A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Dance Central 3 is a dance simulation game that teaches players authentic dance moves and then evaluates their performance. It encourages social interactivity in group play modes and facilitates plenty of healthy activity (players will be sweating after just a couple of songs). Parents should be aware, though, that an undercurrent of sexuality permeates many of the dance moves and can be heard through song lyrics. Tracks like Niki Minaj's profanity-laden "Starships" have been edited to remove the most offensive bits, but the music's focus on sex is still plainly evident.
What's it about?
DANCE CENTRAL 3's story mode -- a first for the acclaimed series -- has kids taking on an evil dance genius on a journey through time. The tale starts back in the 1970s then moves through the '80s, '90s, and '00s all the way up to modern music. Kids play simply by mirroring dancers, checking diagrammatical instructions scrolling along the side of the screen for cues as to what they need to do next. Friends can jump in at any time by stepping in front of the camera, and a new \"crew throwdown\" mode allows up to eight players to challenge each other in dance tournaments. Long-time Dance Central fans can import music from previous games, and the series' popular fitness mode returns for players who want the game to double as a regimented workout.
Is it any good?
Dance Central 3 follows in the footsteps of its predecessors in taking the title of most advanced dance game. Unlike its competitors, which are made for multiple platforms with varying interfaces, Harmonix's game is built from the ground up to make the most of Kinect. That means it's tuned to track every part of your body, and can tell with surprising accuracy whether or not your feet, belly, arms, and head are all in the right spot at any given moment. It can make for a more challenging experience, but you'll be a better dancer for it.
This latest iteration moves the series forward in several meaningful ways, from a story mode that helps flesh out the game's catalog of songs by era to multiplayer modes that let different players seamlessly jump in and out of the game with hardly a break in the music. It's a deep enough experience to recommend an Xbox 360 and Kinect to anyone who loves dance, even if they only use Microsoft's hardware for this one game.
Talk to your kids about ...
- Platforms: Xbox 360
- Subjects: Arts: dance, movement, rhythm
- Skills: Collaboration: cooperation, teamwork
Health & Fitness: exercise, fitness, movement
- Price: $49.99
- Available online? Not available online
- Developer: Microsoft Studios
- Release date: October 16, 2012
- Genre: Music and Dance
- Topics: Music and sing-along
- ESRB rating: T for Lyrics, Mild Suggestive Themes
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.