Dance Paradise Review
Microsoft’s motion sensor hardware Kinect has only been out for a few months yet there are already a large number of titles available that make use of it. With many dance titles on the market, each with their own uniqueness, can Dance Paradise get us grooving to a whole new beat?
Unlike any of the other dance games available, the first thing you will notice when you boot up Dance Paradise is it makes use of your avatar. This is actually a pretty good idea considering the thing you are going to spend half your time looking at is your avatar and it’s nice to be able to dress him or her up in whatever you like. Once you have your avatar all dressed up for a boogie, the best step to take is to head on over to the single player where you have two options. You can either build a playlist of your own out of the forty track set list or you can head on over to the Story Mode which has pre-made playlists, where each song has a certain challenge that you must complete. Upon completing each playlist you are rewarded with some funky avatar awards which is always a good thing!
The dancing in this game is far simpler than that of Dance Central and you are not required to learn any of the dance moves before a song begins. Instead there are four lanes on the screen and a silhouette that will start moving from the top of the lane to the bottom, showing you the dance move you must perform once it reaches the bottom of the lane. The silhouette will move from lane-to-lane to raise the difficulty a bit and you simply sidestep to move in to the correct lane. The lane you’re currently in will be highlighted on screen so you it’s not too hard for beginners to pick up this aspect of the game. The dances aren’t that hard to mimic and for the most part, as long as your arms, legs, hands and feet are in the right place, doing some form of movement you will get some points for performing, but to get the most points you do need to accurately copy the dance move. This means people can jump in and have a laugh without having to spend long periods of time learning what to do and makes the game a great party piece.
Apart from the different lanes and dancing silhouettes, there is also a vitality bar on screen which fills up a little bit every time you perform a dance move correctly. Getting combos will increase the bar quicker but if you start missing dance moves the bar will decrease and if the bar becomes completely empty the song will end and you will fail. However, if you manage to fill the bar to the top you will gain star power which, with a simple jump in the air, will activate a multiplier and allow you to gain a bigger score.
Dance Paradise also features a nice multiplayer mode that has three different game types to choose from: Versus, Attack and Synchro. Versus is your typical one dancer vs. the other and whoever gains the highest score at the end wins. Attack mode is the same as Versus except when you fill your vitality bar you can launch an attack at your enemy in the same way you would activate your star power. One of my favourite attacks was to freeze the player in place which stopped them from performing any more dance moves until it expired. The last mode is Synchro which has both you and a friend working together to try and achieve the highest score possible, which I guess is nice if you get bored of the competitive modes. The great thing about the multiplayer mode is that you can take on your friends or random opponents online
The graphics are nothing to write home about but they are very colourful and having your avatar grooving away to the dance videos that are displayed on a screen in the background is a nice touch. The menu system is quite easy to navigate with you moving your hand over whatever you would like to select and waiting for it to fill up with star dust, which it does quite quickly and is a lot smoother than some of the other games available for Kinect. As previously stated there are forty tracks in Dance Paradise ranging from artists such as Lady Gaga and 50 cent to Kool & the Gang and Frankie Goes to Hollywood, so there is something for everyone. Also, when you aren’t dancing you can head on over to the ‘Video Box’ and watch any of the music videos for all forty of the songs featured in Dance Paradise.
Dance Paradise is a good dancing game for those of you who spend a lot of time playing party games with your friends and are looking for something to just jump in to and have some fun. However, I spent most of my time playing the game on my own and still had a good laugh so if you are looking for a easy to play hard to master dance title, Dance Paradise fills that slot nicely and is well worth the money.