Michael Jackson: The Experience • Page 2

PS3 vs. 360 face-off.

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.

Comments (34)

Comments for this article are now closed, but please feel free to continue chatting on the forum!