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Don’t expect to dance the night away

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    Dance Central Spotlight

    Rating: 3.0 – Fair

    Don’t expect to dance the night away

    The Dance Central series has long been the most highly-rated out of the Kinect games, as the Xbox 360 Dance Central games have actually made good use of the Kinect peripheral. Dance Central Spotlight still makes good use of Kinect, sure, but it doesn’t really do anything new, and it feels like an incredibly stripped down version of its predecessors.

    Instead of a full retail release, this newest Dance Central game is a download-only title. It plays exactly like the previous games in the series. Your goal is to follow the movement of the dancers on screen exactly. There’s no real gameplay improvements or changes that I noticed when playing this game.

    The core gameplay is fine. It works well enough, though I feel that the Kinect isn’t always as accurate in this game as it was in previous Dance Central titles. As I said in the previous paragraph, all you do is mimic the movements of the dancers on the screen as close as possible. The closer that you copy their movements, the higher score you will attain.

    The game is available at a budget price point of $10, so there’s only 10 songs in the game. The songs that are there are pretty good and popular songs…ones that are easy to dance to, at least. "Royals" by Lorde is available, and that has quickly become one of my personal favorite songs. If you aren’t into pop music, then you are pretty much screwed, however, as that is the only music genre really represented in this game. New songs can be purchased as well, but that’s only with real-world money; there is no in-game currency system to speak of.

    This version of Dance Central feels less like a game focused on fun and more like a game focused on fitness. There’s nothing wrong with that, as I have discovered the new Kinect to be a wonderful tool for physical fitness purposes. Hell, I awarded Xbox Fitness a 9/10 score, one of the highest scores I’ve distributed to date for an eighth generation video game. However, this shift to focusing almost entirely on fitness takes a lot of the charm out of this newest iteration of Dance Central.

    Besides unlocking new types of fitness routines, you’re pretty much stuck playing the same 10 songs over and over again unless you shell out the cash to download some new ones. There’s 1000 gamerscore worth of achievements, but none of the achievements seem particularly fun to go after, which is disappointing. The point of achievements is to provide fun new tasks for players to pursue in order to extend the time that they play the game, but Dance Central Spotlight just has achievements that feel like chores.

    There are better fitness options on Xbox One, Xbox Fitness in particular, which is free-to-play and has a ton of workout routines available for free, whereas Dance Central Spotlight only offers 10 songs. There are also better dancing games available right now, leaving ultimately very little reason to download this game.

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