Long before Michael Jackson's death a year and a half ago it had been known that the King Of Pop was working on a video game to coincide with his big comeback. If this is that game we can only wonder why it's taken so long to make, because rather than providing the Michael Jackson "experience" this is more or less Just Dance 2 with Michael Jackson songs chucked in.
Sure it features a cel-shaded Jacko and there are some nice nods to his videos but The gameplay is identical to Just Dance. Icons appear up the side of the screen and you have to match them as you dance. Each song takes a couple of goes to get right as, given how complicated Jackson's dancing was, the icons are far too vague and you'll find yourself holding the pose only to see the on-screen Fake Jacko busting far more ridiculous moves.
Blame It On The Boogie
The game also asks you to do things that the Wii Remote simply can't measure, and as a result there's a lot of guesswork. Some basic moves are almost impossible to get a perfect rating on, whereas difficult ones like full spins and the 'punching the air' section from Beat It give perfects nearly every time.
Also odd is the choice of tracks. Some are great - Bad, Billie Jean - but others are bizarre - like Streetwalker, a bonus track tucked away at the back of a 2000 re-release of Bad.
Michael Jackson fans will definitely get something out of The Experience but it's still disappointing. Given that this is meant to be a celebration of the man's music and dancing there's a distinct lack of full music videos or concert footage. Instead what you're left with is a game that encapsulates Jackson's work, but fails to convey why it's so special.
This is an edited version of a review that will appear in the Christmas issue of Official Nintendo Magazine. For more in-depth analysis and screenshots buy the magazine here.