Dance Central makes a terrific party game, and Harmonix has finally created what could be the perfect party mode in Dance Central 3. But one of the things that will enhance the party mode is Microsoft's free SmartGlass app that links your mobile device to your Xbox 360 to enhance your gaming experience in new ways.
When I tried out the SmartGlass app for Dance Central 3, it was on a large Android tablet, but it will work on any mobile device, even your phone, as you can see from the screenshots in this gallry. Using SmartGlass, you can browse your Dance Central 3 playlist and move songs around in the queue. So instead of getting up for your turn at the game and stopping the party dead while you scroll through the menu looking for the song you feel like dancing to, players can browse the tracks with SmartGlass and move their song so it's next in the playlist. Then when their song comes up in the rotation, they can just jump right in and dance!
The party mode also cycles through songs randomly so when something fun comes on you can just jump in and dance, but using the SmartGlass app, you can modify that party playlist to remove songs you don't want, like perhaps "Macarena." Or maybe that's your favorite. No judgments here. You're the DJ at this dance party, so pick what you want to include!
You can also use the SmartGlass app to browse the music store and create a shopping cart of DLC songs you want to download and buy. You can't buy directly from the app (probably a good thing if you break it out at a party where drunk people could go wild downloading songs they want to dance to), but you can buy the items in your shopping cart the next time your 360 is free.
The app will also track your fitness progress, as will the Facebook app, which will tie into the game in the way that the Rock Band one does. You'll be able to check your scores, compare them to friends and challenge them to score battles. On the plus side, you can now also challenge directly from the game itself, which kind of cuts out the middleman. (You can also now upload photos directly from the game to Facebook without having to upload them to Kinect Share first!)
The SmartGlass app will definitely enhance your Dance Central 3 experience, especially in a party situation, but it isn't necessary, really. Although as a free app, why wouldn't you try it out at least? I thought it was pretty cool. The only problem is that while Dance Central 3 hits stores tomorrow, October 16, Microsoft still hasn't announced a firm release date for SmartGlass. But it's cool that Harmonix was able to implement the SmartGlass technology into the game (DC3 is the first to do so), so it'll be ready for whenever Microsoft gets their act together!