I’m neither a Michael Jackson fan nor an avid dance game player, so when I decided to try my hand at Michael Jackson the Experience, I was skeptical. Negative connotations of the Gloved One’s life aside, the music never really appealed to me, and I’m always the guy who asks “Can we play on medium?” when it’s my turn to drum at “Rock Band”.
Surprisingly, the game is pretty forgiving in that respect. It’s your average dance game, you hold a Wiimote and follow the onscreen prompts. You’re judged on your rhythm and timing hitting these prompts and your score is calculated thusly. However (and trust me, I did not know this before) Michael Jackson’s dancing is largely based off the rhythm of his lyrics, and not his actual music, so helpfully, the developers have decided to display lyrics onscreen. Those of you who are less inhibited than myself could probably also sing along as you dance.
The system is pretty simple, and after a few songs, I actually found myself getting into it. It’s surprising how well a Michael Jackson Wii game works. I haven’t ever heard much of the music, and surprisingly I was able to pull something out of this Michael Jackson experience that I actually liked.
The downside to this is all you’re getting is a Michael Jackson Wii game. There are no other artists who perform on this game. If you hate-hate-hate Michael Jackson, like one of my friends does, you’re going to find yourself leaving the room when you hear the title screen music. And to be honest, after a few hours, I wasn’t that thrilled (get it?) to be playing this game.
Obviously, Michael Jackson the Experience is not for everyone. Fans are going to love it, and the makers know that (they’ve included a single sequined glove in every copy of the game). But was it too much to ask to maybe get a few remixes or covers? I’m not saying Michael Jackson isn’t a good artist, but he’s certainly not one of my favorites, and I think they could have expanded the musical selection while still staying within the theme of the game.
So, if you’re a fan wanting to live the Michael Jackson experience as close as you can without donning a silk surgical mask, you’re in luck, this is the game for you. Michael Jackson the Experience was clearly designed with you in mind, and it’s not a bad game for what it is.
However, if you’re a casual MJ fan, or maybe just a dance game fan looking for a different game, this might be more worth renting. Trust me, you won’t miss the sequined glove that much.