The Best Exercise Games for the Xbox Kinect

Review of Country Dance All Stars for Kinect

Posted by steve on June - 25 - 2012 with 0 Comment

Country Dance All Stars

Dance Central for Country Music

Country Dance All Stars doesn’t really try to hide what it is, which is Dance Central with country music. If you’re a country music fan, you’ll definitely love the music and you’ll most likely love the moves which are drawn more from the country music world than the pop or hip-hop world as previous games (even with country music) have been.

Rating by steve: 4.0 stars

country dance all stars for kinectCountry Dance All Stars was released back in March for the Kinect. It’s a very easy game to describe: it’s Dance Central using country music. Most country music aficionados will take one look at the Country Dance All Stars track list and be impressed:

  • All About Tonight – Blake Shelton (2)
  • Barefoot Blue Jean Night – Jake Owen (2)
  • Beer on the Table – Josh Thompson (3)
  • Best Song Ever – Katie Armiger (3)
  • Better Life – Keith Urban (3)
  • Boot Scootin’ Boogie – Brooks & Dunn (2)
  • Carried Away -Chad Brownlee (2)
  • Chicken Fried – Zac Brown Band (1)
  • Country Girl – Luke Bryan (2)
  • Cowboy Casanova – Carrie Underwood (3)
  • Dirt Rich – Chris Heers (2)
  • Felt Good on My Lips – Tim McGraw (1)
  • Georgia Clay – Josh Kelley (1)
  • Giddy On Up – Laura Bell Bundy (2)
  • Good Time – Alan Jackson (2)
  • Good Time Bone – Hayley McLean (1)
  • Hell on the Heart – Eric Church (3)
  • Hoedown Throwdown – Miley Cyrus (3)
  • Honkey Tonk Badonkadonk – Trace Adkins (1)
  • Life Is a Highway – Rascal Flatts (2)
  • Little White Church – Little Big Town (3)
  • Lookin’ For a Good Time – Lady Antebellum (2)
  • Look It Up – Ashton Shepherd (2)
  • People Are Crazy – Billy Currington (3)
  • Ring of Fire – Johnny Cash (2)
  • Roll With It – Easton Corbin (1)
  • Shake That Thing – Gwyneth Paltrow (2)
  • Stuck Like Glue – Sugarland (2)
  • Take You Down – The Last Ride (2)
  • Tough – Kellie Pickler (2)
  • Water – Brad Paisley (2)
  • What Was I Thinking – Dierks Bentley (3)
  • White Liar – Miranda Lambert (1)
  • Why Don’t We Just Dance – Josh Turner (1)
The numbers in parentheses represent the difficulty of the dancing. And in this case, 3 means really, really difficult. I mean difficult to the point where I’m tripping over myself.
Overall the moves are quite authentic. Unlike previous dance games that used country music, these aren’t just generic dance moves set to country music, but choreography that is pretty intricate and seems inspired by country line dancing.

As with most games of this ilk, you can just load up the game and start dancing right away or you can select different competitive modes to compete against friends over a number of rounds. There are four of them: Normal (where you compete against each other using normal rules), Perfection (where only GREAT moves get points), and Freeze (sort of a “red light green light” type game where you need to stop when the music does).

There’s also a Rehearsal mode which inexplicably is only available for certain songs, and not the toughest ones at that. Here’s me attempting to rehease “Good Time Bone”:

Right away you may notice two things. First, the system is not very good at figuring out whether you did a move right or not (not that I gave it much of a chance to). Second, the moves can be very fast and intricate. In that sense it seems more like Dance Central than Just Dance, in that it’s more geared toward someone who really wants to learn and perfect the moves vs. someone who just wants to dance for fun.

Here’s me in action (or a semblance of it) in Trace Adkins’ “Honkey Tonk Badonkadonk”:

One thing you may have noticed is that the figures in the songs are less annoying than Dance Central’s characters and seem, to put it delicately, quite endowed by their creators with certain inalienable characteristics. It took me a while to find a guy dancer, which of course I found for Blake Shelton’s “All About Tonight”.

Fans of Hannah Montana and Miley Cyrus will be happy to know that an authentic version of “Howdown Throwdown” exists in the game. This is one where I could have (obviously) benefited from “rehearsal mode” but for some reason it wasn’t available.

The verdict? I’ll be honest, it doesn’t really add anything to the genre in terms of functionality, and even the motion control is a bit spotty at times. It doesn’t even have features such as “exercise mode” and duets as its counterpart on the Wii has. Still, if you’re a fan of country music and country music dancing, for now this is the only game in town. I’d give it a solid 4 of 5, but I really hope that the dancing game genre evolves to where publishers are less trying to copy the formulas of the one or two games that hit it big, and more introducing new and innovative concepts.