Wednesday 5 February 2014

The Dance Central Games - An Honest Review

Well, I did start this blog with the intention of saying things were crap if they are, but let's kick off with something I actually like, although it pains me to admit it on the internet. That's right kids, I bloody love the Dance Central games for XBox 360 with Kinect. And yes, I am too pikey to own an XBox One yet so I am reviewing XBox 360 games and accoutrements even though it is 2014. You might be interested. You might be a bit 'pikey, pikey, do as you likey' yourself.

So, what is the deal? Well, there are three Dance Central games at present. If you want the one that has the Gangnam Style horsey dance on it (well, you can get it as downloadable content, and you know that in some dark moment, if you own this game, you will), you will be wanting Dance Central 3. If you are an impoverished writer who can't afford the latest bread, let alone the latest version of a game on an out of date console, but you are also bad with money so will blow what you do have on stupid dance games, then you are going to want Dance Central 2. There's a Dance Central 1 too of course (well, it's just called Dance Central), and if you get well into it you might as well get the full set. The first two have pictures of some douchey types grinning and throwing shapes like they are in an 80's music video with Tiffany or somesuch, but they sensibly just put some cartoony people on the third one, making it look marginally less foolish, though you still want to buy these online - slapping them on the counter in GAME is just going to make you feel ashamed, like you're buying a copy of Razzle.

Still though, embarrassing as it may be, I guarantee that it will fast become a guilty pleasure. You will start to think the slutty looking dancing avatars who appear on screen are your mates. You will actually go to the trouble of doing what is needed to unlock new outfits for your favourite one (mine is Miss Aubrey, she's like one of those kids who gets bullied for being ginger and then goes all tarty in their late teens when they realise blokes don't really mind the faint smell of Spam if you put out) You will start to believe you actually can dance when you get five stars on Get Ur Freak On by Missy Elliot. You will be disabused of this belief as soon as you are next in a place where alcohol is served and music is played and you realise that Enrique Iglesias' choreography has no place in Cheeks nightclub and that without it, you are still basically just able to shift around awkwardly flicking your hair around like a stripper to give the illusion of movement. But it is good exercise.

I'm not even kidding there. I know a few people who have put this game into their workout rotation, and with good results. And if you can have a laugh and listen to some fucking Bruno Mars while you are doing it, then it really doesn't matter that merely owning it makes you feel like a twelve year old girl.

Pro Tips:

Disable the fuck out of the freestyle bit that is otherwise in each song. This thing is evil. The choreography stops for a portion of the track leaving you to use your own moves. It fucking films you while you do this and plays it back to you, on your massive HD television, when the song finishes. It is not a confidence boosting experience. I bet even Beyonce turns this fucker off.

Ignore how many calories it tells you you have burned off. The number of calories burned by an individual over a timed period of dancing varies wildly depending on weight (along with other factors), and because DC doesn't ask you your weight (it's got fucking manners, unlike the bastarding Wii Fit), it is really just taking a wild stab in the dark. If you want to know how many calories you have burned off in a playing session, use an online calculator and pick 'dancing' as your activity, entering your age, weight and the level of exertion for a better idea, or, if you want to take it really seriously, use a heart rate monitor.


This game is fucking fun, and if you don't like it you may well be a hipster who takes themselves far too seriously. If you are a hipster who takes themselves far too seriously and wants to get in better shape, try the Paleo Diet (and remember to talk about it very, very earnestly on your blog that you write when you sit in Starbucks drinking the same Caramel Macchiatto or whatever the fuck it is called as our cavemen ancestors enjoyed). If you are not, have a go on this.

Why I Decided To Create This Site

I've been writing my usual blog It's All A Bit Pony and Trap for nearly four years now, and in that time have gone from a lucrative career in IT to living the dream and earning just slightly more than fuck all as a professional writer. Most of what I write on my other blog is there to take the piss out of things I think are shit, and also, let's be honest, to rile up Liverpool supporters. However, most of the stuff my clients pay me to write is different. I'm not a fiction writer, in fact the only real fiction writing I had done before I started marketing myself as a writer was, well, maybe 40% or so of my old IT CV, but sometimes I get called upon to write reviews for other people's websites, and these, I am afraid to tell you, contain about as much reality as that story that was in the papers recently about Liz Hurley banging Bill Clinton.

Most of what you read when it comes to reviews on the web is serving somebody, and has been written by somebody who has never even tried the product. Is this a bad thing? Well, yes. It's not what Jesus would have done for a living, and that is for certain, but to be honest if you really believe everything you see online you were probably one of those kids who never questioned how those four oddly twee kids and a dog managed to regularly foil smuggling operations in those Famous Five books. Didn't they all have names like Fanny and Titty and Dick that weren't funny in the fifties and yet are now hilarious? I think that is too much of a coincidence, I reckon Blyton knew exactly what she was doing. Anyway - I digress.

So, figuring that when I am writing for fun instead of money I like to rip things that suck apart, and that most reviews on websites are at best, biased, and at worst, as fake as my old "Cartier" watch, which was purchased on the street in a foreign land (it looked a bit like this one but the gold wore off after a while), I thought I'd start doing a real review site. What will I review? I don't know yet. If you have any suggestions, hit me up in the comments. But don't just say 'Liverpool shirts', you know I'll get to that...