Posted by Anthony Dickens
Dancing seems to be everywhere right now, so why not in your pocket?
More musical mayhem hits the DS in the form of the discotastic Boogie, a smaller, simpler sibling of the Wii title released a few months ago.
The concept is quite simple, its a dancing game, pretty much in the vain of the infamous Dance Dance Revolution but with a few twists thrown in.
Firstly your “controlling” your dance moves by drawing on the DS touch screen, you can draw in six different directions each with a different move. The idea is to draw these moves in time with the music and impress the on lookers.
Along with the timing of your moves, you may also have an on screen list of moves you need to perform, it all depends on which of the three game modes your playing.
Copycat mode sees an on screen prompt, queuing up to four moves at a time, stick to the prompts and you score big. Choreography mode is more like DDR, you have a scrolling prompt across the screen which requires your actions to be in time with the scroller. The third and final mode is Freestyle, the most basic of game modes, no prompts do-what-you-want dancing.
The game is like a bad night club - pretty easy to get into. You don't need too much help before you understand whats going on and strutting your stuff like John Travolta.
With such a simple control system you would expect it to be polished and bug free, however it isn't. Although the “dance moves” you draw on screen work most of the time, it fairly regularly gets it wrong, which becomes rather frustrating.
Boogie isn't simply about dance moves though, it has added “mini games” which are triggered during the dance routine. These miniature games are quick interactive elements that try to make the most of the touch controls such as tapping the lights of a disco floor, controlling a hula-hoop and scratching records with your feet!
These are mini moments of glory for the game and keep you almost interested in the the main dancing routine.
Like most games of the genre, you start out with a very limited selection of music and stages. Boogie has it's “Career” mode which acts as basically a series of dancing events which once played unlock more and more songs, stages and costumes.
Picking between the different characters doesn't really affect the career mode, using the different costumes will only really appeal to the hardcore of which I'm sure are few and far between.
There's a Frankenstein-esque “Julius”, frag doll like “Lea”, samurai kitty “Kato”, wunderkid “Jet” and the rather bizarre fat Elvis like cover character of “Bubba”.
The music in Boogie is pretty good, its not just random stuff picked out of a bargain bucket, it actually has a pretty decent collection of everything cheesy that you would expect to find at a office Christmas party. Because of this pure “cheese” its got to be said that the soundtrack will no doubt appeal to more young girls than anyone else.
One of the other twists that Boogie throws into the dancing-sim mix is an unexpected and rather unusual “3D” mode. Packaged in with the game is a pair of cardboard 3D glasses (yes, those old school ones), before each stage you get the opportunity to turn on “3D” mode. Okay its not in-your-face-touching-your-nose 3D but it does add a small amount of depth to your focus – however this is at the expense of color! An interesting little idea which sadly doesn't add anything to Boogie, but other developers might be able to work with it..
Boogie is overall a pretty decent little title, not quite in the same league as Elite Beat Agents but for the selection of gamers that like this genre, Boogie should please them enough. It contains some nice ideas and moments but is ultimately let down by its sheer simplicity and lack of depth. That said, if you like the music in Boogie you'll probably have a great time.