Dance Central 3 keeps the hits coming

I love the Dance Central franchise. The dance video game genre has given console gaming an extra boost and built upon the casual gaming trend that the Wii started, but the cream of the crop is Dance Central 3. It’s still the best showcase for the technology in the Kinect, and now it’s also the latest platform for Usher to showcase his dance moves.

That’s right, Usher wasn’t satisfied with merely having his songs in the previous versions of Dance Central, he had to take it to the next level and actually be IN the game. As executive producer, he lent his voice to the games tutorial feature, added real choreography directly from his videos, and even jumped into the motion capture suit and imported his signature moves into the game. The result, along with all the lessons the development team learned from the previous two games, is a polished package that gets the sweat dripping and is without a doubt THE party game of this holiday season.

Also, it has the best video game commercial of the year:

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Michael Jackson on Kinect

Today marks the official release of Michael Jackson: The Experience for XBOX 360 Kinect. The game has been fairly popular on the Wii for a while now, but the motion capture system of the Kinect promised to make the gameplay even more entertaining.

Sadly, the early reviews indicate the game may not be as awesome as I was hoping.

I’ve always been a big fan of MJ’s art. Where would we be without his influence? Contemporary artists like Justin Timberlake, Usher, and Chris Brown made their careers by emulating him. I was hoping that the Kinect version, with its brilliant motion capture system, could bring a true MJ emulation experience to living rooms across the country, especially with the successful Dance Central (a game that I regularly kick ass at) as a template. Months ago, I expressed my excitement about the game to a friend. The conversation went something like this:

Me: Michael Jackson dance game coming to the Kinect! Hee Hee! Shomone!

Friend: Yeah…but look at who the publisher is. It’s Ubisoft. They’re gonna screw it up.

The game just came out so there’s no consensus on its quality yet, but early reviews from GameInformer and customer reviews on the Amazon sales page would indicate my friend was right. Ubisoft took a brilliant opportunity to produce one of the greatest games on the Kinect platform, and came up a bit short.

At the moment, you can get the game for $10 less at Amazon. So far the reviews say that while the game is disappointing, it’s still a fun way to kill some time and shake your groove thing in the comfort of your home. And if you’re a Michael Jackson fan, there’s plenty to love, even if the gameplay might not be the best. I may or may not get the game for myself, but if I do I’ll be sure to post a thorough review.