Review: Dance! It’s Your Stage (XBLA)

Review: Dance! It’s Your Stage (XBLA)

Recently, Sproing Interactive and dtp entertainment released Dance! It’s Your Stage for Xbox Live Arcade. Having already released the game for PC and Nintendo Wii, I was curious as to how it would play on the 360.

Even though the Wii version utilizes the Balance Board one would get from purchasing Wii Fit, I thought I’d be fine using my 360 controller since we don’t own a dance pad for the 360. Looking back. I think I might’ve had a more favorable experience if I owned one.

With Dance! It’s Your Stage, it’s pretty similar to every other dance game out there currently. The main difference is that this one has some story, a proper training option, and feels more like an actual video game than something you’d play in an arcade.

You start of with Detlef D! Soost, famed German dancer and choreographer, having you go and perform. One thing that instantly caught my eye were the graphics. I’m a huge fan of Borderlands, the popular FPS by Gearbox Software and 2K Games, and the art style with how everything is so awesomely cel-shaded. Dance! It’s Your Stage has almost the same look, but not has harsh and post-apocalyptic like in Borderlands.

The dancers looked real, and they even moved in a way you’d think a proper dancer would. It was difficult watching my girl dance her routine, since I was keeping an eye on the left-hand side of the screen, but for an XBLA game, I was rather impressed.

The controls are very simple. Both analog sticks are utilized, and when each arrow comes down on the left, you know which stick to move, and in which direction you need to move it in. Having even the slightest bit of musicality i very important as it helps you know when to move the sticks. Move it too soon and you’ll mess up, and if you move it too late, you won’t get as many points.

Obviously since I’m a fan of dance games, liking the music you are jamming to is pretty important, and in Dance! It’s Your Stage, I was shocked at how catchy some of the tunes were. The first song you dance to, Angel, was really good. So good that I found myself wanting to replay that song over and over again. One major downside to that was, when looking at the song in the menu, there was nothing there to tell me who it was made by. I actually had to do a semi-lengthy search on Google to find that, the entire album is available through iTunes, so at least there is that.

In order to progress through the game, you have to get a minimum rating of Bronze, with Gold being the highest. I can’t even tell you how many times I had to play through a level, just to barely get by, and I’m fan-freaking-tastic at dance/rhythm games. The reason is this: you have to basically get every single move perfectly. There is no room for error. Getting a “good” or “great” just won’t do. That is one aspect of the game I loathed, and it will be a major deterrent for many gamers out there. I could go through an entire song, not miss one move, have my multiplyer to the max the whole time, and still not earn enough points for a Bronze ranking. It was definitely a “I’m about to throw my controller” moment. It also resulted in me taking ages to get to the end of the game.

With the 20 different songs come 20 different routines, and a total of 8 stages, the game has a lot to offer. There is even multiplayer where you can have up to 4 players to participate in party or competition modes. It’s a real shame that the accuracy and the scoring system for Dance! It’s Your Stage is like that because it has all of the potential to be a really fun game. I think for people that are interested in it, go and download the free trial and see what you think. If you feel that you can handle the controls, it’s only 800 Microsoft Points, and is a game that’s suitable for all ages.

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