When eleven new Dance Central 3 songs were revealed, I was ready to get excited about great music to bust a move with. Instead, I was appalled by the incredibly poor selection of tunes.
Problems start with the amount of “joke” songs on the list. I call them “joke” songs, because nobody would ever dance to “Ice Ice Baby” if it wasn’t done in the name of irony. Besides Vanilla Ice, the soundtrack features “Everybody (Backstreet’s Back)” by Backstreet Boys, “Macerena” and “Y.M.C.A.” by Village People. I understand why these could be a fun addition; you’re playing the game late with friends and somebody throws on Backstreet Boys. Sure, it’s going to be fun moment. But, honestly, how many times will you dance to this music after the initial “Haha, isn’t this swell, it’s 2012 and we’re doing the Macernea” moment. Before planning a “time-travelling” rhythm game, they should have realized the 90s were an awful decade for music.
Sadly, though, the biggest problem isn’t even with the inclusion of the aforementioned “songs”. It’s with the rest of the soundtrack. The majority of inclusions are just Top 10 hits. I’m not going to argue the merit of these awful song (oops..). But, I’m personally not looking forward to the incredibly overused “Sexy and I Know It” or “Get Low.” The need to include hits are understandable, but why not reach out into the Dance community? Those who go to clubs know it’s rare for a DJ to simply spin unremixed “popular” songs. Why not include some of them? Usher and J.J. Fad have no place on the soundtrack with so many unused Avicii or Martin Solveig songs out there.
The biggest oversight is not looking deeper into the music world for songs. Pretty much anything on Sleigh Bells’ “Treats” would be a great addition. Glass Candy, Girl Talk, Cut Copy or M83 would be fantastic as well. Sure, not every player will know them, but once they hear them it will become “Oh, I’ve heard that, that’s that sick DC3 track!”.
Dance Central 3 could have been a straight-up party with the inclusion of great remixes. It could have been an opportunity to introduce great music to rhythm gamers everywhere. Instead, it’s the same regurgitated top 10 songs you’ve heard before. It’s a sad state of affairs when your average EA game is more danceable than Dance Central.