After news broke of Michael Jackson's untimely death, the project that shot to public consciousness a year later was Michael Jackson The Experience, a game that instead of just being regarded as a Jackson-themed dance game was something that would celebrate the life of the King of Pop. Unfortunately, it wasn't really designed as that so it may fall short of die-hard Jackson enthusiasts' expectations, but it is still a competent dancing game with a triple-A Jackson soundtrack.
From the standpoint of a feature set, there's not a whole lot to talk about. The game opens with every song already unlocked, and there are only two modes - a Dance School, where you can train, and the main "Dance" mode that throws you right into the action.
This is a Wii game, so every dance control the game requires of you is an arm swing of some sort. So your mastery of the moonwalk will, unfortunately, not really translate to a high score here. However, Jackson's choreography contains just as many famous hand movements, so your desire to move like Jacko can be somewhat fulfilled here.
Unlike such games as Guitar Hero: Aerosmith and Green Day: Rock Band, which add in several tracks from other artists for some reason, this game is all MJ all the time. Since the only people who would buy this game are presumably Michael Jackson fans, the soundtrack should be just about perfect for anyone who picks it up. That is, unless you really wanted some totally obscure game to show up, but with a whopping 26 chart-topping hits there are certainly enough songs here for any die-hard fan.
However, the game ends up feeling very much like any other dancing game - specifically Ubisoft's other franchise, Just Dance. It's basically Just Dance with a Michael Jackson facelift. There are some nice intro videos before each song that emphasize the fact this is a Michael Jackson game, but we kind of feel like someone as important to the entire history of music deserves a more fleshed-out treatment.
Nevertheless, it's a music game focused exclusively on the man who created Thriller. There's no other song list on the market like it, and the dance controls in the game are spot on, so it's a must buy for any Jackson fan. But if you really want the Michael Jackson "experience," you might want to pick up This Is It while you're at the mall, because this rushed-together Wii game does't exactly deliver on the Jackson-gasm scale.
Nov 30, 2010