I gotta feeling, that this game’s gonna be a good game …
This month, GGUK had a day of dancing indulgence when we joined Ubisoft as they hosted a “Woman’s Day” in the heart of London. Greeted by waiters offering wine, elderflower cordial and of course Red Bull, we headed into the ambient spa of a rather posh hotel where we got to get our hands on Ubisoft’s hottest dance games coming out this season.
Kicking off our heels, we started the party with Just Dance 3 for some unique multiplayer choreography fun. Easy to drop into, we selected some classic 80s pop. Check out our reviews (Xbox360 and Wii) for our full impressions. With hearts racing we thought we’d then tackle some of the challenges on Your Shape: Fitness Evolved 2012. A little concerned that we’d already danced our feet off, the new “player projection” technology seemed to mysteriously blend anything below the ankle with a milky white and blue pool effect as we jigged about. With over 90 hours of new and improved content, we went real time jogging/sight seeing through New York City (yes, we did sweat, a lot…) and tried out some martial arts before deciding we should have selected the couch potato mode at the beginning. Out on November 11th for Xbox Kinect, Your Shape: Fitness Evolved 2012 should offer most people who want to get a little trimmer without having to haul themselves to the gym, the chance to have fun whilst working out.
After being treated to another round of drinks whilst having our nails shaped and painted a Goomba brown colour courtesy of the Powder Puff Girls we were swept away with some timeless classics on Abba You Can Dance on the Wii. With very similar graphics and scoring system to The Michael Jackson Experience, you mirror the on screen dancers and can have up to four players (who do look a bit like Abba if you squint your eyes and forget the beards). Including 25 golden hits including “Mamma Mia”, “Fernando”, “Waterloo” plus of course “Dancing Queen” and is due out on 25th November.
By far and away, the most impressive dancing happening of the day was The Black Eyed Peas Experience, which is coming to Xbox Kinect on 11th November. We were fist pumping, hopscotching and wrecking along with Will.i.am, Fergie, Taboo and apl.de.ap from their back catalogue of multi-platinum selling hits. Ubisoft working with the BEP’s creative director and choreographer Fatima Robinson gives every aspect an authentic flavour and the whole thing comes alive on Kinect where locking elbows, knees, hips all count as you try to share the stage with one of the world’s biggest ever bands. It demands you get your whole body into the game; fail to hit a move and you’ll just stand there, arms uselessly dangling by your side, gazing on as the band show you up, especially Fergie who does the routines in some massive platform shoes. Holding your own against the BEPs means you’ll need to clear a bit of space as some of the moves will have you travelling all over the room, though two people can comfortably play at the same time with four player options available too. The attention to detail in the band is pinpoint perfect as you stomp out hit after hit. Having your character on screen with his/her back to you allows you to see exactly where you might be going wrong in the routine, which works really well as you try to pull off and learn some of the trickier moves. Happily, there’s a break during each track, allowing you to catch your breath and giving your brain time to process, which should theoretically mean you carry out slicker, more perfect moves in the later stages of each dance. When it’s over, you can bask in the glory of dancing with the Peas and are given a grade score. Not just one for the fans (though there is plenty to keep them happy with lyrics to sing along to and original music videos), this is one to be experienced by everyone as it’s a genuine, well presented, massively entertaining game that goes beyond just dancing well to your fave tracks. You’re performing with the Black Eyed Peas and it don’t come more exciting that that!
Collecting our goodie bags on the way out (thanks Ubisoft, we heart you), we were discussing the fact that despite it being a “Woman’s Day” and that it was great to see a predominately female audience empowered to get up and start playing/chatting about games, more than ever, dancing games are appealing to the broadest audience. Inexperienced gamers are giving it a go, guys show us ladies how the Apache dance should really be done, couples are rivalling the Black Eyes Peas and no all-girl sleepover would be complete without Abba. It remains important that girl gamers continue to play and encourage others to do the same. Ultimately, bringing together woman from all backgrounds to dance together, we can celebrate diversity and just having fun. By sharing this with other guys and gals, we can all dance and feel like superstars!