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Jackson The Experience
Score: 6.5 / 10
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
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
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
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.