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Michael Jackson: The Experience Review (Xbox Kinect)

Posted Apr 26 2011 9:39am
It's time we did a proper video game review for Michael Jackson: The Experience.  If you are a Michael Jackson fanboy, I'm sure anything that has his name on it will be great for you.  You can pretty much stop reading here if you are a fanboy of his as anything but glowing praise will be ignored by you anyway.  As "Dance Central" for the Xbox Kinect is a great game, especially if you enjoy dancing, I will use it as our gold standard to compare.

In Dance Central they have a large amount of songs to choose from.
In Michael Jackson The Experience there aren't really all too many.  Mostly just his hits, which granted are a lot for any individual artist, for a video game however, you can't help but feel slightly cheated by the lack of content.

In Dance Central they have practice modes where you can really slow down the avatar until you can get every move perfect.  This is great for the video game nerd !  Other than being continually asked to do the "Truffle Shuffle" by neighborhood bullies we never really danced before.  In Dance Central they slow down the movements and then let you know if you are doing them correctly.  This way you can keep doing them slowly until you get them right.

In Michael Jackson The Experience they have a professional dance instructor, not a computer avatar, show you how to do the moves slowly once or twice, then goes into full speed mode immediately following that.  They do not give you any feedback in the practice mode if you are doing anything correctly or not.  You are left feeling like more of an idiot than you look after this.  No feedback, and seeing a professional dancer whiz through how to do these moves might work for people that are natural dancers, but definitely not for the stereotypical people that own an Xbox and a Kinect.  This is a HUGE mark off of the game as far as I'm concerned because you are left with a feeling, once again, of being cheated as the practice mode is little more than a Youtube "How to" video.  While I wasn't expecting to be mistaken for the King of Pop after playing this game for a bit on the dance floor, I was hoping for some additional skillz.  Instead I was left feeling like a fat white kid that is just as clueless after playing as before.

Kurtis Lort:
"You could have just bought a $10 mirror and felt the same way."

In Dance Central they show you some graphics for the move you should be doing next in the game mode so you can prepare yourself.  You can also practice certain moves repeatedly instead of doing the entire song at a time.

In Michael Jackson: The Experience this part was identical.  The game mode let you know via graphic representations what move was next so you could be on your game.  You could also practice, at full speed, certain areas of the song.

In Dance Central only one person can play at a time.  They claim that two people can play at a time through "Battle mode" but it's really just one person dancing solo vs another person dancing solo. This is the only part of Dance Central that is sub par.

In Michael Jackson: The Experience up to 4 people can dance at the same time.  This way 4 people that have no idea what they are doing can all do it incorrectly at the same time as opposed to one person.  This could be a party favorite and enjoyable if everyone is in a goofy kinda mood!

In Dance Central it highlights where you are doing a move incorrectly so you can concentrate on your left arm, right leg, etc.

In Michael Jackson: The Experience it just says you're either doing it right or wrong with no additional feedback.

My conclusion is that this game is probably worth around $10-$15 and I have no doubt that within a year it will be that price.  Wait until then unless you are a super MJ fan and just NEED it ASAP.  It won't do any better of a job teaching you how to dance like Michael Jackson than a Youtube video would.  So save some money and just go to Youtube instead.

As far as this being a good way to lose weight and exercise I'll have to give this a big thumb down.  It would take such a long time for you to get good enough at the moves to where you are actually breaking a sweat, that it's not worth it.  You'd be much better off getting Kinect's if you are looking to actually get a workout in from your Kinect.

Tip O' The Day:
The faster you run, the more calories you burn (Based on running the same amount of time).
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