It’s becoming a yearly tradition for Harmonix to unveil a new Dance Central game at E3, and its latest installment announced last week is the best the series has seen so far. In fact, I feel confident enough to say that Dance Central 3 could be the smartest dance game you’ve ever played – no, really. Not only will it include brand new songs and choreography, but Dance Central 3 will make your Kinect sensor do things you haven’t seen a dancing game make it do before. Why should you be excited for this game? Read on and find out!

5. Time Travel

Previous Dance Central games simply included songs from different decades without going into much detail as to why they were there. In other words, the games never had much of a story behind them. Dance Central 2 introduced Crew Challenge mode that attempted to give players a light campaign mode to dance through, but Dance Central 3 will take things one step further and include a story that involves time travel. Not only will your characters look era-appropriate, but each song will give the game’s venues a slightly different look too.

Two new characters will also be making their way onto the dance floor. Lima and Rasa make up the Dance Central Intelligence Crew, and as Project Director Matt Boch told us, they are the first line of defense against dance crimes. How this will tie into the game’s story mode is still unclear, but expect there to be plenty of interesting dance-offs! Perhaps Dr. Tan has something to do with it…

4. Derivative Choreography

Dance Central 3 will teach you how to Dougie, do the Hustle, the Electric Slide, and a bunch of other dances that you can actually use in real places. The developers wanted to give players new routines that felt more fluid and won’t make you look silly if you decide to bust them out at a club or a wedding. While the game does include plenty of classic songs to dance to, Boch assures us that the game will offer a diverse and balanced soundtrack featuring plenty of modern hits. Two of the game’s songs were even choreographed by Usher and include actual routines from his video. Trust me when I say that they’re quite challenging.

3. Party Modes

When you’re having a party and a few of you have had too much to drink, Dance Central 3’s new Party mode is there to ease you into a night of dancing. You can still play the old Dance Battles, but the game’s new modes will let anyone participate by simply raising his or her hand and jumping right in. Party mode is all about having fun after all, so if you’re struggling on some routines, the new Super Easy mode will automatically adjust the difficulty to make sure you don’t humiliate yourself too much – not that you’ll remember what you were doing anyway.

When you’re a bit more sobered up, Dance Central 3’s Crew Throwdown mode will let you and up to seven friends compete in new and impressive dance mini-games. After both teams get their pictures taken, players will play through one-on-one Dance Battles, Keep the Beat and Make Your Move minigames. The game’s Dance Battles feel the same as before, but they now include multipliers and reward players who battle it out for the same move.

2. Improved technology

Boch describes Keep the Beat as a “recontextualization” of the original’s Freestyle mode. You won’t have any on-screen moves to follow, and instead will need to perform your own dance moves to the beat of the song that’s playing. Losing tempo will make you lose your multiplier, and mixing up your routine gives you more points. This game is part of Crew Throwdown mode, so you’ll want to do your best to beat your opponent’s score.

Make Your Move is like a dancing game of Horse and will have you creating your own choreography on the fly. After you create your move, your opponent will need to perform it. Now, this mode is only available in multiplayer mode and won’t actually let you save your own choreography for all the game’s songs. As Boch told us, fans have come to respect the premade routines that come with each song, and Make Your Move is supposed to be a lighthearted experience. Plus, as he puts it, “what happens in Crew Throwdown mode stays in Crew Throwdown mode.”

These two new mini-games really impressed me with their simplicity and their use of the Kinect sensor. The Kinect is actually detecting your moves and creating instant choreography in a matter of seconds. What other game lets you do this? As impressive as that sounds, the game will also implement Smart Glass technology so you can create your own playlists and see them on your tablet before they show up in the game. More specifics as well as information about the game’s online features will be revealed this summer.

1. High-Five to Play

You don’t need to swipe your arms or press any buttons to start playing any of the game’s multiplayer modes. All you need to do is high five your opponent to play. You would think more games would implement this simple technique by now. Fist bumping is allowed too, of course!

Dance Central 3 and its plethora of new content and modes will be released this holiday season.

About The Author

Giancarlo Saldana is Blast's Gaming Editor. Follow him on Twitter @giansaldana to read his daily musings about the world of video games.

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