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Platform

Xbox 360

 

Genre

Music / Rhythm

 

Publisher

Ubisoft

 

Developer

Ubisoft Montreal

 

ESRB

E +10 (Everyone)

 

Released

April 12, 2011

 

 

- Great music
- Backdrops and dance routines match the songs
- Nice presentation in spots makes you feel the “Experience”

 

 

- Not as polished or as fun as Dance Central
- Photos aren’t used in a useful way
- Just isn’t as fun as it could be

 

 

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Michael Jackson The Experience

Score: 6.5 / 10

 

michael jackson the experience          michael jackson the experience

 

Having played the “Michael Jackson Experience” on the Wii already I wasn’t sure what to expect with the 360 version. I knew that Kinect was going to crank it up a level but I wasn’t sure in what ways.

Since you “are the controller” you will have to choose the songs and difficulty levels with your hands. I found it both a little fun at first and a little frustrating at the same time. I understand these Kinect gameslet you “lose” the controller but I wish they

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would also give you the option of going through some of the more time consuming things with a controller as an option and then have you put it down when get into the gameplay.

One of the biggest differences in versions here is that the 360 version actually shows a monochromatic version of you on the screen mixed in with the backup dancers. It’s quite interesting how they

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show you “appearing” on stage and the first time I saw this I thought, "Wow I really am part of the experience." The crowd cheered as I entered the stage and this made me smile. Until I actually had to dance.

Another big difference between this and the Wii version? You can’t really cheat on this one. In the Wii version you can just kind of sit on the couch and flop your arms around randomly and still manage to rack up a decent score. Here, you actually have to get up and dance. That can be a good thing. You can watch either the other dancers on the screen or the animated diagrams. You may tire of watching the backup dancers, because they appear to all be cloned versions of each other. Honestly, I was expecting a little more on that point.

The music of course, is great if you are an MJ fan. There are 29 tracks each with a unique graphical background experience to go with it. You might find this a little paltry (considering that there were more than 90 songs to choose from) but I suppose that leaves things open for a sequel.

 

michael jackson the experience          michael jackson the experience

 

Achievements are here, although most of them are awarded for getting five stars on a song which is not that easy to do. The gameplay ends up being matching moves and singing (don’t worry you don’t have to be a great singer to match pitch as in most games of this type). It does allow for up to four players to play at once by breaking up a song into segments and having each person randomly jump in and “do their thing”. To me, this is one place where the game could have been made a lot better.

Pictures are taken of you during the game but they are used strictly for high score posting. There is no way to access them otherwise, and then fun of watching yourself afterwards in various odd poses is strangely missing. I was pleased that the instructional videos are unlocked and accessible from the beginning, making it possible for you to learn as much as possible about the moves before plunging in foot first.

Like its Wii counterpart, the game is adequate but not outstanding. If you’re a Michael Jackson fan then you are going to have a great time. If you are looking for a stop gap between Dance Central and Dance Central 2, you’re going to feel – much like the Moonwalk – that the game is a step or two in the wrong direction.

 

- Syd Bolton

(June 27, 2011)


Syd Bolton is Canada’s top videogame collector who surrounds himself in thousands of classic video games at the Personal Computer Museum (http://www.pcmuseum.ca) in Brantford, Ontario, Canada.

 

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