The Black Eyed Peas Experience from Ubisoft for Kinect on the Xbox 360 has just hit retails stores worldwide and is available to buy now! Featuring twenty-eight chart-topping tracks from the Black Eyed Peas album’s past and present, you can dance your way to the top of the leaderboards and bust some new moves you’d never thought possible. Of course, it goes without saying that in order to enjoy The Black Eyed Peas Experience you would at least have to have a liking to the bands style of music and be game for a bit of a laugh; as the over-all experience is fun to enjoy with friends whilst nicely teaching you some great choreography.
Initially the game presents itself to the gamer as if it was one of those interactive DVD’s and The Black Eyed Peas (as you may imagine) are heavily plastered everywhere – the menu system, in cut-scenes, loading screens, you name it, they’re on it! Noticeably, unlike other dancing games on the Xbox 360 where cartoon-like characters are shown on screen bopping away to the music, this game has The Black Eyed Pea’s shown through-out as stylised 3D models in bright funky stage clothing who each take a turn strutting their stuff with mic in hand. It’s like your own digital 1-on-1 concert, but if you’re the owner of a 360 USB microphone too, a friend can jump in for some co-operative dancing gameplay as well as sing-a-long to the tracks.
There are two main experiences to be enjoyed within the game; Dance Party and the Deluxe Experience. Essentially Dance Party mode is a quick fix, jump in and play game where you don’t have to work towards anything other than having a good time. You get to pick from any of the twenty-eight tracks which feature the bands greatest hits including: Boom Boom Pow, Don’t Stop the Party, I Gotta Feeling, Hey Mamma, Pump It – and even, The Time (Dirty Bit)! To ensure you are able to follow the moves required for each track, before each game starts, with the power of Kinects Body Tracking sensory goodness it will watch you as you copy the on-screen prompts and rank you from average to great. Because Dance Party mode is all about the fun, it’s not all that important how you play – it’s all about the taking part that matters and a great experience to enjoy solo, but even better with a few friends. You don’t have to take yourself all that seriously and it’s a great tool to show off the power of Kinect whilst remembering some basic choreography. Sadly, Dance Party mode represents you on screen as a woman in bright red heels regardless of your gender. An option to represent your character as male or female should have been an unquestionable addition in this game type.
Next up is the Deluxe Experience; best considered the main campaign part of the game in which you must improve your skills and rack up a decent amount of followers to ultimately try and become one of the Black Eyed Peas – that’s your main goal. To progress and improve you must play in a variety of venues across the world. Starting in Area 246 Tokyo, you dance your way through a selection of songs and depending upon your performance, you will be scored against how many followers danced with you on the dance floor. The more followers you gain, the more unlocks become available – but most importantly, more dance routines and steps are unlocked before you have to hit (and nail perfectly) the final routine! Each song that you choose to dance and rock to will be broken down into three main steps with the bands dancers before you reach the final routine. Although each step has to be unlocked individually based on performance, all three steps featuring their own dance routines come together eventually to prep you for the final routine which will help you to clear a stage before being able to unlock extra venues. Thankfully this game mode does have customisation options to not only choose your gender of dancer, but style them too with Black Eyed Peas branded clothing or unlockable funky outfits as you progress. The difficulty levels of each routine increase as you progress also, but it all boils down to perfect timing and accurately moving your body to copy the on-screen dancers which is never as easy as it looks and often requires multiple takes until you have perfected each move as closely as possible.
Additionally if the Dance Party and Deluxe Experience wasn’t enough to keep you entertained (or breathless) you can have a mess about in the included Choreo-Maker menu which will allow you to combine moves and cook up your own dance routines that you can later trade and share! Each full routine can hold up to 32 different moves so you can truly be as expressive as you like, but if you have a dance in mind and can’t specifically remember the name of it – with the power of Kinect once again you can just press the option to ‘Find by Dancing’ and the game will find the full routine for you.
The Black Eyed Peas Experience is definitely a very impressive dance game that makes full use of the Kinect body movement tracking, and is more enhanced in visual style than most other Kinect dance games currently on the market. Visually it looks like the best party in town with a dance floor to die for, but will only appeal to a selective type of gamer – namely teens who love dancing, or hard-core Black Eyed Peas fans who also own a Kinect Sensor for the Xbox 360. This is the type of game that would make a great Christmas present for your teenager, and you could secretly enjoy it as your guilty pleasure when no one’s around!
It’s great fun and you may even find yourself toning up in the process as well as busting some new dance moves you could never before master – or thought of!