Tuesday, December 6, 2011

The Black Eyed Peas Experience Review

Groups or individuals once upon a time would reach the pinnacle of advertising in games if they happened to be the center of a sporting franchise (eg. Tiger Woods or Tony Hawk). These days musicians are getting into the medium with entire games based around their work. First Rock Band and Guitar Hero put out dedicated side releases based off the current iteration of the series for bands such as Green Day, The Beatles and Metallica. Motion based gaming has brought forward dance games and the Experience series has given us Michael Jackson and now The Black Eyed Peas. The dance band turned electro with a bit of bootylicious action is an interesting choice for the developers as it targets a very specific group that is alot smaller than say Michael Jackson.


Graphically this game looks surprisingly strong. A large amount of detail has gone straight into the members of the BEP and unique features have been added to all the background members of the game. There are different locations in the game that you get to dance in as you progress through the game but in the end they add nothing what so ever to the overall experience. It's nice for a scenery change but nothing dramatically changes.

The animations of both the BEP dancers as well as your avatar are super smooth. Some Kinect games have a habit of making the avatar perform some pretty unbelievable leg and arm rotations but none of that occurs in The BEP Experience, possibly because the game is looking for timing of certain body parts instead of complete motion tracking. Turning your character around to be facing the dancers is an excellent idea and lets you recreate the moves from a more sensible view.

This is a Black Eyed Peas game so obviously the soundtrack is based around work from all of their albums. If you like their music then this will sound great, if not then it won't and others will wonder why you have bought a game based around an artist you don't even like. Unlike some games however, BEP Experience is for the most part uncensored except for the F-bomb. This is good because if an artist includes it in a song then it's usually there for a reason. Def Jam Rapster is an example of a game ruined by censorship.


The Black Eyed Peas Experience plays like Dance Central or Just Dance but with a few key differences that both help and hinder the experience. The game is fairly light on features with the standard drop in drop out 'party' mode as well as a more structured campaign mode. If the gameplay was tight then the party mode would be great for when you had friends around as well as the campaign mode to hone your skills.

However, this game isn't as polished as the bigger titles like Dance Central 2 and Just Dance 3 which launched around the same time. While certain aspects like a visual preview of the dance move before you have to perform it is a great idea, the lag and poor motion tracking absolutely ruins this game. As with many Kinect games, inaccurate tracking for games which require precision timing and movement is a killer to any possible fun. I found myself feeling like I was spot on with moves and getting good at best if I was lucky, it became a very frustrating experience that simply repeated itself throughout the entire game.

Campaign mode is fairly straight forward, allowing you to select songs, dancers, clubs to dance in to progress your rank and unlock new items and songs. It is more of a solo experience compared to the party mode which is geared towards more people just looking to have fun. The microphone from any other game can be plugged in to have someone singing along, regularly making references to their booty. This title doesn't offer more than any other and is definitely streamlined to the younger generation who like electro beats.


When it comes down to it, if you like Black Eyed Peas and dancing then this game will probably be a no brainer to you. Other games offer more diversity and better controls which don't diminish the experience. That being said, these kind of games have proven to be successful in the past and the number of clubbers out there will find something to suit their standards. Black Eyed Peas fans should check this game out while those who just want to stop the party would be best to stick to Dance Central or Just Dance which have a larger variety of genres and styles.

Graphics - 8/10
Sound - 8/10
Gameplay - 5/10
Overall - 7/10