Konami of Europe's ever popular Dancing Stage Unleashed series enters its third incarnation in March 2006 for Xbox, and brings a number of key gameplay additions to the party.
Dancing Stage Unleashed 3 retains the familiar 'move to the beat' gameplay of the million-selling series, with players using an arrowed dance mat to match a series of icons as they move up-screen. Played to a soundtrack of pop classics, the action gets ever more frenetic as the pace is upped, while the Xbox version can also facilitate multi-players competing via the system's Xbox Live online service.
The new game features 20 new, licensed tracks and accompanying videos, with a further 30 Konami-exclusive tracks creating a varied track-list devised to push the player to their limits. As has become a staple of the series, both modern and classic pop tracks have been included, with Bodyrockers' 'I Like the Way You Move', Basement Jaxx's 'Oh My Gosh' and 'Wake Me Up' from Girls Aloud mixing with the likes of 'House of Fun' by Madness and FatBoy Slim's 'Rockafella Skank." The tracks are also accompanied by on-screen dancers who give a secondary indication of the player's prowess – while a biting CPU scorer will rate them as anything from 'Poor' to 'Excellent', depending on their timing.
Dancing Stage Unleashed 3 also adds fresh ideas to the mix in the form of 'Freestyle', 'Quest' and 'Jukebox' modes. In 'Freestyle Mode', the game does away with the familiar arrows and allows players to perform whatever steps they wish. It then rates the performance, with matching specific beats and originality of movement key factors in its final score.
'Quest Mode' is more epic in its outlook. Via a map screen, the user is invited to dance across 60 US cities and build a reputation as the ultimate Dancing Stage dancer. As recognition of the player's skills grows, so crowds will arrive to watch you perform, and more challengers will arrive to try and take your crown. Finally, the 'Jukebox' mode has been devised for kicking back after a heavy Dancing Stage Unleashed 3 session. It allows users to listen to tracks, organise them into play-lists and simply enjoy the videos.
Coupled with online play for Live-enabled fans, the customary Calorie Counter for use as part of a keep fit routine, and incredibly tough CPU-controlled adversaries, Dancing Stage Unleashed 3 is a welcome addition to the hugely popular series.
Dancing Stage Unleashed 3 will be released for Xbox in March, 2006.