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Michael Jackson: The Experience Review

Image for Michael Jackson: The Experience

Not Bad, just bad

★★★★★

Michael Jackson has suffered as much negative press in death as he did in life, so it’d be encouraging if The Experience could be heralded as a lasting tribute to his magical voice, inspirational performances and incredible dance routines. Sadly, it’s yet another blight on the King Of Pop’s tarnished legacy.

The main problem for Jackson fans is that their idol isn’t really in the game. Using the Xbox 360 Kinect or PS3 Move, players are projected onto the screen in Jackson’s place, performing in front of an adoring audience and grooving alongside a troupe of computer-controlled dancers. And while the classic music is all present and correct – spanning Jackson’s solo career and including monster hits such as Beat It, Bad and Thriller – his plastic features rarely make an appearance on the screen, and there aren’t even vintage music videos to unlock as a reward for long-time devotees.

Lack of Jacksonness aside, the dancing action is also deeply disappointing. There’s a disconcerting delay between busting a move and seeing the action replicated on the TV screen, making it hard to hone your timing and making players look like terrible dancers. Songs don’t automatically end so if you cock up it removes any sense of challenge from the game. With no pitch bar to determine how well you’re performing in the singing sections, the game feels like a poor imitation of rhythm-action stalwarts, albeit one that's learned nothing from the games that inspired it.

Less an ‘Experience' than another cheap way to cash-in on Jackson’s memory, there’s little to keep pop fans shimmying around their lounge, and this sorry mess doesn’t come close to rivalling other games - Dance Central, especially - that are currently boogieing on the shelves .

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