Michael Jackson The Experience - Nintendo DS
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on December 13, 2010
Before I start the review I just want to let you know that I am both a hardcore videogame and Michael Jackson fan. When I first heard the announcement of a new game (since Moonwalker on the genesis) at E3 in June, I was very excited. When screenshots and videos came out for the Wii version I was very concerned. Ubisoft has created an ugly looking Just Dance clone lacking any distinguishable traits or visual charm. The main character didnt even look like Michael and following along while waving a remote in the air seems silly to me, I think casual gamers might like it though.

In the weeks leading up to the release of both the DS and PSP versions I was surprised to find little to no information about them. It wasn't until a few days after their releases that any videos were up about them. I saw the PSP version only used 2 buttons and looked way too easy, and that the DS version was like the rhythm game Elite Beat Agents. Being a fan of the Elite Beat Agents series I decided to get the DS version which was only 5$ after buying Batman Brave and The Bold for DS as part of a special sale.

The game features a cartoony Michael (in vain of the Beatles Rockband) who dances around performing various moves. During each song you tap, slide, and spin circles in the order they are numbered and while it may sound simple, like Elite Beat Agents it is very fun. There have been many Elite Beat Agents clones over the years but this is easily the best. The game is just as responsive and the notes are laid out just as good as EBA. There are Easy, Medium, and Hard difficulty. Being a bit rusty on my EBA skills I was having trouble doing well on Medium difficulty from the getgo. Some may find this good, others bad, but unlike Elite Beat Agents you wont fail for missing just a few notes, although you definitely can fail a song. The true fun in this game comes from trying to get all the golden coins (which are like the star system in guitar hero). This involves building up a great combo and knowing when to use your built up star power(Again an idea taken from guitar hero), which is gained by hitting glowing notes at the right timing in succession. Another great addition that adds replayability is the ability to "Crown" a song, which involves getting a ridiculously high score knowing exactly when to use your star power and being able to spin Michael really fast.

Trying to achieve 5 coins on medium difficulty is hard enough, but hard mode will keep players trying for more. Which is great because the games tracklist is lacking. Getting more coins and crowns allows you to unlock new songs on the tracklist, collectible Memorabilla, and Jukebox mode. The memorabilla is digital recreations of props from his short films and dance routines like the Billie Jean socks, or the Scream spaceship. Although they are pointless to view it adds more replayability to the game as getting the more difficult ones involve crowning songs on hard mode. The worst part about this game is the tracklist, they are all great MJ songs but the problem is with a few of the choices and the small amount of songs:
Another Part of Me
Bad
Beat It
Billie Jean
Black or White
Dont Stop Till You Get Enough
Heal the World
Leave Me Alone
Smooth Criminal
Streetwalker
The Way You Make Me Feel
Wanna Be Startin' Somethin

Most of these songs are great choices but the slow tempo Heal the World is not to fun to play. I personally love Streetwalker (which was an unreleased song included on the Bad 2001 rerelease) but it is too obscure for a mainstream audience. Disappointingly there are no songs from HIStory, Blood on the Dancefloor, or Invincible. Some of the songs feature him dancing on a stage in various customes, and others are recreations of the music videos they correspond with. The biggest surprise is that there is no Thriller, which is his biggest hit to casual fans. It is great to have a nice, well made rhythm game on the go and I'd much rather have a well made game with a short tracklist than a game that has a long tracklist but unpolished gameplay (PSP and Wii Versions). So look at the tracklist, if you like the songs, Elite Beat Agents, Michael Jackson, and can find this for cheap than pick it up.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
**Warning - includes gameplay footage**

In this video I show you how the game is played and I also discuss its pros and cons.

+ PROS:

+ 12 classic Michael Jackson songs
+ Unlockable collectibles

- CONS:

- Jukebox mode is a little clunky
- No 2-player mode???

The 12 songs on this game are:

Another Part of Me
Bad
Beat It
Billie Jean
Black or White
Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough
Heal The World
Leave Me Alone
Smooth Criminal
Streetwalker
The Way You Make Me Feel
Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on November 25, 2010
If you're wishing for more Elite Beat Agents (EBA), and you like Michael Jackson, then you'll have a little fun. But don't expect the same quality as EBA. The system is very dumbed down. It doesn't rate the accuracy of your taps, making it too easy.

Pros:
Michael Jackson Music
...It's a rhythm game

Cons:
Interface is too simple
Difficulty is too easy
No enough songs
Not even close to as good as EBA

Overall:
6 / 10
Sorry MJ, we still love you.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
This game is fun. But it is not like the PSP game I just went through that game fast but this one is much different. I like to play this game because of Michael I miss him. Rest in Peace!!
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on November 26, 2014
So after seeing in an internet video gameplay of this game, I noticed it was extremely similar to elite beat agents, and I'll be honest, I loved EBA with a passion, so I jumped at this opportunity to play it. Apologies for anyone who has not played EBA as this review will compare this game and it a lot.

Real quick this game is a rhythm game where you tap and slide the touchscreen in rhythm with the music. It takes gameplay directly from the game "Elite Beat agents" So if you're a fan of that game this will fill your craving nicely.

Going into this game I predicted that the precision and intuitive control of EBA might not transfer over to an afterthought version of a main game (on ps3/xbox/wii), and to a certain extent I was right, the game was not as responsive or precise as EBA, which was buttery smooth in it's gameplay. BUT that does not make this game unplayable, quite the contrary! The controls were solid and functional, and for a budget title I would give my approval. There are some noticeable points in the game where the timing or location of tapping is a bit unintuitive, but it doesn't detract from the whole experience (no pun intended).

You go through the game playing each song and unlocking more as you go along, and for the most part the song list is good, most of the main hits and a few I wasn't familiar with, but still enjoyed! If you are a Michael Jackson fan, even a casual fan, I would highly recommend this game. HOWEVER, there is one big missing hole in the song list. THERE IS NO THRILLER! I was extremely disappointed when I finished the game and realized there was no thriller level. It just seems obvious to include it! I took off a whole star simply for that reason.

The visuals during the levels are only halfway decent and here's why: The style of Michael Jackson's videos and movies shines through in each song, however there is only Michael dancing in the foreground. Any fan of his music videos realizes a big part of the productions is the background dancers and help he has, and not including that in the visuals makes the screen seem bare and empty when playing. Including backup dancers in the levels would really make the visuals pop, but without they are just mediocre at best.

Overall, I would recommend this game. Even though the visuals are mediocre and the lack of "Thriller" is appalling, I still had a great time. If you are a fan of MJ, fan of EBA, or a fan of rhythm games, I would highly recommend picking this up (especially at the $6 price tag right now!).

tl;dr

Pros:
-Michael Jackson's AWESOME music!
-Solid Gamelplay
-Sold Songlist
-Value for money
-Fans of EBA can get their fix

Cons:
-NO THRILLER!
-Mediocre, bare visuals
-Rare unintuitive moments during gameplay
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I feel a bit of guilt for being a fan of Michael Jackson only right after his death. Nevertheless, I still felt pretty bad, because my dad was a fan of his songs. After listening to some of his music, I couldn't have been any more shocked as to why I didn't bother doing so earlier. Michael Jackson DESERVED to be labeled as "King of Pop"! So when Michael Jackson: The Experience was announced, I thought "Hey. This could be great!" I didn't really feel like hopping into the console games yet, though, so I gave the DS version a spin.

So, apparently, this version of MJ: The Experience only has 12 songs. Not exactly much compared to what the other versions of the game offer. And when playing a song, you are treated to an animated Michael Jackson dancing on the top screen, dressed in a costume based on the respective song. It's nice to see his dancing fully animated, and for each song too, but Michael honestly looks rather lonely. He dances by himself and only himself, making the scenery feel empty. Plus, it would have been nice if there were original tunes implemented into the menus and title screen. Unfortunately, the only original jingle I know of is the oh-so-brief victory theme...and it sucked.

Fortunately, each and every song is, in a word, amazing. This is a soundtrack that sets the bar higher than a LOT of video games can achieve: Michael Jackson's music. From songs like "Another Part of Me" to "Don't Stop Til You Get Enough" to "Beat It", Michael Jackson: The Experience packs quite the punch for music fans. What makes things even better is that all of these songs are presented in surprisingly great quality. There's even a Jukebox mode for listening to the songs you've played, which is nice if you solely want to listen to the songs.

The gameplay is simple, yet addictive. You tap circles to sync with the song in one way or another. There would be a bit more variety mixed in, such as having to tap a circle twice, or sliding the stylus across the screen for one circle to connect with another. It actually makes for a pretty fun time. However, when playing Medium or Hard on a song, it can be difficult to earn any tokens you need to unlock later songs for those who are new to this kind of gameplay. Meanwhile, on Easy mode, it's a bit simple to do so. I wish things were a bit more even for song unlocking.

Overall, my reactions toward the game are rather mixed, but fortunately, what matters more outweighs the negative comments I have to say. In the case, Michael Jackson's ultra-awesome songs and good rhythm-based gameplay make this cartridge worth it. Just go and get a copy for $10 or under, though. Considering the length, I wouldn't say it should be the average $30 price. It's not QUITE the Michael Jackson game it could have been, but it's still very enjoyable.

UPDATE: I bought myself the iOS game (Which is identical to the one on PS Vita). That version just so happens to be 10 times better than this DS version! Get that instead if you can.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on April 6, 2011
This game is amazing an addictive. I have already had 2 wii parties and all my friends have purchased it. The seller was awesome as well. I received my product exactly when they said it would come and it was in perfect condition.
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I am not a hardcore gamer, but do have a Pink DS and needed a new game. I figured I would see if they make this game for the DS since I knew it was for the WII. I really was happy to see they did make it for the DS. This game is more of a skills game, that you have to tap and move the circles on the screen to the beat of the music.

There is a Michael look a like dancing at the top of the screen then on the bottom screen is where you play the game. It does have the actual songs as heard on his albums. You get started with Billie Jean and Another Part Of Me. So it's neat you have his real music and not some game music to play to.

I would say that a hardcore gamer would have nothing but negatives to say about it since it's not like the WII version where you actually dance to his moves and such. But a Michael fan and someone who knows how to navigate the DS should certainly pick it up. The easy level took me a minute to figure out since I finally realized how you have to play the game.

But I would suggest taking the tour of the game first. The intermediate level is quite hard and so is the advanced. But all in all A good game to have and worth the money. The JukeBox feature on the game i would stay away from since you only get to choose a song then watch the Michael look a like dance to it. You can't exit out of or go back.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
When it has came down to Michael Jackson, his death remains one of the saddest moments in music history. But over this past year, people have honestly re-discovered his classic songs that have withstood the testiments of time. But when it has came down to video games, he also has shown what it was like, considering the video game based on Moonwalker his 1988 film, and helping compose the classic Sonic The Hedgehog 3 for the Sega Genesis. But with Michael Jackson: The Experience for the Nintendo Wii, people all over really got the opportunity to do their rendition of the classic Moonwalk. But, with the Nintendo DS version, it is a sad state of affairs. The game feels more like Elite Beat Agents, for trying to tap your way to his dance moves from his hits like Billie Jean & Beat It. Overall, it isn't bad hearing his classics, but truthfully if you has the chance, just stay with the one for the Nintendo Wii.

Graphics: C

Sound: B-

Control: C+

Fun & Enjoyment: D+

Overall: C-
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on January 2, 2012
My daughter lost the first game I bought and she was eager to get it again. She is just an MJ fan! Great game for those that love MJ music and moves.
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