Customer Review

360 of 395 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Michael Jackson is the reason I bought a Wii, November 23, 2010
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= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Michael Jackson The Experience - Nintendo Wii (Video Game)
I used to like video games, way back when, but never wanted a Wii since I figured there wasn't anything I'd want to play. I hate violent shoot 'em up, or beat 'em down type games, which seems like what most have devolved into. But then I heard about Michael Jackson The Experience, and went right out the next day and bought a Wii! I guess celebrity endorsements really do work -- especially when it's a celebrity of this caliber!

Michael Jackson and Wii are the perfect match -- they fit like a sequined glove; hence why they included one with this game. Silly enough, there's a disclaimer to not wear the glove while playing. I guess they're afraid of lawsuits if the remote slips out of your sequined hand and into something valuable. The glove itself is pretty cheap and barely fits my hand, but it's still a very cool memento.

Both MJ's moves and his music lend themselves exceedingly well to a game like this. And when I saw the trailer for the game, I was instantly sold. The thought of dancing and singing along with the King of Pop literally gave me goose bumps. No, MJ is not in this video game -- but his spirit exudes each and every song/dance number. And the dancers they used to replicate his moves are very good and completely embody the spirit of MJ. The game's graphics wash out the exposure on the dancer's faces just enough, so that you can imagine you're dancing along with the real MJ. And the costume and makeup department did an excellent job replicating each and every outfit MJ wore in his videos. You really get the look and feel of a custom tailored MJ experience straight from his iconic videos. And his moves are so iconic and unmistakably Michael; no other artist could pull off a game like this. No other artist has enough meat and substance in their catalog to justify the effort or the purchase.

MJ's choreographer, Travis Payne (who also appears in the game's Dance School) said it best in one of the bonus documentaries on the This Is It DVD -- he explained how Michael insisted on keeping his dance moves and his music simple; because if they can whistle your melody, then your music can be loved all around the world. Well, that little nugget of insight explains why Michael is hailed as the King of Pop the world over. And like any true virtuoso, MJ had the same approach with his dancing; knowing that if people can replicate his moves, then they'd dance along with his music the world over too -- he literally put his music inside all of us. Hence why this game works so well -- it makes use of MJ's most iconic moves and add a few others inspired by MJ; yet the moves are simple enough so that anyone can easily follow along.

Michael's dance moves are so iconic, and so ingrained in our culture, that you see evidence of them everywhere -- from the obvious, like thousands of prisoners doing elaborate choreography inspired by Thriller; to variations of the moonwalk and other signature moves seen on popular dance shows. It doesn't matter if it's a ballroom routine or hip-hop -- evidence of MJ's influence can be found everywhere, which is to be expected when talking about a true legend. And that's what makes a game like this so special -- because the focus behind the effort is a truly special human being who merits the accolades.

Great Workout! - Even for this disabled fan!

I have multiple injuries that make movement painful and difficult, but this game made me forget about my physical limitations, because I was having so much fun! And I even played with a friend whose a senior citizen and they had as much fun as I did, and they were also able to keep up with the moves. The secret to any exercise regime is making it fun and easy, yet still challenging. Well, this game achieves all that and more thanks to MJ! Thanks to him, I now have a new outlet for exercise and staying fit, yet it doesn't seem like work at all. You can't help but move to MJ's music as it is, so following along both in movement and in song is a complete joy! It's almost like an MJ workout video! Only waaaaaay more fun and the time just flies by!! Each song is replicated in spirit from his original videos, and the moves, while not exact, are choreographed in a workout/dance style so as to be familiar, yet new and challenging.

Multi-Player Modes

Up to 4 people can play with a basic Wii remote. I do have a balance board but it isn't used with this game at all. Pictogram images run up along the left side of the screen to cue you as to which moves are coming up next, along with a running tally of points each player earns for hitting each correct move. If you're lazy and want to cheat, you can just wave your remote around and accrue some points for doing basically nothing. But mimicking the moves correctly earns the most points, with bonus points for precision and accuracy. At the end of each number, the points are converted into stars, and they accumulate to unlock additional practice videos in the Dance School. The Dance School is hosted by 3 choreographers, but the only one I recognized was Travis Payne.

Dance with MJ or be his Backup Dancer!

Most songs have the option to dance following along with MJ, or his backup dancers. I haven't yet tried doing the backup dancers as I want to dance with the King!!!! But it's fun to know the option is there. The duet mode of the game involves players following both MJ and the backup dancers at the same time. But all players can choose to follow MJ or the backup dancers, so it really doesn't matter or effect the game play. It's just personal preference.

Gold Moves

Well, aren't all MJ's moves golden??!! But for this game's purposes, Gold Moves are special moments in the number that earn extra points if executed correctly. Truth be told, I really don't care about the points -- I'm having waaay too much fun singing and dancing with MJ to care!

Clunky Menus!

If this game has any flaws, it's navigating the menus. For instance, it isn't immediately clear that the Dance School videos need to be unlocked before you can actually do anything. I kept watching the intro which concluded by saying "now we're going to show you some of your favorite moves" and then... nothing would happen because it needed to be unlocked first. And then when the videos are unlocked, you can't easily go from one to the next. You have to watch one, then go back to the start of the Dance School to select the next video; and on and on it goes for each successive video -- a bit tedious in my opinion! I almost docked a star for this, but the game is so much fun, I just couldn't bring myself to do it.

Edited Song Versions!! :-(

I haven't played all the songs yet, but unfortunately, some have been edited down!! BOOOO! Thriller and Earth Song were edited from the originals, and hopefully, those are the only ones. Generally, each song tries to replicate the iconic music videos we all know and love, and they did a good job of capturing the spirit, costume and essence of MJ in each number. But editing his songs just sucks, plain and simple.

Bottom Line

I never knew Michael, but I know in my heart that he would have loved this game. Who wouldn't want their life's work immortalized and readily accessible for all to enjoy? I can only imagine the immense pride his family must feel knowing one of their own has accomplished so much. Knowing that he WILL live forever as the King of Pop; through his music, through his fans, and through video games, Cirque du Soleil shows and all else that MJ's legacy and talent deserve. It's easy to call it opportunistic on the part of all those who stand to profit. But many profit from Elvis, Lennon, et al, and no one sees that as opportunistic. It's our good fortune to have the opportunity to continue to enjoy Michael and his music in all these new and exciting formats. And Michael himself would be happy to know his music, dance, and all he offered the world will continue to live on. Shocking as his sudden passing was, it's clear that he's destined to be larger in death than he ever was in life. Leave it to Michael to accomplish a feat like that.

Michael Jackson The Experience couldn't be a better name for this game -- the man and his music was an experience like no other. The guy was born to entertain; to sing, dance and electrify the world. There will be other icons, but there will never be another MJ. I remember the excitement when another of his videos was set to premiere -- millions knew we were watching history. And now, thanks to this game, we can dance through these moments of MJ's and our lives, and relive them all over again with an intimacy never before possible.

Some find it silly to speak about a celebrity we've never known with such passion, but the fact of the matter is, I was having a pretty bad day today with immense physical pain. I even had to send someone into the store to buy this for me because I couldn't walk. But for the hours spent playing this game, I forgot about all that and just had fun! MJ gave me that from beyond the grave, and I think that's pretty special.

Thanks for all the music and memories, MJ. And thanks to Nintendo for this great game!! And remember... it's all for Love -- L.O.V.E!

MJ Forever!
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Comments

Tracked by 5 customers

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Showing 1-10 of 54 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Nov 23, 2010 4:30:22 PM PST
J. A. says:
Nice review and I'm glad you are able to enjoy it. I have a ps3 so I'll have to wait till next year, but thanks for the early review.I wanted to see what others thought of it.

Posted on Nov 23, 2010 4:36:35 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 23, 2010 4:40:42 PM PST
Cobe says:
Thank you so much for your wonderful review. As a huge Michael Jackson fan I will be very proud to own this game. I know Michael is happy about us having it. I am sure he loves it too. ***Michael Jackson forever!

Posted on Nov 23, 2010 7:50:42 PM PST
Matt Snider says:
Great review! It definitely made me want to play the game!

Great stuff! MJ forever, indeed.

Peace!

Posted on Nov 23, 2010 8:32:11 PM PST
Lee Mellott says:
Excellent review!

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 24, 2010 4:27:19 AM PST
Kaio says:
thanks for the comments and for enjoying the review. the game is as good as i'd hoped for, and i see why they call it MJ The Experience! fun game and i can't wait to play again!

Posted on Nov 24, 2010 8:15:51 PM PST
Nikki says:
I love your review. I do definitely agree that MJ would have loved this game. I just did my review today i've been too busy playing the game to do one. Ha Ha

Posted on Nov 26, 2010 10:57:46 AM PST
Matrix says:
Thank you, Kaio, for your great, great review. I would kill to know how to moonwalk and have been trying to do that for more than 20 years without success, I'm afraid. Does this game teach you how to do it? However, I am the world champion at tripping over my own two feet! Thanks again for taking the time to write.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 26, 2010 3:09:49 PM PST
Kaio says:
hi again Matrix -- i just got through playing the game again, and as far as i can tell, they don't teach you the moonwalk; and i did check the Dance School just to be sure. but the moonwalk does appear in Billie Jean, of course. i remember spending hours trying to figure that out as a kid after Motown 25 when MJ premiered it. i did eventually figure it out, though no one does it like MJ. it's kinda an optical illusion, really. i remember someone quoting MJ as saying "i'm an illusionist" and that makes a lot of sense if you think about it. i think the illusion got so big with a life all its own, that even he couldn't control it anymore. but what a fantastic illusionist he was! i guess the game can't give us all the secrets behind the curtain though! you'll just have to keep practicing! though i bet if you check youtube, someone will have a moonwalk how to video!

Posted on Nov 27, 2010 3:42:12 PM PST
CamJam Cindy says:
Outstanding review! I can't wait until our Pre-ordered copy arrives from Amazon! Should arrive hopefully next week.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 27, 2010 8:02:08 PM PST
Kaio says:
hi CamJam Cindy -- i'm surprised you haven't gotten your pre-order yet! Amazon is normally much quicker about that! i shop almost exclusively at Amazon, but in this instance, i didn't want to take a chance on not getting this the day it came out, or on my mail being late that day. especially since i'd been waiting for this game since it was announced and it's the only reason i got a Wii to begin with! luckily, i got mine locally at a national retailer that also had the glitter glove option. i was literally parked out front waiting for the store to open! thanks for the positive feedback on my review. hope you like the game when you get it!!
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Kaio
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Location: Neverland, CA

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