The Land of ESH

Log OutLog In

Posts Tagged ‘Dance Central’

ESH Podcast Episode # 297: I’m In It For the Gadgets — Health Is Just a Bonus

Go Go Gadget Gym membership?! Monday has tuned come full circle and has brought a new morsel of awesomeness with it. That’s right a brand new ESH Podcast. Ninja and Panda are on some the “health wellness” tip these days, talking about incorporating more health related activities into their gaming lives. Panda attempts quasi visits […]

Microsoft’s E3 ’12 Briefing: The Good, The Bad, And The Wha?

Today Microsoft unveiled many games, projects, apps, and various other paraphernalia at their E3 briefing. While there was much pomp and circumstance to be had for what was next for the Xbox 360, there were some moments in the presentation that just seemed kinda on the “meh” side of things. Here now are just some of the highlights, the lowlights, and the shoulder shrugs of the Microsoft show.

THE GOOD:

Halo 4 – Many a Microsoft fanboy have been waiting patiently for the next adventure of Master Chief, and its trailer (mixing both some impressive live-action footage with in-game moments) had many people salivating. The forest and creatures you will be gunning down — not to mention the scary skeleton-faced robot — all seemed like it was brought to a whole new level of detail not seen on Xbox currently. As soon as the trailer ended, with Master Chief surrounded by these freaks of nature, not a single person in the audience held in their excitement.

Splinter Cell: Blacklist – At first glance I wasn’t sure which game it was, until Sam Fischer’s trademark attacks came full force after bringing in an injured insurgent. The shooting, the climbing, and even the tactics shown off in this demonstration showcased what Ubisoft Toronto is capable of when it comes to bringing something new to this beloved franchise. The voice recognition used via Kinect also looked interesting, and it also brought a bit of a laugh when it came to getting a terrorist’s attention.

Tomb Raider – How reboots should be done. This action-packed demo had Lara Croft shooting fiery arrows at enemies, stabbing them in the throats with knives, unleashing painful traps, rolling through the rapids, and swerving through trees on your parachute. Don’t be surprised if this new Tomb Raider gets slapped with an M-rating, though, as the blood and gore factor has been jacked up for this release.

South Park: The Stick Of Truth – Tears of laughter rolled through the aisles as the video preview showcased how a proper cartoon-based video game should be made. You create your own character, and travel through the Colorado town battling underpants gnomes, Woodland Critters, crab people, and other creatures familiar to the South Park world, all with the show’s trademark and often controversial humor. Creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone stole the show with their appearance, poking good fun of the briefing itself and expressing how amazed they were by Obsidian’s work on making the game look exactly like the TV show.

THE BAD:

Gears of War: Judgement – For some reason what should’ve been a fireworks display for this popular series instead turned out to be nothing more than one of those dumb little sparklers that you give to kids. The trailer just didn’t seem to do much justice for what Epic Games wanted to show off, especially when it came to Baird’s reveal. Perhaps we can blame this one on the lack of preparation. And seriously, does everyone need to use that A Perfect Circle track?!

Not enough emphasis on games – Throughout the 90-minute presentation, it felt like less than half of it was focused on what people came to E3 for: video games. Sure these apps and devices like Nike+ and SmartGlass seem cool, but to be honest most of us didn’t come here to see how we can watch TV in a different way; we want to see a unique way to play our titles.

Xbox Music – We already have too many music programs, from iTunes and Spotify to Pandora and various radio station apps. We don’t need another one, Microsoft!

Xbox lacks a big newcomer – It’s great seeing many of our favorite game heroes and anti-heroes alike making their return to grace, but there wasn’t a brand-spanking new title that was showcased that had us on our feet clamoring for it. Yes, it was cool seeing Twisted Pixel’s LocoCycle and Matter (a new game from Gore Verbinski), but I was really looking forward to maybe seeing one new title with a new character that would have people turning their heads.

THE WHA?:

Fable: The Journey – We’ve only heard snippets about this Kinect title, but the trailer showed today brought more questions than they did answer. Is it a first-person experience? Can we conjure up different powers depending on class? Do you maneuver through it like in Rise of Nightmares or is it in a rail-shooter style? Here’s hoping the convention itself will bring us everything we need to know about Lionhead Studio’s latest. Hey, at least it looks better than Fable Heroes.

Forza Horizon – Yes, the game looks impressive, but we’ve already got too many racing games out there. And didn’t we just get Forza 4 a few months back? Give us racing fans a bit of breathing room, not to mention a chance for our wallets to get a tad bigger, before dropping another game like this.

Usher’s impromptu concert – I’ll admit this was cool, but are we expected to believe that we are going to be able to dance like Usher in Dance Central 3, flips and all? Great presentation, but it probably won’t convince gamers who have cast dancing games to the side for some real hardcore gaming.

The “acting” on stage by presenters – I was going to put this one under “The Bad,” but I honestly found it funny how some of the people on stage couldn’t fake excitement to save their lives. Their hearts were in it, for sure, but you can obviously tell they were reading from the teleprompter behind the floor audience. Practice makes perfect, Microsoft. Do yourselves a favor and throw in a couple more dress rehearsals for good measure next year.

What about you? Share your thoughts on the presentation below! What made your jaw drop from either excitement or yawning?

"Dance Central 2" Vs. "Just Dance 3": Epic Dance Battles Ensue

With the newest of the beloved Just Dance series finally making it out from Wii-exclusivity, I was able to give it a try with my Kinect for the 360, just as the sequel to the Kinect dance hit Dance Central hit stores. With both dance games sitting on my shelf beckoning, I was hard pressed to decide which of the pair would reign as my number one dance game of choice.

I admit that right off the bat Dance Central had a strong lead with the option to import all of the songs from the first Dance Central with the use of the code provided in the first game, making the two into one super game, a feature Just Dance couldn’t provide me with due to this being its first Kinect-ready title. Both titles provide the option of downloading songs from the market place individually, which is nice, but something I haven’t felt willing to spend my Microsoft points on yet.

Download options aside, Just Dance does lead with a larger song-base to start with. However, I found myself only play a few of the gems in Just Dance like LMFAO’s “Party Rock Anthem” or Duck Sauce’s “Barbra Streisand”. Dance Central may have a smaller selection, but they will it with more hits and a better quality of songs, new and old. During parties with my friends we definitely give Just Dance it’s due time for its multiplayer possibilities, but Dance Central always works its way back in for our loves of it’s songs.

As far as actual gameplay and being sensitive to movement, Dance Central continues to pull ahead. When playing Dance Central it will tell me when any part of my body is about two inches off anywhere, while Just Dance doesn’t tell you where you are messing up, just that you are, but also doesn’t seem to have adapted to the Kinect well. Just dance was made for the Wii originally, focusing all of its motion capture on the hands, which it still seems to do, even with the whole-body capabilities of the Kinect.

One place where Just Dance leaves Dance Central in the dust however is multiplayer. This is the first time Dance Central offers multiplayer, and it is limited to two people only. Just Dance however has always had a wide multiplayer and can be up to four players. Just Dance also features a kind of open multiplayer where at any point in the song you can simply walk into the Kinect field and it will add you to the game. Dance Central will need to pause and sign you in to play, not nearly as smoothly.

Both games feature a workout mode meant to promote being active. With Just Dance you will collect sweat points to show off how long you’ve been at your workout, however these points don’t earn you anything and go away once you exit workout mode, making a rather small victory. Dance Central offers pre-selected dance playlist for different levels of workout, in which they track your time spent and calories burnt, which you can go back and view later, making it feel like a bigger accomplishment, and keeps you active by not having to select a new song each time.

One feature that Just Dance holds that you won’t find in Dance Central is the create mode, where you make your own dances to the songs in the game, or tweak the ones already there. This feature seemed really cool at first, when I went to try it out, half the time I found myself lost for dance moves and simply copying what had already been there. Maybe for a more creative dancer this would be fun, but I play these games because I can only dance with someone telling me the moves.

The final feature that really sold me on Dance Central over Just Dance was its ability to create your own playlist of songs to play through. Of course everyone has their select favorites when it comes to dancing games, and to able to store them all together and not have to go searching in between each one is a convenience I really enjoyed. Now I have all my hits like Lady Gaga, Rihanna, and La Roux all together, just waiting for anytime I want to play.

FINAL GRADES: Dance Central 2: 9.0 (out of ten) Just Dance 3: 6.4 (out of ten)

Written by Saignement

Get Your Moves Ready for Dance Central 2


Shaking your tail feather to multiple beats at a time!

The much awaited sequel to Harmonix‘s dance thriller, Dance Central 2 will be making its debut on October 25th.

— Four Days and Counting —

So what can we expect from this newest installment in the motion-rhythm-based-franchise besides a good time? First up, and most obviously, we are getting new routines. Booty giggling, difficulty-increased, new routines. Then there are new settings in the way of new gameplay modes. Dance battles and actual multiplayer modes will be available in the new title as well. And what is a new motion-rhythm-based dance game without new songs? (The previous title, right?) Dance Central 2 boasts a bunch of new songs and new playable characters. There is no need to get rid of the preexisting bunch, so why not mix ’em up.

The Dance Central universe is finally getting expanding, and there something to look forward to for every fan of the title or genre in general. If you enjoyed the work out mode; your may rejoice! The mode is still available in the new game, and you can expect some modifications that are sure to make you sweat till you bleed. (Well, not REALLY bleed, because that would be bad, but you know what I mean.) Want to really nail down a specific move? Then “Break it Down” option will give you all the time you need to get it right and tight.

One of the disappointments from the first game was their use of multiplayer. In the original Dance Central outting, there was no “real” co-op. Yes, there were “dance battles”, but that element was only couch local. It was more of a “score battle” mode where each player would perform the routine solo-dolo and the person with the highest score “won” the battle. That aspect hasn’t completely changed but now there are both competitive and cooperative aspects to it. Co-op is simple and drop-in/drop-out. mechanic, and who wouldn’t like that?

Harmonix set the bar for motion based dance games, and I think this new addition to the franchise will only encourage more mixing of music and gaming.

Get your water bottles cooled, and your leg warmers and headbands out of storage. The dance floor is ready and waiting for you. So you know what to do…hey bust a move.

Episode 222: Don’t Play Dance Central Naked

Ok, it’s technically still Monday and we have a new episode of the ESH podcast for you, so SUPER YAY!
the-world-god-only-knows-anime
This episode is chock-full of video game stuff… but it also has ANIME

This week the ladies RAVE about Harmonix recent Xbox Kinect-enabled game, Dance Central and after running down the title for nearly 45 minutes they share their Holiday Gift buying recommendations on the title before moving on to a new anime series they have been watching called, The World God Only Knows. The series never takes itself too seriously and after seeing the first 6 episodes both NinJa and Panda have specific and strong feelings about it.

Go and grab a cold beverage and enjoy ESH Podcast Episode 222: Don’t Play Dance Central Naked