There comes a point in any videogame genre’s lifetime when innovation begins to falter and titles begin to settle into the comfort of the familiar. For dance games, the last big innovation was Dance Central’s controller-less, full body tracking, a technological advancement that was a fantastic fit for the genre. While the PS3 currently lacks the technology to ape Harmomix’s title, SCEE puts up a spirited effort with Dancestar Party – which is one of the more complete packages on the scene.
SCEE has quite a heritage with music games and SingStar is undoubtedly one of the biggest names out there; marrying the brand to a dance game makes perfect sense then. Obviously, with a game of this type, how well your dance moves are measured and translated into an onscreen score is vital to the game’s success and while DanceStar obviously lacks the full body tracking of Kinect, the PS Eye camera’s tracking of the Move controller works well, with scoring feeling responsive and generally accurate. Though the scores themselves can be a little bemusing for newcomers, there is always a sense that your moves are being monitored and that the game is rating them accordingly.
Unlike the recent We Dance on the Nintendo Wii which fired dizzying salvos of instructions at the player to map out which moves they should be pulling off, Dancestar Party keeps things a little more minimal. Slapped in the centre of the screen is a video of a dancer (backed by the official music video for the accompanying track) and you simply have to mirror him or her. Occasionally stick figure diagrams depicting moves will pop on screen, but in reality you can get by just by following your dance instructor.
While DanceStar holds few surprises in terms of gameplay, there are some interesting features included. Most eye-brow raising is the ‘Dance Studio’ which applies Sony’s ‘Play, Create, Share’ ethos to dancing. So, with Move controller in hand, you can record your own performances and then use the resulting video within the game. This is a lovely little addition to the genre and will no doubt be lapped up by dance fans and anyone looking to bring a small personal touch when playing the game in its intended social setting.
The PS Eye is also put to good use in recording and photographing your performances which can then be posted to Facebook, Youtube or Twitter – a feature that feels perfectly right for a game of this type and its delivery is every bit as accessible as it should be. The game also supports two players at a time and you can set up an endless party for up to 20 players (who all take turns obviously… we’re someway off having a dance game that would support the full cast of Michael Jackson’s Thriller video…).
The selection of music tracks included isn’t overly generous, but contains enough content and variety to keep you busy for some time. Should you begin to tire of Barry White, the Chemical Bros, Deadmau5 and Diana Ross etc (please note – we have included the full track listing below), there is (in true SingStar style) an online store from which you can buy more songs. So…this could be all the dance-game you ever need – assuming you’re happy holding a controller while busting some moves…
Although DanceStar Party doesn’t exceed expectations, it competantly meets them and the whole thing is delivered with the same kind of glossy accessibility that SingStar fans have come to know and love. Though unlikely to challenge Dance Central’s position as the leader of the dancing pack, its feature set is intelligently mapped out and perfect fit for a party game of this type; as far as PS Move based dancing goes this is about as good as you could hope for.
DanceStar Party – Full tracklisting:
Amerie – 1 Thing
Barry White – You’re The First, The Last, My Everything
Basement Jaxx – Where’s Your Head At?
Billy Idol With Generation X – Dancing with Myself
Bodyrockers – I Like The Way You Move
Carl Douglas – Kung Fu Fighting
CeCe Peniston – Finally
Chemical Bros – Hey Boy Hey Girl
Chromeo – Night By Night
Deadmau5 ft. Rob Swire – Ghosts ‘N’ Stuff
Diana Ross – Upside Down
Duck Sauce – Barbra Streisand
Ellie Goulding – Starry Eyed
Elton John – I’m Still Standing
Example – Kickstarts
Groove Armada (Fatboy Slim remix) – I See You Baby
Ida Corr vs Fedde Le Grand – Let Me Think About It
Iggy Pop – Lust For Life
Jay Sean featuring Lil Wayne – Down
Jessie J – Do It Like A Dude
Kool & the Gang – Get Down On It
Lady Gaga – Born This Way
LMFAO – Party Rock Anthem
Los Del Rio – Macarena
Miami Sound Machine – Dr Beat
New Kids On The Block – You’ve Got The Right Stuff
Nicole Scherzinger – Don’t Hold Your Breath
Ok Go – Here It Goes Again
Outkast – The Way You Move
Republica – Ready To Go
Rihanna – Rude Boy
Snap! – The Power
Tavares – Heaven Must Be Missing An Angel
Tiesto vs Diplo ft Busta – C’Mon (Catch Them By Surprise)
Tinie Tempah – Pass Out
Usher ft. Pitbull – DJ Got Us Falling In Love
Usher ft. will.i.am – OMG
Venga Boys – We like to Party
Willow Smith – Whip My Hair
Yolanda Be Cool – We No Speak Americano
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