extensive preview of Harmonix's Kinect launch game. What you may not have known is that it's hella fun once you add someone to compete against.
Dance Central's Battle Mode was easily the highlight of the many features showcased during a recent Harmonix preview event. In this mode, two players switch off during a song, and each attempts to best the other's score. The song routine is broken up into parts, and players are scored based on how closely they can mimic the on-screen moves.
Beyond a traditional points-based HUD, Harmonix has cleverly designed sound and environmental cues that indicate how your performance is going. If you're not quite hitting the moves, then the bass will start to drop out of the audio track and the game image will become washed out. However, nail a string of moves to earn a multiplier, and the bass will grow louder and eventually the entire stage will transform. In the demo we saw, the environment turned black as a laser show and stage lights kicked in. When you're doing well, you'll know it.
Dance Central has the high level of polish we expect from a Harmonix game and is shaping up to be the closest thing to Kinect's "killer app" at launch. Of course, what's a dance game without good music? Take a peek at the newly announced songs after the break.