Previews// We Dance

Posted 1 Jun 2011 14:49 by
Dancing games are ten-a-penny these days, and the success of the criminally enjoyable Just Dance and Dance Central games has helped the genre move away from the use of the Dance Dance Revolution controller mats of yesteryear. But this fierce competitive market hasn?t deterred We Sing developer Nordic Games from giving it a fair crack with We Dance.

And jolly good fun it?s shaping up to be too. The key factor in any dancing game is the tracklist, and for my money there aren?t many games out there that can hold my attention beyond two or three songs. We Dance includes 40 tunes, and some of them I wouldn?t attempt if my life depended on it. The cheesy pop of Blue?s One Love, corny 90s dance in Whigfield?s Saturday Night and the almost unbearable Spice Girls? Spice Up Your Life pepper the list. Urk.

But, there are just as many tracks that really get my toe tapping - Outkast?s Hey Ya, Love Shack by the B-52s, the always-classic Kung Fu Fighting by Carl Douglas and some classic disco anthems from Sister Sledge and Rose Royce. It?s all down to personal tastes at the end of the day, but ultimately I could happily pop my body to at least half of the tracks included on the disc.

Body popping is exactly what We Dance encourages, to a degree. Taking cues from the aforementioned Just Dance, you?re able to use the Wii Remote to match the arm movements of a dancing avatar on screen. Alternatively, you can choose to follow on-screen gestures, but really it?s better following the model in the middle of the screen.

In addition to your arms, you also have to worry about your feet - and this is where the tradition of the old dance mat comes in. Using the classic flying arrows as a guide, you?ve got to time your steps to the music and ensure your left and right feet hit the appropriate panels. You can technically cheat by using either feet for the left and right panels, but that?s no fun when you have the opportunity of criss-crossing your legs to MC Hammer.

Unlike Just Dance, where you only really have to think about your whole body as one entity, We Dance separates your feet and your hands and asks you to do different motions for both. As a result, it can be a bit of a brain-bender, so there?s options to play using just your feet or your hands.

After a little warm up, involving rotating your neck and swinging your arms around, I had three goes on Pendulum?s Slam. Largely because I love the song, and mostly to check out the difference between playing with the hands-only, feet-only and both options. The first feels like para-para (dancing with the hands), the second feels like DDR and the third takes some getting used to, but it?s guaranteed to make you chuckle as you flail about trying to understand some of the moves.

Songs are rated out of five stars for difficulty, and range from the easy-to-step-to Day n Nite by Kid Cudi to the absolutely mental Junior Senior track Everybody. Seriously, arrows and hands and algebra equations (maybe not the last one) fly at you from all directions in that track, it?s unreal. There?s a music video theatre and a dance school as well if you don?t fancy going against the songs too.

All in all, We Dance is looking like a nice alternative to the cream of rhythm games already on the Nintendo platform. And the tracklist isn?t terrible to boot. A thumbs up from a bona-fide metalhead?. Must be doing something right.

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