Boogie Superstar is the follow-up to last year’s dancing/karaoke mash-up for the Wii, DS, and PS2. However, I have to say, there is a lot that has changed this time around.
Boogie Superstar has a decidedly more youth-oriented feel to it this time (no more golden oldies!) and has definitely streamlined much of its core gameplay experience. However, for all the advancement that this title makes in its core gameplay areas, a few things have been lost since last year’s iteration, which is quite disappointing.
When you first fire up the game, you will be able to create a character. Those who played last year’s Boogie will remember that this feature was notably absent last time around, so it was definitely nice to create your perfect Boogie character. The customization mode isn’t incredibly deep, and you’ll only have a set number of different outfits and hair to choose from when creating your character’s individual “look”. Still, the creation mode works well enough, and if you find yourself unhappy with your character’s style, you can always change it later.
After you are finished creating you character, you will be able to play the game’s main mode: “Star” mode. This mode allows you to create a singing and dancing set list to perform in an American Idol-type setting, where you will be scored by three different judges on each segment of your routine. Once you finish all three parts, you will be able to earn Boogie points, which will allow you to purchase new outfits for your character and new songs for your routine. The star mode has support for up to four people to play locally either cooperatively or competitively.
While the Star mode is a bunch of fun, the trouble with Boogie Superstar is that Star mode is the only real mode. Sure, there is a routine creator where you can create dance routines for your favorite songs, but there is no free-play or story mode. There is only the “Star” mode, which is exactly the same every time you play through it; the same cheesy one-liners from the judges and the same quips from the host. The whole thing just feels boring after two or three playthoughs. And even though unlocking new songs and outfits for your character is fun, it just doesn’t make up for the lack of variety in the different modes.
However, even though the modes were very lacking, I have to say, the singing and dancing mechanics in Boogie Superstar worked a lot better than they did in the original Boogie. One of the first things Boogie veterans will notice is that the dancing this time around is a lot simpler than it was last year, which is definitely a good thing. Essentially, you will have to perform one of several basic dance moves to the beat of a metronome while wielding the Wii-mote* in your hand. These basic moves include the roll, the crisscross, the point, and the U. In addition to the basic moves, you will be able to trigger special moves in order to boost your score with different poses. Performing these moves is pretty easy, at least until you get to some of the higher difficulty levels.
The singing in Boogie also works quite well and consists of the karaoke-standard note bar showing the song’s different notes, and a little arrow showing your notes. The easy mode on Boogie Superstar is ridiculously easy (I passed one song just by humming off-key), but, luckily, the more difficult settings offer a bit more of a challenge. One new addition to the karaoke portion of the game is a “prank” system that will distort your voice, blot out the lyrics, or erase the note bar while you are playing. This little gimmick can actually be quite fun and definitely gives karaoke vets a new challenge they can appreciate.
The song selection this time around features mainly pop music, divided into urban, dance, and standard pop genres. The track list will be particularly appealing to the teen and tween sect with hits from Ally and AJ, Ashley Tisdale, and The Jonas Brothers. There is also a considerable amount of rap music from artists like Kanye West and Soulja Boy Tellem. Although it should be noted that some of the songs, including “Take you There” by Sean Kingston and “Makes Me Wonder” By Maroon 5 have been heavily edited, so parents picking this title up for kids shouldn’t be worried about lyrical content.
The graphics in this title are pretty good at the beginning, and the opening cutscene features some very nice animation. However, the graphics in-game are not as impressive and look on-par with the majority of other Wii titles. Characters and environments sport a fair amount of detail, and the colors are nice and bright, but there’s nothing here to really wow you or anything.
Although I enjoyed last year’s Boogie quite a bit, looking back on it, there was a lot that could have been improved. And fortunately, a lot of the issues that I had were addressed, specifically in the gameplay arena. However, for all the progress Boogie Superstar made with gameplay, it gets lost when it comes to play value. Just having one mode for play is inexcusable in a modern title, and even games as basic as SingStar have more varied gameplay than Boogie Superstar. I really think if you combined the mechanics of Superstar with the varied gameplay of its predecessor, you could have had an ultimate party game on the Wii. However, as it stands, Boogie Superstar is just another game that you may play for a few hours, and then will probably forget.
RATING OUT OF 5 RATING DESCRIPTION 3.9 Graphics
Graphics are fairly good, especially in the opening cutscene. However, they don’t impress as much in-game. 4.4 Control
Dancing mechanics work very well despite being a bit simpler than they were last year. Singing is equally effortless. 4.0 Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
Song selection pegs this title’s audience perfectly and has tracks from pop staples like The Jonas Brothers, Katy Perry, and Rihanna. 2.5
Unfortunately, there is only one mode to play, and even though unlocking songs and outfits is fun, it just isn’t worth the constant repetition.
3.7 Overall Rating – Good
Not an average. See Rating legend above for a final score breakdown.