Ever since Dance Dance Revolution put dance games on the map, there has always been an appeal. But while that market has stagnated, the genre has been opened up to a new wave of innovation thanks to the advent of motion controls. No longer are you restricted to just moving your feet fast in order to get top scores - this new wave of games allowed you to use your hands to influence proceedings. Sony London Studio attempted to infiltrate this market last year with a cross-over title in SingStar Dance, but this year they're taking a real bite at the cherry with a fully focussed dance title called DanceStar Party.
As has become the norm in this now rather saturated genre, players will only need to make use of a single PlayStation Move controller in order to enjoy everything DanceStar Party has to offer. This will essentially act as your guide and although it only allows for the tracking of one arm, you'll find this won't hinder the experience at all.
What makes this type of game work, is that everything is very visual. Not only is there a professional dancer on the screen showing you exactly what you need to do, there's also a much simpler individual that shows you the basic movements you'll need to perform to get somewhat close to the finished product.
Even though you'll find that at the start, you're nowhere near as good as the professional who's strutting their stuff in the middle of the screen, there's still a lot of fun to be had. Each time you play a particular song, you'll start to memorise the patterns, which allows you to work a bit more on your technique - something that's great for playing with a friend or alone.
You will also find that altering the difficulty of each song changes the experience quite a bit. Some other dance games don't even have this option, so it's nice that the developers have taken a bit of extra time to accommodate for different skill levels on individual songs. Each specific song will have set dances that vary in difficulty, so if you switch between say Beginner and Intermediate, you will get a different routine on the same song. It'll add more moves that test your dancing abilities and there's also Professional difficulty for those who want to square off against the professional dancers on display. And if that wasn't enough to aid your progression, DanceStar Party also includes a Dance Class tutorial mode, so you can go back to basics or just touch up a few different moves.
In terms of the basic dancing experience and how scores are tallied, DanceStar Party doesn't stray too far from the norm, but it's the social aspects that help to differentiate the package.
Firstly, the game's party mode shows that it's not just in the title for the sake of it. It allows up to twenty different people to get into the experience by pitting you against other players and acting like a basic tournament. The drawback is that only two players can take place at a time, but it's still nice functionality to have as part of the default package.
There's also the Dance Creator, which allows you to record your own routines using the PlayStation Eye camera. These can then be saved for your own viewing pleasure, or uploaded online so other people can try to mimic the routine or compare themselves. It's this social aspect that helps to take DanceStar Party up a notch and it's good to see that the developers are using their SingStar routes to make this social game even more social.
The icing on the cake for some may well be the Dance Workout mode, which monitors your calorie burning over time, but the game does also feature some rather slick HD visuals and some solid choreography to more than keep budding dancers occupied. The tracklist also deserves a mention for its diversity as artists such as Basement Jaxx and Rihanna feature along with some rather topic genres such as dubstep.
It's also worth noting that since this game is by the developers of SingStar, if you want to sing along while dancing, the game will also track that.
DanceStar Party is a game that shows SCE London Studio still have plenty to offer the social gaming scene. It does all of the basic elements the right way, while also offering some nice touches with the difficulty settings and party modes. The extra social modes also help to make sure PlayStation Move gamers won't be disappointed by picking up this exclusive dance experience.
|Different difficulty modes offer different choreography.|
|Party mode is a hoot if you can find enough people.|
|Does little to innovate much on the basic mechanics expected for the genre.|
|Only two players can take part at the same time.|
|It's still possible to just|