Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Michael Jackson's videogame is definitely not a thriller

Michael Jackson was the greatest entertainer who ever lived, and he made some of the best pop music ever made, but Ubisoft has not done well by his legacy with the Nintendo Wii version of “Michael Jackson: The Experience” videogame.

The game is, to be honest, a hot mess.

The biggest problem is, for a dance game, especially one with probably the best collection of dance music you could ever want, it just doesn’t work well.

For starters, the Wii-mote only maps the motions of the hand holding the controller. Ever tried doing Michael’s famous leg kick or moonwalk with your arm? OK you don’t have to, but the point is, even if you work yourself into a mad sweat trying to do the steps from “Billie Jean,” the game won’t begin to know how well (or how terribly) you moonwalked, because it can really only follow your arm swinging back and forth.

At first glance, this game is a can’t miss.

You take some of Mike’s greatest hits, like “The Way You Make Me Feel,” “Smooth Criminal” and “Beat It,” and incorporate them into a game where you try to dance like the best dancer we may’ve ever seen. And it is a little fun just to try to channel your inner Mike in your living room.

But in a dance game, I’m not sure why slow songs like “Heal The World” on on here. And there are too many slow songs.

Worse, real dancers mimic Mike’s moves on screen against some really bad backgrounds and their faces are washed out, in an effort, I guess to make you think that’s the real Michael dancing on screen. The dancers, though, are really good and do a great job of performing the famous moves.

You can get points by mimicking the moves, and there are small portraits on the side of the screen -- sometimes -- that try to help you teach moves. And it’s just flat hard to do Mike’s dance steps. You’ve seen enough bad impersonators to know that.

Still my biggest complaint is you can play about as well by sitting on your bottom and playing.

I hope to get a chance to review the Kinect version, which graphics aside, should provide a more realistic experience, since the Kinect maps your entire body, which would make trying to follow along with the moves, and scoring a few a lot more fun.


Anonymous said...

Everyone I know that has this game, loves it!

Anonymous said...

greatest entertainer ever??????
Frank Sinatra!!

Anonymous said...

Man, I'm gonna have to disagree with you. My wife and kids absolutely love this game. My wife plays it everyday and it serves as some sort of workout.

Anonymous said...

Good review. The Wii tech is not good enough for this type of game. It may be 'fun' but in no way is it capable of judging dance moves.

The Kinect version is the only version that might be good. For a good dance game you should try Dance Central for Kinect, that one seems to be using the tech the best so far.

Anonymous said...

Dude, I agree the game blows.

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Anonymous said...

What kind of 'man' says something is a 'hot mess'?

Anonymous said...

Yea the graphic sucks, but the game is "FUN" (serving it's purpose). I bet its a lot more more laughter and entertainment in the room when you get a few tipsy folks together. Like you said, "And it is a little fun just to try to channel your inner Mike in your living room". I think thats the whole purpose of the game. I believe the player(s) are more in tone with imagining they are singing and actually doing the same moves MJ is doing.

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