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Michael Jackson: The Experience (Wii) Review

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The Jackson family have been hocking the image, rights, and properties of the late King of Pop almost since the day he passed away. So it was only a matter of time before we had a game featuring Wacko Jacko in some form. Almost as quick as the Jackson family was to cash-in and make a quick buck, Ubisoft has jumped at the chance to make what boils down to an artist-specific version of their popular franchise Just Dance. With the goal here being simply to replicate the moves of the dancer(s) on screen in mirror form, the gameplay is anything if not simple. If you’ve played one of Ubisoft’s Just Dance games, which are already three deep in the main series with additional kid spin-offs despite the franchise only being around for one year, then you know exactly what you’re getting here.

Fans of MJ are obviously the target audience here, unless you’re to believe the commercials that show nothing but twenty-something hipsters in New York City warehouse lofts partying down and laughing it up like they’re all experiencing the most enjoyable game in history. Sadly the marketing is way off, because there’s very little that’s enjoyable about this game and fans of Michael Jackson will walk away feeling ripped off. That’s because most people would expect a game about one of the greatest dancers and singers in the history of Pop music to be chock full of extras and features specific to the legendary artist. Despite the game being a letdown for fans of Jackson, it will clearly appeal to those who like waggling their wrist to popular music – aka fans of Just Dance.

Michael Jackson is Voguing?

All the tunes are available right out of the gate, allowing players to pick and choose without having to wait for their favorites to be unlocked. The Experience pulls twenty-six Jackson hits from Off The Wall, Thriller, Bad, Dangerous, HIStory and Blood on the Dance Floor. All the songs are delivered in videogame versions of the videos from back in the day along with adaptations of the dances that accompanied the songs originally. It’s all presented in a pretty lackluster and boring package. That’s probably the biggest shame here since Michael Jackson never wanted to be associated with anything lackluster or boring.

The song selection is so limited that it’s almost an insult to fans. Sure some people will like that there are a couple zombies backing up the fake MJ on the screen during thriller, but even the inclusion of support for backup dancers doesn’t cover up the fact that there’s something missing here. Just like 85% of games on the Wii, everything can be done by the flick of the wrist, which just isn’t fun. If this was on Kinect (slated for an April release this year) then it might be fun because you’re forced to really emulate the dance moves with your entire body, not just your wrist and arm.

The question of whether or not you’ll enjoy Michael Jackson: The Experience for the Nintendo Wii boils down more to whether you like the Just Dance series of games more than whether or not you like the King of Pop. The lack of extras and missing details you’d expect to accompany anything with Michael Jackson’s name on it makes this a disappointing release. We’d rather see a true sequel to Moonwalker than another cash-in by Jackson money grubbing family. If you loved Just Dance, check this one out. If you’re expecting fun MJ gameplay, you better dust-off a Sega Genesis, because this ain’t it.





Music and Rhythm




-1 #1 Correction...Mj fan 2011-01-24 13:25
Farir review. i agree it is disappointing but fun to play nevertheless however one correction...

Sadly, everyone BUT the Jackson family is cashing in on MJs death...Sony, AEG but mostly the estate executers (non Family members) are making money.
when his family tries to make money, its considered unauthorized and they get sued by the estate.
Even his kids wont see a dime for many many years.
-1 #2 Check your source.Tina Slagle 2011-01-24 16:47
I couldn't get a few lines down with out some insult to Michael Jackson. Wacko Jacko???? That's so disrespectful. And the "family" as blood sucking as they seem the Jackson family does not own rights to Michael Jackson's name, it's the estate. If your going to write a review on a gaming software then do your job and nothing else. Reporting is NOT YOUR THING (JESSE SANCHEZ)
+1 #3 Uhm TinaJesse Sanchez 2011-01-25 07:58
Michael was a great performer, brilliant entertainer and amazing business man. Do your research and you'll find that Jackson intentionally portrayed himself as "out there". Example: He leaked the image of himself in a deprivation chamber on purpose. He felt that it was better to be seen as odd (or wacko) than not be seen.

It's okay, you're probably just not a real fan of MJ, or else you'd have some knowledge.

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