You know an artist or band has made it big when they release a videogame, but it’s a big surprise if that game actually turns out to be any good. The Black Eyed Peas Experience is a dance game much in the same mould as the other dance games like Just Dance and Dance Central. In many ways, The Peas are the ideal band to be given their own, exclusive dance title thanks to their instantly catchy and dance-worthy back catalogue, but is the game on offer here actually worth experiencing or not?
A nice move is that there is co-op play where a buddy can sing along using the USB mic.
The story here is simple. You are a club goer that wants to be a Black Eyed Pea, so you begin your dancing quest to copy your favourite artists and become a dancing master. The controls are simple. As this is a Kinect game, your body is the controller. You move your body to match the figure in the bottom right. Depending on how you well you match these movements you’re given a rating of Almost, Good, Great or,if you’re really acurate, Incredible. During my playing time, I found that most of the time I was getting good or great ratings, but a few times I did manage to hit incredible. What do you mean you don’t believe me?
There are also various modes and options included in TBEPE, these include the Dance Party mode which is a quick play mode where you just jump straight inand get dancing straight away. For the main become-a-Black-Eyed-Pea campaign mode, you will want to head into the Deluxe Experience. This is where you will pick your own character and use the coordinate yourself option. After this, you can gain access to the My Dancer area where you can style the way you look from skin and hair colour to tattoos and clothes.
The game uses followers as the points that allow you to progress through the game. The more followers you have, the more new clothes and other goodies you gain. You begin by learning the moves and as you progress you will gain followers and get opportunities to dance and show off your ever expanding repertoire of moves. At some stages during yourdancing odyssey, you will be challenged by a Pea, but be warned, they are good, so only accept if you’re feeling particularly limber.
The graphics in TBEPE actually look very good, each line, curve and detail of the Pea’s has been recreated and you can see the Unreal engine at work under the bonnet. The environments you dance in are very cool and bright, the lighting effects are fantastic as are all the fireworks and beats on the screen really add to the gameplay. The fellow dancers on the screen are all made perfectly and they make you feel like the club experience is in your room, and while longer playing sessions can see the dancing become a bit repetative, what else did you want to do in a dancing game?
The music is where this game rocks, 28 tracks have been included and these include lots of number ones like ‘Boom, Boom, Pow’ and ‘I Gotta Feeling’, as well as other fan favourites like ‘Pump It’ and ‘The Time’. The thing I loved most about the game was the variety to the dance moves and the way the music fits them like a dancing glove. The real star of the show, however, is the Kinect system. I don’t know how Ubisoft have done it, but every move is recognised and all the gestures you need to do are easy to perform and you feel like you’re actually getting better.
Some of the other dance games on the Xbox 360 have suffered from not being able to recognise players’ moves at certain points, which is quite an important issue. This is definitely not a problem here, though, and TBEPE is helped further by its co-op play option where a partner can sing along to the songs with a USB mic. This neat extra feature certainly increases the time you will spend with the game and the in-game points and goodies you’ll recieve. Unless, of course, the partner you’re playing with can’t sing, then you’re screwed!
Overall. The Black Eyed Peas Experience is a really good, solid dancing game. The mix of the fast pumping tunes from the Black Eyed Peas and the dance moves is a good match. I have to say this is possibly one of the first times that the Kinect system hasn’t let me down and I was happy to make a fool of myself. Boom, Boom, Pow baby!
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary Microsoft Xbox 360 code was provided to Brash Games for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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