By Matt Garton
Gannett News Service
Blending a mix of chart-topping singles, slick dance moves, solid controls and one of pop music's hottest acts, "Britney's Dance Beat" is one of those rare pop culture spinoffs that sticks to the basics and proves that you don't have to go over the top to create a hit game.
There's no �oops� about it, Dance Beat is enjoyable if you're into the dance or music scene.
The main game sets you up as a dancer trying out for Britney Spears' world tour. You'll dance through several auditions, squaring off against other dancers to show Spears that you've got the moves she needs.
Five of Spears' top hits are your groove tunes. From her earlier hit �...Baby, One More Time� to the more recent �Oops! I Did it Again,� there are plenty of tunes to groove to, but adding one more song might have extended playability a bit longer.
Bonus videos, accessed via a backstage pass option, are unlocked by scoring high in the auditions. They range from backstage footage from Spears' concerts to 360-degree videos of Spears performing and practicing the songs heard during the game.
Players familiar with the games �Bust a Groove� and �Dance Dance Revolution� will pick up this title quickly. The music will play and a meter will tell you what button to press to make your dancer move. Rhythm is everything because the closer to the beat you hit the buttons, the higher the score and the more likely you can move onto the next audition stage for even tougher button combos.
A dance pad accessory is optional, but if you really are into getting a groove going, it's the only way to go for hard-core gamers.
The motion capture of the characters is excellent. Because this is a dancing game, movement can't look jerky or freeze, and this title excels at making the characters look realistic. Some added facial movements would help liven things up, but that's nit-picking.
This title is a no-brainer: If you're a Spears fan, go get it. If you like dance games but can't stand her music, steer clear. Outside of that, �Dance Beat� is solid. There's nothing groundbreaking about it, but in some ways, that's what keeps the game fun.