Oh, Michael. How you are missed. You had so much to give, just like your dear friend Princess Diana, who taught us that it's OK to devote your life to landmines and homelessness and own a wardrobe full of £10,000 frocks.
Just as Diana is still remembered through the mediums of jam and frightening dollies, so Michael Jackson's legend lives on through dull films, endless albums and, of course, good old video games. Johnny's already reviewed Michael Jackson: The Experience for Wii, and now here come the PS3 and Xbox 360 versions.
But are they any good, or just Bad? Oh God.
The PS3 Experience
Let's start with the PlayStation 3 game. It's pretty similar to the Wii version in terms of both style and content. There are no proper music videos – you copy Just Dance-style motion-captured avatars as they gyrate about in front of naff animated backgrounds.
The Michael Jackson avatar is a bit weird, with his pale face and strange black holes where his eyes, nose and mouth should be. I am too tired from playing Michael Jackson: The Experience to type out the rest of this joke.
There are 30 songs on the disc and the selection is decent, ranging from the likes of Bad and Billie Jean (hooray) to Heal the World and Earth Song (oh dear) and lesser-known tracks such as In the Closet (do you think he was trying to tell us something). Both the Kinect and PS3 versions feature two tracks which were not included on the Wii disc – Blood on the Dance Floor and Stranger in Moscow. No idea.
As with the Wii game, you hold the controller (Move in this case) in your right hand and groove away, scoring points according to how closely you copy the moves on-screen. Or rather, in reality, scoring points according to how well you can wave your right arm about. Even if you plug in a PlayStation Eye, you're not really being judged on your full-body movement.
It's still worth digging out that camera, though. It'll randomly take snapshots of you as you dance, and capture a 30-second video of your performance. You can upload the photos to Facebook direct from your PS3. You can't do the same thing with the videos, although you can copy them to your PC's hard drive and upload from there.
This is one advantage the PS3 game has over the Wii version (and the 360 one – more on that later). But it's a shame that once again, there's no option to buy additional Jacko songs online.
Come on now, even Just Dance 2 has got a shop. We can only assume the absence of one here is down to the Michael Jackson Estate's noble dedication to preventing any attempts to cash in on the singer's legacy.
It's also disappointing that Ubi hasn't bothered to take advantage of the PS3's additional disc space and processing power by including any decent extras, such as music videos or concert footage. In fact, the unlockables, which you access by winning Trophies, are laughable.
I discovered this when a message popped on screen to tell me I had unlocked "Michael's Awards". I excitedly navigated over to the Extras menu. I was rewarded with a photo of MJ in silhouette and the message, "Michael has more awards than any other artist. Press X to continue." I pressed X. The message disappeared. The photo got slightly bigger. The end.
Like the Wii game, the PS3 version features a series of tutorial videos in which people with names like Maryss supposedly teach you to dance. These are short and disconcerting.
"We're going to show you some of your favourite moves," says Maryss. How does she know they're my favourite moves? Is she watching a live feed from my PlayStation Eye? "Also your groins, very important to make sure you stretch them." Definitely, she can see I'm pregnant.
As before, you don't get to watch these videos which teach you how to dance until you've unlocked them by proving you can dance. Wacko indeed.
There is one big difference between the Wii and PS3 versions of the game: this one lets you plug in a microphone or two and sing along to all the tracks on the disc. A bar at the bottom of the screen keeps track of your tone and pitch and awards you points accordingly. So in effect, you're getting SingStar Michael Jackson as well as a dancing game for your money.
Which isn't a bad deal, considering this game officially retails for only a fiver more. Naff presentation and dull extras aside, at its core this is an enjoyable, accessible offering, featuring an excellent track selection and some superb dance routines.
Sure, if you're not a fan of Michael Jackson, showing off or public humiliation, you won't enjoy it. But the bottom line is, this is a game about singing and dancing along to some of the greatest pop records ever made. Perfect for parties, it's also ideal for entertaining small children, unlike oh see why'd you have to go and spoil it all right at the end.
The Xbox 360 Experience
As you'd expect, the Xbox 360 version of Michael Jackson works with Kinect. And as you'd expect, this means you have to spend the first 15 minutes after booting up the game moving furniture and getting the thing to recognise you and twazzing about with menu screens which are fiddlier to navigate than a maze made of violins.
But there's no denying it: there's something magical about seeing your very own physical form right there on the Michael Jackson Experience stage. Even if Kinect technology is still limited to the point where said form looks like what would happen if you had a child with Morph and microwaved him on High for three minutes.
The tracklist in the Xbox 360 version is the same as it is for the PS3 one, and once again there's no option to download additional tracks. As before, you can sing along if you've got the mics and the inclination. Maryss and chums are back, but this time their tutorial videos are unlocked from the start, mercifully and logically.
The environments are slightly different but still look rather dated and tacky. Sometimes clips of the real music videos appear hazily in the background, but not for long - just long enough to wonder why you can't simply watch the whole thing.
Instead of funny holey-faced Michael, you copy the moves of backing dancers. Without MJ it does feel like something is missing. At least you get to watch your microwaved Morph-child in action, however, and see how your moves are looking. (Though of course this may put off those who have less self-confidence and amazing dance skills than myself.)
On the whole, the dance routines feel a little slower and more simplistic than those in the PS3 game. This might be so Kinect can keep up with your performance – your whole body is being tracked here, not just your right arm. In any case, the dances are still good fun and feel suitably Michael Jacksony.
In single-player, though, there are odd moments at regular intervals in each song where the backing dancers disappear. You're left standing alone on the stage, looking and feeling like a lemon for a few seconds before the dancers magically return in a cloud of sparkly smoke.
The reason for this becomes apparent when trying out the multiplayer mode. Turns out these are the points at which you must step out of Kinect's line of sight to make way for another player (your team-mate if you're playing co-operatively, or opponent if you're having a Battle).
As with Dance Central, there's no simultaneous multiplayer option – it's all turn-based. This isn't a huge problem but it does feel like a bit of a shame that you can't dance together, and having to switch places all the the time spoils the flow.
The PS3 version, in contrast, lets you sing or dance at the same time as other players. However, you're stuck with which ever option you pick for the duration of the song. This is where the Xbox 360 game has a trick up its sleeve: Master Performances.
These switch things up, getting you to perform a short section of the dance routine before belting out a quick verse, and repeat. Perfect for those who are not only amazing dancers but also spectacular singers, like myself.
But unlike the PS3 game, the 360 one doesn't bother recording any video clips of your performance. After it's over you get to see a couple of random Kinect snapshots, but there is no way to upload or save these. History weeps.
Still. Once again it comes down to this: superb pop songs and amazing choreography, wrapped up in a package which could be more polished and comprehensive but which does the job. Good times.
So the PS3 game just has the edge – but only just, and in this case it really does come down to personal taste. These games are almost as enjoyable and flawed as each other, just in different ways.
Yes, if I had to pick one, I'd choose the PS3 version. This is because I enjoy the silly, showy-offy aspects of dancing games. The fancier routines and video options suit me better. I also find it's a lot easier to get reluctant players involved if they can dance with you rather than having to take turns, and the public humiliation of others is a big thing for me.
But if I was the type who my took dancing a bit more seriously, if I wanted to be properly evaluated on my skills, and if I had more confident friends, I'd pick the Xbox 360 game.
The version you should pick up depends on your personal preferences. Do pick one up, though, if you're any kind of fan of dancing games, karaoke or Michael Jackson. Nutty as the contents of a squirrel's fridge, but you can't deny the man made a good pop song.