Every crew is made up of two people, and for good reason. All three of DC2’s modes - Crew Challenge, Dance, and Fitness (which enables calorie counting throughout the game and also offers a batch of timed playlists) – support 2-player local co-op. Both players stand side-to-side, so you’ll need a fair amount of space to avoid bumping into each other. The two players’ combined performance determines their shared star rating at the end of the song. Co-op dances work the same way as single-player; there aren’t any special co-op routines. But it’s so much more fun to get up and moving with another person. Co-op makes Dance Central 2 the party game it always deserved to be. Another plus: unlike Just Dance 3, both players here can earn Achievements!
As wonderful as cooperative dancing is, a little competition never hurt things either. DC2’s revised Dance Battles really hit the mark. After you and your partner choose a song (no AI Dance Battles here), it’s time to outdo one another. In addition to simultaneously dancing as normal, each person gets a few solo turns under the spotlight. I like those moments but the new Free-4-All bits are even better. They add improv to an otherwise rigid set of routines. Four dance cards pop up in the center of the screen for both players to perform as they see fit. Too bad Free-4-Alls don’t appear in co-op too, as they would still work even without the competitive element.
One area where Dance Central clearly excelled over other Kinect launch titles was its slick menu system. Like the first game, DC2 has some of the slickest motion-controlled menus around. No highlighting options and waiting an eternity for them to activate here! Instead, you move the cursor up and down with your right hand and then slide it left to select things. The left hand conveniently controls backing up between menus in similar fashion. You can also use a controller to navigate menus, an option I wish all Kinect games supported.
New to DC2 are voice commands. You could potentially rely on voice commands for the entire menu system, though they’re best suited to Break it Down mode, where players are least likely to be holding a controller. Unfortunately, the voice commands just didn’t work consistently for me. I often had to repeat myself twice or more in order to make selections, which is miles away from ideal. I don’t have similar problems using voice with the Xbox dashboard or Netflix, so DC2 seems to be at fault. It will be interesting to see whether other gamers run into the same issues.
Dance Central 2 is a must-buy for Kinect owners who like to entertain. With 45 songs on-disc, the ability to export the first game’s 32 tracks for just five bucks, and plenty of downloadable songs to purchase on top of that, DC2 has ample staying power. Even if you’re still satisfied with the first game’s selection of songs, the addition of co-op makes this sequel a necessary purchase. Why should you and your partner take turns when you can bring it on together?
The Co-Op Experience: Dance Central 2 now offers full two player tracking where you can team up on scoring to complete songs. Each person can play on their own difficulty and have their own routine.
Co-Optimus game reviews focus on the cooperative experience of a game, our final score graphic represents this experience along with an average score for the game overall. For an explanation of our scores please check our Review Score Explanation Guide.