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 PLATFORM: WII
OFF YOUR HIGH HORSE

ifferent games have different goals. This one’s aim is to make you laugh, sing along to some songs that you can’t help but recognize, tap your feet to a beat, and pass that fun on to your friends. Other music games have the market cornered on kicking your ass – Boogie is infinitely more interested in finding a way to make you shake it.

To achieve this modest task, the folks at EA Montreal have arranged a song list of the most ridiculous and flamboyant songs you can name. Seriously, if it made you groan when it played at your high school homecoming dance, it’s probably here. You’ll notice I used the term “fun” over “good.” Few are the brave souls who will defend “U Can’t Touch This,” “Kung Fu Fighting,” “Dancing Machine,” and “Slave 4 U” as high musical art. But ingrained in the American consciousness? They’ve got that covered.

Translating these pop super-hits into gameplay comes in two forms. A simple karaoke style sing-along mode couldn’t be much more straightforward. The dancing mode, meanwhile, cleverly utilizes the Wii remote as a sort of conducting baton with which you’ll keep the beat to build up points while your cartoony onscreen avatar struts and poses in response to the flicks and tilts of the controller.

Boogie is not without its faults. Beyond some iffy voice detection, the game has a frustrating tendency to incorrectly detect your gestures on some of the more complex dancing moves. The multiplayer options could certainly use some fleshing out, and a few of the sound-alikes they’ve used for the song covers are questionable.

A funny thing happened while I was reviewing this game. The first day I was playing it at work, I had a pretty good time, even if the mechanics at play weren’t blowing me away – beyond the game’s ability to induce shame as my fellow editors looked in on me as I crooned through the phrase: “Don’t cha’ wish your girlfriend was hot like me?”. That night, I happened to have the game at home when some non-game playing friends were over, and the amount of hilarity, guffaws at song selections, and jockeying for the microphone was hard to contain. Leave your stuffy music and game sensibilities at the door – Boogie has a more plebeian appeal.

  

ADAM BIESSENER   6
I love the idea of Boogie – a lighthearted music game designed specifically for Wii sounds great on paper. It’s the implementation that I take issue with. Shaking the remote on the beat works poorly as a core mechanic, since the game’s detection of your movements is woefully imprecise. The vocal lines also detect poorly, which does the karaoke half of the game no favors. Most notably, though, there’s no motivation to do your best in Boogie. The story mode is laughably easy to complete, and the sloppy detection of both dancing and singing prevents any kind of serious scoring competition. Outside of the outstanding animation, Boogie does everything worse than the dozens of rhythm games out there. Oh, and I hope you like lowest-common-denominator dance/pop music, because that’s all you’ll find in the song list. Is it a fun time at a party? Sure, but so is Yahtzee, and I’m sure as heck not handing that a high score.
7.75
CONCEPT:
Dance and sing through the full array of over-the-top party tunes in this simple but hilarious variation on the genre
GRAPHICS:
Crisp, well drawn-characters, but the background environments could use some spicing up
SOUND:
They may all be covers, but every song on this extensive list is the kind that makes you sigh, laugh, and start dancing anyway when it inevitably shows up at your buddy’s wedding
PLAYABILITY:
A few of the dance controls are a little touchy, but the overall mechanics are simple to pick up and play
ENTERTAINMENT:
It certainly isn’t meant to compete with the challenging edge of a game like Guitar Hero, but for eliciting grins at a get-together, Boogie won’t disappoint
REPLAY:
Moderate
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