Electronic Theatre In-depth Review: Get Up and Dance

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Electronic Theatre ImageGusto Games’ recently launched Get Up and Dance is intended to pave the way for a new franchise, what could well become a series of releases less comparable to Just Dance in terms of market placement, but more so to We Sing. At present, it looks plausible that O-Games may wish to release a number of different titles covering various corners of the market as opposed to one all-encompassing annual update. As surprising as this may seem in the casual gamer climate, this is something that both Wii and PlayStation 3 are currently lacking.

What isn’t surprising however, is the delivery of this first title. Get Up and Dance follows the patterns set by many previous dance videogames on current-generation systems, and has very few surprises. This can be taken two ways of course: the core gamer might feel as though Get Up and Dance doesn’t offer Electronic Theatre Imagemuch that can’t already be found elsewhere, while the casual gamer – Get Up and Dance’s intended market – will feel right at home with what the videogame has to offer. It’s an accessible dance experience, as it was clearly intended to be.

The gameplay featured in Get Up and Dance is as would be expected: players take the Wii Remote in their preferred hand, select a track from those available and attempt to imitate the dancers on screen. The standard mode is just that: players pick a track, dance, and are given an appropriate score which is assigned to their player profile. There’s no faux story or campaign to speak of, and no sense of progression bar working through each track at your own pace. More interesting however, are the dance Get Up and Party and Get Up and Dance Group modes.

Get Up and Party is a collection of competitive modes in which teams play through rounds of one of four types of competition to determine the winner. Get Up and Dance Group is where the real meat of the experience lies. Up to four players dance together to a set series of tracks. A meter along the bottom of the screen determines your performance, and should it hit the lower end you will receive a strike. Three strikes and you’re out.

As is now the fashionable tradition amongst dance videogames, Get Up and Dance features a ‘fitness’ mode that goes by the name of ‘Shape Up’. This mode features preset fitness routines and plans, but also allows you to create your own. It may not be as comprehensive as the likes of Wii Fit Plus or Dance Central 2, but its leagues ahead of Just Dance 3’s simple calorie counter. Of course, without the use of the Wii Balance Board, there’s no accurate way to measure just how much exercise the player is partaking in, and so instead of pretending to detect and report on your calorie consumption, as some videogames do, Get Up and Dance simply offers it’s own barometer for progress: a wise design decision to avoid any unwarranted controversy.

The appearance of Get Up and Dance is instantly recognisable: there’s no denying that the presentation has been influenced by Ubisoft’s phenomenally successful Just Dance franchise. The white characters in neon coloured clothing – with a highlight placed uponElectronic Theatre Image the hand(s) for which the player will be scored – are a familiar sight, however Get Up and Dance boasts the backing of the original music videos for each of it’s thirty tracks.

The tracklist itself is a pleasing mix of modern and classic pop, with the likes of Jessie J and Rizzle Kicks complimented by Pulp and Basement Jaxx. The likes of De La Soul and Barenaked Ladies provide Get Up and Dance with it’s answer to alternative beats while Girls Aloud, Katy Perry and Gwen Stefani sit happily on the list as the international pop princesses. With the original music videos available for each of these tracks it’s no wonder Gusto Games has chosen to incorporate a video jukebox into Get Up and Dance. However, what is surprising is that they are delivered with the dancer still front-and-centre, making the mode largely irrelevant in the era of on-demand video.

As a title potentially designed to launch a new franchise, Get Up and Dance is well placed as an inoffensive piece of interactive entertainment. It doesn’t break any new ground for dance videogames and there are arguably better titles already available on the market, but there’s also far worse. It’s a well rounded product that offers exactly what it promises, and by-and-large the decision to by Get Up and Dance over any rival dance videogame launched this winter will rely solely on your preference of included tracks.

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