Dance Factory

Dancing on our own - just like every Friday night...

The things we do. We're trying to make our two left feet perform something approaching acceptable dance steps and waving our arms around at hand icons - and we're forced to see ourselves doing it (thanks EyeToy) as the Grease Megamix blares from our speakers. It's like watching ourselves back on video after a night at Yates Wine Lodge.

But humiliation aside, DanceFactory offers something other dance games don't - you can put almost any CD into your PS2 and it will come up with a sequence of dance commands. If you're not happy with its interpretation, you can record and save your own funky moves. There are tracks built-in, of course, including the Pussycat Dolls Don't Cha (which seems to be in every game recently) and Kool and the Gang'sGet Down On It - but you'd be daft to buy this and not use your own CDs to play, wouldn't you?


The dance generation system works very well, taking about 15 seconds to create a solid sequence from a three-minute song. You can even play a basic block-rotating minigame while it creates the sequence, which is welcome but seems to slow loading down.

Naturally, tunes with recognisable, measured beats work best. Load up Lady Marmalade and you wouldn't know the result was improvised. But it doesn't only work with pop - Marilyn Manson's mOBSCENE works particularly well, for instance, although the game does have a tendency to place commands on the second beat of the bar on almost every song, which gives every number a bit of a stompy feel. If you're up to it, you can tackle endurance mode and dance through an entire CD, though you might want to avoid trying this with, say, Radiohead's OK Computer.

With the optional EyeToy support, 29 background swirls and flashes to unlock, a Calorie Counting mode - want to work off those 27 Toblerones you had for breakfast? Then dance, fatty, dance! - and 16-player tournaments, there isn't much more that could have been done, and pop-loving kids will probably think it's the best game ever. However, the presentation feels cheap compared to the Dancing Stage games, hard mode is ridiculously difficult at times and it's just nowhere near as fun as GuitarHero. So get that instead.

The verdict

Dancing to any CD will keep players happy for ages. Solid fun, but lacking a bit of disco ball sparkle.

PlayStation 2
Rhythm Action