DanceStar Party/Everybody Dance
Developer: London Studio
Platform Playstation 3 (Move required)
Release: Out Now
Price: AU$48.00/ US$29.16 (Available Here)
Wanna groove? Wanna move your body? Only have a Playstation 3? Then this review is for you, as DanceStar Party brings the best moves around town. Developed by London Studio, the guys behind the successful ‘Singstar’ series, this game offers extensive gameplay options, a great selection of tracks to dance to and a colourful arrangement of visuals with a person emulating the moves for the player. This is a great dancing game for everyone… well maybe not for those who call themselves hardcore gamers. As a single and multiplayer experience, it excels as a great dancing experience. I do have to point out that it does have quite a bit of a cheesy opening.
The gameplay for DanceStar Party involves one thing: dancing. There are an abundance of routines to dance to, depending on the song chosen and the difficulty the player undertakes. There are four difficulties rating and the amount of moves and their accuracy increases when the difficulty level cranks up. The Playstation Move is accurate, capturing moves and rewarding the player for their work.
There are several modes of gameplay that have been included in the game, all revolving around dance. Dance Now is the quick play mode, suitable for the single player experience. All the player does is pick a song, difficulty and how long they want the song (and their routine) will last for. Players can choose to dance through the whole song or go through a shorter version for a quick dance routine. Players play for points and a star rating out of five, culminating at the end. Once the player completes the routine, then they may share the video via Facebook and Twitter. Snapshots can also be taken during the routine.
Party mode is where the multiplayer experience shines. The two main modes either involve competitive gameplay or co-operative gameplay. Competitive involves the battle of the dancers, vying for accurate movements for the extra points and a better star rating. But, if the preference is for team play, then players can opt playing a co-operative game. Only two players with Playstation Move can dance, but another eighteen players can join the fun as singers. Using a microphone that is Playstation 3 compatible, friends can sing their heart out.
Then there are the three other modes of gameplay, all listed under the Dance Studio option of the main menu. Dance Creator allows the player to create their own routines using the Playstation Move. Dance Class is a training mode for all of the songs. Difficulties can be set and the songs are broken down into different sections, like the bridge and chorus. Dance Workout is in fact for those who want to lose calories and groove to the music at the same time. It tracks how much one loses during the routine of three or four songs, with the calories count at the top of the screen. The game also tracks the amount of calories the player loses over the month.
I am someone who enjoys games like Final Fantasy, Dragon Age and Valkyria Chronicles, a far cry from DanceStar Party. Despite that, this game provides gameplay which is simply fun. It is entertaining to move around the space I have, pulling off moves and actually working out in the process.
Right about now, I usually talk about the visuals of the game. Except, in this game, the visuals aren’t that important. Considering that this is a dancing game, the selection of tracks is quite important. So, how is the selection of tracks? Well… it caters for everyone. The game features 40 tracks, with the ability to add more via the Playstation Store. What makes it impressive is that the range of tracks varies and don’t adhere to one genre. Expect tracks from the 80’s, 90’s and the present day.
Artists that made the list include Basement Jaxx, Elton John, Lady Gaga and even Carl Douglas, the man who sang the very popular one hit wonder ‘Kung Fu Fighting.’ With such a diverse list, players will not be disappointed with the choice to dance to. Some of my favourite tunes include ‘Where’s Your Head At?’ by Basement Jaxx, ‘I’m Still Standing’ by Elton John and ‘Kung Fu Fighting’ by Carl Douglas. The selection was great and fits very well with the overall theme of a dancing game.
As I have mentioned, there will be songs that will be available to download via the Playstation Store, furthering expanding the track list for players to dance to. As I write this review, there are two track packs already available, featuring songs like ‘Video Killed The Radio Star’ by The Buggles and the ever so popular ‘Never Gonna Give You Up’ by Rick Astley. They do come at a price tag of $11.45 each.
The songs they did select are in fact fun to dance to. Their tempos and beats help the player immerse themselves into the game. I may not listen to some of these songs outside of this game, but I will still dance to them as they have a dance beat that is worth moving to. The music video and lyrics are also displayed during the routine.
DanceStar Party features colourful and bright menu screens as well as for backgrounds to match the tempo and beat of the song the player is dancing to. Menus are easy to navigate around and don’t lose their charm. Since it is a casual game, the usage of bright colours reflects that. The backgrounds of the routines match that of the beat of the song. Also, the animation of the character model showing what moves to perform is smooth and fluent. They match the song used. They are also an actual person rather than being some sort of cartoon character. There are also prompts on the right side of the screen to tell the player which move is required to be executed.
I came into this game with an open mind considering I do not play these sort of games. However, I am glad I did because this game is excellent at capturing its intended audience. The routines are exciting with accurate movements captured by the Playstation Move, the track selection is varied to allow a plethora of people to play along and the visuals of the game are bright and colourful. Do not dismiss this game as first sight, give it a try. I know I like it.