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Michael Jackson: The Experience

PS3 vs. 360 face-off.

Dark blue icons of video game controllers on a light blue background
Image credit: Eurogamer

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.