Ubisoft has all but cornered the dance video game market in recent years, so it came as no surprise that they would release a Vita version of Michael Jackson The Experience at launch. While Michael Jackson is still one of the most revered musical icons of all time, the Vita game bearing his name just doesn’t live up to the legend. Michael Jackson The Experience on the Vita will have you feeling less like the King of Pop, and more like the guy who insists on drumming his fingers on his desk to whatever song is currently playing on the radio. It’s not that the game is bad, it’s just light on the “Experience”.
The Vita version of Michael Jackson The Experience puts the power of Michael in your fingertips. Utilizing the Vita’s touchscreen, you’ll be swiping and tapping in rhythm with on-screen prompts to get Michael moving. It’s not a bad way to make use of the Vita’s tech, however it’s not as smooth as one would hope. On lower difficulty levels, the touching is a breeze, but the minute you step up to the expert difficulty, things quickly start to fall apart. The issue arises when you’re expected to do multiple touch movements on screen at once in rapid succession. The game often misinterprets movements incorrectly, resulting in you losing your combo streak. It certainly doesn’t ruin the game, but can be a point of frustration for perfectionists.
"While Michael Jackson is still one of the most revered musical icons of all time, the Vita game bearing his name just doesn’t live up to the legend."
Though the development team should be commended for their efforts in bringing a game like MJTE to a handheld device, the touching and tapping doesn’t really make you feel like Michael. Unlike the console versions, you’re extremely limited in what you do within in the game. Watching a virtual Michael move and shake his way through any given song is cool at first, but the allure quickly wears off once you get a few tracks in and find yourself repeating the same swipes and taps over and over again. It probably wouldn’t be so bad if there were more than 15 tracks to play through, but even with three difficulty levels, the lack of content becomes apparent just a few hours after you start playing.
What’s more, you actually have to unlock the ability to play tracks on higher difficulties, and you have to earn the right to get a “perfect” touch. The “perfect” movement isn’t available to you until after you level up your career a little bit, which is simply absurd. It’s particularly frustrating early on when you think your timing is on point, but the game only rewards you with a “great” ranking. Having to play through tracks multiple times just to earn the right to try them on a more advanced difficulty is also a bit ridiculous. These decisions seem like nothing more than reasons for the title’s developers to keep dangling that carrot of progression in front of you. Unfortunately, the effect wears thin thanks again to the measly amount of songs in the game.
While it’s true the track selection leaves a lot to be desired, the game actually looks really good. Ubisoft did a nice job recreating Michael’s looks and video sets for each individual track, and getting to see Michael progress through the years is certainly something fans are going to really be happy with. The colors are vibrant, and the animations are crisp and smooth. Michael’s moves look great in motion, even if some songs repeat the same sequences over and over again. Though the Vita does have a decent set of speakers on-board, Michael Jackson The Experience is best played with headphones on. The sound mix is on point for the most part, and sounds much better coming from headphones than it does the tiny speakers on the Vita.
It’s tough bringing a dancing game to a portable system. Though Ubisoft’s attempt with Michael Jackson The Experience is an admirable one, the game just doesn’t have enough legs. Even without factoring in the $40 price of entry, the lack of content and replayability really hurts the overall product. It’s tough to recommend this title to even the most devout of MJ fans. You’re really better off sticking with the console version.
Release date : 2012-02-22
Publisher : Ubisoft
Developer : Ubisoft
Gameplay : Music,Tempo, Dance
Here we are. The next generation of consoles is among us and it is finally time to start thinking about finally unplugging our beloved current-gen systems. Could there be a better swan song for one of these systems than taking a trip back to Rapture?
Let’s face it: buying digital games is significantly more convenient than buying from a retail store. You don’t have to put pants on to go outside, nor do you even have to go outside. You don’t have to drive to the store, nor do you have to wait in line at said store. On top of that, the price is generally the exact same, if not more for the physical version.
Let’s face it: staying in just your underwear, FTW.
Despite the overwhelming advantages of buying digital, I still can’t fully commit to it. While I understand I am more in the minority with each day that goes by, I truly believe I have a legitimate case about buying physical copies of games.
In some sort of cosmic twist, I have seen the future. No, I didn’t find out where/when/why I’ll die, nor did I even find out what I’ll have for breakfast tomorrow (I hope it’s pancakes). But I assure you, I have seen the future.
The future of video games that is. I recently got to test out Morpheus - uh, I mean PlayStation VR - Sony’s answer to the ever-growing interest in virtual reality. Although the headset is currently far from completion, it’s also far from shotty.
Whether it’s a rainy day, a sickness, or some other reason not to go outside and enjoy the beautiful summer air, video games are the perfect way to spend your time - that is, if you can find a game to play. In terms of releases, summer generally isn’t the most fruitful of seasons, and this year is no different. So what games could/should you be sinking your teeth into during the dog days?