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Dance Collider – Review

VR rhythm game Dance Collider takes quite a few interesting steps to try to differentiate itself from the competition by placing you against AI controlled opponents with their own track selection. In doing so it creates a bit of a ‘dance off’ which harks back to an old favourite of mines from the PS1 days – Bust A Groove. It is a trick that oh so nearly works to make Dance Collider a great but not a completely top tier effort.

Each character has its own visual theme and apparently a special move – it just doesn’t trigger often.

In Dance Collider, there are nine characters you go up against and they loom in front of you and each character has five songs to choose from. They are vaguely themed against the character so the Asian tinged songs go to Nei, the gym pumpers are with Sonya and so on. It is a loose theming though – a lot of the music can be classified as Avicii -esque. That’s not bad thing but it is quite samey. Once you choose your song you are dropped in with your two VR paddles in front of you.

These paddles are coloured to match two trails of balls to collect. You can choose to punch them for extra points but I never saw the need to do so nor had the time! Dance Collider wastes no time in getting you busy. The two paddles can be combined to together to hit yellow balls that require both paddles to hit it. There are also sections that form trail lines of coloured balls that reminds me of the VR rhythm game Airtone and occasionally you get connected combo sections where you get a bonus score for hitting everything inside a certain phrase of the song.

In terms of VR controls, the paddles handle well enough although the actual gameplay is quite standard for the VR rhythm gamers of the world. Thankfully the charts themselves are well put together across three difficulties to test your skills. You can then post your scores onto the online leaderboards but on release, these didn’t seem to work for me personally. Initially, you’ll be working through the story mode to play through each of the games songs and then go up against a rogue AI character as a final boss. The story is paper thin and alludes to far more than is actually there.

The charts make you really stretch and bend which is great if you can. They feel intuitive and to rhythmic too.

Whilst the game is technically great and decent fun to play, I think more could have been done with these characters you do battle against. I wish they’d had their own attacks or unique mechanic for their songs for you to dodge, punch back or something. Instead they dance around infront of you shouting a few remarks. If there is a Dance Collider 2, I’d love to see this section expanded as the rest of the game is perfectly fine. Each character is meant to have special moves but if they do, I’ve barely seen any of them. A new ‘hardcore’ update is due out very shortly and maybe this will rectify the issue a bit.

VR rhythm gamers will enjoy what is here although it doesn’t add anything new or interesting to the genre. So long as you know that going in, you won’t be disappointed and you’ll be kept on your toes. The beats are fast, the charts make sense and you’ll find yourself moving to the rhythm with ease. The 45 track selection is great given the price point too. This can be a great entry point to VR rhythm before you tackle something more complicated later.

Dance Collider
Final Thoughts
A very playable VR rhythm action game that tries to differentiate itself with some character and charm to make up for the relatively simple gameplay.
Easy to pick up and play.
45 tracks and whilst they are 'unknowns', many of them are really good.
I do like the character battle concept a lot...
... but it needed beefing out a bit. They are meant to have signature moves but they don't effect the gameplay much.
Experienced VR rhythm gamers may not find an awful lot here that is new.
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