Dance Central.jpg
Dance Central
Developer: Harmonix Music Systems
Publisher: MTV Games

Distributor:

Microsoft Game Studios

Release date:

NA November 4, 2010

EU November 10, 2010

AU November 18, 2010

JP June 2, 2011

Platforms:

Xbox 360 (Kinect)

Dance Central is a music rhythm game for the Xbox 360 Kinect that was released on November 2010 in most areas and on June 2011 in Japan.

Gameplay

Dance Central is a rhythm game where players follow characters' movements in various arenas and earn stars while doing so. On the right side of the characters are flashcards for guidance, displaying the current move that is being done. The judgement of each move done is divided into four critiques: X, Almost, Nice, and Flawless. If a player earns a consecutive amount of Flawlesses, the arena will turn into a peak mode glowing with lights, and it can be maintained with Flawless or Nice critiques. If a player earns a consecutive amount of Xs however, the arena loses vividness and the music gets muffled. This can be changed back to its regular state if a player get a Nice or a Flawless once in its dull state. A total of 5 Stars can be earned per routine, but if a player does very well, they can earn Gold Stars. Earning stars unlocks content for the game.

Along with stars, there is a score, which are both displayed by a boombox named Boomy. Boomy also features a little number on it, indicating a score multiplier. Doing moves in succession increases the multiplier, earning more points, but missing a move cause the multiplier to drop from its starting point.

Songs are divided into categories, and each song has three difficulty levels: Easy, Medium, and Hard. Only Easy is unlocked in the beginning, and the player earns the other difficulties as they move on. Once they do well, they can also unlock a "No Flashcards" mode that does not display the flashcards on screen.

Each song features a Freestyle section that allows players to dance however they desire. When so, a camera takes photos as they are freestyling, and distributes them out before the routine revises, however these have to be earned by obtaining camera icons that appear next to some of the moves. Doing those in succession results in a photo opportunity in Freestyle. These photos can be viewed after the song, but they cannot be saved. The option for photo taking can also be disabled.

There are five modes available in Dance Central

  • Perform It!: A standard mode where a player can dance to routines in the game.
  • Fitness: A mode that tracks calories burned while playing. It features an indicator for calories and a timer for how long the session has been going when on.
  • Dance Battle: A competitive mode where two players goes head to head for glory. One player goes at a time and the one with the highest score wins.
  • Challenge: After getting 4 stars on each song in a category, a challenge is unlocked. The challenge is a mix of all of the songs in that category as one. A Grand Finale Challenge is also available, but the player has to get 4 stars in each challenge in order to unlock that one.
  • Break It Down: A training mode where the player can learn the moves or assist in moves they are having difficulties with. The mode cuts the routines into sections and goes through each step individually. When the player passes all the moves in the section, a recap is performed, and the process repeats until the end. There is also an option to slow down the moves, giving more analyzation if need be.

There is also a place where players can look at statistics. They range from the amount of time spent on the game to number of calories burned, and each statistic features a title that changes depending on the amount spent on the statistic, although they are there just for show. An "Options" section is also present, allowing the player to adjust settings if need be.

Characters

Dance Central features ten different characters. Eight of them are unlocked from the start while two are unlocked through certain achievements. Each character, with the exception of one, has a main outfit and an alternate outfit, and the alternate outfit can be unlocked by earning 25 stars with that dancer, aside from Eliot's whose alternate outfit is unlocked by reaching the "Living Legend" rank.

Name Description Main Outfit Alternate Outfit
Angel A suave guy that grabs the ladies' attention AngelDC1.png
Chill
AngelDC1Alt.png
Show-Off
Miss Aubrey A very confident and snooty girl with a prissy persona MissAubreyDC1.png
School Daze
MissAubreyDC1Alt.png
Princess
Emilia An athletic girl that works out at the gym constantly EmiliaDC1.png
Sweatin'
EmiliaDC1Alt.png
Knockout
Dare A clubber girl that goes partying all night long DareDC1.png
Neon Dreams
DareDC1Alt.png
DIY Couture
MacCoy A guy with old school flair and technological gear MacCoyDC1.png
Sunday Best
MacCoyDC1Alt.png
Stylehead
Mo A friendly guy that jokes around from time to time MoDC1.png
B-Boy
MoDC1Alt.png
Flash
Oblio A mysterious guy with words of wisdom OblioDC1.png
Dystopia
OblioDC1Alt.png
Gearhead
Taye A girl with tons of attitude and sass TayeDC1.png
Street Chic
TayeDC1Alt.png
Summertime
Eliot (Unlockable) A robot that represses his robot roots and swears he is human EliotDC1.png
2.0
EliotDC1Alt.png
Dressy
Ttiw Tolrep (Unlockable) A silent ninja that wears pink and carries nunchucks TtiwTolrepDC1.png -

Eliot can be attained after reaching the "Living Legend" rank or by earning 4 stars on the Grand Finale Challenge on any difficulty. Doing it by the former unlocks him with both outfits available while doing it by the latter only unlocks him with his main outfit available.

Ttiw Tolrep can be attained after entering "Left, Up, X, Up, Right, Y" at the title screen using the Xbox 360 Controller.

Alternate Outfits

  • All costumes - At the title screen, press B, Up, B, B, Left, Y (spells BUBBLY) to unlock all costumes. If you entered the code correctly, you will hear a sound.
  • Mo's Original costume - At the title screen, press B, Up, Down, Down, Y (spells BUDDY) to unlock the Mo'Original costume. If you entered the code correctly, you will hear a sound.
  • Oblio motorcycle helmet costume - At the title screen, press B, Left, Up, Right, Right, Y (spells BLURRY) to unlock the Obli motorcycle helmet costume. If you entered the code correctly, you will hear a sound.
  • Pink Ninja costume - At the title screen, press Left, Up, X, Up, Right, Y (spells LUXURY) to unlock the Pink Ninja costume. If you entered the code correctly, you will hear a sound.

Venues

The game features six venues for the player to dance in. Two are available from the start while the rest have to be unlocked in order to play in them. Venues can be changed before the player starts a routine, aside from the Grand Finale Challenge where it is initally defaulted with Dr. Tan's Estate, but can eventually be changed once the player passes the challenge.

Name Description Normal State Peak State Low State Criteria
5th Period A school cafeteria Available From Start
The Planks A pier Available From Start
The Roost A rooftop Earn 25 Stars
Gridlock A bridge Earn 50 Stars
City Limits A power plant Earn 100 Stars
Dr. Tan's Estate A club owned by Dr. Tan Earn 4 Stars in the Grand Finale Challenge in any difficulty

Ranks

The game features a ranking system that gives the player a title. They are merely there just for display, but they do start from the bottom and go up as the player earns stars. There are 20 ranks in the game.

Rank Number Description
Wallflower 20 -
Life of the Living Room 19 You're making moves... but only in the safe confines of your living room. Give you full-length mirror a break and get out in the world.
Battle Bystander 18 Well, at least you've gone out in public. Just showing up counts for something. Keep practicing those moves and maybe one day, people will be cheering you on.
Fast Learner 17 Even if practice hasn't made you perfect yet, at least it's made you confident enough to try a spin move in front of your mom, and she was kinda impressed, so there you go!
Common Clubgoer 16 Sure, they don't exactly know who you are when you show up, but going out dancing every night is great practice. Keep an eye out for moves to make your own.
Attention Getter 15 Took long enough, but people are starting to notice you. Sometimes they even nod at you like you're doing something pretty decent. It's clear you've got potential.
Star Of The Party 14 All that practice is definitely paying off... in party invitations. Everybody wants you to show up, show off, and make them look cooler than they really are.
Moneymaker Shaker 13 You're gaining a reputation as a force to be reckoned with on the dance floor. The owner of the corner pizza joint even shouts "Hey, Dance Machine!" when you roll in.
Local Trendsetter 12 Everybody's digging your moves, and only half of them give you credit. Ah well, thus is the life of a rising star. Remember: Imitation is the sincerest form of getting your butt kissed.
Ace Of The Asphalt 11 Your moves are becoming legendary at every street battle in town. The bystanders look on in awe, and the regulars nod knowingly. You're finally getting the cred you deserve.
Velvet Ropr V.I.P. 10 Finaly -- No more waiting in long lines behind cologne-drenched creeps! No matter what night you show up, the bouncers wave you right in... even on weekends and "Crazy Tuesdays."
Straight-Up Show-Off 9 What's wrong with flaunting your skill every now and then? Somebody's gotta be the one to show them all how it's done. Anyone who says otherwise is just jealous.
Neighborhood Name 8 People call your name when you walk around your 'hood. The convenience store guy won't even charge you for soda! Does it get better than that?
Best On The Block 7 Anyone who says you're not the best dancer around is just trying to be different. It's accepted as fact, like how everyone knows the school cafeteria serves horse meat on Thursdays.
Dance Hall Dominator 6 When you walk into the club, heads spin, jaws drop, and deejays rejoice. You're the greatest dancer this crowd has ever been, and this party just got started.
Hometown Hero 5 All the dancers you've ever met (and some you haven't) are claiming that you guys were tight back in the day. Let 'em pretend... not everyone can be a star in their own right.
Icon And Innovator 4 People use words like "avant-garde" and "pioneer" to describe your influence. Try to stay modest... actually, nah. Go ahead and gloat away, you earned it.
Respected Mentor 3 All the young kids look up to you. You've changed the way they see the art of dance. Now just try to keep your nose clean so they don't get wildly disillusioned.
Citywide Celebrity 2 Your avant-garde moves are world-renowned. Your name is synonymous with "Dance Sensation." Young dancers dream of following in your foosteps. Enjoy the limelight!
Living Legend 1 They'll be talking about you in every dance class for the rest of time. You've created a style all your own and have truly accomplished dance immortality. Bask in the knowledge that you made history, and you're going to live forever.

Story

While there is no Story mode in the game, there are two cutscenes that exist within the game implying a story. 

A club is being promoted by Mo, spreading all over the area and getting multiple characters' attention. As such, they attend to go to the club to party. When done promoting, Mo goes to a phone booth, picks up the phone, and hears a representation for the club on the other line. After putting it back, the platform underneath him lowers down, taking him to the club. The club ends up being revealed as Dr. Tan's Estate, and while most of the characters who attended are having fun, Oblio is sitting against a wall in dismay. He eventually leaves the club and rides away on his motorcycle, but as he is doing so, the player sees the scene being rewound. It then shows the scene on one of many screens that are being monitored by Dr. Tan. Intrigued by what he is seeing, he closes the rest of the screens, smirks, and laughs hysterically.

Songs

The game features 32 songs for the player to dance to. Each song is ranked under a certain category: Warm Up, Simple, Moderate, Tough, Legit, Hardcore, and Off The Hook. Each song also has a default dancer associated with it, although they can be changed beforehand. There are three difficulties available for each song: Easy, Medium, and Hard, but only Easy is available from the beginning. Medium is unlocked once the player either earns at least 3 stars on Easy or passes 50% of the routine in Break It Down on Medium or Hard, and Hard is unlocked once the player either earns at least 3 stars on Medium or passes 50% of the routine in Break It Down on Hard.

Each song has a No Flashcards mode available in which the flashcards do not pop up on the screen, but it has to be unlocked in order to enable it. The mode is unlocked in separate stages for each song, specifically when the player earns at least 5 stars under each difficulty (i.e. earning at least 5 stars on Easy in a song will only unlock the mode undernath Easy for that song).


Song Artist Category Default Dancer
Poker Face Lady Gaga Warm Up Mo
Hey Mami FannyPack Warm Up Miss Aubrey
I Know You Want Me (Calle Ocho) Pitbull Warm Up Angel
Evacuate The Dancefloor Cascada Warm Up Emilia
Funkytown Lipps INC. Simple Miss Aubrey
Galang '05 M.I.A. Simple Dare
C'mon N' Ride It (The Train) Quad City DJ's Simple Dare
Can't Get You Out Of My Head Kylie Minogue Simple Miss Aubrey
Crank The (Soulja Boy) Soulja Boy Tell 'em Moderate Mo
Rump Shaker Wreckx-N-Effect Moderate Oblio
Jungle Boogie Kool & The Gang Moderate Maccoy
Down Jay Sean Feat. Lil Wayne Moderate Angel
Pon De Replay Rihanna Moderate Emilia
Move Ya Body Nina Sky Tough Emilia
King Of The Dancehall Beenie Man Tough Angel
Rendez-UV Basement Jaxx Tough Miss Aubrey
Hella Good No Doubt Tough Oblio
Dip It Low Christina Milian Tough Taye
Push Salt 'N Pepa Legit Taye
Flava In Ya Ear (Remix) Craig Mack Legit Taye
Poison Bell Biv Devoe Legit Angel
Teach My How To Jerk Audio Push Legit Mo
Maneater Nelly Furtado Legit Emilia
Satisfaction Benny Benassi Presents The Biz Hardcore Oblio
Bust A Move Young MC Hardcore Mo
Days Go By Dirty Vegas Hardcore Maccoy
Pump Up The Jam Technotronic Hardcore Dare
Brick House Commodores Off The Hook Moccoy
Body Movin' (Fatboy Slim Remix) Beastie Boys Off The Hook Oblio
Drop It Like It's Hot Snoop Dogg Off The Hook Taye
Don't Sweat The Technique Eric B. & Rakim Off The Hook Maccoy
Just Dance Lady Gaga Off The Hook Dare

Challenges

Challenges are a combination of songs meshed together as one. They are unlocked once the player earns at least 4 stars on each song used in the challenge, aside from the Grand Finale Challenge where it is the same premise, but with challenges. The player can bypass unlocking the difficulties one by one for the Challenges by earning the minimum amount of stars needed for each song (Challenges for the Grand Finale Challenge) at the same difficulty rather than earning at least 3 stars on the challenge from the previous difficulty once the challenge is available. No Flashcards mode is also available as an unlockable, and the same rules apply when unlocking them. Unlike the songs, there is no Break It Down mode available for Challenges.

Challenge Songs Default Dancer
Warm Up Challenge Poker Face, Hey Mami, I Know You Want Me (Calle Ocho), Evacuate the Dancefloor Mo
Simple Challenge Galang '05, Funkytown, Can't Get You Out Of My Head, C'mon N Ride It (The Train) Miss Aubrey
Moderate Challenge Crank That (Soulja Boy), Pon De Replay, Rump Shaker, Jungle Boogie, Down Oblio
Tough Challenge Dip It Low, King Of The Dancehall, Hella Good, Move Ya Body, Rendez-Vu Emilia
Legit Challenge Flava In Ya Ear (Remix), Teach Me How To Jerk, Poison, Push It, Maneater Taye
Hardcore Challenge Bust A Move, Pump Up the Jam, Days Go By, Satisfaction MacCoy
Off The Hook Challenge Drop It Like It's Hot, Body Movin' (Fatboy Slim Remix), Don't Sweat The Technique, Brick House, Just Dance Dare
Grand Finale Challenge Poker Face, Funkytown, Pon De Replay, Jungle Boogie, Rendez-Vu, King of the Dancehall, Maneater, Poison, Days Go By, Teach Me How To Jerk, Body Movin' (Fatboy Slim Remix), Drop It Like It's Hot, Don't Sweat The Technique, Just Dance Eliot

The Grand Finale Challenge initially does not allow the player to change the default dancer, but once they clear it, they can change it. Additionally, Eliot, Dr. Tan's Estate, and a gold version of Boomy are unlocked through the Grand Finale Challenge once cleared.

Downloadable Content

Dance Central has additional content they can purchase for the game. Like the on-disc songs, they follow the same format in playing them.

Achievements

There are 50 achievements available for Dance Central. They add up to 1000 XP for a player's Xbox 360 gamertag.

Name Icon XP Achievement Description
A Lover and a Dancer ALoverandaDancer.png 15 Pass these moves: Boy Band, Earache, Love Warrior, and Palpitation.
Again, From the Top! Again,FromtheTop!.png 20 Play 10 songs in Break It Down mode and get a rating above 80%.
Age Before Booty AgeBeforeBooty.png 15 Pass these moves: Booty Bank, Booty Bump, Booty Down, Moonrise, Moonshine, and Rump Roast.
AN-I-MAL!!! AN-I-MAL!!!.png 15 Pass these moves: The Bird, Chicken Wing, Elephant, Pony, Predator, Prey, and Snake.
Booth Buddies BoothBuddies.png 10 Have a Freestyle photo taken while 2 people are dancing.
Bring It Back BringItBack.png 15 Pass these moves: Cabbage Patch, Disco, Fever, Funky Charleston, Raise the Roof, Scuff & Stomp.
Bring It to the Club BringIttotheClub.png 15 Pass these moves: Snake, Snap Groove, Step Center, Step Side, and Tap Front.
Broke It Down BrokeItDown.png 15 Play a single song in Break It Down mode and get a rating of at least 80%.
Burn, Baby, Burn! Burn,Baby,Burn!.png 30 Burn 1000 calories in Workout Mode.
Central Combat CentralCombat.png 15 Pass these moves: Boardbreaker, Boxer, Elbow Throw, Knockout, Punch Out, and Tiger Palm.
Child’s Play Child'sPlay.png 15 Pass these moves: Bug Juice, Patty Cake, Puppet Drop, and Tantrum.
Consummate Performer ConsummatePerformer.png 15 Give your first 5-Star performance in Perform It! mode.
Cross, Back, Step, Front! Cross,Back,Step,Front!.png 20 Successfully pass EVERY Jazz Square in the game.
Dance Instructor DanceInstructor.png 50 Earn 5 Stars on every song in the game on Hard.
Epic Battle! EpicBattle!.png 15 Play 10 Dance Battles in a single session.
Flawless Streak FlawlessStreak.png 20 String together 10 "Flawless" moves in Perform It! or Dance Battle mode.
Flying Blind FlyingBlind.png 30 Earn 5 Stars on any 10 songs with Flashcards turned off.
From the Makers of Rock Band FromtheMakersofRockBand.png 15 Pass these moves: Guitar, Rockout, Sing Out, and Snare.
Get Busy, Dizzy! GetBusy,Dizzy!.png 15 Get a "Flawless" result on a spin move.
Get Hood GetHood.png 15 Pass these moves: Brooklyn, Cool Kid, Hoodie, Lean & Rock, and Slam Out.
Going Global GoingGlobal.png 15 Pass these moves: Brooklyn, Calypso, Down Under, Latina, Merengue, Pharaoh, and Salsa.
Got a New Look GotaNewLook.png 25 Unlock a new look for every human dancer character.
Got This on Unlock GotThisonUnlock.png 50 Unlock all bonus content.
Grand Finale Complete GrandFinaleComplete.png 30 Earn 5 stars on the Grand Finale Challenge at any Skill Level.
Hardcore Challenge Complete HardcoreChallengeComplete.png 20 Earn 5 Stars on the Hardcore Challenge at any Skill Level.
Jock JockAchievement.png 15 Pass these moves: Barbell, Boxer, Defense, Goal, Jock, Quarterback, and Run.
Legit Challenge Complete LegitChallengeComplete.png 20 Earn 5 Stars on the Legit Challenge at any Skill Level.
Lock It In LockItIn.png 15 Pass these moves: Arm Twist, Boogaloo, Electric, Pop Down, and Robo Locking.
Look Ma, No Flashcards! LookMa,NoFlashcards!.png 15 Perform a song with Flashcards turned off and earn 5 Stars.
Meet the Crew MeettheCrew.png 15 Play a song with every human dancer character in Perform It! or Dance Battle mode.
Moderate Challenge Complete ModerateChallengeComplete.png 15 Earn 5 Stars on the Moderate Challenge at any Skill Level.
Nerd is Bond NerdisBond.png 15 Pass these moves: Cabbage Patch, Double Rainbow, Glitch, Keyboard Cat, and Nerd It Out.
Off the Hook Challenge Complete OfftheHookChallengeComplete.png 25 Earn 5 Stars on the Off the Hook Challenge at any Skill Level.
Off the Wall OfftheWall.png 10 Progress past the "Wallflower" rank.
Practice Made Perfect PracticeMadePerfect.png 25 Get a 100% rating on a single song in Break It Down mode.
Pure Perfection PurePerfection.png 25 Get a "Flawless" rating on every move in a song in Perform It! or Dance Battle mode.
Simple Challenge Complete SimpleChallengeComplete.png 15 Earn 5 Stars on the Simple Challenge at any Skill Level.
Smile for the Camera SmilefortheCamera.png 25 Have 1000 Freestyle photos taken.
Something to Prove SomethingtoProve.png 50 Get a 100% rating on every song in the game in Break It Down mode.
Sweat It Out SweatItOutAchievement.png 20 Have a 20-minute workout session in Workout Mode.
The Battle Has Begun TheBattleHasBegun.png 15 Give your first 5-Star performance in Dance Battle mode.
The Dance Is Legendary TheDanceIsLegendary.png 25 Earn Gold Stars on any song, at any Skill Level.
Total Poser TotalPoser.png 10 Get a "Flawless" rating on a finishing move.
Tough Challenge Complete ToughChallengeComplete.png 15 Earn 5 Stars on the Tough Challenge at any Skill Level.
True Superstar TrueSuperstar.png 25 Earn 5 Stars on every song in the game on either Easy or Medium, or 5 Stars on any 20 songs on Hard.
Warm Up Challenge Complete WarmUpChallengeComplete.png 15 Earn 5 Stars on the Warm Up Challenge at any Skill Level.
What a Jerk! WhataJerk!.png 15 Earn 5 Stars on Hard on a jerkin' song.
Work It, Honey WorkIt,Honey.png 15 Pass these moves: & Feelabout, Club Monster, Pose, Ride, and Wind It Up.
Secret Achievements
Living Legend LivingLegend.png 30 Reach the 'Living Legend' rank.
Robots Doin' It for Themselves RobotsDoin'ItforThemselves.png 15 Successfully pass a robot move with ELIOT.

Reception

The scores and reviews for Dance Central are mostly positive. Garnering a score of 82 out of 100 on Metacritic based on 63 reviews, 8/10 from IGN and a rating of 8.5/10 from GameSpot.


[1]

Dance Central was considered as by far the best Xbox 360 Kinect game since its release.

Trivia

  • Each character, aside from Eliot and Ttiw Tolrep, is assigned four on-disc songs in the game
  • Including DLC and excluding the challenges
    • Angel, Miss Aubrey, and Mo are given the least with 7
    • Emilia and Oblio are given the most with 9.
    • Mo gets the "easiest" and "hardest" songs in the game (Poker Face and The Way I Are)
  • Angel is the only character to not be assigned a Challenge
  • This is the only game in the series that uses the category system where DLC for the Warm Up category exists
  • The statistics are determined through the "Excessive Live Information Overload Tracker". This device ends up being known to the public as Eliot, and the name Eliot represents an acronym for the phrase above.
  • Four cheat codes are made in this game, which can be put in at the title screen using the Xbox 360 Controller
    • "Left, Up, X, Up, Right, Y" - Unlocks Ttiw Tolrep (Achievements are disabled with this cheat is activated)
    • "B, Left, Up, Right, Right, Y" - Unlocks "Street Legal", a variation of Oblio's "Dystopia" outfit
    • "B, Up, Down, Down, Y" - Unlocks "Mo'riginal", a variation of Mo's "B-Boy" outfit
    • "B, Up, B, B, Left, Y" - Unlocks everything (Autosaves and Achievements are disabled when this cheat is activated)
      • All of these are temporary; if the player changes the character and/or resets the game, the player has to put them again at the title screen to have access to them.
      • They codes, when spelled out, are words
        • LUXURY for Ttiw Tolrep
        • BLURRY for "Street Legal"
        • BUDDY for "Mo'riginal"
        • BUBBLY for unlocking everything
      • The code for Ttiw Tolrep is hinted in the message that appears when Dr. Tan's Estate is locked for play. (A glamorous icon such as yourself requires the ultimate luxury...)

Gallery

References

1. http://www.metacritic.com/game/xbox-360/dance-central

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