Product Type: Ubisoft Wii games
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I Gotta Feeling.....I'm Gonna Have Fun
The Black Eyed Peas Experience (Wii)
Member Name: sandemp
The Black Eyed Peas Experience (Wii)
Date: 06/03/12, updated on 06/03/12 (133 review reads)
Advantages: Great tracks, fun way to exercise, challenging
Disadvantages: Challenging, tricky even with easier tracks
I'm rather a fan of the Just Dance series on the Wii, but when I try to get my partner to join in he tends to claim the dances are too "girly", which he says is backed up by the fact that in the vast majority of the tracks the on-screen dancers are female. So in an attempt to get him up and dancing with me, we bought "The Black Eyed Peas Experience", a dance game featuring tracks solely performed by The Black Eyed Peas themselves. Before I go any further, I will point out that if you are not a fan of The Black Eyed Peas themselves then this game really isn't for you as it really does help to actually "know" the songs when it comes to dancing along.
From the Ubisoft, the software company that brought us the Just Dance series, The Black Eyed Peas Experience follows a similar format, with the Black Eyed twist. Load up time is reasonably quick and it doesn't take more than a couple of clicks to get dancing. The graphics throughout are a definite step up from Just Dance with the on-screen dancers being recognisable, digitised versions of the band members, Fergie, Apl.de.app, will.I.am and Taboo. In some tracks the actual music video is playing on a screen in the background and with all the lyrics are shown in the bottom left. As each dance progresses a pictogram is displayed in the bottom right, which gives an idea of which move is coming next.
The audio is pretty good, as is to be expected for this style of game, but definitely benefits from being played through a home cinema system to gain full advantage of the banging beats. There's a fair range of tracks available, 25 in total, from their earlier albums through to their latest. Among the available tracks are many of their most popular including The Time (Dirty Bit), I Gotta Feeling, Shut Up, Let's Get It Started and Hey Mama, but there are also some less popular and well known tracks, plus there are some omissions, most notably Where Is The Love. All of the available tracks are played by The Black Eyed Peas rather than being "in the style of" which adds to the authenticity.
Before I go into the actual gameplay, I guess it would be helpful if I told you a bit about myself, as whether you will enjoy this game and how easy you will find it depends very much on who you are as a person. So I'm a 40 year old, rather overweight, unfit Mum, who does love listening to the Black Eyed Peas (especially their earlier albums) and uses the Wii dancing games as a way of burning calories. To say I have two left feet is an understatement, it's probably fair to say I also have two left-hands or in other words, I'm very uncoordinated, but I am enthusiastic. I'm not the most social person, so this game is never played with any more than just myself and my partner and I therefore cannot comment on the multi player aspect any more than to say you will need lots of space if the maximum of four are joining in.
From switch on to dancing takes no more than a couple of minutes, there are very few menu options, just dancing and options. I would have liked to have seen a sweat option that would allow me to track my progress, but it's not really a problem, as such. Choosing which track to dance to is simple enough via the rotating track list. Each track is graded as to difficulty and effort required, with a scale of one to three and a small clip is played in the background to help you choose. What I will say is that even the supposedly easiest of the tracks is a lot more difficult than the majority of the tracks on the Just Dance games, as I found out after attempting The Time (Dirty Bit) on my first try only to collapse in hysterics halfway through.
Even by picking the supposedly easiest tracks I found it hard to keep up and this isn't really helped by the fact that the on-screen dancer has a habit of changing part way through a song or that the pictogram is a little on the vague side. Even so, with practise I've started to pick up some of the dances and can now almost keep up, with this game it really is practise makes perfect. As well as different difficulties of play there are also different styles, with some tracks being solo, some duet and the others group. This doesn't mean that if you are playing by yourself you are limited to the solo tracks, or if you're playing in a group of four you are limited to the group tracks. But it does mean that there are a varying number of dancers on-screen at once and players are split between those dancers. So with a solo track everyone does the same moves, while in duet they'll be split into two groups and in group up to four players each have their own moves. One aspect of this group play that I do not like is that I cannot choose which part I am going to dance meaning more often than not I have to follow a male's moves.
Scoring in The Blacked Eyed Peas Experience following the same format as the Just Dance games in that your movements are tracked and depending on how closely they match the choreography you get points. Movements are only tracked using the WiiMote in the right hand though, which means that it cannot track your legs and it is possible to cheat by just waving the WiiMote around. I have to say I do not cheat and I struggle my way through the tracks throwing my whole body into it and I find that generally movements are picked up quite well. I can't say that I'm ever completely in step so I don't know if they are completely accurately picked up. There are three levels of points to be picked up by each player ranging from almost there to spot on and then extra points can be gained in multi-player mode when group moves are performed correctly. There are also lots of points to be had, even barely being able to keep up I can earn 20-30 thousand points, so goodness knows what I will earn when I can keep up.
The duets are great fun to perform with a partner, with lots of slightly sexy, interactive moves that my partner enjoy performing. Never having played with three more players I cannot comment on this aspect, but from how much room we need as a duet I would say a large, clear space is required. As much fun as it is to perform the dances, it's almost as much fun to watch, as the dances are so difficult, learning them involves throwing yourself around a great deal (or it does in my partner's case), and I must burn nearly as many calories watching him as I do dancing. While I would never perform a complete routine on the dance floor, I have to admit that my partner and I do have a few favourite moves that we've practised in clubs. One slightly disappointing aspect is that there is nothing to unlock, but as with all of this type, this is a game where you compete to beat your high score rather than complete.
All-in-all The Black Eyed Experience for the Wii is a challenging dance game that takes a long time to master. The moves are fast and complex even on the easier tracks and extremely challenging on the harder tracks. While there are no swear words throughout the tracks (only the clean version) some of the dance moves are overtly sexual and so I wouldn't recommend this game for children or younger children (even the 12 year olds it is certificated for). But for older teenagers and even old fogies like me, it is an ultimately fun game for those who want to get up and groove and of course enjoy listening to The Black Eyed Peas. As to stars out of five I would probably have to give it four as it is quite difficult to master and a bit of a niche product.
*Favourite track for solo : I Gotta Feeling
*Favourite track for duet : Shut Up
Summary: Challenging dance game in the vein of the Just Dance series for BEP fans