boogie woogie

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I am not a gamer. I don’t understand the race car games, the war games, the sports games and – although my reading preferences tend toward the science fiction and fantasy genres – I simply don’t have the manual dexterity or, damnit, the time to commit to a role playing game.

So, what would possess me to tell the Parent Bloggers Network that I’d love to have a look at a new Wii game? Because, it’s musical. Musical. No guns or aliens or giant bugs. Singing and dancing! Boogie is so much more my kind of game.

I did have a bit of rough go, sorting my way through the tutorial, but once I got the hang of it [with a little help from Mr.Q, who had tried out the game the day it was delivered, before I came home], it didn’t seem overly complicated. Make sure you make your moves on the beat, work up to displaying your fancy moves, strike a pose, take a solo and rack up those points. Several characters can shake their thangs [god help me, I typed “thangs”] in one of several settings to one or more of several songs and even against each other.

While it initially seemed annoying that I wasn’t immediately allowed access to all songs, locations and customization options for my character, it was kind of rewarding to get to earn the points to buy them later. It wasn’t difficult – I mean, if I can… Okay, so it doesn’t take much to amuse me.

The game came with a microphone to sing into and, when singing, the words appear on the screen a la karaoke, while bars above them rise and fall to indicate the melody. As you sing, the bars appear green [you hit the note], yellow [no dogs are howling…yet] or red [a multitude of fingernails on a chalkboard]. Success here also earns points. The song selection is a mixed bag for me – some I love and others I wouldn’t want to admit to listening to. I would have really preferred a larger selection of songs to choose from, but I can’t help wondering [hoping?] that obtaining more songs is in someone’s larger vision for the future.

The biggest downside? I must learn to pull my blinds before turning the console on. I have become on of Those People, hopping around my living room and lurching in front of my television. The Magpie looks at me like I’m nuts, but I suspect it won’t be too long before she wants to try. And then she’ll probably kick my ass first go around.

I liked:

  • this is fast fun and, I suspect, not too difficult game for someone who knows what they’re doing.
  • you have the chance to learn how to keep the beat and carry a tune – there are decent prompts for both.
  • you can make it more complicated as you go – start with just the controller, then add the nunchuck later or worry about moving around the stage after you get the basic beat under control.

I disliked:

  • it might just be us, but we did have difficulty getting the game to acknowledge both our controllers. Mr.Q did figure it out, but he had to go online and search around for a bit.
  • the font for the text was small and a little blurry on our modest 27″ flat-screen.
  • the how-to module wasn’t as clear as it could have been – for me, a near gaming virgin.
  • nitpicky thing: once you’ve extensively personalised your Boog character from one a few stock characters, your avatar [for lack of a better word] still looks like the stock character.

The verdict:

  • I was right: this is totally my kind of game. You don’t need to come into it with an astounding skill set or your hands permanently curled to fit the curve of a controller. It’s fun, it’s a great way to spend a few minutes decompressing and you get to put yourself – or, at least, your own personal character – on screen, in your own music video. I’d absolutely harass Mr.Q until he bought Boogie. I may have even set foot in the games store myself. And getting me into the store? That’s a coup in and of itself.

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