Harmonix' network of Rock Band and Dance Central websites went down over the weekend to investigate an intrusion into their network. No evidence of any compromised user account details have yet been found, but at the time of writing, the sites are still closed and passwords have been suspended.Click here to read more...
This week, Microsoft have succumbed to a chronic case of dance fever. Several Dance Central DLC packs are now on sale, providing casual Kinect users with more opportunities to boogie on down.
The best value is probably afforded by the Marathon Pack, but it's still a huge outlay. I'd urge you to go ahead and check out the individual listings for each DLC in turn. As always, read on for the links... and remember that Gold Members need to sign in.Click here to read more...
Between the cracking trailers and slew of screenshots, we've got a good old fashioned leak for you to chew on before next week's unveiling. Outed by the ever-reliable Superannuation - whose ongoing operation continues to surprise me - unearthing details of domain registrations filed by Microsoft for four specific titles; Fable The Journey; Kinect Sports Season 2; Dance Central 2; and oft-rumored Kinect Fun Labs.Hit the jump for more
I admit, I've doubted Microsoft's nebulous claims of Kinect eventually serving the hardcore once its - playing it safe - launch was out the way. Especially when their attempts at aping the Wii were triumphantly successful, I'd forgive Microsoft for at least considering abandoning us core folk and focusing on those beautiful upper middle-class families with their Ikea lounges. But according to Eurogamer, the Redmond giant is prepping at least ten all new Kinect titles for an E3 unveiling. And they're not just Kinect Sports 2.Click here for more
Rhythm game powerhouse Harmonix, they of Rock Band and Dance Central fame, have expressed that they'll have at least one bit of significant news at E3' during an interview with IndustryGamers, although they're remaining cagey on whether it will herald a new IP or announce further extensions to Harmonix's existing franchises.Click here for the full story...
It's official. Kinect has shipped ten million sensors and ten million games since its release on November 4th, just four months ago. Microsoft is so happy Aaron Greenberg is chirruping away on Twitter, while Guinness World Records etch Kinect's name in stone as the fastest-selling consumer device ever. It's an astonishing achievement, especially when you consider how safe Microsoft played it with the launch. But it worked, and as such we can expect a very Kinect heavy future from now on.What's that? You want the juicy statistics? Well come on in!
If you ever needed confirmation that our very own Matt Gardner and Jon Lester were anything but brilliant and dedicated games journalists, then look no further than the lengths they went to in bringing you groundbreaking coverage on Dance Central back in August. Now, when you've quite reattached your ribcage after much good-natured laughing, avert your eyes to the deal above. £29.86 will net you a copy of Dance Central from ShopTo. Much cheaper than real dance classes. Not to mention it's pretty damn good!
Once again, it's time for another exclusive weekly saving for Xbox Live Gold members... though it's admittedly a bit of a niche offer. Microsoft have slashed the prices of four downloadable songs for Dance Central: one of Kinect's killer apps that has publicly humiliated me several times. Over 58,000 views and counting!
As usual, click the links to hit the marketplace and view/queue up the downloads. Note that gold members will need to sign in to see the updated prices!
Let's face it: Word Up is getting bought.
Sales suggest that the music/rhythm genre has been dying a slow and painful death over the past year or so, but that didn't stop 2010 from producing some of the finest exponents of the genre yet. Activision released arguably the best Guitar Hero since GH3, Rock Band 3 broke down the wall between gaming and being that guy at the party, and Def Jam Rapstar finally proved that it was possible to do hip-hop oriented karaoke without being a wild inaccurate pile of rubbish.
And then there was the dancing. You can refresh yourselves with one of the videos after the jump. I fear they'll be burned into my memory (and YouTube) for many many years to come.
Click here to read more...
Platform: Xbox 360 (Kinect Required)
Developer: Harmonix Music Systems
Publisher: MTV Games
Dance Central is one of Kinect's biggest third-party launch titles... and a longstanding nemesis of mine. Despite publicly humiliating me during preview sessions, I couldn't help but enjoy the experience and look forward to the retail release. Harmonix has never put a foot wrong throughout their illustrious history of making excellent music games- and Dance Central reflects their pedigree in almost every aspect of its design.
Gameplay couldn't be simpler. After choosing a song and character, players simply have to mirror the movements of the onscreen dancer. Each song is split up into a selection of routines, each providing a simple move or set of steps that fills up between 4-8 bars. Simple fist pumps and side steps slowly build up to jazz squares and more complex footwork. A scrolling selection of flashcards on the right hand side of the screen present a list of upcoming moves (and demonstrating the leading leg)... but you don't quite manage to mirror a routine, a red glow will surround the offending limb and help you get back on track. Since songs can't be failed outright, casual players can afford to just dance along and have a laugh.
Slick immediate calibration makes the process of signing players in and out completely redundant- and bystanders can saunter up behind the main player even during a solo song to instantly participate as a backing dancer. Gaming really doesn't get any more immediate and accessible than this, and it makes dance mats look like ancient archaeological relics by comparison.
Oh, and it's great fun. I'm an overweight veteran of Ikaruga and Serious Sam... and I can't stop playing the damn thing. Dance Central certainly isn't designed for everyone; but it's enjoyable regardless of age, gaming experience or skill. You don't actually need to know how to dance to have fun- but while you're playing, you'll feel like a consummate professional. Don't knock it until you try it.Click here to continue reading Jon's review
It's not yet Christmas, but at Dealspwn we're in the festive spirit. Woolly hats, mittens, preemptive stockings and, as you'd expect, cut-price deals. Over at Tesco Direct, if you input the code 'TDX-PLH7' at checkout, you'll see the price of Dance Central drop to just £24. Kinect was made for games like Dance Central, utilizing the sensor's impressive motion-detection to translate your flailing actions on-screen, hopefully in time with the music. It looks set to be a breakout hit for Kinect, capitalizing on the popularity of dance games and Kinect's unique selling points. I believe Jon has a review due imminently.
Love it or hate it, Kinect has finally released and has hit British shores (and stores) with a vengeance. If you're buying into Microsoft's take on motion control, you'll almost certainly want some games to go with it. Welcome, therefore, to our (hopefully) automatically-updating buyer's guide!
Why not check out our full hardware review?
Most Kinect buyers will get Kinect Adventures bundled right along with the sensor. It's a fun and forgettable minigame collection that'll be fun for a few hours and in short doses. Going to be a must for Boxing Day!
Check out our full review!
Joy Ride markets itself as the first controller-less kart racer... but you'll wish that you actually had a controller for it. It's fun, but the lack of speed control and minute inputs kill most of the fun and immersion stone dead. Shame really, because it's a lot of fun when it works- and we reckon another developer (Turn10?) will nail this concept down the line.
Awww. The kids are going to go absolutely nuts for this 0ne. You'll play, hang out and generally interact with a variety of cute cats and cubs; unlocking new props and flair with a selection of minigames. It's surprisingly capable and fun for all ages, though too shallow to hold adult interest for too long. The limited edition is bundled with a cute and cuddly toy that can be integrated into the game- perfect stocking filler material.
Kinect Sports was setting off our alarm bells every single time we played it. However, Rare have actually delivered a capable minigame collection despite accusations of lag... essentially providing a fun alternative to actually going out and playing sport. An excellent launch title, though we suspect that it will pale in comparison to subsequent Kinect games.
Click here to see what else you expect from Kinect's launch...
If you wanna shake your ass to the music from the comfort of your own home when Kinect comes out later in the year, then you'll probably want to check out Dance Central, especially as it can lead to some hilarious moments.
You can pre-order a copy of the game for £17.99 from boomerang, which'll make you a pretty good saving of almost £15 over the next best price of £32.93 coming in from The Hut.
You'll get to bust a move in various dance related locations ranging from the streets where rising stares are sometimes spotted to the polished looking club interiors where the majority of the population eagerly congregate on the dance floor to make utter fools of themselves after a drink or two.
Representing you is your on-screen avatar who looks like they've just stepped off the set of Step Up, and being that this is a Kinect title you won't have to worry about grabbing a dance mat or your controller for that matter because you'll have to mirror the actions that you're given on screen in order to get them moving, which has the added bonus of burning a few calories.
So far the list of songs to shake your tail feathers to includes 'Poker Face' by Lady Gaga, 'Funkytown' by Lipps Inc, and 'Maneater' by Nelly Furtado, to name but a few.
Dance Central looks like it could be shaping up to be a hit within the already extensive list of party games and you should definitely go take a trip over to boomerang's website whilst they're still parting with copies for £17.99.
Thanks to PhenomenalFox @ HUKD
Should you want to do a bit more research on Dance Central then why not have a look at Jon's Hands-On Preview Here.
As an overweight FPS fanatic, I really wasn't particularly excited about Dance Central. In fact, that's a bit of an understatement. I enjoy getting down from time to time thanks to a not inconsiderable amount of liquid confidence and peer pressure... but the thought of prancing about to sickly pop music filled me with both exasperation, disgust and more than a little despair. Fearing the worst, I threw caution to the wind, stepped up to the sensor and proceeded to deliver a truly horrifying mockery of Lady Gaga's Poker Face.
Imagine my surprise, therefore, when I discovered that Dance Central kicks ass.
Harmonix have absolutely nailed the basics of what makes a fun music game: intuitive core gameplay and big-name escapism. You've simply got to mirror the on-screen movement of several preppy characters (who bear a striking resemblance to Rock Band's caricature design, except replacing sweaty rockers with trendy street dancers) with the sensor detecting surprisingly subtle body movements as well as sweeping gestures. If you move a flailing limb in the wrong direction, a subtle red glow highlights the offending extremity and allows you to correct yourself quickly and effectively.Click here to find out why Dance Central is going to be absolutely MASSIVE
Matt and I spent a day getting fresh and funky with Kinect... and whilst we'll be bringing you a slew of hands-on impressions tomorrow, my editor's forcing me we feel that it's appropriate to bring you a little taster of what we got up to.
Specifically, a hilariously embarrassing video of me shaking a tail feather to Lady Gaga's Poker Face on Dance Central, with Matt on backup.
This is dedicated journalism right here. Don't hold back in the comments- it's for our own good!