The video games industry is a strange place, and certainly unpredictable, as THQ has just proved with the release of Britney’s Dance Beat for PC. Who would have thought it? Well it’s here, and we have to say, closet fans that we are, that we really enjoyed it!
Britney’s Dance Beat is yet another 'hit-the-button-on-the-beat' affair, that features hit songs such as ‘Baby, One More Time’, ‘Oops…I Did It Again’, ‘Stronger’, ‘Overprotected’ and ‘I’m a Slave 4 U’.
After selecting from a politically correct, culturally diverse group of dancers, the player is entered into a one-on-one competition with another would-be backing dancer. In the corner of the screen, undoubtedly the only part of the screen you’ll be looking at as the game gets tougher, is a clock with a rotating hand. Positioned around its edge are symbols for the relevant buttons on the PS2 controller. As the hand passes the symbol (usually, but not always, in time with the music), all you have to do is hit the button. Repeatedly getting it right, without missing, builds up combos and moves a needle favourably across a meter at the bottom of the screen. Finish the song with the needle in your half of the meter to win.
Respectable performances earn points which in turn reward players with ‘backstage passes’, that unlock various delights, such as videos and virtual tours of Britney’s pre-concert warm-ups. Backstage passes are also essential in order to progress through the stages.
The target audience for this game is extremely specific, designed basically for anyone who loves Britney Spears. But that’s a lot of people and, as we discovered, even the most anti-Britney players can get plenty of fun out of this one.