. Doing the same set of motions over and over again will let your opponent steal the spotlight and gain points. Because you're free to make any move you like, this is perhaps the best way of judging who the best dancer really is.

Make Your Move is also another interesting addition to Dance Central as it, once again, lets you dance however you like. One player performs a move three times, and the other must repeat the same move three times to score points. It's an interesting competition of showmanship, with players trying to constantly one-up each other in an attempt to win the round.

Crew Throwdown makes for a terrific addition to an already-great dancing experience. And as with previous Harmonix games, you'll be able to import songs and DLC from previous Dance Central games to make for a truly extensive and diverse dancing library. New songs announced for Dance Central 3 include:

  • 50 Cent - In Da Club
  • Cali Swag District - Teach Me How to Dougie
  • Cobra Starship ft. Sabi - You Make Me Feel…
  • E.U. - Da' Butt
  • Edward Maya & Vika Jigulina - Stereo Love
  • Gloria Gaynor - I Will Survive
  • Marcia Griffiths - Electric Boogie
  • Usher ft. Will.I.Am - OMG
  • Usher - Scream
  • Van McCoy - The Hustle