Abarcy

The Black Eyed Peas Experience

"Dance and sing to 24 chart topping tracks", according to the box, but this somewhat misleading suggestion is likely to lead to disappointment. Although there's nothing to stop you singing along to the music, The Black Eyed Peas Experience is a dancing game and it has no component at all for competitive singing.

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First, the good stuff. The Black Eyed Peas' music is a perfect fit for this type of game: it's fast and funky, and it invariably gets your pulse going. Some of the lyrics are a bit fruity, hence the 12 rating, but it's nothing over the top. I particularly enjoyed dancing to "Pump It" and "Boom Boom Pow".

Fatima Robinson's choreography is a highlight of the game. It's energetic and interesting, and quite challenging to keep up with in places. There are a few Latin style moves and some that are more like hip hop, but on the whole the moves have a style that's all their own.

However there are a few omissions that make the game seem half-finished. The most annoying of these is probably the way solo and multiplayer modes have been merged into one. Up to four people can play, but the scores are all added together as a team no matter how many are playing. This has the unfortunate effect of making it impossible to get a high score if you're playing alone or as a duo. So you need a lot of space and exactly four players to get the most out of this, which isn't much of a formula for success.

The game tracks your movement through the Wii remote alone, so all it's really measuring is the position of your right hand. It's finicky: not only do you need to put your hand in the right place, but you also have to point it in the correct direction to score well. Fortunately a high score isn't very important when it comes to progressing through the game and unlocking the bonus content. Play and complete each song in the various sections, and whether you score highly or not this will unlock the videos. These are pathetic, though. They amount to "Hi, thanks for playing" from each of the Peas, and that really is all. Not a sniff of behind-the-scenes footage, no tips on how to be a better dancer, no surprise knitting patterns from Will.I.Am, no tour of someone's collection of origami fighting bears. The lack of BEP anecdotes adds to the impression that this is a half-baked experience.

Another niggle for me was the lack of a way to make a profile. This means you have to manually write your team name every single time you get a new high score. The game only remembers one high score per track, so there isn't a lot of scope for comparing your progress over time or keeping records of your progress.

Within a week of getting this I'd played all the tracks and unlocked all of the bonus content that I knew of. There's actually no tally to let you know how much there is to unlock. The Black Eyed Peas Experience is a game of contrasts. Individually the songs are very good, they're catchy and irresistible, the visuals are clear and bright, and the choreography is top notch. But it doesn't come together as a game because there's too little to aim for and the developers have cut too many corners. If this were a video album it would be acceptable.

3 star rating

Review Ros Jackson