Fun With Kinect & Dance Central 2

This weekend I got my first taste of the Kinect.  I went to a get-together Saturday night at a friend’s house & her brother hooked up his 360 with a Kinect.  This was my very first experience with the system.  I’ve previously thought about getting one for myself, but I’m not sure if the dimensions of my room would let me use one properly.  Logically, I figured the best game to try the system out with would be a dancing game.  So in went Dance Central 2.

I have to say, I was very impressed by the Kinect’s ability to detect my movement.  At least more so than the Wii.  Having played Just Dance on the Wii & comparing the experience, the Kinect did a far better job of registering my movements.  But I guess that’s to be expected, since the Kinect camera senses your entire body whereas the Wii just registers the position of the Wii-mote.

That’s not to say there weren’t issues.  It’s very easy to move out of where the camera can register you.  I also had trouble with selecting from the menu.  Raising & lowering your hand to scroll through the song list can be a bit finicky, as can doing the hand swipe to select an option.  So it seems like the Kinect is better for full body movement rather than just your arms.  It can also be very temperamental if someone else walks into the camera’s line of vision.  Normally this isn’t a problem, but if you’ve got kids running around you, like I did at the party, it can get annoying (or maybe that’s just because I don’t like kids).

As for the game, I can honestly say I haven’t had that much fun at a party in a long time.  I’ve always been interesting in learning to dance, but never comfortable enough to go out & do it.  But either I’m getting over that or I was just comfortable because it was just a group of friends messing about, because I did surprisingly well.  To the point that my friends didn’t believe me when I said I’d never played the game before.  Granted, I was doing it on the easiest setting, but I was getting four & five stars on even the more difficult dances.

I haven’t played enough of the game to give it a proper review, but Dance Central 2 definitely seems like a must-have if you want to get your money’s worth out of the Kinect.  It has a decent playlist.  Not being a dance expert, I can’t say if all the moves are real dance moves, but I can say that at least a few are.  I recognized the Cabbage Patch.  It definitely seems better as a party game.  Dancing against friends is more fun than dancing alone.  But I think it could still be fun solo, say if you were using it as a workout (the game counts calories after each dance).

So overall, although my experience was very limited, it was a lot of fun.  It’ll never replace the ease & convenience of a regular controller (I don’t care what people say, pressing A to jump is a lot easier than having to do it yourself).  If I thought my room would work for a Kinect, I might consider getting one.

– GamerDame

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