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on November 11, 2011
Stop the presses!!! We have a new contender entering the ring. There are several dance games gracing the Kinect for Xbox 360, but I thought nothing would be able to stand up to the two juggernauts, Just Dance 3 and Dance Central 2. Well, that all changed when I started playing The Black Eyed Peas Experience.

For starters, even though they are both published by Ubisoft, The Black Eyed Peas Experience is nothing like Michael Jackson: The Experience. While Michael Jackson: The Experience is a great game, it is more of a tribute to the King of Pop, where you learn to dance, sing, and perform like MJ himself. With The Black Eyed Peas Experience, you essentially get a party in a box. That's right - open the case, put the disc in, and let the party begin. You'll be transported to several energetic venues, all inspired by their shows and music videos.

Immediately, I could tell The Black Eyed Peas Experience was specifically made for the Kinect. The folks at Uibosft already have an incredible history of making amazing games for the Kinect. That is why I was so surprised by how similar Just Dance 3 was to its Wii counterpart. Besides the fabulous Just Create mode and full body tracking, there really isn't anything that makes Just Dance 3 stand separate from the Wii version. The Black Eyed Peas Experience does several things to harness the power of the Xbox and truly stand out.

THE PARTY IN A BOX - INNOVATIVE, FULL OF MOTION, AND FUN

There are some games that you know, right from the beginning, have that magical touch. The Black Eyed Peas Experience is one of those games. As soon as the game loads, you'll see the Black Eyed Peas dancing. There are no hand-swipes or hovering to start this game. To begin, you have to copy the Peas - by dancing. The entire game flows from one screen to the next. You feel like you are attending a party, and you are the guest of honor.

If you have the moves, you can certainly hop right in and dance with your favorite Black Eyed Peas: apl.de.ap, Fergie, Taboo, and will.i.am. However, I would highly recommend jumping into the ultimate experience of career mode. Here, you can pick your avatar, earn new clothing options, learn dances, and unlock exciting new locations. Just a side note here, the avatars are more like Dance Central's choice of style, versus the plain faced look of Just Dance or seeing yourself, like Michael Jackson: The Experience.

BREAK IT DOWN - WITH PIZZAZZ

The Black Eyed Peas Experience redefines breaking a dance down into pieces. When first coming across a song, you see several elements of the song, which need unlocked. Each element of the song has its own set of moves. The way to learn them is very interesting. You pop into the club and move from dancer to dancer. Each dancer is doing one move repeatedly. You are to copy that move several times. After successfully performing it, the camera sweeps to the next dancer to repeat the process for another move. Once you have learned a few moves, you must dance it all together.

Once finished, you are given a point score, based on several criteria, and a grade. You can redo that dance part, or move to the next part, eventually unlocking the entire set of choreography for the song. Feedback is given on your dancing by glowing orbs around your hands and feet. Unless, I either missed it or dance incredibly well, I didn't notice any negative feedback system. The avatar has glowing lights around them if you do well and nothing if you miss the mark.

While this may sound very similar to Dance Central's approach to breaking down a song, it feels very different. Dance Central plucks you out of the crowd and focuses on each move, one step at a time. The Black Eyed Peas Experience keeps the party moving by making you feel like you are just another person in the club. You're moving from dancer to dancer, doing different moves at each stop. The dancers don't stop, you just copy their move. You can slow it down, but the party is still happening all around you.

AN ENDLESS PARTY

The Black Eyed Peas have more than enough material to keep your body moving. This game features more than 300 dance moves, with over 30 songs across four albums: The Beginning, The E.N.D., Monkey Business, and Elephunk. All your favorite songs are here, from Boom Boom Pow to Let's Get It Started.

If this wasn't enough, there are downloadable songs and routines for purchase. But even better, there is an included Choreo-Maker Mode. I can't stress this enough, I think this mode is ingenious. Essentially, you can take any of the dance moves, available from all the songs, and piece them together in any way you want to. After you have created your own choreography, you can send the newly created dance to a friend over Xbox LIVE.

THE FIVE F'S

In reviewing Kinect games, I look for the five f's: family, fitness, fun, functionality, and firsts. The Black Eyed Peas Experience makes me want to add a sixth f - flow. I can't stress enough, how much this game makes you feel like you are in the club or at a party. You are bouncing around from one venue to the next with ease. I suppose this speaks to how well the game functions, because I never missed a beat.

The Black Eyed Peas Experience is family friendly with some mildly suggestive tones. If you have seen their videos or live shows, you'll know what to expect in this game. The game is incredibly fun and is easy for people to get up and involved in. And just like Just Dance 3, supports four players.

You'll get lost in the fun, where you'll take part in a game that feels like a continuous party. Dance Central 2 and Just Dance 3 both introduced some nice ongoing playlist features this year, but each of those has moments where I feel a slight pause in the action. The Black Eyed Peas Experience feels natural, continuous, full of energy, and needless to say - is an amazing workout.

SUMMARY

Pros:

Continuous party
Great licensed music
Innovative break it down mode
Choreo-Maker Mode

Cons:

None

Conclusion:

Make no mistake about it, The Black Eyed Peas Experience is no knockoff game, but rather a game that will help define the dance game genre. There are several new elements included that I would like to see spread across the other dance games. You may argue about their style of music, but there is no argument in The Black Eyed Peas ruling the club scene. If you would like a taste of that energy, then nothing beats the full-bodied experience of The Black Eyed Peas Experience.
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on November 22, 2011
My BEP KINECT disc arrived today and I couldn't wait to start! I am a big fan and love their songs. I have purchasesd Dance Central and Zumba Fitness and think they are good. I think this is better for my own reasons.

My goal is to enjoy dancing to music I like and hopefully get a little workout at the same time. I am not a great dancer and don't want to be, i just want to have fun and be as accurate as I can following their moves. The thing i like more than any other game is that my avatar is facing away from me and there is another dancer facing toward me. This lets me see both sides of the dance and easier to follow their moves. Also they don't show any videos of me dancing ( This way I can stay in my fantacy world thinking i am a great dancer). The songs are great and the dancing is fun. My first try I danced for about 1-1/2 hours and didn't know i was going that long! AMAZING!

I have oThe Black Eyed Peas Experiencenly explored one part of the game and can't wait to do more. I just wanted to send a recommendation. Hope you enjoy too!
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on November 15, 2011
This is the one time where I will start a review off by a recommendation: 1.) if you like Dance Central - buy this, 2.) if you are a Black Eyed Peas fan - buy this.

Now let's get objective.

I had bought this game purely on one review where the reviewer himself was surprised at just how much he enjoyed the game. As I had bought Michael Jackson the Experience and quickly grew tired of it as it was not very helpful in teaching you anything and that the songs got way too difficult to soon, I was very skeptical...but nonetheless, seems I had money to burn on this title.

Black Eyed Peas The Experience is naturally all about the Black Eyed Peas and there top hits, plus a few misses. There are essentially two modes: the first allowing you to get right into the dance, and the second that's more like a campaign mode. The best is of course to go for the second, as this is where you'll find all the info, venues and tutorials. Jump ahead and start your career and get to choose the first song you want to have a go at. Songs are rated at 4 difficulty levels beginning at casual and ending at skilled. Naturally you'll choose the casual ones first.

Once you've made your choice things start to get different - and intersteting - compared to Dance Central. This game essentially has 9 dance moves for each song. And these 9 moves are group by threes into three sessions. When you begin your first song, there will be 3 Steps. Step 1 starts with teaching you the first 3 moves. If you cannot get the move right, you simply raise your hand and it will go into a tutorial. The turorial I find is so far the best thing on the dance-Kinect market. Not only do they slow it down, but the narrator clearly explains to you which foot goes out first, which hand/arm does what and how you should execute the move. Even moves I got right from the bat I slowed down just to make sure I was following correctly. When you want to go back, you raise your hand again and the tutorial will continue. The 3 moves in Step 1 you have to learn are repeated twice and then it's kind of a mix-up "challenge" at the end. Passing Step 1 means you go on to Step 2 where it's the same thing: 3 moves, twice to practice and then to execute. I like this method of teaching as it really drills it into you and you do not feel overwhelmed by too many new moves. Finally, after completing Step 3 the entire song is available for you to dance.

During the tutorial sessions there are coaches on screen teaching you the move. Your avatar is reflected mirror-like on the TV. When it comes to the entire song, your crew is the Black Eyed Peas. Only point to note is unlike other dancing games at the moment, for some reason if you do the move wrong, you avatar won't show/tell you what/where you did wrong. This could be problematic for some who relies a lot on that corrective feedback, like in Dance Central. There is also no insert showing whether Kinect picks you up or not, something that does not distract me, but again may hinder others.

So, the campaign mode follows that method: choose a song, go through Step 1~3 and then perform it. There are mega things to be awarded like clothes for your avatar and upgrades to the interior design of your virtual venue. You'll also be given challenges every now and again by the crew of the Black Eyed Peas which you can accept to unlock even more stuff.

Co-op in dancing Kinect games seem to be the norm nowadays and the same for this game. A second person can easily jump in and be part. There are some sync bonuses when you and your partner are dancing 100% in sync. Another feature is the ability (like in Just Dance 3) to create your own choreography and share it via Xbox Live with friends for challenges. Nifty.

The presentation of the game on a whole is very energetic and vivid. Colours are very shiny and it's a game that make you feel that there's indeed a party going on.

In short:

CONS
- avatar does not show when you make a mistake or which part is wrong
- no small screen indicating whether Kinect is actually picking you up
- a little too many "awards" and Black Eyed Peas info blips between songs that slows down the tempo a bit
- to change the gamer profile when you switch dancers is really obscurely hidden (but it's there at least)
- for some reason the Kinect microphone does not work with game (or is that just me) - you need to get a wireless microphone

PROS
+ great song list - you know who they are so you know what you are getting, and all the favourites are there
+ very vibrant and energetic presentation
+ great tutorials in slow it down mode
+ co-op play works like a charm
+ opportunity to create your own moves and share with friends
+ tracking seems to be good and most of the moves are easily picked up

I have been wondering if there is an alternative to the Kinect-dancing games than Dance Central 2, and I have to praise the developer for The Black Eyed Peas The Experience in trying something different, and that it actually works. There may be some that still prefer a different approach, but this is by far the first title than can actually compete with Dance Central. This is lightyears better than the previous Michael Jackson effort, and I actually hope that we will see more games like that, probably from others like Rihanna, Lady Gaga, and maybe even David Guetta. The benefit of focusing on just one artist it seems to me is that you know the music beforehand and there is very little disappointment with the setlist. On the other hand, by doing it this way, you also limit yourself to no future releases of the same artist, as it will take another 10 years minimum before Black Eyed Peas will have enough hits again to make a second game. This means that upgrades and improvement in technology (like the tracking) cannot benefit this game, unless they keep on releasing patches for the game. The publisher, Ubisoft, will have to consider using this format they've got here for The Black Eyed Peas for a more general game with a mixed tracklist.

The game is not perfect yet. It can still learn from other features like creating your own playlist or a sweat-mode. Sometimes one just wants to pop in a game and dance, and not have to navigate every 2~4 minutes through all the menus to the next song.

Having said this much, I am extremely happy with this buy. It's one of the surprises Kinect had to offer in the last two months, and it's one worth all its weight in gold. To reiterate my recommendation above: if you like Dance Central, you will like this. If you like Black Eyed Peas, you will like this even better.

ps...a review below mentions the usage of strong language in the game. Mmm...this IS the Black Eyed Peas after all. So it's not a toddler game and if you are very sensitive to strong language, then maybe check out Nickelodeon Dance :D
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on January 13, 2012
My daughter is a performer and this is her favorite Kinect game in the genre. It is nice to have full blown avatars on screen to reference for your actions rather than the fuzzy outlines of other games. The xbox AI also seems to work very well when detecting movements, adding new players, and accessing menu screens. Achievements are reached at reasonable levels, including items such as outfits for your avatar. The screen backgrounds are vibrant and overall the look is beautifully rendered. There seems to be some repetition in venues, but it isn't an adventure or rpg so thats ok as far as I'm concerned. Movement onscreen is accurate and the directions for what move is coming up and how to do it are clear. There is only one particuliar dance step that looks very unnatural and cannot be performed exactly like the avatars.

You start off in a fairly simple tutorial mode, eventually progressing further by mastering routines and unlocking new songs. The is an option to play with the karaoke style microphone or without, just doing the dance routines. I can't say how well the karaoke function works because we don't have a wireless microphone and it seemed unwieldy to dance hip hop with a mic and a cord. If it matches the quality of the dancing functionality it should be great. You can also choreograph and save your own routines. The more interactive you are with the game, the faster you'll gain fans allowing you to advance.

In my opinion this game is superior to both Dance Central and Just Dance. It feels as though it was designed for the latest Xbox Kinect generation while the others are just reboots of the same games with newer songs. Speaking of which...that is where my 4 star rating for a 5 star gaming experience comes in. Unlike the other dance or karaoke games, the catalog to draw song titles from is limited to the Black Eyed Peas. Whether there will be DLC from solo Fergie or maybe Wil.I.am is still up in the air. One will also need to be a Live member to access new BEPs songs.

There has been quite a lot of discussion about the content of the lyrics. This game is rated for teens. The expletives are fairly mild, nothing that anyone with basic cable hasn't heard. This is a hip hop group, not gangsta rap. Your kids hear things you don't like every day. If you are a good parent and they are good kids they won't repeat them. It is totally unfair to give games low star reviews because you didn't do your homework and don't understand the ratings system. The songs should not be censored. You either know what you are buying when you make your purchase, or you buy a game for the Wii that is rated E.
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on November 18, 2011
This game is nothing but awesome. It's so much fun. I bought this game to learn how to dance because I'm horrible at it. I can actually say I'm learning how to dance. It's addictive to. I play every night after this kids go to bed. If you buy any game for XBOX kinect buy this one it's so much fun. I have no regrets to buying this game. Buy this game you'll love it especially if you love the Black Eye Peas like I do.
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on August 7, 2012
What I enjoyed about this game:

1. I wouldn't say I'm a Black Eyed Peas fan, but I do find their music groovy. There are several songs to choose from and most of them I definitely have heard before. So it's not like they chose the lame songs that never made it on the charts or anything like that.
2. The dance moves range from super-doable to WHOA-are-you-kidding-me. So I actually think it'd have universal appeal to whatever your dance level is!
3. I like the fact this game comes with dancer functions as well as singer functions. Note: the Kinect microphone/microphone headset does not work on this game. You need to use a wireless mic to sing into it (up to 2 singers, up to 2 dancers). My husband was smart enough to try out our Wii RockBand microphone and it worked GREAT! WHEW. I WAS SO GLAD I DIDN'T HAVE TO GO BUY SOMETHING ELSE!
4. You will definitely sweat. Even if you're a good dancer, I think these moves will get your heart going.
5. They go over the steps with you pretty thoroughly before you hit the routine. Not as well as Dance Central (I'll go over that in a sec) but it does the job.

What I think can be improved:

1. It's the mom in me, but holy cheese, some of those song lyrics are a little.... R rated. I almost wish they have a radio edit version on everything.
2. Though your dance moves are marked with some sort of comment (almost there - good - great - incredible!), it does NOT tell you what you're doing wrong like Dance Central (DC) does. At least in DC they mark the parts of your body that is out of sync, but in this one, you just have to guess.
3. In DC they also have a shadow of yourself on the screen so you can somewhat see what you're doing. This game has an avatar that mimics what you're doing, but it makes you look a LOT better than you actually do. So it's making you wonder, "What the heck am I doing wrong to get a "almost there" grade!?!??! My avatar looks GREAT!"
4. This is probably not a problem for anyone but me, but I thought the avatar was a bit limited as to hairstyle and facial features. Nothing beats RockBand's avatar options, but this was REALLY simplified.

I would give this game a 4.5 stars if I could, 1/2 point taken off ONLY because of some very small problems (some probably won't affect or offend you at all). I highly recommend it!!!
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on December 27, 2011
We really like this game, it's a lot of fun. During the holidays we've had quite a few friends and relatives over and have had a blast watching one another play and dancing together.

BEP Experience versus Dance Central 2
We recently purchased the kinect and have both Dance Central 2 and The BEP Experience. After playing both extensively I wouldn't say that my wife and I like one more than the other. Whichever game is in our system tends to stay there.

I would say that the BEP experience is more of a party atmosphere, it's more up tempo and there's a cheering crowd and dance club scenery, plus some enthusiastic coaching by the Black Eyed Peas during the game. Overall I'd say the BEP experience is a bit more fun, more energetic, a great workout.

Dance Party and Deluxe Experience
There are two modes to the game, the dance party and deluxe experience. The dance party enables you to dance the routine utilizing all of the moves for that specific song right away. The deluxe mode, in contrast, eases you into the songs providing two or three routines (depending on the song) each focusing on three or four moves. After passing each of these focused routines with a "C" or better grade you can try the same routine available in the Dance Party mode. The Deluxe Experience keeps track of your progress.

I'm not sure if you two people can dance together in the deluxe mode. In the Dance Party mode if somebody would like to join in they can just step in front of the kinect in the middle of the song or start from the beginning.

Coaching
In the deluxe experience players could receive coaching on a specific move by raising their hand in the middle of the routine. Specifically, the players raises their arm and refrains from moving the rest of their body. Sometimes you have to have your arm up for a good 10 to 15 seconds. I think the game errors on making sure that you want the coach and avoiding interrupting your dance performance if this wasn't your intention.

The coaching is done by Dave Scott, I believe from So You Think You Can Dance. His coaching is very helpful and provides a different perspective, many different perspectives on each move. I find the coach to be really, really helpful. Also, the dance itself slows down in coaching mode, again very helpful.

DLC
As of the time of this writing there are three DLC songs available from xbox live, two songs from the Black Eyed Peas, Bebot, Where is the Love and Party Rock from LMFAO. All three are worth getting.

Scoring and Tracking
There are three levels of scoring in the game, "Human", "Machine" and "Alien". The "Human" mode is more lenient in scoring, then "Machine" and "Alien" is the most stringent of the three. I believe this only comes into play in the Deluxe Mode, after you get around 3600 followers, you can optionally switch over to "Machine". Switching over to Machine gives you more points for each performance enabling you to upgrade your venues and acquire additional accoutrements for your character faster.

Each performance is graded. So far we've seen a "D" (My friends, 3 year old son), "C's", "B's" "A's" and "S's), in ascending order.

Swear Words?
A previous reviewer noted that there were swear words in the game. I'm sure there are, however after 20 hours or so playing I haven't noticed them. They're not conspicuous. However I'm sure that if you were looking for them, you would find them.
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on December 8, 2011
I think the game is awesome because I bought it for myself, as an ADULT. I don't understand the people who get on here and give it 1 star just because of the language and ranting about how this game is not for kids. GO FIGURE! If they were smart, they would actually look at the rating and read the description of the rating just so there is no confusion. C'mon people....read up on the game rating before you buy it. It's right there on the cover!!
AWESOME GAME FOR BIG KIDS (at heart) :)
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on April 14, 2012
I expected this game to be kind of lame. I assumed it would use the Black Eyed Peas gimmick as a crutch so that it didn't have to be as good as Dance Central 2 and Just Dance 3. I was wrong.

I own the other two top dance games for the kinect (Dance Central 2 and Just Dance 3). The other games are good, but this is by far the best.

This game exudes an intangible element of quality in its execution. I'm very curious as to how much effort went into this production compared to other games. Its very polished, especially considering the kinect itself is so new. Another thing to be aware of is its emphasis on learning. It seems the developers sincerely wanted to help people learn the dance moves and become good dancers. Some of the dance routines are pretty difficult and the developers put together a very good system to walk you through each dance and learn the dance moves. If I had to guess, the major complaint that other people might have for this game is its challenge and emphasis on learning, but I think that's what I really like about it. The developers sacrificed profits from cheap thrills to produce something with real substance.
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on April 14, 2012
This game is fun...my only regret is waiting this long to purchase it!!! My girls age 3, 5,and 13 really enjoy this game! I enjoy playing it also! It is a fun way to get some FUN physical activity and break a sweat! This game is user friendly. It has no problems picking each one of us up regardless of our height differences. Each song is broken down in steps which includes 3 dance moves in each step, enabling you to learn all the dance moves in steps, before dancing all the moves in the song. The grading system is cool. We also enjoy how doing well with each step you complete allows you to unclock things such as accessories, clothes, shoes, tattoos and new dance venues. This game is fun for the whole family on Xbox Kinect! We have Just Dance 3 for Xbox Kinect, BUT The BEP Experience game blows Just Dance 3 on the Xbox Kinect out of the box! We have a more enjoyable time playing Just Dance games on the Wii. Buy this game NOW, don't think about it anymore, you won't regret it!
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