All the rhythm without the blues

Well I’ll be a monkey’s uncle (I am beardy enough to pass as one), the rhythm game genre that has been steadily declining in popularity over the last couple of years has had a been thrown a glitter-covered lifeline thanks to a couple of softies; Microsoft and Ubisoft (geddit? Softies?…ahem…) My previous article spoke of the big M’s success in November’s NPDs and after further analysis (via Gamespot) the monthly sales figures showed Dance Central to be the best selling Kinect game of the month. Topping that was Ubisoft’s Just Dance 2 on the Wii which boasted a third place ranking right after Call of Duty: Black Ops and Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood. Come to think of it, the first Just Dance enjoyed a lengthy period in the UK’s top 10 but it was the this year’s newbies that boosted the rhythm game genre with a 38% sales growth over November 2009. Two games in 2010 have bettered the efforts of at least four last year when rhythmic gamers had the likes of Guitar Hero 5, Rock Band 2, Band Hero and DJ Hero to choose from.

One big difference between 2010’s success and 2009’s troubles is the lack of plastic instruments. It seems that being more or less hands free has given the drooping genre a fresh perspective. Add that to the fact you don’t really have to be that good at dancing in order to enjoy the games whereas ones based around plastic peripherals mock your failings by plinking and screeching at you for every missed note.

So just when poor sales where driving a few more nails into the rhythm game coffin, two energetic titles come along and shake things up by the power of dance. Who knew?

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