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Michael Jackson: The Experience is a music video game based on Michael Jackson's music and songs. It was licensed by Triumph International, developed by and published by Ubisoft, and was released on November 6, 2010 in North America, November 7, 2010 in Australia and November 8, 2010 in Europe for the Nintendo DS, PlayStation Portable, and Wii.[1][2] It was also released on April 12, 2011 in North America, April 14, 2011 in Australia, April 15, 2011 in Europe and December 8, 2011 in Japan for PlayStation 3's PlayStation Move and Xbox 360's Kinect. The Japanese version only revised Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and Wii consoles. The game features many of Michael Jackson's hits, such as Bad, Thriller, Beat It, Billie Jean, Smooth Criminal, Black or White, The Way You Make Me Feel, etc. Initial launches of the game included a limited edition replica of Jackson's sequined glove.[3] It was later released for the Nintendo 3DS, iOS and PlayStation Vita. The game sold 2 million units in two months, not including Japanese sales, making it one of the best-selling Wii title games.[4]

Gameplay

The Wii, PS3, and Kinect versions of the game feature Just Dance style gameplay. There are three modes of play in both the Wii and PS3 version of the game. The first is "Classic" where everybody follows the on-screen Michael Jackson avatar. The second is "Duo" which is used for duets (such as The Girl Is Mine) or videos with two main characters (such as The Way You Make Me Feel and In the Closet The player(s) can choose to dance as either Michael or the other character. The third mode of gameplay is "Crew", which features Michael and two backup dancers (five during some songs.) Players can opt to dance as any of the three. After performing songs, players are able to unlock training videos in the "Dance School" where they are taught some of the more difficult moves from several of Michael Jackson's music videos and stage performances.

Four player multiplayer is available on the Wii and Move enabled PlayStation 3 but the Kinect will be limited to one player at a time. The game also features singing on the Kinect version on Xbox 360, and optional on-screen lyrics on the PlayStation 3 and Wii versions which also feature singing. The DS version features gameplay similar to Elite Beat Agents. In this version, there is a cartoon version of Michael on the top screen and the player follows along by tapping the bottom screen with the stylus to the rhythm of the music. Also on Nintendo DS version, there is an anti-piracy feature created by Ubisoft that will freeze the game and replace the audio with the sound of vuvuzelas (popularized by the South Africans in World Cup 2010) if the player is playing a pirated or ROM version of the game.[5] On the Wii version, players can play as Jackson or the Back-up Dancers. The game was displayed at New York Comic Con at Ubisoft's booth.

Kinect features

The Kinect version of the game features full body tracking, and entirely different choreography to the Wii version,[6] along with several other changes and additions. This version uses a technology called Player Projection, which puts the player's own image in the game allowing them to star in their own Michael Jackson video. The Kinect version includes two game modes: "Solo" and "Party". Solo mode features one player. Party mode features 2-4 players. There are two options in Party mode: "Co-Op" and "Battle". Co-Op mode is a "every player for themselves" mode as players take turns jumping in and jumping out in order to complete the song. Battle mode is a team mode where two teams face off to get the highest score. Battle mode is a little different from Co-Op mode as each team performs the song together and the song gets broken down into two parts in which one player dances and the other player sings. Party mode only features Dance Mode, Performance Mode and Master Performance Mode. There are four symbols to represent each player: Michael's glove, Michael's hat, Michael's shades and one of Michael's jackets. Several of the songs in the game do not feature any moves to perform, instead becoming "Singing Only" songs, with Earth Song being the first song confirmed as Singing Only. There are certain songs that have moves that can be taught in a practice mode called "MJ School". During each performance, a crown pops up above the player's head and the player must hit the crown to activate "King Power" before it fades away. The crown, appearing only once per song, will multiply the score by 8. Similar to the Wii version, the player is scored on how well they sing and dance. The player can get five different grades: "Perfect", "Good", and "OK" increases the player's score, while "Almost" and "Miss" make causes the player to lose their current score. Points add up at the end of each song along with the rating of stars the player receives and a photo the player takes during their performance. Players can either use the Kinect's built-in microphone or an attached mic/headset to sing. The game does include the option, however, to choose a "Dance Only" version of the song, which means the player will not be asked to sing.. The Kinect version also features a mode known as Master Performance, which requires the player to both sing and dance to a set of choreographed moves that are harder than the normal moves, and "as close as possible to the videos".[7]

PlayStation 3 and Vita features

In addition to the singing and dancing functionalities found in the Xbox 360 version, the PlayStation 3 version allows the player to sing or dance at the same time as other players.[8] There is also the option to record the video clips or take pictures of the player's performance, and allows the player to save or upload them to sites, such as Facebook. The PlayStation Vita version was ported with Improved graphics in HD, Multiplayer (AD-Hoc), Trophy Support, Motion Sensor support, Multi-touch support, and instead of taking off the On-screen notes, it was replaced with the ability to use the Rear touch pad for an even harder challenge and since its use the multi-touch, the difficulty has been given an upgrade to increase the challenge. The PS Vita version, compared to the 3DS version, has been given a whole new look in graphics and on resolution, with the player being able to use their finger instead of a 3DS stylus. The Vita version does not have any downloadable content.

List of songs

Songs Albums Year Wii DS PSP Vita, 3DS, and iOS PS3 and 360 Mac OS X iPad 2 iPhone Difficulty
Bad Bad 1987 Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Medium / Medium
Beat It Thriller 1982 Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Medium / Hard
Billie Jean Thriller 1982 Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Medium
Black or White Dangerous 1991 Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Hard/Medium
Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough Off the Wall 1979 Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Medium/Medium
Leave Me Alone Bad 1987 Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Easy
Smooth Criminal Bad 1987 Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Medium/Easy
Thriller Thriller 1982 Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No Inhuman (Nightmare difficulty on the PS3 version)/Hard
The Way You Make Me Feel* Bad 1987 Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No No Yes Medium/Medium
Remember the Time Dangerous 1991 Yes No Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes Hard/Hard
Ghosts Blood on the Dance Floor: HIStory in the Mix 1997 Yes No No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Hard/Medium
Another Part of Me Bad 1987 Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No No Medium
Rock with You Off the Wall 1979 Yes No Yes Yes Yes No Yes No Easy
Heal the World Dangerous 1991 Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes No No Easy
Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'* Thriller 1982 Yes Yes Yes No Yes No No No Medium
Speed Demon Bad 1987 Yes No No Yes Yes No Yes Yes Hard/Hard
Streetwalker Bad: Special Edition 2001 Yes Yes Yes No Yes No No No Easy
Who Is It Dangerous 1991 Yes No No No Yes Yes Yes No Easy
Blood on the Dance Floor Blood on the Dance Floor: HIStory in the Mix 1997 No No No Yes Yes No Yes Yes Hard
Will You Be There Dangerous 1991 Yes No Yes No Yes No Yes No Medium / Easy
The Girl Is Mine (feat. Paul McCartney) Thriller 1982 Yes No Yes No Yes No No No Easy/Easy
I Just Can't Stop Loving You (feat. Siedah Garrett) Bad 1987 No No No No Yes No Yes No Easy/Easy
They Don't Care About Us HIStory: Past, Present and Future, Book I 1995 Yes No No No Yes No Yes No Hard/Medium
Hollywood Tonight Michael 2010 No No No Yes No No Yes Yes Hard
Working Day and Night Off the Wall 1979 Yes No No No Yes No No No Medium
Dirty Diana Bad 1987 Yes No No No Yes No No No Easy/Medium
In the Closet Dangerous 1991 Yes No No No Yes No No No Medium/Medium
Money History: Past, Present and Future Book I 1995 Yes No No No Yes No No No Medium
Earth Song HIStory: Past, Present, and Future, Book I 1995 Yes No No No Yes No No No Medium
Stranger in Moscow HIStory: Past, Present, and Future, Book I 1995 No No No No Yes Yes No No Easy
Sunset Driver The Ultimate Collection 2004 Yes No No No Yes No No No Hard
  • A "*" indicates that there is a dance teaching video of that song.
  • A "**" indicates that there is a three-part dance teaching video of that song.

In the Wii console version of the game, "Money" is incorrectly credited as a song from the album Blood on the Dance Floor: HIStory in the Mix which was released in 1997. This would be true if the song in the game was the remix, but it is the original version of the song, released on HIStory: Past, Present, and Future, Book I in 1995.

Development

Roughly two weeks after Michael Jackson's death in June 2009, MJ Productions announced that a Michael Jackson game had been in development for several months.[9][10]

Reception

Michael Jackson: The Experience was met with generally mixed reviews, with most of them citing the varied differences between the different versions of the game. The reviews for the DS and PSP versions were above average, with a slightly better score for the DS version. IGN gave a 6.5/10 for DS[11] and 5.5/10 for the PSP.[12] Destructoid gave a 6/10 for the DS version.[13]

IGN gave the Wii version a 3.5 saying that it does not give clear instructions on how to dance and also criticized the controls.[14] Metro gave it 5/10, describing it as "perfectly good party fun if you don't care that the controls don't work".[15] The game received positive reviews from tabloids that had previously been anti-Jackson. VideoGamer.com gave the review a 7/10, stating that the music overplays the responsiveness difficulty.[16] CNET gave the game 5/5, writing that the game is "extremely easy to pick up and play" and "the choreography is amazing"[17] The Escapist gave the game 4/5, noting that the game "is not meant to be played by yourself".[18]

Eurogamer thought that the Xbox dance routines "feel a little slower and more simplistic than those in the PS3 game", while the Daily Star said that "the Move seems a touch more sensitive".

References

  1. http://www.cnn.com/2010/TECH/gaming.gadgets/06/16/michael.jackson.game/
  2. http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/music_blog/2010/06/michael-jackson-is-coming-to-the-video-game-world.html
  3. http://www.joystickdivision.com/2010/11/michael_jackson_the_experience_1.php |title=Michael Jackson: The Experience Launches With Limited truee Edition Glove
  4. http://www.ign.com/articles/2011/01/06/ubisoft-sells-two-million-units-of-michael-jackson-the-experience
  5. http://www.ign.com/articles/2013/04/29/eight-of-the-most-hilarious-anti-piracy-measures-in-video-games
  6. http://www.everybodyplays.co.uk/preview/360/Michael-Jackson-The-Experience-Kinect-Hands-On/525
  7. http://www.everybodyplays.co.uk/feature/360/Michael-Jackson-The-Experience-Kinect-Interview/524
  8. http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2011-04-25-michael-jackson-the-experience-review
  9. http://www.1up.com/do/newsStory?cId=3175132
  10. https://web.archive.org/web/20121012045624/http://www.1up.com/news/michael-jackson-game-reportedly-development
  11. http://ds.ign.com/articles/113/1138952p1.html
  12. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named IGNpspreview
  13. http://www.destructoid.com/review-michael-jackson-the-experience-ds--189144.phtml
  14. http://uk.psp.ign.com/articles/113/1138754p1.html
  15. http://www.metro.co.uk/tech/games/848417-games-review-michael-jackson-the-experience-is-bad
  16. http://www.videogamer.com/wii/michael_jackson_the_game/review.html
  17. http://reviews.cnet.com/wii-games/michael-jackson-the-experience/4505-9993_7-34130706.html?part=cnet&subj=Michael+Jackson+The+Experience+(Wii)#reviewPage1
  18. http://www.escapistmagazine.com/articles/view/editorials/reviews/8389-Review-Michael-Jackson-The-Experience.2
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