We Dance is another entry into the dance genre on the Wii. Previously sticking with the singing side of things, Nordic Games have developed the We Sing series. It’ll be interesting to find out if the change of genre from music to dance is a natural transfer. Although it must be said, when singers try to act or actors try to sing, the general consensus is not a positive one. Time to roll out the mat and get the Wii remote ready for some high octane dance moves.
It is normally a given to say that if you don’t enjoy dance/rhythm games then you won’t have any time for We Dance, but this is usually the time in a review when a reviewer says this is the game to change your mind! Unfortunately, that is definitely not the case with We Dance. From the beginning, this is a sub-standard attempt at the genre, something you’ll realise when you see the poorly and blandly animated dancer greet you in the main game. The music videos are played in the background whilst you get to grips with the controls and what you’re meant to do. At least there is a wide variety of songs available to shake your booty to such as Day ‘n’ Night (Kid Cudi), Macarena (Los Del Rio), Hey Ya (Outkast), Rhythm is a Dancer (Snap!), Forever is Over (The Saturdays) and Slam (Pendulum) to name just a few of the forty songs to experience.
There are actually 3 ways to play which include just using your hands only i.e. with the Wii Remote;feet only, i.e. with the dance mat, and when you think your a dancing diva, you should try putting both hands and feet together for additionally difficulty! The easy mode is simply a poorer version of Just Dance because you only have to use the Wii remote, the medium setting just uses the mat, which can be quite frustrating because the onscreen dancer often performs manoeuvres that don’t naturally match the mat directions, and finally, the hard mode combines both the sub-standard Wii remote functionality with the frustratingly inefficient mat controller.
Up to four players can dance together, which helps increase the longevity of We Dance. Of course, you’ll need a pretty big living room if there is going to be four of you beat bopping or trip hopping! However, when the single player game of We Dance is so poor why would anyone want to spoil a party by sharing the pain with friends or family? The multiplayer consists of the usual dance-to-a-song-to-score-the-most-points format, while ‘Step’ is unerringly similar to main game, i.e. you just dance to a random song. ‘Jump’ requires you to press an arrow to leap over an oncoming bar, and in ‘Pose’ you have to reproduce various poses. All these games just help increase the amount of frustration you would have developed when you played the main game. One positive though is that you can have players solely using mats or Wii remotes so everyone can have a go. There’s also a Dance School where you can practice and Dance TV, which is arguably the most enjoyable part of We Dance because instead of replicating the dance moves, you get the chance to simply watch the music videos!
As mentioned earlier, the dancers animations are poor and detract from the overall We Dance experience. The choreography is lacking is most of the videos, it’s only the classics like Can’t Touch This which entertain and even then that’s mostly down to you producing your own moves because their more fun compared to what’s offered on screen. The Dance School mode is annoying in the sense that you don’t actually learn all the moves in a song, you only learn the main parts and not the manoeuvres that link between the main segments. Add this to the problem of the mat not recording a lot of your attempts, and you end up becoming embroiled in a frustrating and energy sapping routine.
One of the good points for We Dance, is that you are able to download additional songs to dance to. So you are able to add to an already vast selection of songs. However, as life frequently teaches us, more doesn’t mean better, you’ll just end with even more songs to get frustrated with. At least the songs sound like they should, which in this genre is something that should not surprise you, it’s just after you’ve spent a few minutes being disappointed by the dancing aspect you end up being mildly surprised that the audio is perfect. You can also download new dance moves, but there’s no point.
We Dance unfortunately is a poor game that is poorly executed, which is never a good combination. Add this to the fact that Just Dance is a better game, Michael Jackson: The Experience has the name and Zumba Fitness is a more enjoyable title if you’re looking for some exercise, and it’s very hard to recommend We Dance to even the most ardent of dance fans. Maybe the developers should stick with the We Sing series in future, because We Dance simply doesn’t cut it.
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