SingStar’s popularity on the PS2 meant that similar themed titles on other consoles were never going to be too far away. Boogie isn’t some mere rip-off however. Not like the recent In2Games decision to blatantly steal the Wii’s innovative control method, and cram it onto the PS2 anyway.
Each copy of Boogie comes with the expected microphone attachment to sing into, to your heart's content. But the karaoke section of Boogie is only half the joy. This time around you’ll be scored on your bottom wiggling action on the dance floor too.
Split into separate chapters, you’ll take turns between singing one of the sizey selection of tunes available, and simply dancing along. Singing, unsurprisingly, merely consists of trying to keep up with the words flowing across the screen, and hoping to keep vaguely in tune.
Dancing is a fairly simple prospect too, with visual cues showing which direction to move your Wii Remote, and your only task to move it in time with the music. Simple.
To help out, the speaker on the Wii Remote itself works as a Metronome, working with the visual representation of the beat on screen to keep you right in time with the music blaring from your TV. Keep your on-screen character moving in time with the music for a lengthy amount of time, and you’ll see your boost meter increase accordingly. Once it hits the top, a hold of the B button opens up a special dance move, with a special dance pattern to follow. Hit that correctly, and your character will perform some stunning moves, and your score will hit the heavens.
As fantastic as all that sounds, the reality isn’t quite as impressive. As fun as dancing along can be, it’s just as easy to simply sit in your chair and wiggle the Wii Remote a bit and achieve the highest possible scores.
Equally as big a miss is the karaoke section of the game. It’s set out very SingStar-esque, with bars equating the length and tone of each word, and the text itself flowing along the bottom of the screen. But, just like SingStar, you don’t even need to sing the real words to get your score among the very best.
Just hum along for the required length, and the correct pitch, and you’ll find things much more easier, and your score all the more heightened. Basically, any kind of noise is enough to be recognised as the real thing, and you’d have to be stony silent to manage to fail.
A stunning soundtrack would have been enough to save Boogie, but sadly, the mix here ranges from the standard karaoke tunes (It’s Raining Men, Love Shack, etc.) through to one’s only the modern pop music fans will enjoy (S.O.S, Milkshake, Let’s Get It Started, etc.). With over 35 tracks in total, there’s a hefty number there, but not even remotely enough variety to keep you enthralled for weeks on end. Where’s the guitar classics eh?
You can’t deny that Boogie is a truckload of fun, especially with a few friends and a couple of drinks down you. But with a tracklisting that’s much more suited to the younger crowd, and a dancing model that can be easily be manipulated, you can’t help but feel Boogie is missing something.
Let’s hope the inevitable sequel can improve things.