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Britney's Dance Beat (GBA)
If you ever wanted to get your sweaty hands on Britney, you can do it right here!
By Andrew S. Bub | Apr. 14, 2002


53
The Lowdown: Making Britney dance at the touch of a button is every girl's dream, and every boy's fantasy, but only a mediocre game.
Pros: Will probably please all those Britney fans who don't know any better.
Cons: Shallow gameplay; annoying puzzle mode; poor music quality.

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Platform:  Game Boy Advance
Game Type:  Dance/Puzzle
Developer:  ART Co.
Publisher:  THQ

Full Game Information
Britney Spears is so awesome! She's a massive cultural force slinking and sliding her uniquely virginal way into pop culture history. Move over other blonde fabricated dance sensations! Here comes the "girl, not yet a woman" (my eyes beg to differ) former Mousekateer flavor of the decade! Yep, courtesy of the good people at THQ, Britney's got game! A handheld game! Insert your own joke here.

Dance Beat is a dancing game in the vein of games like Dance Dance Revolution. The game is divided into a few sections: dance mode, 2-player, and puzzle. The soft curvy meat of the game is located in the dance mode. At first, only a practice game is open, as you must earn your place as a Britney Spears back-up dancer (a high aspiration indeed). From there you must play through "Hit Me Baby One More Time," "Oops, I did it Again," "Stronger," and that slinky ode to "chaste" domination, "I'm a Slave for You," by hitting either the A or B-buttons, and later the directional pad, during the beat.

In a dance studio Britney grinds, bops, and cavorts like a marionette to your button-pushing prowess dressed in a few slinky outfits. A simple circle icon and sweeping arm tell you when to hit the buttons, rating your efforts as great, good, or miss. After you're done you can watch little Britney perform the routine while listening to the midi version of the song again (NVU spared no expense as Britney's real voice wails during the chorus), or skip it to see how you did.

When you're done moving through all four practice songs you're rewarded with a trip to the tour portion of the game where you get to... play the same four songs in order, again! Only this time Britney is on a stage-like backdrop, her outfits are slightly different, and the gameplay adds the directional pad to the mix, making the game significantly more challenging.

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The gameplay is dull and finger straining, but fine and dandy for what the game is trying to do. The younger set will especially enjoy watching Britney do her routine after each successful level and likely won't find the tinny reproduced singles more grating than the original versions. Dance Beat ramps up the difficulty smoothly and gets challenging quickly enough, and success unlocks extras like pixilated photos of the ing�nue herself, letting you use them in the game's puzzle mode.

Oh yeah, the puzzle mode, you know those sliding tile puzzles annoying aunts get you for holidays and such? The type that let you move the tiles around to form the picture? Want to do that on your GBA? Well, have we got a game for you. Instead of adding more songs and dances to the game, NVU has coded a few of these annoying puzzles into it as an option. How bored is your kid anyway? On top of it all is link 2-player mode, which is a nice option. Most Britney fans are little girls (really!) and I've noticed they travel in massive packs; they might enjoy linking up and having Britney dance-offs together. If you win "Best Performance" in this mode you win the right to be a Britney Spears back-up dancer, which I'm guessing is every girl's fantasy.


Great! She called me Great!
Dance Beat's graphics are better than its sound, though everything has a dull orange cast to it (judging from backlit screenshots the orange cast is more due to the GBA's lighting issues than the colors used). The animations are nice and detailed, and it's obvious that there was extensive motion capturing. Britney dancing looks like Britney dancing, so that's a good thing. One problem is that the A-button prompt is red and the B-button prompt is sort of an orange-yellow. It's easy to mistake the two and that hurts your score.

Will your Britney-loving son or daughter want this game? Yes. Will they love it? I dunno, probably, they love her music don't they? Anything goes pal! Will you or your non-Britney fan children love the game? Probably not. There's just not a whole lot of game here, but what there is, is pure Britney. It's as shallow as the diva herself.


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