So I am probably one of the few that had higher hopes for this game, but unfortunately it falls short…really short. If you didn’t know anything about this game, here’s the synopsis:
See if you have what it takes to be a Country Dance All Star in this challenge that’s guaranteed to get your boots scootin’! The smash hit country dance franchise brings 35 new routines and 35 new hits to back them up. Move just like you’re on the dance floor as Kinect tracks your movements and snaps sharable pictures of you in action. Dance solo, compete against a friend, master two-player combo routines, and sing along at any time. The soundtrack features a mix of top hits and line-dancing favorites, including Sugarland’s “Stuck Like Glue,” Alan Jackson’s “Good Time,” “Chicken Fried” from the Zac Brown Band, and many more.
Basically this is a straight up country party dance game. There is no objective to it, getting high scores don’t even matter. The only benefit I can see out of this game is there are 3 real line dance songs in it, that you could take into the real world but really that’s about it. It lacks a lot and I can’t even give a real overview of it so I’ll jump right into the review and you can view one of the line dance songs below, “Boot Scootin’ Boogie”.
At least it uses the dance central method with swiping to control the menu but it’s not very smooth, it’s like there’s something in your way when you attempt to swipe and you have to exaggerate your motion. Anyhow, the menu consists of Play Now!, Game Types, Profile Sign-In which just allows you to sign in your profile and Extras.
This is your quick play mode, choose a song and you are on way. Songs are in alphabetical order by song title and rated on a 3 bar difficulty system, with 3 bars being the most difficult. Once you a choose a song you just start going. You are rated based on how well you are doing or I should say how well it is interpreting your moves. Categories consist of Miss, OK, Good and Great! You are scored depending on what you are rated on. It does attempt to tell you what body parts it’s not reading but it’s not always accurate, why I state this is because I can go off-screen and it still registers body parts that are ok. The one of the few good things that are in here are cue cards thankfully.
It does mix up the game modes a little bit, there are 4 options to choose from – Normal, Perfection, Freeze and Rehearsal. I’ll break each one down since there’s not much to them. Normal mode is just a high score mode. Perfection mode only counts moves that are rated with Great! so your scores will obviously be lower unless you do Great! on a song on every move. Freeze mode has some static in it and you have to freeze, otherwise you lose points, this is probably the most fun out of them all to be honest. Here’s a video of how it works, picture this at a party and you may get a few laughs out of it, but mind you I haven’t practiced any of these songs so I know I’m not good
Rehearsal allows you to practice the moves but I will warn you, once you do a practice there is no way to get out of it and you have to fuss with the entire song, unless you go back to the Xbox dashboard. The universal pause gesture doesn’t pause the game or bring up the in-game menu, not sure how this was missed. Anyhow, it just lets you do an 8 measure move count and if you don’t do well it will say either, “You got it, let’s move on” or “That wasn’t very good, why don’t you try it again.” It says this every single time so it gets really annoying. What’s more annoying is the first verse and chorus of the song are the only dance moves, then it just repeats. I would recommend just playing the song in normal mode if you really want to learn the moves, that’s how annoying the rehearsal mode is.
So once you choose a mode, you are then asked how many rounds you would like. Your choices are 1, 3, 5 and 10 rounds. You can’t choose a playlist which would have been a minimum requirement in my opinion, but at least you don’t have to play the same song over and over.
Extras aren’t really extra but anyhow it consists of Buy New Songs which I doubt any DLC will ever be released for this, Enter Code, Swap Storage, Options which are your typical volume and lyrics settings and the credits.
I like most of the newer country music so at the majority of the songs are modern country and mostly about fun, not losing my dog, my house, my wife cheating on me, etc. Anyhow, one of the other positive things about the music is they are the real tracks and they are full length. Full length tracks are always a bonus to me. However, the graphics are probably equivalent to the Wii, they are pretty bad. There are only a few venues, so don’t look for any type of variety here. As you seen in my videos, the dancers shirts have like a wallpaper pattern that has no opacity to the stage, but only on their shirts and it doesn’t move with their bodies, it just looks funky altogether. The backgrounds could have used a lot of help as well. They also show the lyrics in the bottom left corner in a sort of karaoke style, however I tried just singing and you get no bonus points so I’m not sure what the point of it is. Most people who listen to country music love to sing along with it, especially with Karaoke.
Well, I’m sure you can tell from my rating and the review, this isn’t one of the better Kinect games. If you are a die-hard country fan and need something new, I’d keep waiting until this one drops really low in price. There’s not enough content to the game and the moves are very repetitive and boring, which will turn this into one of those conversations about wanting to do some line dancing and you can bust this game out. Other than that, this genre of country dance games will probably fade away and never return, last words about this one, leave the dancing genre to Harmonix.
This review is based on a retail copy of the Xbox 360 version of Country Dance All Stars
Scoring policy: What do these game review scores actually mean?