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Just Dance 3′ left flailing in mediocrity

I’ve always loved movies with the cast bursting into a coordinated dance, and when I’m driving down the highway I like to think I’m the world’s best dancer just waiting to be cast in one of these flicks.

The reality of the situation, however, is that I often struggle to clap to a beat. When I’m in Ohio Stadium watching “Script Ohio” and everyone is clapping along in perfect harmony, I’m the girl watching everybody’s hands trying to get mine to match. But, rhythmic disability aside, I was excited to try “Just Dance 3,” the latest in the “Just Dance” series for Xbox 360 Kinect.

“Just Dance 3” was my first experience using a Kinect, and I have to say the technology is pretty great. Standing in front of the sensor and watching a blue glowing version of myself sort through the game’s menu, it seemed as if I’d finally become one of James Cameron’s avatars.

The game features a wide range of music, from Katy Perry’s “California Gurls” and Cee Lo Green’s “Forget You” to Buggles’ “Video Killed the Radio Star.” I decided to start things off with an all-time favorite: “…Baby One More Time” by the lovely Britney Spears.

After managing to flail enough to make the game realize which song I wanted, I was greeted by four new glowing girls adorned in Spears’ classic plaid skirts. The girls danced along in the background, while a group of four stick figures with arrows coming from their arms directed me what to do. The only problem was the giant background girls were dancing and looked just how I imagine I do in my car, but the stick figures were sparse and giving me basic arm-waving gestures, so mostly I just stood around confused.

Somehow standing during the song wasn’t a complete bust, because I did manage to earn one of the five stars possible on the game’s grading scale. It was halfway through my second song, LMFAO’s “Party Rock Anthem,” when I realized the game wasn’t really focused on dancing and was actually training me to direct traffic.

After some basic, to-the-beat bouncing and waving my arms, directing the imaginary cars stuck in the room, I managed to fall just short of two stars and was labeled “rhythmic” by the game.

For my final song, I decided to use my newfound “rhythmic” skills and dance to “Let’s Go To The Mall” by Robin Sparkles, a song and character based in the CBS series, “How I Met Your Mother.” My combination of punching the air and attacking my surroundings like a T-Rex matched up with the Canadian pop star well enough to earn me two stars and the label “wild.”

As someone whose idea of dancing is really just seizure-like activity, I can honestly say that given enough time, I could probably average about four stars. By that I mean that if you actually have dancing skills, you would probably have a perfect score for every song in no time.

While the songs and technology make for a good time, the game’s struggle to recognize basic song-selecting motions and lack of proper dance instruction left me feeling lukewarm.

Grade: C

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