Once again I am being told what to do by a video game. Still, at least it is to the point.
Get Up and Dance, the box says, and that is what the players will have to do in what is yet another Wii dancing game in an already crowded market. This one is from O-Games and has its neon sights set firmly on the current number one Wii dancing game series, Just Dance. Things could get ugly here, which they usually do when I start dancing. But let’s see who comes out wearing the orange legwarmers of supremacy and will have the most revelers flailing limbs at parties this holiday season.
With all of the dancing and exercise games that I seem to be going through, you would think that I am running a risk of getting fit. But I have concluded that the video games industry is simply trying to kill me through physical exertion. There is so much talk about video games being unhealthy due to inactivity, people seem to be overlooking the seriously unfit and the effects these new “active” video games are having on them.
Anyway, I am too knackered to stand on a soap box right now, and that is thanks entirely to Get Up and Dance. Starting the game up, players will instantly notice that there are some surprising similarities to the hugely popular Ubisoft series, but imitation is the sincerest form of flattery and if you are going to take inspiration from another game, it might as well be the best.
Get Up and Dance has the standard selection of modes that you would expect from a dance game. The single player can pick a track and then dance to their hearts content. Multiplayer has all the modes needed to get the party started, playing for points, to be the last dancer still standing or even a tug o’ war. Also, as dancing and exercise seem to come hand in hand now, there is a fitness mode.
Gameplay is also as you would expect. The game tracks the Wiimote as the player dances around, trying to replicate the moves shown on the screen. The screen shows the music video playing in the background, in front of which bizarrely familiar silhouette dancers perform all of the moves. There are also stickman representations of the moves scrolling down the screen for the player to try and copy, but they quite often seemed a bit obscure.
The main problem with this type of game is the ease with which a player can cheat. Being that the game is only monitoring the Wiimote, the player can realistically just shake their controller at the right times to score the points. But then what would be the point. Get Up and Dance is about having fun, preferably in a party atmosphere, so precision is not really on the agenda. In fact, the ability to stand up is not even needed, so the perfect party game for after the party.
Also perfect party fodder is the ability to form a group with friends, allowing one person to dance the lead and the other three as backing dancers. Obviously with the flailing limbs of four players, a decent amount of room is required. But the mode is surprisingly fun, with the backing dancers having marginally different routines to the lead dancer. In no time at all, you and your friends can be pulling impressive dance routines at parties, as long as you don’t argue over who plays the lead.
Given the amount of competition that Get Up and Dance has, the group mode is really the only feature that makes it stand out from the rest. It doesn’t have as many modes as most other dancing games, and doesn’t really offer anything ground-breaking. Which means that, as with the multiple singing games that are out there, a players choice of dancing games will come down to the track list and the players preference in music.
Get Up and Dance has some 30 tracks spanning five decades of popular music, featuring bands such as Girls Aloud, Pussycat Dolls and Basement Jaxx through to artists including Dusty Springfield, Lionel Richie and Billy Ray Cyrus. The selection of music is varied and guaranteed to get everyone up and dancing.
The group mode is novel, but otherwise Get Up and Dance is just not as impressive as the games that it tries to emulate. In competition it would lose, but by itself the game has a great selection of music and has everything needed to ensure the party doesn’t stop moving.