Do you gotta feeling? Does your heart phunk when the beat goes “Boom Boom Pow”? Do your lovely lady lumps feel the need to Get It Started in front of your Kinect? Well, Imma Be real with you when I say that this game will only appeal to the super fans of the hip-pop group, and if the first three questions made you want to throw yourself out of a window, then you’re probably not one of them. BEP fans anxious to Rock That Body, however, should read on.
Above: You'll become intimately familiar with BEP's fashion sense through the game
The Black Eyed Peas Experience will be familiar to any who have played a dance game on Kinect. By mimicking choreography, points are acquired and you’re ranked based on performance. New to Experience is the inclusion of followers. The better you perform the more followers you gain, which unlocks items that can be used to customize your avatar and new venues to dance in. Want a pair of flashy hi-top sneakers to go with that sweet orange leather jacket? Better make sure you’re not 2000 and late.
The game includes two modes: Dance Party and Deluxe Experience. Dance Party is Experience’s co-op mode for up to two players while Deluxe is the game’s career mode. Your ultimate goal in the latter is to gain followers, unlock items to style your avatar and earn the right to dance with the Peas on stage. Deluxe requires that you train with a coach for each song prior to performing a routine and we found that this could be very dull on the easier dances. Did we really need to do four 8-counts of a sidestep before moving on to a hand clap? Apparently the Peas believe we do.
Above: The number by Taboo's feet shows how many followers you've acquired so far
The choreography lands somewhere in the middle between Just Dance’s simplicity and Dance Central’s complexity. At higher difficulty levels, of which there are four, the routines rely mostly on quicker transitions between choreography rather than a wide variety of moves. However, the choreography as a whole felt more composed and complex than any of Just Dance’s.
With over 30 songs, the tracklist covers all the major and minor BEP hits, but older fans who have stuck around with the group (do you guys exist?) will be sorely disappointed that the only pre-Fergie track is “Cali to New York” off the Bridging the Gap album. Unless there are plans to release DLC, we doubt the ability to learn a routine to “Joints & Jam” will happen any time soon.
If you played Ubisoft’s first Experience title for Michael Jackson, you’ll be pleasantly surprised to see that visually this title is leaps and bounds better than the King of Pop’s version. The Peas are as much a visual brand as they are a music group and their eccentric outfits and hairstyles are represented well in-game. Environments you dance in are vibrant and saturated with colors you’d see in any huge dance club.
Above: Isn't it still a faux pas to wear a band's shirt to their own show? Tsk tsk
As a dance game, The Black Eyed Peas Experience is a decent title with good choreography and vibrant visuals to back it up. At the end of the day, though, unless you really really like The Black Eyed Peas (and we mean really really like them, as you’ll be bombarded with BEP facts between songs) this game will be a rental at best.