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Dance Central Spotlight Review

"True Next Gen Dancing"


I've always enjoyed the Dance Central series, originally getting the demo as a bit of a joke to try it out. Since then I have owned each entry into the series and I was heavily awaiting a next generation release. So at this point already we're finally given a new Dance Central that is built in a way I have desired for both it and Rock Band to be. That's in giving us a base game with some songs to get a feeling of the game and allowing us to develop the library with songs that we want through DLC.

The base of Spotlight comes with ten songs that I say give a good understanding of how everything is played and allow you to buy additional songs based off of preference and even there we have a massive selection to choose from. The entirety of the game has also focused on just a quickplay mechanic of learning songs in order to progress to higher tiers and I do like this better than a real campaign of the sense. Initially I was a bit taken back having to start from the lowest difficulty, but I quickly learned why as the higher difficulties are very demanding this time around and the base skills are important to get down.

When playing you also collect moves by gaining perfections on them in order to unlock higher tiers of the song and alternative modes. The alternative modes focus on more fitness from cardio to strength routines. It's great that time was spent creating differing modes for what people want and I'll go into further details on the Fitness below. Songs this time around have evolved further from the previous entries and are quite in-depth in terms of moves. The moves are much more complicated and far greater in number so it'll take awhile for people to memorize the songs. There also seems to be more movement involved having you move side to side across the Kinect's view. This may tire you out more, but if really creates a new higher pace to the dancing.
Dance Central Spotlight Screenshot

Fitness Mode

The fitness mode was always something I just ran over my regular free play just to get an idea of calories and such that I was burning. This has changed into its own place allowing you to pick time sessions and what sort of focus you want for your dance workout. The routines will change up what moves you're doing and create a strength of cardio dance for you to play. This is a great mix up as I'm sure there are many that would like a good workout that's more friendly and fun. On that regard this mode is perfect for those individuals and they'll definitely enjoy it.


For those new to Dance Central the goal of the game is to mirror the dancer on the screen. In addition you get flashcards to pop up in advance to give an idea of how the move will look. This has only improved with the new Kinect and it felt much better at reading myself and room around me. Moves are also much more complicated as stated above, with this being a wider range of moves for you to perform.

Collect these moves with perfection to unlock the extra routines as well. The worlds also look great and have crazy colorful themes that pop up with streaks or better performance. Even the characters seem to have great smaller touches like smiles or smirks to make it feel more lively. Will also note that performances can be played cooperatively in local play which works quite well. This is a simple jump in process and really not too difficult to get set up!
Dance Central Spotlight Moves

The Conclusion

Spotlight is the definite design for the future of Dance Central and hopefully we get a Rock Band someday that follows suite. It's all about the dancing and the focus is further towards offering a custom library for you to play. As quite honestly I didn't like a bunch of songs in previous games and I'd like to pick where that money is going specifically.

There is also a promise toward past song upgrades for those that paid would get free, so I'm interested to the depth of how that will work. That being will full games eventually come back if you paid to upgrade or just DLC songs as stated for the time being. Anyways after it all this is the best Kinect game on Xbox and only will evolve over time as I hope it has a long DLC lifeline. So be prepared to dance to the hottest tracks and get involved in the gameplay as you build your own selection of songs.

Dance Central Spotlight Box Art
Dance Central Spotlight Review on Xbox One
Review Code provided by Harmonix

Rating Overall: 9.2

Gamerheadquarters Reviewer Jason Stettner