Review: Boogie Superstar

Wii Review

"Boogie shuns its roots and gets the dancing right this time. It's unfortunate then that this is the most enjoyable aspect of the title."

Karaoke has a lot to answer for.
We've lost count of the amount of times we've had to endure countless ear bashings from pub revellers who have had one too many and think they are Whitney Houston. At least there's still nothing funnier than seeing a friend attempt 'Bohemian Rhapsody' with a voice that could cut glass. ("Let me go" indeed.)

So when Sony got smart and launched Singstar to the world they struck gold. Everyone wanted to play Singstar. From teeny boppers to adults, we vaguely remember being invited to parties and seeing PS2 mics littering the living room floor whilst everyone crooned "Never gonna give you up". It wasn't just about the singing though. The pitch bar employed in Singstar was a masterstroke and the template was set for Karaoke games to become console shoe-ins forever more.

We remember the first shots of EA's Boogie and it piqued our interest immediately. Not only did Boogie look unique and graphically astounding, but it also promised sweet Karaoke/dance based gaming. It was a shame then that the motion dancing promised by EA fell flat on its face. Karaoke worked well in Boogie yet the poorly implemented dancing model was clearly the section which EA needed to work on. Thankfully when you start playing Boogie Superstar it's clear that EA spent their development time revamping the entire dancing template.

Dancing in Boogie Superstar initially works around three simple moves: circling your arms over each other in front of you, pointing outwards and then forwards and finally swinging both arms in tandem left and right. Each motion works flawlessly and must be kept in time with the beat of the song. Those who have no rhythm need not worry as an onscreen ball bounces backwards and forwards turning green from yellow when you're getting the required speed and being red if you're doing the wrong motion. Sounding complex in principle, it works well and coupled with the many more advanced motions like clapping, pumping (ala the Warioware balloon level) and drawing a lasso, the Wii remote is used very well and enhances and arguably creates a sub-genre of its own in a Karaoke title.

The bouncing beat ball in all its glory!

Nicely then, Boogie shuns its roots and gets the dancing right this time. It's unfortunate then that this is the most enjoyable aspect of the title. Built around an American Idol scenario there are no outer space levels here nor any scenarios like the first Boogie. Instead you'll be singing by a pool, in a recording studio and in other "popstar" locales. Although this indicates a more down to earth experience, we found ourselves missing the fun settings seen in the original title. Throw in the fact that you cannot dance as any of the wierd and wonderful characters seen in the first Boogie and you realise your left with a cast that comes across as nothing but High School Musical cut outs.

Boogie Superstars main mode takes place around the X-Factor model in which three judges rate your performances. You can choose to duet with someone via Karaoke or dance (or a mixture of both) or you can go it alone and try to impress the judges with your slick moves or even slicker voice.

The trouble is that when you start the Karaoke mode you will immediately see the cracks in this otherwise glitzy package. The first problem we found was that certain words are censored. We have no problem with censorship but we do think it's lazy design when we are expected to sing that word when it has been removed from both the track and the lyric bar. Instead you're meant to mumble some other phrase at the same pitch as to keep your score.

Multiplayer dances are good fun

And speaking of scores, there's literally no leeway here. Fluff your lines and your not going to get a high rating. For a party game aimed at all ages this is terrible and actually makes you want to ignore the singing aspect of the title completely. Why hit 90% of notes only to get a 7/10 when, on the harder difficulties the computer controlled characters are going to hit the top notes all of the time? You're better sticking to the dancing. At least it's more forgiving. Finally, this leads us to the tracklist.

Sitting somewhere between urban, pop and "cool" there are songs like "Bleeding Love, Nine in the afternoon, Shut Up and Drive and You Want a Piece of Me" all standard fare for a Karaoke title. The only bad thing is that they are covers and not master copies. For a Karaoke title this is a somewhat sore point. We would have also liked more tracks from the past. It's fair enough having tracks that are current in the public's imagination but Singstar did well by having classic tracks in there too. Boogie aims for the current market and thus will age fast.

Boogie Superstar comes across as a conflicting package. On the one hand it aims to emulate the Popstar/X-Factor experience in setting, presentation and current tracklist, but on the other hand it falls flat on its face when offering an enjoyable Karaoke experience. Dancing works well and motion controls are handled extremely well, but with gameplay which takes eons to work through and tracklists that take even longer to unlock (from a track list of 40) Boogie Superstar makes you feel like you're only going through the motions and not enjoying the ride.

N-Europe Final Verdict

Boogie tries so hard to make you feel like a superstar. Unfortunately a poor Karaoke mode and arduous model for unlocking tracks makes the fun go right out of the window (along with the microphone).

  • Gameplay2
  • Playability3
  • Visuals4
  • Audio3
  • Lifespan2
Final Score



Excellent dancing mechanics
Multiplayer is fun
Great style throughout


Karaoke mode is too harsh
Unlocking takes too long
Songs are cover versions

© Copyright 2024 - Independent Nintendo Coverage Back to the Top