Michael Jackson, The Experience

For Christmas, The Older Brother gave his locally-residing aunt a Wii game, which is a little odd since she doesn’t have a Wii. We do, however, and the intent was for his aunt and his mother to play together using our Wii to aid in their hopes of getting in shape.

Motion gaming can be a fun way to get active, but you have to be motivated to do it. TG and I have yet to help these lovely ladies get the Wii going, so they haven’t really tried playing it yet, but a few of us did show it off and try it out over the Christmas holiday.

We fired up Michael Jackson: The Experience, and let the King of Pop take us on a dance-filled tour of his greatest hits. Confession time: I’m not a huge MJ fan. I like some of his stuff; I just don’t think I’ve been exposed to much of his music. I mostly played the party pooper (as per usual) and just watched at first.

I’m shy. Shaking my rear end in front of my brother- and father-in-law just isn’t my thing. Actually, I don’t think dancing in front of anyone is really my thing. Regardless, it was fun to watch.

The Older Brother took control and tried to show his mom, but since she was unwilling to hold the Wiimote, she just boogied alongside her oldest son. Eventually, TG jumped in because The Older Brother was looking for some competition.

That’s both the good thing and the bad thing about these dancing games. The scoring aspect can be intimidating to non-gamers who just want to use the Wii as a weight-loss tool, but it really gives a guideline for improvement (or at least improvement as it pertains to what the game registers as “better”).

The songs were what you’d expect: Michael Jackson hits. You can see the track list pretty much anywhere to see if your favorites were included. Weirdly, you unlock the training videos, instead of being able to access them right away, but it didn’t look like the songs themselves needed unlocking, which is great for the party-centric, instant-fun aspect of the game.

The game looks fun, sure, but how does it play? It really is fun! Once I tried it, I was surprised. I thought I’d be just terrible at something like this, but it’s really not as hard to follow as it looks, even for someone kind of spazzy and uncoordinated like me. Michael Jackson: The Experience was an absolute blast once I gave it a try. You’d think Michael’s moves would be hard to emulate, and they probably are at a higher difficulty level, but the hardest part really felt like it was remembering what move to transition to next in each song. It’s not like I was 5 star’ing the songs or anything, but I didn’t break down in hysterics over my failure. All in all, a success for me.

It’s a high energy, high movement game if you allow it to be. It’s not something you’re going to be able to play for a long time without breaks if you’re really into it. And it will get your heart going and maybe even make you sweat. The difficulty levels make it a game that most people will be able to grow into, even dance-game pros. However, the game is challenging, but that may be due to the Wii possibly not being the most responsive platform for motion gaming.

Along those lines, The Older Brother was becoming increasingly more frustrated as the night went on because TG was exploiting the Wii’s technical flaws to better his score while The Older Brother was just trying to dance to the songs. That coupled with being sure to nail the special Gold Moves for bonus points can really play the game rather than The Experience.

I’d definitely recommend it to MJ fiends or anybody looking for a fun dance-based party game. Treat it as a party game and don’t let the Wii’s lack of responsiveness ruin your Experience.

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About Amanda

Amanda is a 20-something flailing gamer. While she loves MMORPGs, the company in them often triggers flare-ups of her social anxiety. Her all-time favorite games include Everquest Online Adventures, Eternal Sonata, the Animal Crossing series, Katamari Damacy, and Rhapsody: A Musical Adventure. She lives on junk food, and her favorite books are equally trashy. She doesn't believe in putting two spaces after a period, but she does strongly believe in the serial comma. Unfortunately, she has a penchant for starting sentences with "and" and "but;" hopefully you won't hold that, or her excessive use of semicolons, against her.

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