Boom Boom Pow?
Posted 1 year ago By Frosty - Ryan Foster
It can be hard to imagine a better fit than the hit dance/music group sensation, The Black Eyed Peas, and party-style dance games. The two go together like peanut butter and jelly. What’s even harder to imagine is how this concept can turn out so poorly, or not be fun for people into the genre in general. Casual gamer or not, take a moment to think about how enjoyable it could be to have friends over, dancing to the catchy tunes of the Peas, along with the stars themselves right on your television screen. Mastering all of the fan-favorite dance moves of the BEPs, and having your screen telling you you’re doing a good job has got to be a hardcore BEP fan’s dream come true. Unfortunately, The Black Eyed Peas Experience for the Wii does not deliver the goods. While the game certainly gets you up and moving, this version of the title is lacking in content, and not very rewarding for the player. In causing a lot more frustration than enjoyment, The Black Eyed Peas Experience for the Wii is a huge missed opportunity, especially coming from the company that brought us the phenomenally successful Just Dance franchise.
Just like any other dance party game, BEP’s goal is to get the player off the couch and dancing, like you can feel the music from within. As you start the game up, an intimidating voice tells you to "start the party" like your life depended on it. Who wouldn’t be ok with that? Seeing as the only gameplay mode is "Dance", players are obligated to select this mode and see that all the songs are there to dance to on the fly. From here you will see some of the band’s more popular singles as well as older tracks that a casual listener may not be familiar with. Songs performance is all about moving your body in sync of the motions of your on-screen avatar. To help, there are dance icons that appear ahead of time representing the next moves that are coming up. These icons pass over an arrow at the bottom of your screen, tasking you to perform the motion in sync to the dancer until a new icon is presented.
In a game like this, you would think gameplay would be relatively simple to learn. Sadly, you will probably never know if you’re truly playing the game correctly. As stated before, your one and only mode in the entire game is Dance. This is where the problems arise. The lack of a tutorial is a definite first strike. Players are thrown right into the confusing action from the get go, because they have no other choice. You don’t have to be a gaming nut to know that in order to play a video game, you have to know how. The BEP Experience somehow assumes that you will know what to do once the music starts. As players attempt to mimic what they see on screen, they also see what the instruction booklet calls "pictograms" scrolling across the bottom. Confusion begins here. Though the pictograms show you what you are supposed to be doing with your body, they can sometimes be terribly hard to make out . These pictures are simply stick figures with motion lines. Half the time, players will be clueless as to what they need to do, or at what speed they need to do it. On top of these problems, is the motion detecting itself. Yes, motion gaming is bound to have at least a bug or two, but The BEP Experience is in fact so inaccurate, it becomes almost unplayable. There are many times where a player can be doing exactly what the game is asking, and it will not register, while many other times, it will mark a correct move that was certainly not performed properly (an issue that arises many times with Wii titles).
"Though it has a decent tracklist, and can be fun to look at (sometimes), there’s an extreme lack of content that any gamer won’t be thrilled with."
Being a party game, this title is definitely more fun with a partner or 3 at your side. Up to four Wii remotes can be connected to perform a song at once. BEP actually rewards you for playing with a group. You will sometimes get hit with "Group moves", in which every dancer must perform a certain move correctly in order to earn more points than you normally would boogieing solo. Assuming your group is able to hit a good amount of moves correctly, you are more likely to hit "BEP status", which is a fancy way to say "a really high score". A nice notable addition to the game is the drop in/drop out play. With this, players are able to simply shake their Wii remote and start dancing with their friends whenever they like. On the negative side, there is the lack of any online features. It would be nice to have an online multiplayer mode, or at the very least, leaderboard support.
The entire face of the game runs on a gimmick. That gimmick is to "digitalize yourself". If you’re confused, then you aren’t alone. Menu screens are pixelated, the live action dancers on screen are pixelated, and everything else you can think of runs on this same art direction. While the effect may be visually appealing to some, it mostly appears messy and is certainly not easy on the eyes. The UI follows suit. Throughout my playtime, I couldn’t help but think about how bland the menus are. The main menu consists of Dance, Options, and Scores. A dance game presented this way is not a good way to get potential dancers pumped at all. As you would have guessed, the most exciting thing to look at is the dance screen itself. Behind the live action dancers on screen are music videos, live performances from the Peas themselves, and more appealing effects. This is definitely the game’s biggest strength, not to mention hardcore fans of the Black Eyed Peas will probably consider this a nice treat.
Though fans of both the Black Eyed Peas, and music games themselves may wish for more, this title delivers a well rounded song list. Sure, you could easily find a music game with a more significant number of songs, but at a total of 26, the BEP Experience is bound to still give you a good work out for awhile. Fans of the Peas will be pleased to know it’s not just a collection of their most recent tracks, but songs mainly taken from their previous 3 albums. Yes, it’s all the popular hits, but what fan wouldn’t like the hits? The sound itself certainly isn’t an issue. As long as you blast your speakers, you’re going to enjoy the catchy beats as you dance to them.
What else can I say about The Black Eyed Peas Experience for the Wii other than it’s a huge missed opportunity? If you claim to be the biggest Black Eyed Peas fan in the world, I still can’t recommend this game. Though it has a decent tracklist, and can be fun to look at (sometimes), there’s an extreme lack of content that any gamer won’t be thrilled with. A messy, yet gimmicky presentation can be forgivable as long as you’re having fun, but watching your moves not register on screen can only cause headaches. While all songs being unlocked from the beginning is nice, there’s absolutely no sense of progression within the game itself. Group dances may be enjoyable, but if the game barely notices one person’s moves, do you really think it will register four Wii remotes to get that impossible high score? It’s not likely. The Black Eyed Peas Experience for the Wii had all the potential to be the best dance game on the market. Unfortunately, a lack of content and functionality allows this title to fall completely flat.
NOTE: The below trailer is for the Kinect version of the game.
+ Dancing to the Black Eyed Peas is fun for fans
- Messy and bland presentation
- Moves performed correctly don’t register
- Moves performed incorrectly do register
- No online features
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Release Date : 2011/11/08
System : Nintendo Wii
Publisher : Ubisoft
Developer : Ubisoft
Category : Music,Tempo, Dance
ESRB : T
7.0 / 10
8.5 / 10
8.0 / 10
8.7 / 10