I'm a completist at heart, and so even though the last game I'd played in the Just Dance series was Just Dance 4 on Wii U, I took a step back and picked up a copy of one of the artist-specific spin-offs, The Black Eyed Peas Experience on Wii. More specifically, I happened to get a copy of the "Special Edition", which apparently includes a couple of exclusive songs.

This is the second of the handful of artist-specific Just Dance games that were released. I'd played and enjoyed the Michael Jackson one a while ago now, but I'd been familiar with most of those songs. I knew only a couple of the twenty some-odd Black Eyed Peas songs in this game, and I was pleasantly surprised at the variety amongst the songs and how catchy it was in general. Even though they pretty much passed me by at the time, I can sort of see why they were popular. Of course, since this game is focused on one artist there isn't as much variety in the songs as, say, Just Dance 3, which has twice as many songs, all from different artists, as well as from different genres, but to offset that the choreography in this game is in general noticeably more intricate. I also felt that the grading was harsher. It seems like in this game you get bonus points for playing with a buddy, so that may have been why, playing solo, my ratings (out of 5) in this game were generally much lower than in the other games. As is par for the course it takes some time to figure out how to get particular moves to register with the game in terms of how to hold the Wii remote, but I don't focus too much on the scoring in these types of games anyway, so that wasn't a big deal to me.

In terms of the aesthetics, the game has this really weird chunky pixel effect on some of the visualsĀ of the menus, which seems like it was taking inspiration from the BEP's music video "The Time (Dirty Bit)". I just found it to be kind of creepy and off-putting, but maybe BEP fans would appreciate it. Instead of the neon color scheme and glowing white dancers of the main games, this game has four dancers who, presumably, are representing the four members of the group. For a lot of the songs the game shows parts of the music video in the background, and I'm guessing the choreography references the originals, but I don't really know. There isn't much in the way of unlockables, which, again, is to be expected with these games. The game keeps track of your high scores and lets you record your initials, and when you've played all the songs in one of the four albums, it unlocks a little video message from one of the band members.

Overall I was pleasantly surprised to find that this was a perfectly worthy entry in the Just Dance series. Even though it's specific to one artist, there's a still a good amount of variety in the music, and the choreography is definitely better than in the Michael Jackson game. I would rank this around the middle of the pack for the Just Dance games I've played so far, which isn't bad at all, although to be honest the games aren't all that different from each other. Just Dance 4 is probably the best one so far in terms of minor tweaks to the established formula, but there have been annual releases since then so it could very well be that later installments have added additional incremental improvements. We'll have to see!


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