"I'm coming up so you better get this party started"
The latest offering for the Wii from Electronic Arts, a song and dance game stylishly named Boogie, made its European debut last week. The game is sold including a microphone, which plugs into one of the two integrated USB ports on the Wii. The game itself is somewhat similar to Singstar, developed for the PS2, but raises the level of interaction through the addition of the dancing element. Read on, to see how Boogie stands up against its rival Singstar.
"The groove is in da house!"
The dance mode of Boogie offers the player several characters to choose from, each of which have three different dance styles, to provide extra variety in moves. Using the remote controller (Wii-mote) and the nunchuck controller in combination allows the player to simulate moving around the dance floor, and to choose the available style-moves for the characters. Your assignment as the player is to make your character dance to the rhythm of the song of choice; progress is judged by which moves you complete, and how well you are able to dance to the rhythm of the music. If you can dance in step with the song 6 times, you will have the opportunity to score extra points with a level 2 move, using the controllers to make your moves. Keep scoring points by staying in time with the rhythm and make those style-moves, and your Boogie Indicator will keep filling up too. Once it is full, the next stage of the dance mode kicks in.
The full Boogie Indicator can be used for making special moves with the character of choice. Pressing the B-button and moving the Wii-mote, the player must then try to follow the directions which will be presented at the bottom of the screen. These special style-moves will give you higher points than the standard moves, and the results will be displayed on your screen laced with some nice visual effects. Eventually, these will also help you achieve your goal more easily; earning gold and making your way through the ranks to the top of the high scores list.
"That's the way, uh huh uh huh, I like it"
Using the microphone from EA and hearing yourself sing can be a little surreal in the beginning but after a few songs you do get used to it. Boogie's one weakness is the lack of an option for a multiplayer singing mode. However even without the multiplayer mode, you can still enjoy yourself in a group setting, between the variety of songs available and the opportunity to make fun of your friends who are participating. Plus, in the singing mode, someone else can take the Wii-mote and make the dance moves for your chosen character while you are singing to the stars in heaven. Hitting the notes correctly awards you points, which in turn enable you to work your way to the top and go for gold!
"Don't you wish your girlfriend..."
If it looks like a duck, it should quack like a duck, and if it's called a story mode, you should be able to expect a plot which you need to navigate through, and which will keep you entertained for hours on end. But instead of even a loosely based plot detailing your rise to the top position in the dance and song charts, you end up with five ridiculously easy missions for each character, all of which can be completed within one or two hours.
As with the other modes, you earn gold coins which can be used to buy songs and accessories for your character. And that is pretty much the only challenge offered by EA in the story mode; if shopping is your poison, great! It may be a great way to familiarize yourself with the game, explore some of the special combo's, and learn how to work the microphone, but for anyone with real gaming experience it will lose its appeal quickly. I was left with the impression that I was not quite done yet, even though I had unlocked each and every song and item within 3 days of playing.
Trying out the video maker did not improve my mood either. Yes, you can 'make' your own music videos by adding effects to the clip you made of your performance, but not even this can hide the simple fact that the story mode is just-not-strong.
In the end, Boogie is worth playing mostly for the high entertainment value it has when played socially. You can't help but enjoy playing it when in a group. Most of the songs are well-known and the kind that are easy to sing along with. The dance mode is a novelty, being entirely new, has some interesting quirks that you need to get the hang of, and can be good fun once you've got figured out. Overall itís a decent game, with some tweaks here and there... but does it equal Singstar for the PS2? Well, you should really give it a whirl and decide for yourself!
No Pros and Cons at this time