Not Bad, just bad
Michael Jackson has suffered as much negative press in death as he did in life, so itd be encouraging if The Experience could be heralded as a lasting tribute to his magical voice, inspirational performances and incredible dance routines. Sadly, its yet another blight on the King Of Pops tarnished legacy.
The main problem for Jackson fans is that their idol isnt really in the game. Using the Xbox 360 Kinect or PS3 Move, players are projected onto the screen in Jacksons 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 Jacksons 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 arent even vintage music videos to unlock as a reward for long-time devotees.
Lack of Jacksonness aside, the dancing action is also deeply disappointing. Theres 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 dont automatically end so if you cock up it removes any sense of challenge from the game. With no pitch bar to determine how well youre 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 Jacksons memory, theres little to keep pop fans shimmying around their lounge, and this sorry mess doesnt come close to rivalling other games - Dance Central, especially - that are currently boogieing on the shelves .