IGN Review of Dancing With the Stars: We Dance!
Dancing with the Stars was always an interesting but baffling show to me. To this day I still can't figure out why watching has-beens and D-listers learn to dance is so interesting, but by jove it is. And why any of us feel the need to vote every week is beyond me, but I voted for Cloris Leachman every chance I had. It's not like it's American Idol where we're picking the next rising star in pop music. What I have more trouble understanding is why anyone would want to play Dancing with the Stars on the Nintendo DS. It's a bad dancing game, with bad music, bad controls, and really bad character models.
Dancing with the Stars takes the celebrities from past seasons of the show and lets you pair them up with each other, or a professional dancer, and compete in a season. Players participate in a number of dances to different covers of songs, then get graded. It's just like the show. There's also a quickplay mode to just play one song.
If you were expecting any originality in this game, I hate to disappoint you. Everything about Dancing with the Stars is derivative. It's the same Elite Beat Agents style tapping to the beat that every crappy music game on the DS has stolen. Only this time instead of circles that close it's stars that fly in from random places on the screen. It's not a bad formula for a music game, but this isn't done well. It's hard to tell if you're tapping the stars on beat, and the layout for them is often confusing or just plain unintuitive. Sometimes the star will really be two stars that you have to tap twice, which you learn by missing the second tap. Thanks, game!
While you play, your selected characters dance on the top screen. The animations for the dances are pretty well done but it's just a video that never changes no matter what you do. There are only a handful of dances, too, so you'll see them all multiple times in just one playthrough. Even though the models animate well, they look atrocious. None of them look like the celebrity they're supposed to be, and sometimes they don't even look like the gender they're supposed to be.
Carrie Ann Inaba and Melanie "Scary Spice" Brown are both very pretty women, and this game has mutated them to look like mannish freaks.
The sound quality for the game is actually decent, but the song selection and the covers of them are terrible. I didn't even know what half the songs were, and I'm embarrassingly up to date on pop culture. The ones I did know are just horrendous songs. Bootylicious, Walking on the Sun, and the Lil Kim version of Lady Marmalade come to mind. There's a decent amount of songs, but they are locked at the beginning, and there aren't clear instructions for how to unlock them. So you have to play season mode over and over picking the songs it lets you and then hoping you unlocked some of those.
The game does feature voice work from the actual judges and announcer, which is cool, but their lines are all terrible. Being told that "the man is the stem, and the woman, the blossom" by Len Goodman really isn't an evaluation of my performance. And Bruno can just shut up. He yells out every number with gusto that should be reserved for celebrations. "Threeeee!!!"
©2009-01-09, IGN Entertainment, Inc. All Rights Reserved