I Had A Michael Jackson Experience

by Jeff Cork on Aug 18, 2010 at 01:00 PM

Ubisoft’s new dance game that doesn’t have Just Dance in the title is on display at Gamescom. Find out what it’s like to try to emulate the King of Pop along to “Billie Jean.”

Michael Jackson: The Experience only appeared on Wii on the show floor so I didn’t get the chance to see how it works with Move and Kinect, but it’s easy to get the idea of how it would go in theory. A blank faced MJ appears onscreen in his classic black sparkly suit and white socks to show players how to do the moves while more basic instructions fly up the right side of the screen. This is extremely similar to Just Dance if you’re one of the millions of people who bought that game and helped start the dance craze.

Up to four people can team up at a time to dance together with four remotes. I played alongside a Ubisoft staffer that had been demoing the same tracks all day so I was easily destroyed by a couple thousand points. Even in defeat, however, it’s always more fun to look like an idiot alongside someone else.

The game tracks your movement via Wii remote and makes it count for your whole body score. I hoping the Kinect version will track scoring more accurately, but we’ll have to see about that. All of Michael Jackson’s moves seemed legit during “Billie Jean” and were just as hard to imitate as one would think. Fortunately, there was plenty of simple pointing moves on whatever difficulty setting we were on, so I didn’t have to spin in place for 30 rotations and take it into a toe stand. Of course, the big finisher included the moonwalk so people may actually learn how to do that after playing this for a bit. MJ fans won’t have to wait too long for lessons. The game releases this holiday season.