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January 19, 2011 • Gaming, Reviews

Nintendo Wii Game Review: Michael Jackson The Experience

The Hype

Anybody can learn to groove like the King of Pop. Michael Jackson The Experience is the ultimate performance game featuring the world’s ultimate performer – providing an interactive experience that enables players to step into the shoes of Michael Jackson himself and relive his most iconic moments through their own performance.

  • Unleash an instant dance party as you attempt to master authentic Michael Jackson choreography from famous from both his live and music video performances
  • The game features 26 of Michael’s most unforgettable tracks, including “Beat it,” “Smooth Criminal,” “Billie Jean” among others, with lyrics laid out for you as you dance
  • Practice Michael’s moves in Video Training mode, then show off your skills and be the life of the party
  • Up to four players can jump in and out of the spotlight in a variety of fun multiplayer modes
  • Battle one-on-one (or two-on-two) in Challenge mode, form your own dance crew, or be the star with your friends as your very own back-up dancers.

The Reality

The rhythm is gonna get you. MJ has ventured into the video game realm before (remember Moonwalker?), but this amazing dancing game celebrates his amazingly inventive moves while getting some entertaining exercise. Players must concentrate on their hands and relating arm movements, not the feet… though most players can probably not help themselves. Up to four players can enjoy this remote only controlled game (no use of the balance board here). The remote only movements make this stellar title a great game for physically handicapped players who still can use their arms. The multiple modes include co-op, competitive 1-on-1, and 2-on-2 sets. The practice mode can help players can their rhythm.

Unlockable dance school training videos also aid in gameplay and are fairly easy to unlock though difficult to navigate through and choose specific videos. The school has three choreographers include Travis Payne. Once they are ready, single players can try out the game and have their performance measured in stars as they play. Optional lyrics can stream across the bottom of the screen while the helpful dance figure outlines scroll vertically across the left and/or right sides. Bright colors differentiate the players and the visuals are sharp and appealing. Extensive sound cues might have been helpful in rare situations, but would detract from the music experience and possibly distract players during key moments.

Dance with Michael in classic mode or choose between him and his backup dancer in duo mode. The crew mode includes Michael with multiple backup dancers. Players can also achieve bonus points for special gold moves at iconic, special moments. The deep catalog even leaves room for a possible sequel. The outstanding music video recreations take this great experience even higher. “Smooth Criminal”, Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’”, “The Way You Make Me Feel”, “Heal the World”, “Leave Me Alone”, and “Streetwalker” are included in the Wii version and also reportedly all other versions. This Wii version also includes standouts like “Bad”, “Beat It”, “Billie Jean”, Black or White, “In the Closet”, “Remember the Time”, “Rock With You”, “The Girl is Mine”, “Who Is It”, and “Will You Be There”. “Thriller” and “Earth Song” also appear though they are edited. Each song has a difficulty level.

This King of Pop showcase immortalizes amazing talents including Jackson’s musical producer Quincy Jones. This Wii edition also included a limited edition sequined hand glove replica, which included a humorous, but necessary warning label urging players not to wear it as they play the game. The Wii version does not include the songs “You Rock My World”, “Blood on the Dance Floor”, and “I Just Can’t Stop Loving You”, which will be reportedly included in the upcoming PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 versions.

Look for future versions on the PlayStation 3 using the PlayStation Move controller on March 1 that includes the optional on-screen lyrics like the Wii version. The Xbox 360 version releasing on April 12 that uses the Kinect controller will only allow one-player gameplay but will feature singing. It would be great to see the singing feature in a more comprehensive future installment on the Wii and PlayStation 3 versions. Also available now on the Nintendo DS and PSP, which include shorter songs lists.

Review: Michael Jackson The Experience

Where to Buy: Amazon and stores everywhere

Price: $49.99 (currently selling for $46.99)

What I Like: extensive multiplayer options, outstanding dance movements, excellent musical remediation through appealing interfaces and visuals

What Needs Improvement: more role-playing elements in dancing for single players, the possibility to expand the MJ music catalog à la Rock Band

Source: Reviewer copy provided by publisher

Michael Jackson The Experience, Wii, video games, music games

The Hype

Anybody can learn to groove like the King of Pop. Michael Jackson The Experience is the ultimate performance game featuring the world’s ultimate performer – providing an interactive experience that enables players to step into the shoes of Michael Jackson himself and relive his most iconic moments through their own performance.

  • Unleash an instant dance party as you attempt to master authentic Michael Jackson choreography from famous from both his live and music video performances
  • The game features 26 of Michael’s most unforgettable tracks, including “Beat it,” “Smooth Criminal,” “Billie Jean” among others, with lyrics laid out for you as you dance
  • Practice Michael’s moves in Video Training mode, then show off your skills and be the life of the party
  • Up to four players can jump in and out of the spotlight in a variety of fun multiplayer modes
  • Battle one-on-one (or two-on-two) in Challenge mode, form your own dance crew, or be the star with your friends as your very own back-up dancers.

The Reality

The rhythm is gonna get you. MJ has ventured into the video game realm before (remember Moonwalker?), but this amazing dancing game celebrates his amazingly inventive moves while getting some entertaining exercise. Players must concentrate on their hands and relating arm movements, not the feet… though most players can probably not help themselves. Up to four players can enjoy this remote only controlled game (no use of the balance board here). The remote only movements make this stellar title a great game for physically handicapped players who still can use their arms. The multiple modes include co-op, competitive 1-on-1, and 2-on-2 sets. The practice mode can help players can their rhythm.

Unlockable dance school training videos also aid in gameplay and are fairly easy to unlock though difficult to navigate through and choose specific videos. The school has three choreographers include Travis Payne. Once they are ready, single players can try out the game and have their performance measured in stars as they play. Optional lyrics can stream across the bottom of the screen while the helpful dance figure outlines scroll vertically across the left and/or right sides. Bright colors differentiate the players and the visuals are sharp and appealing. Extensive sound cues might have been helpful in rare situations, but would detract from the music experience and possibly distract players during key moments.

Dance with Michael in classic mode or choose between him and his backup dancer in duo mode. The crew mode includes Michael with multiple backup dancers. Players can also achieve bonus points for special gold moves at iconic, special moments. The deep catalog even leaves room for a possible sequel. The outstanding music video recreations take this great experience even higher. “Smooth Criminal”, Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’”, “The Way You Make Me Feel”, “Heal the World”, “Leave Me Alone”, and “Streetwalker” are included in the Wii version and also reportedly all other versions. This Wii version also includes standouts like “Bad”, “Beat It”, “Billie Jean”, Black or White, “In the Closet”, “Remember the Time”, “Rock With You”, “The Girl is Mine”, “Who Is It”, and “Will You Be There”. “Thriller” and “Earth Song” also appear though they are edited. Each song has a difficulty level.

This King of Pop showcase immortalizes amazing talents including Jackson’s musical producer Quincy Jones. This Wii edition also included a limited edition sequined hand glove replica, which included a humorous, but necessary warning label urging players not to wear it as they play the game. The Wii version does not include the songs “You Rock My World”, “Blood on the Dance Floor”, and “I Just Can’t Stop Loving You”, which will be reportedly included in the upcoming PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 versions.

Look for future versions on the PlayStation 3 using the PlayStation Move controller on March 1 that includes the optional on-screen lyrics like the Wii version. The Xbox 360 version releasing on April 12 that uses the Kinect controller will only allow one-player gameplay but will feature singing. It would be great to see the singing feature in a more comprehensive future installment on the Wii and PlayStation 3 versions. Also available now on the Nintendo DS and PSP, which include shorter songs lists.

Review: Michael Jackson The Experience

Where to Buy: Amazon (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00434FED2/ref=s9_simh_gw_p63_d0_i1?pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_s=center-2&pf_rd_r=1JCP0V75EE6C2EVKNVZR&pf_rd_t=101&pf_rd_p=470938631&pf_rd_i=507846)

Price: $49.99 (currently selling for $46.99)

What I Like: extensive multiplayer options, outstanding dance movements, excellent musical remediation through appealing interfaces and visuals

What Needs Improvement: more role-playing elements in dancing for single players, the possibility to expand the MJ music catalog a la Rock Band

Source: Reviewer copy provided by publisher

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