Platform: Xbox 360 Publisher: Harmonix Developer: Harmonix PEGI Rating: 12+ Players Offline: 1 - 8 Genre(s): Music (Dance)
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On our list of "Things rhythm action games always need", celebrity endorsements come pretty close to the bottom. Just look at how well Guitar Hero went after relying on celebrity cameos with each passing instalment. We got as low as Guitar Hero: Van Halen before they mercifully pulled the plug. It was rumoured Motley Crue were next.
So imagine our horror when, during Microsoft's E3 conference, this happened.
That'll replace the whale in my nightmares.
No, your eyes aren't deceiving you. That's Usher performing in the middle of a conference about video games. You might be able to catch a glimpse of the game he's promoting behind all his silly pyrotechnics, but if you can't, it's Dance Central 3, The latest instalment in Harmonix's Kinect-powered groove simulator, which this year will once again be going to war with Just Dance 4 for your hard earned boogie.
The reason (allegedly) that Usher's out there strutting his stuff is that he's got two songs featured in the game (OMG (no, that's the name of the song, not us getting excited) and Scream, his latest single and the track he performed at E3), both of which he's helped choreograph the routine for in the game, so once Dance Central 3 comes out, you can recreate his fabulous performance in the comfort of your own home. Complete with slightly-out-of-tune singing.
Luckily there's also lots of tracks from the 70s and 80s on the disc for those of us who are less than Usher's biggest fans, hence the fantastic collars and flamboyant flares.
Moving swiftly on from Usher's performance, Harmonix have also announced a number of the other songs that'll be featured in the game, ranging from so good, you'll have to fight the urge to get up and dance when someone else is playing (I Will Survive, which conjures up memories of the Dancing Stage arcade machines) to the not-quite-so-good (those two Usher tracks), and the hell on Earth (In Da Club, by Fifty Pence). We'll let you be the judge, here's what they've announced so far:
50 Cent – “In Da Club”
Cali Swag District – “Teach Me How to Dougie”
Cobra Starship ft. Sabi – “You Make Me Feel…”
E.U. – “Da’ Butt”
Edward Maya & Vika Jigulina – “Stereo Love”
Gloria Gaynor – “I Will Survive”
Marcia Griffiths – “Electric Boogie”
Usher ft. Will.I.Am – “OMG”
Usher – “Scream”
Van McCoy – “The Hustle”
We're not too sold on the list as it stands, as none of them are really that memorable and there's only a few that have decent dance routines that go with them. But with a setlist spanning the past four decades, there shouldn't be any shortage of fantastic dances to include. We're hoping Harmonix are saving the big guns until later, and the rest of the track list makes up for the initial Usher-enhanced disappointment. With the first tracks for Just Dance 4 having already been announced, showing a wealth of family favourites that everyone knows (and no 50 Cent, so far) Dance Central certainly has its work cut out for it. With any luck there'll be a few more European focused tracks in there this time, as we're dying for the chance to learn this fancy footwork:
Stick that in and we're there day one, Harmonix. Do it for us.
We should be finding out a lot more about Dance Central 3 over the coming months, so be sure to check back for more info!