Be warned, in Dance Central it’s your body that does the business and a very busy business it is: dancing about with the game tracking your various body parts as you try out choreographed routines.
Thirty two songs feature on the disc, most of which I've never heard before, not being a dancing person and also firmly stuck in an earlier era. But that's my problem, you will probably be more familiar with them.
There are three main modes; the single-player Perform It, the multi-player Dance Battle, and the training section Break it Down. There is little structure to the game, but then it's not that sort of game. All the songs start off unlocked in Easy mode, but there are still varied venues to be visited and costumes to be chosen throughout the game.
The presentation from start to finish is excellent; it is well drawn and fluently animated and with a certain style of graphics that may remind you of another popular and sucessful music series. The avatars available aren’t customisable, but the characters are amusingly dressed and full of cliches.
In the course of every song a series of cue cards scrolls up the side of the screen with diagrams showing the next expected move; get the move right and the symbol under the dancer fills to exploding point and then explodes in a flash of blue light; but get it wrong and the offending bits of you that have failed to mimic exactly the on screen action are highlighted in red on the dancer’s body; impressive.
The cue cards aren’t always that clear though, and so practice is needed before attempting some of the dances. And without warning the game may suddenly break away from these cards and set off an improvised session in which the player can do all sorts of personalized moves that are captured on camera and animated on screen.It’s tacky, cheesy but great fun if you don't take your dancing too seriously.
The multiplayer-only Dance Battles follows the same pattern as the single-player mode but with players taking it in turn to perform half a song and two improvisations. It really is a shame that there is no option giving two players the chance of dancing at the same time.
The Break It Down mode is more of a training session designed to get the player flexed up and to practice some of the set piece moves.
If you take dancing seriously or just want a party game there is plenty for you here. While both the single-player and multi-player modes lack structure and are thin on options, the game overall plays well and at the very least gives a good workout. Don't forget you need the Kinect accessory to play this; it is not included in the package.