Grease: The Video Game
Posted 2 years ago By - Jay Acevedo
Grease: The Official Video Game...
Just the title alone has the power to either skyrocket your interest to the roof or completely repulse you. If I’ve said it once I’ve said it a million times: games based on lucrative movie licenses are often more about the quick cash-out rather than having to deal with an honest product that doesn’t aspire to be a “killer app”. In the case of this particular game, which presents itself as a karaoke/mini-game compilation, the intent is to offer a fun, simple and honest video game representation of one of the most cherished and beloved Hollywood movies of all time. If you’ve read my E3 preview, you could tell that I fell to its charms back then. But that was a preview build. Now that the full game has arrived at the office, I can safely say that the charm continued to woo me, but not to its fullest.
Featuring sixteen songs taken from the first Grease film (all performed by a cast of wannabe-Greasers), the game consists of three modes: Story, which lets you play the movie’s key events chronologically through eleven mini-games. Quick Play allows players to select any of the Grease songs alongside a mini-game and play either co-operatively or competitively. Finally, the self-explanatory Party Mode allows up to eight players competing in two teams, using all songs and mini-games.
The mini-games are split in two categories: Rhythm and Action. Rhythm games are dance-based sequences requiring Wiimote gesturing. For example, “Losin’ Control” takes place in a scene near the end of the film where Sandy becomes cool and Danny gets “electrified”. Playing as Danny, the goal is to memorize Sandy’s moves and perfectly replicate them when the game prompts you to. Not all mini-games in this category are about memorizing gestures. Some will allow you to do them in real-time as they appear on-screen. Action games are more about shaking/tilting/swinging the Wiimote just like in most mini-game compilations out there.
For those who want to kick their Grease experience up a notch, Wii Balance Board compatibility has been made available in both Story mode and Quick Play cooperative game types. Up, down, left and right moves can be performed by standing on the board and shifting weight in the direction shown. However, the game’s selling point resides in the ability to sing along with a USB-compatible microphone (max. 2) as part of a co-op team while your friend plays the mini-games with the Wiimote. Just like any other singing game, all you need to do is follow the on-screen lyrics and pitch bar accurately to add additional points to your team score.
Controls in both the Rhythm and Action game types are simple and responsive for the most part. While some mini-games have troubles registering commands (especially those beneath the Action category), one of the proposed gesture mechanics is a total doozy. A strumming action while pressing the appropriate button in time (either A, B or A+B together) as the notes appear on screen which I ultimately ended up hating. Luckily only two mini-games make use of it: one where you are actually playing a guitar and the other where all the Grease cast dances at the fair to the sound of “We Go Together”. Sadly, that song would have benefited from the swinging/matching mechanic since the song has a better chance at making you get up the couch and move the body a bit rather than flicking the Wiimote effortlessly while seated. I’m still amazed at the fact that unresponsive controls are still an issue for Wii games after all these years. One wonders how this game would hold up on Playstation 3 with PS Move or Xbox 360 with Kinect.
Visually...well, it’s a Wii game. People already know what to expect when popping a disk into the console, especially for party games. Despite the average in-game visuals, the presentation overall is good. It definitely carries the Grease-feel. One of the game’s feats, while it may not be a big one, is the clips from the movie being shown while playing the Story mode in between mini-games. In fact, more movie clips would have been welcomed, even as unlockables just for the sake of it.
Grease: The Official Video Game is far from being the best music game a Wii owner can get, but it definitely deserves some consideration. It’s one of those games that carry a certain charm, especially during the vocals. Remember, this is the first video game to feature Grease songs and while the manliest gamer on Earth will do everything in his power to run away and not be seen holding it in in his hands, denying that he doesn’t know a single song from the classic movie will be incredibly hard to believe. Let me point out that the karaoke combined with the mini-games is the aspect that truly carries this game above the mediocrity bar. With no singing options, I highly doubt its appeal would have been the same.
Whoever reads this review and considers himself/herself a fan of the movie and its songs, Grease: The Official Video Game is worth checking out, but not at $40. Most of the music games I’ve reviewed over the last year or so that involves singing came bundled with a microphone. In the case of Grease, no microphone bundle was made available. Assuming that every Wii user has a Wii-compatible microphone at home may be a bit too presumptuous. When singing is the one thing that holds the game together, not bundling a mic and leaving the microphone-less consumer with only a few interesting mini-games doesn’t sound like a smart move, especially at that price. However, if you fancy yourself a fan of the film (and have a mic for your Wii), a rental before purchasing is highly recommended.
Now, could someone explain to me the flying car at the end of the movie?
+ Mini games are varied but its the karaoke that shines (if you have a USB mic)
+ Voices of wannabe-Greasers are pretty good
+ Solid presentation values...
- No microphone bundle?
- Half the mini-games have troubles registering commands
- Strumming gesturing = Bad
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Release Date : 2010/08/27
System : Nintendo Wii
Publisher : 505 Games
Developer : Zoe Mode
Category : Music,Tempo, Dance
ESRB : E
7.0 / 10
8.5 / 10
8.0 / 10
8.7 / 10