After years of playing second fiddle, music-based gaming finally reached the forefront with the release of 2005’s Guitar Hero, a game that expertly mixed accessible controls with high-quality licensed rock music (as opposed to the forgettable techno/electronic tunes of Dance Dance Revolution and its ilk). Now comes Boogie, a game that combines well-known licensed dance hits and hip-hop music—from The Jackson Five to Britney Spears—with onscreen dancing and karaoke gameplay. The result is a strange and misguided attempt to do for singing and dancing what Guitar Hero did for guitar playing.
In Boogie, players pick from one of five distinct characters and make them dance to the tune of roughly 40 different pop/dance tracks. Dancing is achieved by swinging the Wii remote in time with the music, an action that feels akin to waving a maraca or banging an imaginary drum. Players also have the option of singing each track karaoke-style using the included USB microphone. Add to that the ability to compete with friends in multiplayer mode and it might seem that Boogie has the makings of an outstanding party game. Sadly, these ideas ultimately fall far short in their execution.
Though entertaining at first, the dancing quickly grows frustrating once it becomes evident that the game doesn’t consistently recognize the controller movement. Earning a high score requires the player to flick the remote either up/down or left/right in specific sequences; however, since the game often fails to immediately detect these changes in direction, dance combos can get broken through no fault of the player. To make things worse, the game’s choice of where the beat falls on some of the songs feels off. It’s tough to have fun when the player and the game disagree on where the beat is.
Disclaimer: This game is based on the Wii version of the game.