For those who avidly read the reviews section here at Gaming Bolt, (bless you all) you may recall us reviewing the Wii version of Michael Jackson: The Experience. It’s been three months since then, and a version has now been released to accommodate the PS3’s new motion controlling capabilities via Playstation Move. It’s still primarily the same game, if with a few interesting additions, but shares a common problem with the Wii version of offering an entirely no frills experience.
The main mechanics of the game are practically identical to the Wii version, so for a full and detailed round up you should check out the review for that version here. Here’s a quick summary for those who can’t be bothered to click the link (shame on you.) The game doesn’t really have much of a career mode, mainly relying on the dance school unlocks. The unlocks feature a series of video clips that elaborate on and explain Michael’s iconic dance moves and training methods. You earn these by getting stars in the quick play mode, but this is the only real incentive to keep going and it’s all fairly arbitrary at best.
The track list is solid, though it tends to focus on getting a broad view of MJ’s career, rather than straight quality. The roster comprises most of his hits, but it never does feel quite right dancing to some of his later tunes. The graphics display the whole thing well with a sense of polish, if not technical proficiency. Though this area could’ve seen an improvement on the PS3 version, all things considered.
You dance along to the tunes by copying the character’s moves as they are mirrored on screen. The Move wand generally works well in this capacity, but there were too many times where it felt like it wasn’t properly sensing my movements. The dance moves are all quite fun to perform, and offer huge variety whenever you get a bunch of buddies involved as your back up dancers.
The main addition to the PS3 version of the game is the ability to sing along to the tunes with a USB microphone. The songs all feel good to belt out and the pitch detection is impressive and consistent throughout. It also allows more people to get in on the action, as you can have multiple dancers and singers performing at the same time.
The other unique change to the PS3 MJ experience is inclusion of online interactions. The PS eye camera constantly takes videos and pictures of your graceful (or not) moves. You can then save and upload these to your Facebook if you’re really that keen to publicly embarrass yourself. For the non-exhibitionists among us, there are online leaderboards you can compete in that will drive you to constantly up your score. The only critical online area that is missing is a DLC store. Indeed, it seems that MJ: The Experience won’t get any DLC support; a major chink in the armour in terms of longevity.
There are also many more collectibles you can unlock for the PS3 version, ranging from tour photos and iconic snaps to little facts and figures about Jackson’s prolific career. It’s all interesting stuff that MJ fans are sure to relish, but they are still fairly arbitrary unlockables that are unlikely to keep you going. Again, this is the main issue with the game. It’s a great party game with friends, but there’s just very little else going on. No career or story modes and the inability to download new tracks via DLC limit the amount of play time that Michael Jackson: The Experience can offer. That said, it may still be worth the asking price for hardcore MJ fans who really want to strut and sing their stuff with their friends.
Singing is a welcome addition, Wide variety of MJ's tracks, Dance school videos are informative, Full of unlockable pics and MJ trivia, Leaderboards and Facebook connectivity, It takes amusing pictures and videos as you play
Motion tracking feels hit and miss, The offerings aside from the core tracks are merely cosmetic, Tracks favour MJ's whole career instead of highlights, No real improvements over last year's Wii version, No DLC
Offering an all singing all dancing extravaganza for fans of the king of pop, MJ: The Experience offers some fun music game mechanics that unfortunately comprise a very bare-bones product